Here you'll find a few of our most popular questions,
indexed by the categories below.
If you can't find what you're looking for, please contact us.
If you're in Europe and have questions for Black Diamond Europe please email them HERE. Or contact our European office via phone or letter here:
Black Diamond Equipment AG
Christoph Merian Ring 7
4153 Reinach, Switzerland
p: +41/61 564 33 33
f: +41/61 564 33 34
Q. How the heck can I find Kolin Powick's QC with KP column?
A. Good question! This popular portion of our website can be found HERE.
Q. Is it okay to use carabiners that have been dropped?
A. Unfortunately, the only way to know if “dropped” carabiners are fit for use is to test them to their breaking point. This doesn’t do you much good, now does it? It's best to inspect dropped gear for dings and significant trauma. If only light scratching is visible and gate action is still good, there is a good chance it is fit for usage. Remember, only you know what your gear has been through and if there is any doubt, it's best to retire the gear rather than take a risk.
Q. When should I retire my carabiners?
A. Here are our suggestions on what to look for when retiring aluminum carabiners:
1) Check for good gate action: The open-gate strength of carabiners is roughly 1/3 of the closed-gate strength. If a biner has a gate that rubs or sticks open, it should be cleaned and lubed. If this does not improve gate action, the biner should be retired. The same holds true for any gate locking mechanism.
2) Check for excessive wear: If you can feel that the rope-bearing surfaces of the biner are significantly worn (wearing off the anodization is normal after a few uses) the biner should be retired.
3) Check for deformation: If a biner has been loaded such that the body or nose has deformed—or the carabiner gate rivets have been bent (this usually results in poor gate action)—the biner should be retired.
4) Check for nicks or deep scratches: If a biner has nicks or deep gouges beyond the normal light scratching that occurs in use, it should be retired. Carabiners are more susceptible to surface damage near the nose hook or within an inch of the bending radii of the body.
5) Has the carabiner been exposed to extreme heat? If a biner has been exposed to "extreme heat" (i.e. a fire) it should be retired and destroyed due to possible negative affects to the heat treatment the carabiner underwent when it was made.
6) Has the carabiner been exposed to harsh chemicals or excessive corrosion? If your carabiner has been exposed to aggressive chemicals (like battery acid, petroleum-based fuel, ect.) its a good idea to retire the biner. Likewise, any corrosion beyond the normal thin gray/white oxidation layer that forms on exposed aluminum should be grounds for retirement, especially if it starts to affect gate action (see #1).
In closing: Keep in mind that only YOU know what your gear has been through. If your instincts tell you that the gear is dubious, retiring it is a good idea. Confidence in your equipment is not only key to climbing at your limit but helps you stay relaxed and having fun.
Q. The axles on my new C4 Camalot seem too long—what’s up?
A. On your new C4 Camalots it may appear that the cam axles are longer than you're used to seeing. This can be noticed by the amount of play, or the amount of side-to-side movement of the lobes on the axles. The play is there for a reason—to allow the lobes to move freely during use. This is intentional in the design and allows the cams to function properly in all conditions.
Q. How far should I retract my cams for the most solid placement?
A. In almost all situations, provided the placement is sound (good rock, not too slick or flared), a Micro Camalot of size .3 and above, will likely be reliable when fully retracted (only problem here is that the unit may be hard to remove) to 25% retracted. With the .1 and .2 Camalots being so small, they start to lose the ability to hold a fall at about 40% retraction.
Q. How can I get my Camalot slings replaced?
A. We will replace slings ONLY on Camalots (old tail piece and latest generation) and C3s (i.e., you can’t send us another company’s cams to be re-slung). QUESTIONS? Send an email to our Warranty Department at: firstname.lastname@example.org
New slings cost $5.00 and trigger wire replacements are $10.00. There is a $12.00 flat-rate charge for return shipping (Contiguous U.S. return addresses only, 20 cams or less). If you live outside of the contiguous United States, have more than 20 cams you want reslung, or have any shipping questions, just email the Warranty Department at: email@example.com.
