/ Ice screw recommendations
So.. What size ice screws are most useful if I'm to buy four or five? The cheaper set's by EMS are appealing but they only include the shorter screws.
I'm currently looking at the Black Diamond Express, unless someone can sway me otherwise.
Recommendations/suggestions would be appreciated.
I've been impressed by BD screws, generally 6-8" are the norm with one longer one for A-threads and belays. A stubby 4-5" screw is probably a good idea for thinner ice.
I would get 2 x long, 2 x medium, 1 x short
As has been said, pretty much everyone has their favorite screw, be it Grivel or BD something.
I happen to prefer BD Express'es.
The idea is to have one long one (ie. 22cm) for belays and makin' abalkov's. Your partner should also have one long one, as on multipitch climbs, you'll need to have two stands.
One or two stubbies (ie. 13cm) might be useful, especially early season.
My to-go screws are 16cm and it's what I use when the ice is good and compact. Maybe one 19cm screw would also be handy (shoddy ice, or to be used on the stands).
So, my suggestion is:
1 x 22cm
1 x 19cm
2 x 16cm
1 x 13cm
And your partner should have about the same. If you can get 6 screws... add another 16cm screw to the set.
This would be for cold climate ice falls. For summer alpine glaciers you'll prolly want longer screws (as the ice is not as good).
I have a set of 5 unused BD Express screws that I will be posting for sale in a month or so. Have emailed you.
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