Considering an ice axe: BD Raven Pro or Camp Corsa?
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David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Considering an ice axe: BD Raven Pro or Camp Corsa? on 06/10/2012 14:08:08 MDT Print View

A couple of times last year I ran into situations where an ice axe might have been a better choice than trekking poles. Also considering some walk-up summits, and more early season travel.

Looking at either BD Raven Pro or Camp Corsa. I'm 5'6"--maybe 60 cm? So difference is ~5 oz and ~$20.

Thoughts?

Matthew Black
(mtblack) - F
Re: Considering an ice axe: BD Raven Pro or Camp Corsa? on 06/10/2012 14:34:50 MDT Print View

BD ice axes are made in China. The Camp products were made in Italy. Admittedly the Raven and Raven Pro are nicely finished and didn't appear inferior to other brands.

The Petzl Snowalker isn't terribly heavy, includes a leash and was made in France last time I saw one.

Richard Fischel
(RICKO) - F
if there's no mountaineering on 06/10/2012 17:07:52 MDT Print View

in your near future or you don't mind buying another ice axe, go with the camp corsa. it's perfect in the roll of extra insurance when sticking to snow fields. if i was planning on any real glacier travel or was going to be pounding in pickets, i'd avoid the corsa with its aluminum head. another light axe that comes in around 14 oz is the grivel air tech race. i've seen it on sale recently for around $125. not sure how that compares to the prices you've seen on the corsa or raven pro.

length is a real personal issue. if not too steep terrain a 60 cm or thereabouts is fine.

Brian Austin
(footeab) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: if there's no mountaineering on 06/10/2012 18:08:32 MDT Print View

Which one has more pick/adze/spike length on it? IE which one can be sharpened more than the other? Are you 95% backpacking and just want to get across steep snow slopes that may have a gory end at their bottom? Then whichever is lighter. If more into summiting peaks, go with the axe that has more life time wear length to it.

Sorry, don't have each embedded into my mind as to which is what. My backpacking axe is about ready to be thrown out as I have sharpened it too many times. Lasted me about 10 years of backpacking/scrambling. Most often used to dig "cat holes" and dry tooling up summits that I really should have had a rope for... Or self belaying down super steep mud/heather etc. Ice climbing axes are a whole'nother kettle of fish and unless you are into vertical ice are a waste of money IMO.

A sharp axe makes a gigantic difference on semi technical routes. Same with sharp crampons.

Paul Hatfield
(clear_blue_skies) - F
Please check old threads on 06/10/2012 18:41:08 MDT Print View

This topic has been covered in-depth already.
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=43106

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F - M

Locale: North Idaho
Thanks on 06/10/2012 22:26:22 MDT Print View

Thanks for the info, all. And thanks for the link, Paul. Must have missed that one.

I don't anticipate carrying an axe very often, or for many days, but my base weight is plenty light enough to allow a few extra ounces. At this point, I'm tilting toward the BD Raven Pro for wider range of use, increased durability, and (slightly) lower price. Plus, a local independent shop carries them, and I like giving the guy my business when I can.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Thanks on 06/10/2012 23:46:29 MDT Print View

The Corsa is aluminum, making it useful only for occasional snow travel during the summer.

The Raven Pro is a lightweight axe, in the style of a typical mountaineer's tool, sufficient for all conditions of snow/ice/glacier.

With that said though, the Raven has a better pick for self-arrest. IMO, the Raven Pro isn't as good a mountaineering axe as the Raven.

Length is, to a degree, a personal thing. The standard these days is easy enough to measure. Pick up and axe, and gently hold the head in one hand, letting the spike end droop near the ground. With your arms comfortable relaxed at your side, the tip of the spike should come to your ankle. For gentler walk-ups and hiking-oriented travel, a bit longer length is recommended.

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead)

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Re: Thanks on 06/11/2012 00:40:24 MDT Print View

"With that said though, the Raven has a better pick for self-arrest. IMO, the Raven Pro isn't as good a mountaineering axe as the Raven."

What's the difference between the two?

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Re: Re: Thanks on 06/11/2012 10:19:47 MDT Print View

@Christopher: the Raven Pro has a smaller pick. If I have to arrest, I don't want a down-sized tool. The difference is easy to see in person, not so much web shots.

Christopher Yi
(TRAUMAhead)

Locale: Cen Cal
Re: Re: Re: Re: Thanks on 06/11/2012 12:24:44 MDT Print View

Thanks. Assuming that's why the Pro is a bit lighter. The pictures on BD's website makes it looks like the Pro has a larger pick too.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Considering an ice axe: BD Raven Pro or Camp Corsa? on 06/11/2012 23:39:30 MDT Print View

The Corsa is a very limited tool. I have one for backcountry ski trips. You wouldn't want to do anything but self-arrest with it (or just use it on an uphill or traverse where you're plunging the shaft into the snow as a handhold). It's so light that it's almost useless for cutting a step. A little more weight in the head is very useful if you want to do anything besides self arrest.

Stephan Doyle
(StephanCal)
Re: Re: Considering an ice axe: BD Raven Pro or Camp Corsa? on 06/12/2012 00:29:25 MDT Print View

I don't trust the Corsa in ice, only snow. Against rocks, the aluminum would get worn quickly.

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
Bd raven on 06/12/2012 02:36:51 MDT Print View

I used both axes and I prefer the BD ....

Made in china? .. maybe.. but it it has very good finishing and appears much better than the camp

Very good and confortable head (smooth and polished) perfect for small and gloved hands

Steel pick much better than aluminium (and Stainless meaning no rust)

Smaller pick .... no way .. We have three (I work for a mountaineering club) used intensely in mountaineering courses with hundred of self arrest practices...

Anyway the Camp axe Its ok..... but we have axes from simond, petzl, camp, lucky... and the BD raven is one of my favourites....

carlos fernandez rivas
(pitagorin) - MLife

Locale: Galicia -Spain
Bd better on 06/12/2012 02:36:51 MDT Print View

I used both axes and I prefer the BD ....

Made in china? .. maybe.. but it it has very good finishing and appears much better than the camp

Very good and confortable head (smooth and polished) perfect for small and gloved hands

Steel pick much better than aluminium (and Stainless meaning no rust)

Smaller pick .... no way .. We have three (I work for a mountaineering club) used intensely in mountaineering courses with hundred of self arrest practices...

Anyway the Camp axe Its ok..... but we have several (about 20) axes from Simond, Petzl, Camp, Lucky Grivel ... and the BD raven is one of my favourites....

Edited by pitagorin on 06/12/2012 02:43:02 MDT.