Black Diamond Warranty & Repair
2084 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84124
o Include all your contact and return shipping info, payment, and a brief description of what you need/want done. We accept Visa/MC, personal check, or money order. Allow three weeks once we receive your return.
Q. Can BD retro my old Hexes with cable?
A. Sorry, but we don't offer this service. Aramide 5.5 mm cord that is perfect for reslinging Hexentrics.
Q. What is the difference between a B and T rating on BD picks?
A. In general, T-rated tools are usually defined as "intended for steep ice." Think Viper, Cobra, Fusion, Reactor—tools for climbing waterfalls and mixed climbing. B-rated are usually defined as "Ice tools other than technical ice tools." These are more along the lines of piolets for mountaineering, etc. Think Raven, Raven with Grip, Raven Pro, Raven Ultra, Venom, etc.
It gets slightly more confusing because, over time, the ratings and requirements have slightly shifted, so now it is possible, and common, to buy an ice tool that has a T-rated shaft, but a B-rated pick as well as a tool with a B-rated shaft and a T-rated pick.
So what do all these ratings mean, and why are they different?
For simplicity's sake, consider that all tools have to go through the same regalia of testing to be certified:
- 3-point bend test on the shaft (to simulate rappelling off an ice tool as a dead-man)
- Strength of head/shaft interface in use direction
- Strength of head/shaft interface perpendicular to "use direction"
- Torque test of pick
The difference between a shaft or pick attaining a rating is that the
T-requirements are higher, so in general a T component is more
durable and stronger.
So which tool and pick is right for the job?
A lot of that is personal preference. For mountaineering the Raven, Raven with Grip or Raven Pro—for ski mountaineering perhaps the Raven Ultra. For a combination of mountaineering with some gully climbing or moderate vertical ice—the Venom is a really versatile tool.
For technical climbing one of our tech tools is the obvious choice—Cobra or Viper with leashes, Fusion or Reactor if you wish to go leashless. T-picks are tougher and can take more abuse (Titan and Fusion), while B picks (the Laser) that are intended for steep ice generally perform really well but would be less durable and the likelihood that they could bend or break is increased. Your mileage may vary depending on competence and technique.
Q. How do I sharpen my ice picks?
A. Get yourself a round 1/8 inch chainsaw file and a good ski-tuning file. Have a good pick on hand to use as a reference. Don't use an electric power grinder, as they can overheat the pick and ruin the temper.
File the pick end first, trying to restore the original bevel angle, while not making a half moon shape out of the tip. Make sure you don't make the tip angle too steep as it will be very fragile—yet if it isn’t steep enough, your placements won't be as secure. File the flat hook on the bottom, stroking outward from you.
Repair damaged teeth using the chainsaw file. Use the flat side of the chainsaw file to return the original bevel of about 45 degrees—but not on the first tooth. Go slow, and use the reference pick, as filing off too much is worse than filing too little. The pick will need to be retired when you start filing past the first 3/8 inch tooth.
Q. How do I sharpen my ice screws?
A. Use wooden blocks in a bench-mounted vise. Get a small flat file (6" flat mill bastard) and a four inch "ignition file." It’s a good idea to have another screw that’s in prime condition for use as a reference.
Work on the worst tooth first. The outside round radius isn't super important, but make sure that it doesn't have any burrs.
The vertical part of the tooth should be free of burrs as well, but make sure to keep the beveled edge intact and trending inward. This should be sharpened inward to crush and force the ice shavings inside the screw. Your goal is to restore the teeth to their original shape, with the tips in the same plane. Remove as little material as possible and avoid removing the radius in the corner. Touch up any burrs on the threads and pay particular attention to the starting thread. Finally, give the inside diameter a quick shot of WD-40. Always dry your screws with the protective caps removed and use the caps for transit.
Watch this video for more detail:
Q. Will the Viper Fang fit on my other BD tools, or just the Viper?
A. The Fang was built around the spike and pommel of the Viper for strength and durability, and will not work on any other BD ice tools, or tools from other manufacturers.
