There are few greater feelings than climbing up a snowy Alpine ridge on a crystal clear day. The crunch of snow beneath your crampons, the plunge of the ice axe through the drift, and clanging of aluminium to rock. It is ridges that inspire the most, with vertiginous drops either side, a sense of danger, adventure, achievement.
Yet, whether it’s an Alpine ridge or a stroll along the Cairngorm plateau, if there’s snow on the ground and there’s a hill to climb, an ice axe, along with your crampons, is indispensable. There are many types of ice axe, from aggressively twisted ice climbing axes, to straight winter walking axes. With Black Diamond’s Venom we’ve got a hybrid.
It is described by Black Diamond as “the ultimate hybrid axe for technical couloirs and rugged alpine terrain”. And we found this to be a great and versatile tool. There are two main reasons we love it so much: Firstly, it is light at 528g, but also incredibly tough. This is important because an ice axe is there for protection, to save your life, so you don’t want it to fail.
“There are many types of ice axe, from aggressively twisted ice climbing axes, to straight winter walking axes. With Black Diamond’s Venom we’ve got a hybrid.”