Chris Townsend tested out the Black Diamond Raven Ultra, a lightweight walking axe

The Raven Ultra is a perfectly good lightweight axe with a narrow pick with plenty of teeth on the underside. It’s slightly less curved than the other axes reviewed and blunter at the tip but this isn’t a problem for a walking axe.

The adze is quite narrow and not as good for step-cutting or digging snow as a wider one (not that an axe this light is one to choose if you expect to do much step-cutting anyway). The angled spike penetrates hard snow easily. No leash is provided. The axe is comfortable to hold with the pick facing forwards or backwards.

While there’s nothing wrong with the Black Diamond Raven Ultra, it is slightly heavier and more expensive than the Petzl Glacier and the longest length is 60cm so it’s not an axe for tall people.