Q. The toe bail on my crampons doesn't fit my boot—what should I do?
A. Some very minor manipulating of crampon toe bails is acceptable to help it fit your boots better, but you have to be very careful not to weaken the bail by excessive or repeated bending. In most cases, it's easier and more effective to carefully modify the boot toe-welt with a file.
Q. Dear BD, I'm a student/climber doing a research paper on design, manufacturing, marketing or something similar and I'd like to speak to someone in your company about this. Who can I talk to?
A. Black Diamond receives several inquiries every day from students and researchers requesting detailed information on everything from manufacturing processes to product development. We are honored that so many would consider us for these individual projects and research papers, yet due to staffing constraints and the proprietary nature of the majority of this information, we are not able to fulfill these requests. While many of these projects are undoubtedly worthwhile, we simply do not have the resources allocated to spend the amount of time required to address the majority of content in these requests. A good bit of info on our Quality Control and Testing can be found here.
If you would still like to pursue your request, you can submit a proposal in writing, directly to us. Your request must be accompanied by the following information:
1) Your name, address, phone number and email address.
2) School/educational institution name and address.
3) Instructor(s) name and contact phone number.
4) Detailed outline of your project, including what SPECIFIC information you require, why you require it and what it will be used for.
5) Original projects on subjects that we may not know the answer to generally have a better chance of receiving support.
We will review all requests for information and decide on a case-by-case basis which ones we can help with. Others will be returned with our sincere apologies. Requests should be sent to:
Black Diamond Quality Assurance
2084 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT. 84124
Thank you for your interest in Black Diamond Equipment and our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this policy may cause you.
Q. How do I trim my skins?
A. Good Question. Click here for downloadable instructions or watch this video clip. Also, each skin page now has a short instructional video on skin trimming.
Q. Can I replace the LED bulbs in my BD headlamp?
A. No. LED bulbs have no filament and are made of a super-strong resin, so the likelihood of them breaking or burning out is slim. However, if they do fail we encourage you to send your bulb in to our Warranty Department:
Black Diamond Warranty and Repair
2084 East 3900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84124
Q. Which 6-volt batteries can I use for my Ion or SpaceShot headlamp?
A. Duracell 28L (lithium) , Duracell 28A (alkaline), Black Diamond 6-volt replacement (silver oxide), Radio Shack 2cr 1/3 N (lithium) , Kodak K28L (lithium).
As of April 1, 2006, Black Diamond Equipment is no longer importing or distributing SCARPA hiking, climbing or ski boots. Please click on the links below for more information regarding the sales and service of all SCARPA products.
Q. When will my order ship?
A. Orders are generally shipped the next business day after we receive your order. For orders placed Friday, or over the weekend, we will enter your order on the following Monday and ship it that morning. We make every effort to ship 2-Day Air and Next Day Air requested orders the same business day we receive them. However, orders must be received by 12 pm Mountain Time to ensure this service. Note that holidays do not count as business days and we are certainly closed for a fair amount of them. You will be notified of any backorders or stock outs.
Q. What are my shipping options/costs?
UPS Ground $5.00 (any order) 4-7 business day delivery
UPS 2-Day Air $15.00 (any order) 3 business day delivery
UPS Next Day Air by weight ($30 minimum) next business day delivery
Priority Mail by weight ($5.00 minimum) 3-10 business day delivery
Delivery times are calculated from when the order leaves our warehouse, not when we receive your order.
Q. How can I track my order?
A. Tracking information is available by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We must have your order number from your second order confirmation to facilitate this. Note that tracking info is not available for orders sent via the US Postal Service. If you specify postal delivery, Black Diamond will not be responsible for lost or damaged packages.
Black Diamond Equipment offers special pricing to select outdoor professionals, including professional climbing guides, ski and avalanche professionals and qualified outdoor education programs. To find out if you or your program may be eligible, the Pro Purchase Criteria are listed below. To apply for Pro Purchase please go HERE. Once you submit the application you will be prompted to print a PDF showing what documentation need to be sent to us via mail, fax or email with scanned copies of your documents. Once the documents have been received and the application reviewed, you will receive an email informing you whether the application was accepted or denied. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing of your application. If accepted we will provide you with log in information for the website. Please see the Professional Purchase Order Guidelines for ordering information.
