/ Ice screw recommendations

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frqnt - on 02 Aug 2012
I'm going to spend two weeks in Norway in February to step up my ice climbing act. I've done some lead climbing but the instructor provided the screws. This time, if I'm to do any lead climbing, I must provide my own.

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.
mkean - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to frqnt:
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.
jhw - on 02 Aug 2012
BD express are good. I'd suggest two stubbies, one 22cm, with the remainder 16cm.
Al Randall on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to frqnt: You will not go wrong with BD's. Some prefer Grivel on the basis that they are slightly easier to start. This is probably true but I find that they are awkward to rack on the harness. BD's on the other hand stack neatly up against each other. 16-18cms tend to be the most useful You will also need at least one 22cm screw each for belays. Depending upon the route you are likely to need between 6 and 12 screws in total. Not cheap but it is worth paying the extra for the Express if you can.

iksander on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to frqnt: Everybody has their favourites, each with pros and cons. Top ranking are BD Turbo Express, Grivel Helix and Grivel 360s. I would say Helixs as a first screw as they are easiest to place, BD TEs as a close second (easier to rack, but fiddlier to get started when placing) and 360s for more advanced use as they go places no other screws can, but they are the most tricky to rack.

I would get 2 x long, 2 x medium, 1 x short
HeMa on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to frqnt:

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).
Run_Ross_Run - on 02 Aug 2012
In reply to frqnt:

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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