Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Whippet
Manufacturer Black Diamond
Page By 96avs01
Page Type Apr 4, 2008 / Aug 25, 2008
Object ID 5211
Hits 13154

Product Description

Want the convenience of a trekking pole with the ability to perform a self arrest? Then the Whippet may be just what you seek. The Black Diamond Whippet Self-Arrest Ski Pole gives you a bit of extra security when you ski lines where a fall can mean the end of your season—or worse. The ice axe head helps you self arrest if you slip in the no-fall zone or if your buddy drops into a crevasse during a ski-mountaineering trip. Black Diamond's Whippet Pole has become a standard piece of gear for everything from local gnar to Himalayan steeps. *Sold individually.

The redesigned, sleeker Whippet now permanently integrates the pick right into the grip top and the upper shaft for increased comfort and greater collapsibility. Comes stock with our BD Pick Protector.


Durable aluminum lower shaft adjusts easily with the reliable FlickLock adjustment mechanism.

Shaft: Aluminum
Grip: Plastic/Steel
Tip: Carbide
Range: 110-140 cm
Weight: 14 oz.

Initial Review

I originally purchased a Whippet to use during lower glacier travel on Denali. I have since begun to use it during all backcountry boarding descents as opposed to an ice axe. While the Whippet comes as a two-section pole, I purchased a set of Black Diamond Expedition poles and converted it to a three-section pole, with greater adjustability. I have compared the Whippet to the Grivel Condor and prefer the design of the Whippet, although the Condor provides a little more clearance for self-arrest. If you are a boarder the ability to both self-arrest and push yourself along on traverses serves great backcountry utility. One thing to note is that given the handle is a combination of plastic and steel it can lead to a colder hand versus a trekking pole that uses either foam or cork for the handle material. I am completely happy with my Whippet and will continue to use is for nearly all glacier travel and backcountry descents, see here.



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MoapaPk - May 3, 2009 2:48 pm - Voted 5/5

surprisingly good
Don't expect total ice axe performance, and you will be surprised by the capability of the Whippet. I launched myself headfirst and supine down a ski run, and was able to self-arrest quickly 15 times in a row. In actual use on a 45 degree slope, I found the pick bit easily into the slope for an added measure of secutity. Gee, why'd I use the pick instead of a normal self-belay?

There's the rub. If you have the snow basket on, you can't instantly go to self-belay position; you really have to unscrew the basket, which is not all that easy. The flicklock is also in the way of a smooth plant, and the shaft is definitely less trustworthy than that of a real ice axe. I've been in situations where the people with real ice axes could easily plunge the shaft almost all the way into hard snow, and the poor whippet stopped after about 6", even without the basket.

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