/ The perfect lightweight quickdraw - Edelrid 19g for winter?

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GarethSL 04 Sep 2017

Has anyone used the Edelrid 19g or similar sized wiregate in winter?

I'm currently perusing weighmyrack.com making up the lightest ice climbing specific rack I can and am working on quickdraws. The best set up I have come up with so far is an Edelrid 19g on the ice screw/gear end and a Mammut wall light for the rope end (as it's slightly larger with a wider gate opening). These will be on a 8mm 60cm dyneema sling so they can be extended and will only be used with relatively thin half ropes.

All added up that comes to 60g per quickdraw. Which is insanely light as my current quickdraw set up (mammut crag wiregates on 11m dyneema) is 113g, so essentially half the weight!

Obviously small carabiners are not so tactile for winter climbing with gloves, but as I regularly climb with thin gloves I can't see this being a huge issue. Having read a few reviews online that have been fairly positive with regards to their handling I was wondering if anyone has tried these in winter? How did you fare with regards to the size and how they handle?

Also if anyone has any other suggestions for what other wiregates the 'perfect-lightweight-ice-or-alpine-quickdraw' could consist of I would appreciate your input.

Post edited at 13:54
HeMa 04 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

That said, AFAIK the 19g is perhaps only a little bigger than D`MM Phantom, which atleast for my hands is way too small to be useful in winter.

I'm using proper full sized crabs for gloved climbing, as even with full sized crabs I sometimes snag my gloves when clippin' stuff... Not really what I'm after.

Oh, and I climb about as thin gloves as humainly possible (often unlined & un insulated drytooling gloves like BD Torque and so on).

Edited to add:
BD Hoodwires seem rather popular, and I like 'em as well. Also some years ago, the lightest full sized crab was Camp Photon Wire and I know a bunch of peebs have been happy with them. For the record, my winter crabs are Camp Orbit Wires (on slings & QDs) and older DMM Shields (on cams).
Post edited at 14:01
Fiona Reid 04 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:
I've not used the Edelrid 19g wiregate but have tried and failed to use the Camp Nanos (22g) which I think are fairly similar. I use the nanos for my sling draws in summer but have reverted back to full size wiregates in winter after trying them in winter and discovering that neither myself (with pretty small hands!) my partner or mate could manage to manipulate the slings/wiregates with gloves on. I decided that being able to clip safely and quickly was far more important than the small weight saving.
Post edited at 15:19
Pina 04 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

I tried the phantoms but quickly gave up on them. I'd happily take the extra weight than having the panic of getting gloves stuck trying to clip a krab whilst getting steadily more pumped. To put it in perspective 2 DMM spectres which are a useable size are 66g for two so 28g difference with the Edelrid or 336g for 12 draws. Although theres a benefit in going light, when has 336g stopped an average climber from getting up something. Much more weight can be saved by swapping out steel ice screws for aluminium ones, getting a lighter bag, a lighter harness..etc.
ebdon 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Fiona Reid:

Ive had a very similar experience with nanos. Trying to clip these whilst wearing gloves, pumped and covered in spindrift is a nightmare.
Great for summer though.
I like chunky krabs for winter but i am rubbish and wear mid weight gloves so if it works for you then great.
Fiona Reid 04 Sep 2017
In reply to Pina:
I only have 5 or 6 sling draws so the weight saving wasn't much and certainly not enough to compensate for the issues using them with gloves on.

For summer though, I do very much like the Nanos and have no issues when using them with bare hands.
Post edited at 15:46
The Ex-Engineer 04 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL: No, no, and NO.

It'll absolutely not work.

The 19G are too bloody small for standard rock climbing use, let alone being used with extendable slings and that's even before thinking about handling them with gloves...

Only really two sensible uses for them:
- mountaineering routes where you're either only going to use runners for a short crux pitch out of a massive long route or you're 90% sure a rack won't be used at all but you can't quite justify not carrying one.
- a few back-up draws on a "Gogarth style" rack where you ideally want to carry 20 draws just in case and having perhaps 4 of them as 19Gs is a reasonable compromise.

I've used draws with extendable slings with loads of different karabiners in both Summer and Winter. For Summer use, relatively small krabs like Ocum Kestrels, Camp Nano (or DMM Phantoms if you're feeling flush) work, just. However even in Summer I find them fiddly and greatly prefer full-size krabs paired with slings. For Winter, I wouldn't consider anything other than the still unsurpassed Wild Country Helium or something equally large and easy to handle.

However, if you are not already using them, Mammut 8mm Contact slings are absolutely the best option, hands down, for 60cm extendable draws. Although for ice routes, especially on double ropes, the majority of my rack would be normal 'fixed' quickdraws rather than extendable draws.

