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Author Topic: Ice Rack  (Read 322 times)

dogboy

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Ice Rack
« on: August 27, 2001, 09:14:08 AM »

Hey-
How many screws do people feel are necessary on a complete lead ice rack?  10?  12?  I'm finishing off my ice rack, and thought I'd ask...
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slob

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #1 on: August 27, 2001, 12:27:09 PM »

12 screws would be the absolute maximum you'd ever really want or need, and that many only for full 60m pitches of steep ice, i.e. Lake Whilloughby.  This wold translate into 2 @ each anchor, and a protection screw every 7.5 meters, which may seem slightly runout but if you're climbing steep ice you should probably feel comfortable with that.  

A more likely situation, especially if you're expecting any rock anchors, is 8 screws and a light rock rack, maybe a set of nuts and 3 or 4 cams.  And be ready to adapt.
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dogboy

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2001, 03:42:19 PM »

So you are only using 2 screws for each screw belay anchor?  I thought the standard practice (as with rock) was 3, if all you are using is screws...
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Admin Al

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2001, 10:03:59 AM »

I have 12 screws. all I can afford & all I feel like carrying! <grin> I use them as follows:

2 long - belay 1
6 medium - climbing
2 stubbies - climbing
2 long - belay 2

I have a dozen slings & beiners as well as 3 Screamers. this basically works for most anything I have come across here & in the Canadian Rockies, including Polar Circus last winter. depending on what I am doing I may carry some rock gear, a Spectre, a couple of pins, etc.

and I really agree with Slob about adaptation! <grin>
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dogboy

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2001, 11:43:21 AM »

Great advice!  Next question--when you set up a 2 screw belay on ice, do you equalize the screws just like you would with rock gear?  Sounds like a stupid question, but in The Mountaineers they show some crazy set-up, where the climbing rope is tied into one screw and then a second screw, instead of the screws being equalized and the belayer simply clipping into the equalized masterpoint...
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SherpaJim

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2001, 02:07:46 PM »

I assume you're talking about "Freedom of the Hills" and the belay set-up where you use the climbing rope to clove hitch into your anchors.  I almost always do that when climbing alpine ice.  You don't have to carry as much pro that way and it seems faster.  It's usually done with a double rope system so you have redundancy in your tie-ins, but it can be done with one rope as well.

The disadvantages of that type of anchor is as you pointed out, it isn't equalized.  And if you are swinging leads, the anchor may be fine for bringing up your second, but it may not be adequate for protecting a leader fall, particularly on vertical ice.

Craig Luebben's book "Climbing Ice" advises that three screws should always be used by less experienced climbers.  More experienced climbers can get by with two screws in good ice.  Everything is so variable with ice, so it depends on the quality, density, temperature, depth, and solidity of the ice.  

As a side note, BD and Luebben's tests determined that the holding power of ice screws comes from the threads.  If you compare a 17 cm to a 22 cm screw, the thread length is identical, so in good ice they should be equivalent in holding power.  The exception would be with alpine ice where the outer layer is often crud and the extra length of the 22 cm screw helps penetrate down to the good ice.

- Jim



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Admin Al

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2001, 12:38:46 PM »

also in the tests done in Climbing or R&I about a year ago they found that angling the head of the screw downward, exxactly opposite of what you would think is right, is much stronger.
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dogboy

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Re: Ice Rack
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2001, 01:50:23 PM »

Great advice, guys...thanks, I really appreciate it!
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