Forums The Gear Room BD Raven Pro or Raven Ultra
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  • #780232
    bcall8
    125 Posts

    I would like to pick up my first ice axe for spring trips to the Sierra. I have a bunch of rewards points that I plan on using through Moosejaw so it will not cost me a penny that I haven’t already spent. I think I’ve narrowed it down to these two. From what I gather the Ultra is a little lighter, has a different shaped spike and is orange. Are there any opinions on which I should pick up? Is the spike on one better than the other? Is it all about weight? Will an orange ice axe make me feel more awesome than a silver one?

    #780245
    HansGLudwig
    601 Posts

    Pro is more general-purpose mountaineering. That’s why it comes in longer shaft lengths.
    Ultra is more ski-mountaineering oriented. They were going for a “just in case” kind of tool with the philosophy “the lighter it is, the more likely you are to bring it”…without sacrificing safety.

    If it is going to double on mountaineering adventures (where there is no technical ice climbing) get a properly fitted pro.
    If it is a “just in case” splitboard mountaineering tool get the shortest ultra you can; b/c you have trekking poles to pick up slack where your axe is insufficient.
    I own the smallest Camp Nanotech (which is lighter than either BD’s, but $50 more). It’s light enough, I never leave it home. It’s just the right length for climbing +35° couloirs: “just in case.” In more traditional mountaineering situations—crossing a glacier—I Voile strap it to a trekking pole.

    Be sure to bookmark Splitboard.com's Recent Activity page...
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    #780253
    FloImSchnee
    291 Posts

    Rather go for a curved one, like Camp Corsa Nanotech (if should be light) or Petzl SumTec Adze (if it shall properly bit in blue ice as well)

    Reason: more space for knuckles and more bite when holding the axe at the shaft below the head, when climbing up a couloir.

    #780257
    bcall8
    125 Posts

    Pro is more general-purpose mountaineering. That’s why it comes in longer shaft lengths.
    Ultra is more ski-mountaineering oriented. They were going for a “just in case” kind of tool with the philosophy “the lighter it is, the more likely you are to bring it”…without sacrificing safety.

    If it is going to double on mountaineering adventures (where there is no technical ice climbing) get a properly fitted pro.
    If it is a “just in case” splitboard mountaineering tool get the shortest ultra you can; b/c you have trekking poles to pick up slack where your axe is insufficient.
    I own the smallest Camp Nanotech (which is lighter than either BD’s, but $50 more). It’s light enough, I never leave it home. It’s just the right length for climbing +35° couloirs: “just in case.” In more traditional mountaineering situations—crossing a glacier—I Voile strap it to a trekking pole.

    Thanks… I would only be using it for splitboarding. Being 6’2 I was thinking of getting the 60cm.

    #780282
    HansGLudwig
    601 Posts

    Since it’s only for splitboarding—of your two choices— I’d recommend the Ultra (but truthfully I recommend the Corsa Nanotech). I’m not sure what you gain with a 60 cm shaft over a 50 or 70. As I see it, this is not a split-the-difference and get both type of deal; either the spike hits the ground or it doesn’t.
    Traditionally, shaft length should be determined by a combination of the distance from your hand to ankle (or floor) when standing upright and the terrain you’ll be walking in: the steeper the terrain, the more you’ll trim off that distance. I’m 6’0″; bigger blokes like you and me typically use +70cm axes for general-mountaineering. Since we splitboarders tend to use trekking poles on mellow terrain (anything less than 30º–35º), the traditional sizing method gives us shafts that are too long; and that’s just extra weight which makes self-arrests more difficult.
    When I bought mine, I was thinking. . . I only use an axe in two situations: booting steeps (>35º) and self-arrests. That steep of a slope makes shaft length all but moot; in fact a longer shaft means I have to move my arm higher to get my spike into (and out of) the snow. In self-arrest scenarios, the spikes of longer shafts are more likely to hit something and go flying. Ergo, I should get the smallest, lightest axe I can afford.
    But dudes on this forum rock very different lengths, materials, and styles. I have a feeling axes are a ‘you know what you want/need only after you’ve taken the plunge’ type deals. I hope to hear soon about how well your choice works for you.

    Be sure to bookmark Splitboard.com's Recent Activity page...
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    #780382
    96avs01
    875 Posts

    Rather go for a curved one, like Camp Corsa Nanotech (if should be light) or Petzl SumTec Adze (if it shall properly bit in blue ice as well)

    Reason: more space for knuckles and more bite when holding the axe at the shaft below the head, when climbing up a couloir.

    Also more difficult to use for self-arrest depending on the angle of the pick.

    165 Venture Divide/Spark Frankenburners/La Sportiva Spantiks
    163W Jones Solution/Phantom Alphas/Dynafit TLT5s
    162 Furberg

    Chris

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