Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Venom
Manufacturer Black Diamond
Page By
Page Type Oct 26, 2005 / Oct 26, 2005
Object ID 1442
Hits 8059
Compact and light enough to stash and carry when not needed, the new Venom is lighter than the Rage and more technical than the Raven. The Venom is for technical mountaineers who want a swingable ice axe for climbing steeper alpine terrain. Its replaceable Venom Classic Pick sticks and holds in steep ice while offering solid self-arrest function on snow. The curved shaft and dual-density grip penetrate hard snow well, making this “one tool” ice axe extremely functional when climbing iced-up couloirs, steep rime ice or exposed snow traverses. Comes with a Lockdown Leash. CEN-B certified.

• Compact and light piolet for

technical mountaineers

• Replaceable Venom Classic Pick

sticks and holds in steep ice

• Curved shaft and dual-density

grip penetrate hard snow well



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ascendingzion - Apr 13, 2007 12:50 pm - Voted 5/5

Great axes
I've used the 57cm hammer on Mt. Shasta's Hotlum Glacier and then bought a 57cm adze with the tech pick for some moderate ice on Mt. Washington. These are perfect for me because I don't plan on WI 5 and will probably see more snow than ice on most routes I'll climb. I only gave a 4/5 because I'm not experienced enough I think to give a 5/5. Aztar's definately stuck verticle ice better, but the 57cm option is great making them better for moderate terrain with short steep sections. . . so maybe 5/5 when considering the function!

Returned from the Ouray Ice Festival a couple weeks ago and climbed WI 3-4 with two 57cm tools and loved them! If you're looking for an affordable aggressive lightweight alpine tool, look no further!

Kenneth.alone - Apr 9, 2008 12:21 pm - Voted 3/5

Good but not great
The axes are strong and stable, they get a five for me one that.
But the weight sucks, i completely disagree with the above opinions that it is light.
The twin venoms i have are almost exactly twice the weight of my Petzl's. Same length, same rubber grip, same angles and twice the weight.
I am long time BD fan, but for the price, lighter is easily bought.

jogle03 - Jul 25, 2008 6:07 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Good but not great
Could I just ask which Petzl axes you have that only weigh half of the Venoms? I have tried looking for such a pair, but can't find them as I assume you are talking about the Petzle Aztare that actually weighs 580g per axe, compared to only 493g for the Venom... As i am looking at buying an axe similar to the venom i'd love to know if I'm missing out on an incredibly light alternative (e.g. 246.5g per axe) to the Venom as you claim.

ascendingzion - Aug 8, 2008 11:18 pm - Voted 5/5

Re: Good but not great
The Aztarex is 1oz less than the Venom, but only comes with a reverse curve pick and does not have a rubber grip.

The Venom can use a more aggressive pick or classic pick, it is also is more comfortable to hold on the head because of the way BD makes their heads.

He could also be talking about the Cosmi'tec, but that doesn't have an interchangeable pick as far as I know and also lacks the grip.

Go for the Venoms!

climbncookie - Feb 4, 2010 3:16 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Good but not great
The Petzl Sum'tec is only 485g, without the trigrest it weigh's only 470g. Not quiet half but much lighter.

Kai - Dec 9, 2010 5:01 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Good but not great
Twice the weight of your Petzls? I call BS.

Rick Huff - Mar 12, 2009 3:18 pm - Hasn't voted

Love 'em!
I'm not a hard core ice climber, but sometimes climb glacier headwalls and steep gulleys/faces and these tools work great. They are comfortable in the hand, self arrest well, and still get me up steep snow and ice that a standard axe wouldn't. For alpine ascents without long vertical ice, they are a great all around tool (axe and hammer).

Beanusless - Feb 12, 2010 11:58 pm - Voted 5/5

Great tools
I don't claim to know that much about ice tool selection but this axe has served me very well. It is great for basic to semi-technical mountaineering, self-arrests like a dream and is still light enough to easily swing over your head. It has been a great thing to have on my many ascents.

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