A long snow route with a couple pitches of ice is the hardest type of climbing to select an appropriate tool. You can either have a good ice tool that sucks for self arrest or a standard ice axe that can barely climb a pitch of easy ice. Not anymore. The Black Diamond Venom is an ice axe thats designed self arrest and plunge into the snow easily but offer good ice performance. The interchangeable, classically curved pick is designed to provide solid placements while ice climbing and to self arrest securely. The Venoms slight bend at the top of the shaft increases vertical performance without sacrificing the ability to plant the shaft in the snow. A perfect alpine leash, the Lockdown, is included with this versatile axe.