I can afford 4 to 5 screws, which will mainly be used for UK winter (up to grade V). I'll get a long one for threads, but what sizes should the other 3-4 be? I was thinking all/mainly short, then buying mediums later when I can afford them.
I've only used crap old school screws and BD express screws so far, but am sold on the idea that it's worth investing in easy-place versions. With that in mind, any views on which type to go for?
I've been looking at BD Express, Grivel 360 or Grivel Helix.
In reply to mmmhumous: Thread gear is rare for Scotland. And I'd be wary of advice to aim around 16-19. Often in the UK 10-13 is all the ice you've got to play with. Yes, keep some long ones for the belay with nice stances but figure on finding the short screws pretty handy. A protruding long screw tied off with a clove hitch is fundamentally weaker than a short one buried to the hilt/handle. I have two of each at 10, 13, 16, and a couple of long ones. Would then figure on taking 4-8 on the climb depending on conditions. In your budget I'd go:
1 x 10
2 x 13
2 x 16
1 x 19
And rely on rock gear for most of the belay.
Yes, I know that's 6 but you should find a bargain at this time of year. I bought three Petal Laser Sonics new for £25 each this Spring. They are very good to place and outstanding value if you can find them anywhere near that price.
My winter partners have 3-5 of their own screws, so just want a few to get me going. We going to Rjukan early next year so wanted to make sure we had at least 10 screws between us. My mate's just got a set of lasers, so I'll have a play with his.
In reply to mmmhumous:
I would get one of each of the lengths if I was you
ie 10cm, 13cm, 16 cm, 19cm, 22cm. From there you will likely mostly want screws in the range 13 -> 19 cm. For brittle well climbed (and cracked / screwed) euro ice 19cm ones feel much safer!