V-thread ice anchors are an easy, secure and inexpensive rappel anchor for ice
climbing. In this article I will describe how to make the anchor, how to use it,
what kind of gear is needed, and how to make your own tool. Everything about v-threading
is easy and they have become popular at ice crags all over the world.
A V-Thread is a tunnel cut into the ice and treaded with a sling; sort of like
a fully enclosed ice bollard. They are are sometimes called Abalakov anchors,
after the famous Russian mountaineer Vitaly Abalakov who first made them. He is
also known for inventing the first nuts with cammed faces that inspired the tri-cam
design. In between bagging many peaks in the (former) USSR he inspired the cliché
of Russian garage-made gear with his designs for special haul pulleys, titanium
screws, and adjustable tube chocks.
If you have an interest in ice anchor research or come across neat information
on gear history and technology please feel free to email me.