Rjukan: The Power of Water from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo
We were very lucky to get Black Diamond in for the first time here at Simply Hike last winter. A lot of people associate Black Diamond with climbing equipment. Now of course this is where the foundation of the company lies but they have grown massively in the hiking world as well. That’s why we are very excited to have their spring summer range in for 2015. Before we talk about our favourite Black Diamond products let's step into Black Diamond's history a little.
Black Diamond Equipment was born in the late 1950s. Climber Yvon Chouinard started making pitons and selling them from his trunk of his car in Yosemite Valley. Due to the quality of Chouinard's products Chouinard Equipment was born soon after. In 1989 sadly due to several lawsuits Chouinard was forced to file for bankruptcy. However, the Phoenix then rose out of the fire and Black Diamond was founded in late 1989 by a group of Chouinard's former employees.
In 1991 Black Diamond moved their head office from California to Salt Lake City Utah to be closer to the Wasatch Mountains. 1996 Black Diamond Equipment Europe was founded in Reinach Switzerland, making the Black Diamond brand available throughout Europe. In 2006 Black Diamond Equipment Asia was established in Zhuhai, China which now serves as both a secondary manufacturing facility as well as a global distribution hub.
In 2010 Black Diamond was sold for $90 million to Clarus Corporation who then decided to change their company name to Black Diamond, Inc. Here is a list of Notable Black Diamond products:
Camalot (1987) – a spring loaded camming device.
Flick Lock (1994) – An external adjustment clamp for ski and trekking poles
Hot Wire (1995) – World’s first wire gate climbing carabiner
Express Ice Screws (1997) – Ice screws with speed drive knob and quick biting tooth geometry
Ava Lung (1999) – An avalanche safety device that helps maintain air supply during an avalanche burial
O1 Binding (2006) – A free ride telemark binding with a low resistance touring mode
Magnetron Carabiners (2012) – Auto locking carabiners that use magnets in the gate and a steel insert in the carabiner’s nose for added security.
The Window from Black Diamond Equipment on Vimeo.
That’s pretty much Black Diamond Equipment in a nutshell, now it’s time for us to talk about our favourite Black Diamond products…
Black Diamond: Epic 45 Rucksack
The Epic 45 from Black Diamond is a versatile climbing pack suited to rock and alpine terrain. The 45 litre capacity gives you all the space you need when it comes to a climbing pack. The ergoACTIV suspension with SwingArm straps gives excellent mobility, support and stability, keeping your load perfectly balanced.
The Epic is a top loading pack with a floating top pocket (which can be removed), skirt closure and tuck away rope strap. This Black Diamond pack also features ice tool pick pockets which is a 3 point haul system and also features removable 20mm crampon straps.
Black Diamond: Cosmo Head Torch
The Cosmo from Black Diamond is a great all-rounder head torch, it’s no surprise that its Black Diamond's second bestselling head torch. The Cosmo features a massive 90 lumens output (on max setting). You get a red night vision mode which helps you with your night vision, and it also features strobe settings.
This Black Diamond head torch uses 2 AAA batteries making the housing a lot sleeker that what you might find in other head torches. It has an IPX 4 water resistance meaning it’s protected against splashing or spraying water. Lastly the Cosmo head torch weighs 90g with batteries.
Black Diamond: Raven Ice Axe
The Raven (with grip) Ice Axe is a brilliant light weight ice axe. The shaft is made from aluminium making it light weight but strong. The head of the axe is made from stainless steel so you will be able to cut into the ice and snow with ease. The aluminium and stainless steel mix gives the raven a total weight of 505g.
The grip has dual density and has been designed to be comfortable no matter how you hold the ice axe in your hand. The Raven has been designed and engineered for a secure self-arrest and lastly this ice axe has been CEN-B certified.
Black Diamond: Neve Crampon
The Neve Crampon from Black Diamond is designed for the moderate snow climber. It features a 10 point aluminium design that is light weight and can be used for both technical and non-technical mountain footwear. Due to the aluminium construction these crampons on weigh 576g for the pair which is pretty light weight.
The Neve comes with two types of attachments PRO and STRAP so no matter the type of boot you have got the Neve will fit. The Neve crampon is a great for occasional use for moderate snow climbing and approaches to alpine rock routes.
So there we have it a little history about Black Diamond and our favourite Black Diamond products! What are your favourite Black Diamond products? We would love to hear what you have to say so just comment below.