This is the lightest CEN B-rated ice axe in the world. It is made of 100 percent aluminum and the head is hot forged to dramatically increase its strength and durability. That said, aluminum still isn't as tough as steel. At 7.5 ounces it is 40 percent lighter than any other ice axe we tested. If you are looking for the lightest ice axe or can afford a quiver of axes, then the Corsa great to have. It self-arrests smoothly and is strong enough to use as a snow anchor, which makes it useful for more than just ski mountaineers and early season hikers.
While the Corsa is the lightest B-rated ice axe, the Black Diamond Raven Ultra is the most versatile. Ski mountaineers should choose the Ultra while early season hikers and adventure racers should choose the Corsa. Alpine rock climbers will have to choose between the two depending on their needs. The Corsa doesn't pound pickets, chop steps or climb steep snow well. It does self-arrest nicely in the right snow, can be used as a snow anchor and provides a little more security if you are traversing semi-steep snow slopes. If you need an ice axe for only those fundamental applications and weight is the biggest concern, then the Corsa is the best and gets our Editors' Choice award for the ultralight ice axe category.