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How to Sharpen Your Ice Screws

Black Diamond Turbo ExpressThe ice climbs in your neck of the woods may not be in yet, but it’s not too early to start preparing your gear for the winter climbing season. Look over your ice rack, replace any unsafe gear, and get your ice screws, picks, and crampons sharpened. Then you’ll be ready to go as soon as your favorite climb comes in.

While most climbers sharpen their own crampons and ice picks (a topic that deserves its own how-to article), sharpening screws is trickier. Ask your trusted fellow climbers or local climbing shop for recommendations for sharpening services. The American Alpine Club’s October E-News also listed several sharpening services: Griz Guides and Brian Dahlstrom for mail order, and Kenneth Smith in Campton, N.H. This is important—not to forget expensive—gear and you need it done right.

If you’ve got the skills, the right tools, and are keen to sharpen your own screws, Black Diamond has a video guide (you can also watch just to groove along to the music). You'll need a vice, wood blocks, several specific files, a flat plate, and a whetstone to get started; electric grinders are a no-no though (they can ruin the steel's temper).

Via the AAC E-News.



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