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Black Diamond Viper Ice Axe
The new Viper Ice Axe from Black Diamond has been completely redesigned to keep up with the new demands of alpinists and cascade climbing. The key new feature is the adjustable trig rest which can be moved up and down the shaft and fastened securely. The Black Diamond Viper Ice Axe's profile has also been tweaked to reduce the weight while improving its swing weight and action.
|WEIGHT||[Hammer] 570 g [Adze] 595 g|
1 product review
The design and finish are top quality and make the similar Petzl Quark look somewhat cheap in comparison.
Compared to the previous orange Viper model, the adjustable handrest is a big improvement. In a high position, it works well when "Ueli Stecking" up a snow gully. The upper part of the shaft is a bit wider, which makes for a nice hand grip in this position as well. The adjustable handrest itself is easy and fast to use, feels solid and is slightly bigger than on the previous Vipers, making it more comfortable when wearing gloves. Both ends of the shaft are clippable and also fit smaller carabiners.
Of course the swing is personal, but feels very good. The balance and weight feel natural. The grip holds well, both with and without gloves. Thanks to the grippy rubber and the big handrest at the end of the shaft, you can still comfortably hang on the axe with an open hand. A downside of the big handrests is that it's a bit awkward to hold the axe in the opposite direction when using the adze or hammer. I can solve that by moving the adjustable handrest a bit up and gripping the axe a bit higher as well.
The tool is modular and fits all Black Diamond technical picks. Unfortunately it's not possible to assemble the tool without a hammer or adze. So far the pick seems to be very durable and able to withstand some abuse on rock.
The price is high, but comparable with the other brands.
An ideal tool for both ice climbing and alpine terrain.