The Black Diamond Venom is a modular ice axe that excels in more complex terrain and on steeper routes and blurs the lines between an ice axe and ice tool. The Venom has two pick options: The Classic for more general mountaineering and a reverse curve pick that excels on steeper terrain. The Venom either in a pair or mated with an ice tool will climb pure waterfall ice surprisingly well and we like the fact that it is available in either a hammer or an adze. The Venom is certainly capable of more basic and moderate mountaineering routes but is a little overkill and is heavier and more expensive than most folks will need for those types of routes. However, if you enjoy steeper and more challenging routes the Venom is an excellent performance oriented ice axe that crushes steep snow, has a well-designed adze and is more comfortable to carry than most.
See how the Venom compared to all of the contenders in the Best Ice Axe review.
A new version of the Venom, picture above, is available from Black Diamond. They've given us the scoop on what's new with this latest iteration, which we share with you below in a side-by-side comparison.