Renewal of existing account:
To renew your existing account please go HERE and click on submit an application. Complete the information and provide your account number where requested. If this is an “Individual” account you will need provide all of the required documentation (not required for AMGA/IFMGA/CMGA certified guides). If this is a “Group” account you will not need to re-submit your documentation unless you are requesting that your account be considered for additional lines or product.
Criteria For Pro Purchase Eligibility and Application Requirements:
Thank you for your interest in the Black Diamond Pro Purchase Program. Please read through the following categories and requirements to help determine youreligibility, and the documentation required for application.
Categories marked with an * below are required to be set up as “Group” accounts. This requires that we have one person who will act as the coordinator for the account. The coordinator will be responsible for approving, and signing all orders. They will also be responsible for preventing any abuse of the account (rosters will no longer be required). All orders must ship to the address provided on the application.
The benefit of setting up an account for a group is that the renewal process is much easier. We will only need current shipping and contact info for the “Group” each year. With individual accounts we will need full documentation submitted each year for renewals.
All individual applicants must verify current full time employment in the field of work that qualifies them for the program. Verification of employment must be provided yearly.
The product available for purchase will be based on the job descriptions and documentation provided. Please provide a detailed explanation of the need for Black Diamond product. Most accounts will fall into one of the following product classifications which will limit the product purchased to those items. The basic classifications are:
- FULL: Qualifies for all BD Gear
- Rock: May be restricted as needed (TR gear only= limited Protection if any for climbing walls challenge courses)
- Ski: May qualify for some other product (see Ski Patrol below)
- Black Diamond Mountain Sports (BDMS): Tents, Poles, Gloves, Headlamps, Clothing and some Accessories. Most will also qualify for limited purchases of carabiners. No Technical Ski or Climbing Gear allowed.
- Climbing Guides, Climbing Guide Services* — Certified Rock, Alpine or Ski Guides with the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) or the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) will be accepted (TRSM certification is not accepted as sole qualification). Also, guiding services that have and are able to document notable ski, ice, rock or alpine climbing and guiding experience may be eligible. Guide services will be asked to provide a brochure or website identifying the guides and services offered.
- Search and Rescue* — Only paid pros or highly active volunteers are eligible. Submit NASAR certification, and other forms of validation, including a letter from the local sheriff’s office, detailing duties and types of activities the group participates in.
- Outdoor Education Programs, Universities and Colleges* — Eligible programs emphasize wilderness and outdoor leadership training, and offer a substantial number of climbing, mountaineering and backcountry ski programs. A comprehensive website or brochure that details program specifics needs to be submitted with the application. Only full-time, paid staff will be eligible for personal orders. Volunteers are not eligible for orders.
- Backcountry and/or Heli Skiing Guides* — Backcountry ski lodges, helicopter and snow-cat skiing operations will be asked to provide a brochure identifying the guides, or a detailed website with guiding territory specifics, and activities.
- Ski Patrol* — Provide NSP pro division credentials. Only full-time, paid, certified patrollers are eligible to order. Minimal Rescue/Climbing/Shelters product may be available on a case by case basis.
- Military Units* — Units of all branches of the military are welcome to apply. Detailed job descriptions including activities performed are requested. We will only ship to US or APO addresses.
- Avalanche Professionals* — Paid, Full-time professional members of national avalanche organizations engaged in avalanche forecasting, prevention, safety and clinics including forecasters for the National Forest Service, Department of Transportation, ski areas and independent snow-science researchers.
- PSIA Nordic Ski Instructors* — Full-time, paid, professional Ski Instructors. Submit a copy of current PSIA Level II or higher certification and a current pay stub.
- Park Rangers, Forest Service* — Fulltime paid professional backcountry or climbing rangers and other primarily field-based positions. Submit copy of ID cards, official job descriptions detailing backcountry duties and a current pay stub.
- Other* — Rafting companies, backcountry outfitters, licensed fly-fishing guides, and other wilderness professionals may apply for a limited (BDMS) purchase program. Submit a current fulltime pay stub for individuals, or a detailed brochure and/or website for guiding services, lodges, schools or companies.
