Gear Review of the Black Diamond Cobra Ice Tool
by Kitty Calhoun
Pros: I got a pair of the new Cobras last year and they are now my favorite tools. I never used the earlier versions – always some other BD tool – because I felt the grip was too big for my hand. That changed with the new Cobras. The other thing that is nice about this tool is that it is carbon fiber, which means that there is a dampening effect when you swing, reducing the chance of tendonitis in the elbow joint. Finally, the shaft on the Cobra has the most clearance of any of their tools and keeps the majority of the tool’s weight in the head. Cons (50 words max): There aren’t any that I can see! They are one of the most expensive ice tools on the market, however. Bottom Line (40 words): A great ice tool for steep ice and multi-pitch ice (use with the optional leash). Lightweight, easy swing and offers great hooking potential with the high-clearance shaft.