/ Ice Screw length
just throwing a spanner in the works here, cos i'm bored... if the ice is so good, why the drastic need for 22cm ice screws. I appreciate stubbies don't have sufficient safety margins. I just cary 2 medium ice screws for alpinism.
In any case on a glacier the deeper you can get the screw the better the ice and the less likely it is to be prone to melting. It's worth bearing this in mind and I'm sure that on the course they will demonstrate scraping away the initial poor crust to reach better ice. That is why I would have a longer screw. Ooh err missus.
Where on earth did you get that from?
Have a 22cm BD Turbo Express for sale, good condition, £30.
Ice screws go great into glacier ice, I would imagine you don't need a 22cm and a mid length (17ish) will be fine, but where you can see the ice the glacier is "dry" and has no snow on it and you would have to be a total tit or incredibly unlucky to fall into a crevasse as you can see them a mile off. Glaciers where you actually can't see crevasses and where you fall (in my case, fortunately only part way) into them seem to be covered in lots of snow and a screw won't be much use for building an anchor. Axes or skis I guess are far more likely to be really used for emergency anchors. From personal experience being roped to at least two, preferably three, other people seems the way to go! You won't go in too far, and you've got lots of mates to haul you out (once they stopped laughing at the look of horror on your face as it appears someone just cut your legs off and left you body propped up on a glacier).
I think you'll regret getting a 22cm screw when you actually start leading ice. A 22cm screw is too long for most things and you can drill v threads with 19cm or 16cm screws.
I'd get either one 19cm and one 16cm or two 16cm screws.
BD Turbo Expresses are far and away the best screws available. Get them.
The reason is that on a horizonal surface facing the sun (which is pretty typical for a glacier) there is a prospect of melting out.
This is amplified by the fact that (compared to ice climbing) the screw is going to be loaded (which also causes melting), and possibly there for quite a while.
They will also be your only point of connection.
So, always use 2 long screws.
I'll have my two bobs worth as well.
19 and 16cm screws are probably your 'typical' length. Short screws are fine for hard thin ice but if you want a screw for all situations then I would stick to the longer lengths (remember, you can always larks hitch the shaft if the ice is not thick enough). As mentioned above, 22cm are generally a bit long for if you start leading but I always carry one for abalakovs. Always good as well for 'must not fail' ice screw placements as well (below cruxes or run-out thin ice sections, etc). I would just get a 16cm and 19cm screw to start with, which will be fine for crevasse stuff.
As mentioned above, spend the extra and get some screws with the winder handles (eg BD Turbo screws) as you will able to place them quicker. Not so important for crevasse rescue but if you start leading on steep-ish ice then you will find the winder makes a big difference when placing with one hand.
I see the logic in this, but I think I would rather be able to see the screw and know it was ok, rather than blind trust. Would there not be more melting due to the pressure on the screw raising the melting point, rather than direct heating?
I tend to take a 19cm- which I hope is also long enough for an Abalakov, and a 17cm.
The little handles do make them go in faster.
As already mentioned, you want the longest screw possible (i.e. 22cm) for constructing 'V-thread' anchors and then the 16cm is better for general use.
It is probably worth adding that one of the few times I've had to abseil off a V-thread in the Alps was during what was an 'easy' day. We were walking out from the N Face of the Aiguille d'Argentiere late season down a dry Glacier du Chardonnet and eventually found the only option was to basically abseil off the end of it.
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