Professional Purchasing Guidelines
WHO CAN ORDER
Full-time paid outdoor professionals approved by the Black Diamond Professional Purchase Department. We do accept MRA, NASAR and independent search and rescue group volunteers as full-time professionals. Seasonal employees can only order during their working season. If you have a question about qualifying for the professional program at Black Diamond, please email us at email@example.com.
WHAT YOU CAN ORDER
The program is designed to help you acquire gear needed to complete your job successfully. Purchases for people other than yourself will result in immediate dismissal from the program. If you are approved as a group, the gear ordered is for qualified members of your group or company alone. Abuse in any form will not be tolerated.
WHEN YOU CAN ORDER
Year-round full-time employees can order as many times as needed to be able to perform their job properly. Seasonal employees can order as many times as needed during the season that they are approved for.
DISCRETION IS ESSENTIAL
It is crucial that you exist harmoniously with our retailers and maintain a professional relationship with them. Under no circumstances should you EVER mention pro pricing or this program in front of retailers, or customers. We will find out about it, and pros are routinely cut from the program for this reason alone. Do not use retailers for sizing or exchanges. If we find out you are attempting to exchange gear through our retailers we will terminate your account. If people ask about your BD gear, please refer them to your local retailer or www.BlackDiamondEquipment.com.
ORDER BY EMAIL OR FAX
Once you receive your log in information or access code, you may place orders on-line. Be aware that all “Group” account order will automatically ship to the address on file for the account. Backorders will not be accepted on the website. You may also fax or email orders to us. This would be the best option if you want to place an item on backorder and wait for it to come into stock. You can fax your orders to 800-775-7625 (ROCK), or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org on an official order form. However, be aware that we do not provide any security for Credit Card information via email! Orders must be pre-paid with a Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit card (no checks or COD). Signature of the director or designated coordinator is required for any group member placing an individual order. Be sure to include an email address in order to receive a confirmation. Please allow 72 hours from time of submission for the email confirmation replier, before contacting us.
We ship all orders UPS ground; please no post office boxes. We will add the shipping charges and tax if applicable. Allow two weeks for delivery and please email us with any questions about your order. We will not automatically cancel backorders unless requested by you, so please check the backorder box on your pro form to indicate your preference. Backorders will be cancelled after 60 days. All orders must ship to the official address on file for the account.
RETURNS AND EXCHANGES
Please be very specific about sizing on your orders, our website has very detailed descriptions on all of our products. If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, please email us with questions. If you do need to return something, contact us before you ship anything back and we will issue you a return authorization number for the return.
Your suggestions are valuable to us. Please email us any and all product feedback.
Pro Purchase Department, Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd.
2084 East 3900 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84124
Fax: 800-775-7625 (ROCK); Phone: 801-278-5552
Q. I work in the outdoor industry and would like to buy Black Diamond gear. How can I do this?
A. If you are a certified mountain guide, a pro patroller or an outdoor professional and would like information regarding pro pricing or service on an order you have placed, please go HEREfor further information or contact the Black Diamond Pro Purchase Department or call 801-278-5552
Q. I am a climber/ skier and would like to be sponsored by Black Diamond. How do I go about doing this?
A. Black Diamond offers a limited number of individual sponsorships each year. Applications and résumés are accepted throughout the year; final decisions are made in December. If you would like to submit your résumé, please include with it, photos and any/all media you've received. Below is a list of criteria we use when evaluating all sponsorship requests:
- Diversity of Skills
- Regional/National/International Influence
- Respect within Local Community
- Route/Crag Development or Skiing Accomplishments
- Media Exposure
- Brand Commitment
- Loyal Black Diamond User
- Availability for Promotional Appearances
- Good Fit for Black Diamond
Q. How do I submit photos to be considered for use in the Black Diamond catalog?
A. Thank you for your interest in submitting photography to the Black Diamond Marketing Department. We are currently accepting rolling submissions for consideration and potential use in the following categories: brochures, advertising, website and product packaging. Please note that we now only accept digital imagery and do not accept email submissions. Complete submission guidelines can be found HERE.