The Warthog Rises Like A Phoenix From The Ashes

" I remember belaying off a warthog on the Cobbler when all else I could find was a small and not very deep knifeblade (my partner decided to take a factor two fall onto the belay leading the next pitch, so that belay will be imprinted into my memory for the rest of my life), and many times using them when you arrive on the top of a cliff where you are suddenly in a flat, frozen field with nothing to belay off - Udlaidh, Beinn an Lochain, Lochnagar being good examples." writes Toby A about Warthogs on a thread today at UKClimbing.com about ice protection.

Although opinions, as usual, do differ. Gear guru Andy Kirkpatrick in the same discussion says, when comparing ice hooks to warthogs that "a warthog will rotate under load, or bend, then pull out, were as a hook has to be pulled through the mass of turf."

Join that discussion here

The Warthog ice screw had been unavailable for some time but not anymore as Needle Sports, the independent climbing shop in Keswick has started to have them manufactured and distributed.

At the Needlesports website www.needlesports.com, owner Stephen Reid writes:

"The Warthog Ice Screw was first made by Salewa but as far as we can ascertain, Mountain Technology were the only company that have produced them in recent years. With the demise of Mountain Technology, and their parent company HB, the Warthog, so beloved of British and Polish climbers but so little known elsewhere, looked like becoming an endangered species. However, Needle Sports has located the engineering firm that originally made Warthogs for Mountain Technology and are very pleased to be able to offer them once again. "


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17 Dec, 2007
I'm with Andy Kirkpatrick on this. Hooks/Bulldogs are better/safer than Warthogs.
18 Dec, 2007
I think it is unprecedented for an independent climbing shop to take a step up the supply chain and get involved in the manufacturing/distribution of a niche product. I'm certain this is not a purely financial decision and I'm sure many future climbers will be thanking Stephen over the Winters to come. Personally I normally carry both a warthog and a hook most of the time.
18 Dec, 2007
Is it ? Many shops have had their own products in the past, especially for clothing. What about Joe Brown helmets ?
18 Dec, 2007
I love it the Poles want them as well. Are the Tartras very turfy as well or do they do something else odd with them? Anyone know?
18 Dec, 2007
Well done Steve and every one at Needle sports. It's good see a retailer putting the money, time and energy into a real niche climbing product (i.e. low margin, low turn over but pretty vital to those who want them). You can add them to the sprung axe leash category of products where there is a demand but no one is listening but you. Well done - this is where indie shops really punch above their weight. How about finding the manufacture of the HB carbon helmet next? Andy
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