UKC

NEW REVIEW: Black Diamond Cobra Ice Axe

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
 UKC Gear 14 Sep 2009
[Will Sim on Dessous Choc WI6, © Jonathan Griffith, 3 kb]The Cobras perform brilliantly on big routes and ice falls, with even better looks.


Will Sim tests the ultimate carbon fibre tool for leashless mixed, ice and alpine climbing from Black Diamond...

Read more at http://www.ukclimbing.com/gear/review.php?id=2094

king_of_gibraltar 14 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

*drools*
 wee jamie 14 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear: If I had a pair, they'd be in a glass case with a single spotlight on them, maybe a little dry ice. They're a work of art
 David Hooper 14 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

I have the Cobra Mk Ones and have tried the Mark Twos at at The Ice Festival at Rjukan.

If I had the spare dosh, I would sell my old ones and upgrade.

These are things of beauty, true BUT more importantly they handle and perform better than any axe I have wielded.
In reply to UKC Gear: Will makes some great points for the alpine climber - his speculation on why they might bite better on black ice than other tools is the type of thing that only comes from proper knarly experience!

I've climbed a few shorter routes with my friend's Cobras, but bought new Vipers myself last winter. In retrospect, I'm happy with my decision - from the perspective of a mid grade ice climber, I don't think the advantages of the Cobras outweigh for me the cost difference and also worries about longevity.

Something else Will doesn't mention is they make really weird noises! The carbon fibre is very different in feel and sound - for me it was like going from a steel framed bike to an aluminium one - although in the case it should be the other way around.
 BigMac 15 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA: I have a set of these and find them fantastic, once you get over the initial noise and understand how they sound.. there is no other ice axe on the market that I have used that comes close to these.
In reply to BigMac:
> there is no other ice axe on the market that I have used that comes close to these.

You really reckon? They may well be the best, but plenty of other designs come close.

 BigMac 15 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA: I would say so... the only axe that would come close are the vipers.

On the longer routes the Cobras take less effort and are more forgiving to lack of stamina and poor placements, by far the best balanced tool out there. I rated the Vipers when I had them, and would even say that the Grivel Matrix would have rated quite highly..
In reply to TobyA: It's got to be said, my old Cobra's are far and away my favourite tool I've owned. The lack of vibration and the increase in first time sticks is noticeable. I coveted the new ones the other day at V12 outdoor and they are even sexier, lighter, and feel more nimble... I have gotten round the longevity issue with mine by applying self amalgamating take up the entire shaft which provides a good deal of protection and also more grip positions...
 Will Sim 15 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear: Hi everyone, please ignore the date on the Droite photo. Just received a couple emails from people enquiring on Droite conditions. I think that photo was taken in late January. Sorry if it got anyone's hopes up!
Will
 BigMac 15 Sep 2009
In reply to Will Sim: I had wondered!

On another note, it will be interesting to see if the New BD Fusion change is as good as predicted...
 hwackerhage 17 Sep 2009
In reply to UKC Gear:

Btw the Black Diamond Spinner Leash looks like a good idea, especially the fact that it rotates. Is that commercially available in the UK?
In reply to BigMac:

I think the new fusion will blow them out of the water IMO. I climbed a few routes with cobras and still prefer nomics, specially if they a have a mixed bit in it. But that just me
 Iain McKenzie 17 Sep 2009
In reply to hwackerhage: they will be available in the uk this winter, not sure when they will be dielvered, but they are enroute.
Michiel 17 Sep 2009
In reply to mike kann: What exactly is the issue concerning the longevity you and others refer to? The coating of the shaft that gets damaged by accidentally striking at rocks or is it the carbon fiber itself that has durability issues?
In reply to Michiel:
> or is it the carbon fiber itself that has durability issues?

Durability issues? Surely not!

http://www.bustedcarbon.com/

Michiel 18 Sep 2009
In reply to TobyA: That's really quite funny, but we all know what those bmx boys are like when it comes to taking proper care of their equipment . What I would like to know is are there any people here, on this forum, who have been forced to retire their Cobras or Grivels because they damaged the carbon shaft, either while climbing or by dropping them, or know (of) people who have? Perhaps an ice axe shaft that weighs 450 grams is sturdier than a much larger bicycle frame that weighs 1500 grams. I imagine Black Diamond know what their axes are put through when designing the Cobra mk1 and 2.
 Damo 19 Sep 2009
In reply to hwackerhage:

I checked out a Spinner leash in the flesh the other day. I'd already made two of my own, but the BD ones are very nice. But too short. Though I am 6' 7" I don't have a particularly high ape-index - my arms are not ridiculously long - and they were simply not long enough to give a full stretch. Probably fine for the average-sized climber, but those over 6' 2" or so may want to try before they buy.

D
 Wee Davie 19 Sep 2009
In reply to Michiel:

Having seen the abuse alloy/ steel shaft tools take in Scottish style mixed climbing I'd be reluctant to buy carbon shafted tools too.
I don't mean ice fall climbing or sport mixed btw.
Maybe they are fantastic tools but in Scotland there is so much shaft abuse (fnarr fnarr) that I reckon you could damage them over a few good seasons.
 Mr Fuller 19 Sep 2009
In reply to Wee Davie: Carbon fibre composites are not created one-and-all. The stuff that goes into bikes, fishing rods, and I'd guess climbing gear, is nowhere near the grade of that used in aviation or the military. If people wanted money-no-object,bespoke axes then they could be made significantly lighter, tougher, and harder than any metal. There isn't the demand though.
In reply to Michiel: I know a guy who broke his original Cobras. He was climbing in Austria with a mate of mine, and IIRC both snapped at the head within a day or two of each other!
Stev1e 12 Oct 2009
In reply to Wee Davie:

Anyone know if the new Vipers are durable?

Just (water-pressure-extruted) aluminium I think..

My DMM Flys feel solid and have taken some punishment, and playing with the new Vipers in the shop, they feel like the could break under the pressure of Scottish Winter Mountaineering...
In reply to Stev1e:

> Anyone know if the new Vipers are durable?

They've only been around for one or so seasons so it would be hard to prove, but I don't see any reason at all why they wouldn't be as sturdy as all the other BD tools

> they feel like the could break under the pressure of Scottish Winter Mountaineering...

Not quite sure why you reckon that, but I'm sure Vipers are no less tough than any other comparable tool.
 Tom_Harding 12 Oct 2009
Anyone had a look at the salewa piranas yet, one sexy axe.

New Topic
This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Loading Notifications...