Snow/Ice Pickets

4:06 p.m. on March 29, 2010 (EDT)
28 reviewer rep
63 forum posts

Is there a good reason to buy snow/ice pickets, or should I just drill my own angle iron?

If I make my own, what considerations should have take into account? Material type?

9:43 p.m. on March 29, 2010 (EDT)
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762 forum posts

I guess you could make your own, but after you buy stock cut, bevel the ends, and drill the many holes, it seems it would be far more economical to pay the $20 price tag to buy them. Additionally, the ones you buy are neither right ANGLE stock, or IRON. They are super stiff, strong, heat treated aircraft grade aluminum with a "T" shaped cross section.

Using a piece of gear like pickets, even the ones specifically manufactured for anchoring, takes specialized training in order to be as safe as possible. With that being said, you wouldn't climb w/ home made biners, would you?

8:07 p.m. on March 30, 2010 (EDT)
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Before you set off to make your own climbing gear, get some of the top-quality professionally made gear and examine it carefully. Ask yourself if you have the experience and knowledge (metallurgy, machining, heat treatments, etc) and tools, as well as the experience in using the gear (so you know what it will be subjected to in the field in actual use). Years ago, I made some of my own gear and was closely associated with several people whose "shade tree" shops are now or were well-known gear shops. At some point, I decided that it was much better to use gear from shops who have the testing facilities to meet CE and UIAA standards.

As f_klock says, buying the material in the small personal quantities, plus the cost of your own time, will be effectively much more than the retail price, particularly if you are going to test samples of the gear to be sure it is safe.

There is some personal satisfaction in making your own gear, of course. But you may also want to be personally confident that it does meet or exceed the standards imposed on the commercial manufacturers. By the way, the last pieces of gear I made that I still use happen to be pickets. By the time I got through, I figured that the effective cost was double what buying them would have been, including my personal time and gas for visits to metal supply houses spent finding the correct grade and alloy of aluminum stock.

9:08 a.m. on April 7, 2010 (EDT)
28 reviewer rep
63 forum posts

Thanks for the replies. I see this will be a bit more involved than throwing some angle iron in a drill press. Fortunately, commercial pickets seem reasonably priced.

July 26, 2014
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