If you're that bothered about weight, there are half a dozen better ways to save it:
Lighter Helmet - e.g. Petzl Sirrocco
Thinner ropes - e.g. 6.9mm twins, 7.3mm doubles or an 8.5/7mm single
Smaller, lighter pack - e.g. Arc'teryx Alpha FL30
Alloy bodied ice screws (e.g. Petzl) instead of all steel
Fixed point crampons instead of modular
Lighter slimline harnesses

And that's before considering the simple expedient of just taking less gear, which is generally just the simplest option.

beardy mike 04 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

Think oversized dog clip. They are v v small.
GarethSL 05 Sep 2017
In reply to The Ex-Engineer:

Agghh, I think you might be right. I played with some of the tiny Ocun wire-gates at the wall last night and assuming the 19 g's are a similar size then there is absolutely no way I would cope with gloves and my fat thumbs. Wouldn't even be so keen using them for sport climbing. Easy trad or alpine where both hands are free then sure but not if I'm dangling of something steep.

Having seen how light an extendable quick-draw could be (and as I mostly do big multi-pitch ice lines they will only be extendable) I figured having a set that weighed in at just over half a kilo (and half of what I carry now) was a really good way to save weight, clearly its totally impractical tho unless you have DT hands.

But! A further look yields the Camp Photon bent wire-gate and with a 29 mm gate opening it could make an ideal rope piece (at 29 g is also more impressive than the phantoms for 1 extra g). With the Mammut wall light for the gear end and a 60 cm sling the set up still gives nearly half a kilo weight saving on my current gear, i.e. 70 g per quick-draw.

Obviously the rest of the rack will be made up of other lightweight gear. I typically don't carry much, even on 4-5 pitch ice routes, other than 10-12 screws, 10 draws, 2x120 cm slings, belay paraphernalia, self rescue gear, about 6 screw-gates, candela and a knife. Never really needed much more than that, but wouldn't really want to take less.

I know I'm being super pedantic scrutinising gram by gram, but a rack of 10 screws (4x13cm, 6x16, 2x19) and quick-draws can weigh quite a lot, for example in that composition I currently carry 2.8 kgs. With Petzl screws and a lightweight quick-draws that's down to 1.8 kg, which I think is quite a considerable saving.
jezb1 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

I use Phantoms pretty much daily and I've used them for so long they feel completely normal.

They're ok in winter but wouldn't want anything smaller.

Whenever clients turn up with really small krabs I have a play with them and like them as a novelty but wouldn't buy them except for something really niche.
HimTiggins 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

To add to previous comments I avoid using camp nanos in winter for the reasons already mentioned.

More usefully (I hope), I recently got some camp photons for some alpine draws and find them great. Light, full opening and handle nicely. I got a pack of 8 for £25 from Go Outdoors - not sure if that deal is still running, if so it is a bargain!
GarethSL 05 Sep 2017
In reply to HimTiggins:

Thanks for the heads up! And good to know the photons are OK to handle. How are they with gloves?
TobyA 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:


You could use them in winter but I reckon you'd curse them on any tricky or pumpy clips in thick gloves. You don't need to carry that many clips in winter anyway so get some full size ones!
Wayne S 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:


I use phantoms on my rock rack but simply can't use 19g's even for racking cams. They are simply too small to be useful, my fingers get stuck in the gate opening for instance. In fact the only use I could find was in the end of axe leashes. My advice would buy some other light crabs. If you can't get on with phantoms maybe have a look at the Edelrid Pure maybe, not tried myself but look a touch bigger then Phantoms.

HimTiggins 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

Good with gloves. The only thing I can see going against the Photon is that it doesn't have a clean nose, but it has never bothered me ...
Brown 05 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

I've used the 19g's and the same sized carabiners a lot.

I originally bought a few thinking they would be good for rock climbing with big walk-ins.

After owning them for a while I found I had used them sports climbing, rock climbing, alpine climbing and full on winter climbing wearing big gloves. I bought some more I liked them so much. I'd have nothing else if I could afford it! (along with a set of ultralight camalots)

Some people I climb with think they are a little bit fiddly though.

JimBee 10 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

Hi Gareth, I was thinking of getting some of the Edelrid 19g biners too, but also have concerns about the size. I haven't managed to get my hands on one yet to see how tiny they are, and annoyingly most online climbing shops fit the image to the product box so you can't infer the difference to a 'normal' biner.

My plan was to buy the coloured multi pack for racking my cams and then I haven't lost out if they aren't suitable. PS I'll mainly be using them in summer on rock or alpine routes. TBH gloved use looks tricky!
AdrianC 10 Sep 2017
In reply to GarethSL:

I've been using them for a couple of years now. At first they were a bit trickier to use with gloves on but I found that after a bit of practice they're fine.

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