/ Sheared off ice screw

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Toby_W on 03 Feb 2012
I mentioned this in my thread on Ecrins ice but thought it worth it's own thread. I saw an ice screw placed horizontally with the end sheared neatly off. It seemed someone got past the half way point on the last pitch of the climb we did, ran it out and then must have fallen. From now on I will be placing all my screws at the optimum 45 degree up angle.

Sadly I couldn't see what make but the entire threaded part remained minus the hanger.

cheers

Toby
icescrew guy on 03 Feb 2012 - 70.67.160.141 whois?
In reply to Toby_W:

In good ice, the optimum angle is between 8 and 16 degrees down. 45 up leads to breakage!
george mc - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Toby_W:
> From now on I will be placing all my screws at the optimum 45 degree up angle.
>
> >
> cheers
>
> Toby

Eh?!
Mike Nolan - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to george mc: George, as an instructor, what angle would you recommend? Various websites and books all say different things, what is your opinion?
Burnsie - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Toby_W:

proabably soviet ti ....
George Ormerod - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Toby_W:

Blimey, if it's got a material defect or a flaw sufficient to cause it to shear off it's probably irrelevant what angle it's in.
george mc - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Mike Nolan:

Well my view, for what it's worth... Tests have shown that ice screws, with high profile threads, placed slightly angled in the direction of pull in good ice have shown to be stronger placements i.e. screws were stronger when placed at a positive angle of 0 to 20 degrees in good ice i.e. the screw was placed perpendicular to or with the direction of loading.

Tests also found that if screws were placed at a negative angle i.e. placed against the load, then the screws failed at significantly lower loads. This was due to the fact that a tube when loaded across itís axis is not a strong structure. When an ice screw is placed at a negative angle in the ice then the load can cause the ice around the head of the screw to crush, causing the ice screw to bend and then either pull out or fail.

These tests were done by Chris Harmston for Black Diamond and a US Guide called Craig Leubben. Related article with references which include the tests quoted above is http://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/page.php?id=4315

What I teach? Well first off you have to decide what is good ice. Takes a bit of time to get this call right (lot's of placing screws etc) so I teach novice ice climbers to place the screws perpendicular to the ice. Easy to judge and falls into the strong enough category. It also seems to be what BD are advocating in their ice screw instructions - I guess because it neagtes the whole issue of people making a judgement about 'what is good ice'.

Once climbers have a working grasp of ice types then I introduce placing screws angled in the direction of pull. FWIW on the lead it's easier just to place screws straight into the ice - less chance of fumbling the placement and dropping £40+ worth of kit!

So key thing is placing screws angled in the direction of pull only seems (according to tests) to hold true for a/ good ice b/ screws with high profile threads.
ice.solo - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to george mc:

Great, clear reply there george.

Only comment: craig luebben was much more than just a US guide?
george mc - on 04 Feb 2012
In reply to ice.solo:

Oh crap... You know I never realised he'd been killed. That incident passed me by. RIP

http://craigluebben.com/
GrendeI on 04 Feb 2012
In reply to Toby_W: Steady on now, alan1234 will wet his pants if he finds out the leader only placed one screw! :O
Toby_W on 04 Feb 2012
In reply to Toby_W:

Yes I did indeed mean what George said not actually 45 degrees.

The screw didn't look like Russion ti, going by the diameter it could have been anything from black diamond, grivel, Petzl charlet etc.

The point I way trying to make badly was how it had failed and to my mind it highlighted how fragile they are if not placed optimally.

Cheers

Toby
Joss - on 04 Feb 2012

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