Ice Screws

12:08 p.m. on January 26, 2005 (EST)

a.k.a. Nick (Idaho)

Just wondering if anybody could give me some good advice on ice screws for alpine use. Also, wondering main advantages and disadvantages of Titanium vs Steel. Basically, I need a cheap but safe option (is that possible). Is there any particular brand of Titanium ice screws that are better than the rest?

8:32 a.m. on January 27, 2005 (EST)
346 reviewer rep
982 forum posts

Steel screws are a lot stronger and more durable. Steel screws can also be made with thinner walls than titanium or aluminum, which leads to less resistance and easier placement.

As far as titanium, I've heard good things about the Ushba titanium screws, but they jus as expensive as steel screws anyhow. Definitely stay away from the cheap Russian titanium screws, though. The threads are tiny and quality control is iffy.

Probably the best value for your dollar in a steel screw would be the Black Diamond Turbo screw, which you can usually find for $30-35 if you look around. Turbo screws make up the majority of my ice rack. They only thing they're lacking that you'd find in a $50 screw is a knob or handle. But they're still pretty easy to place and they also rack easily and compactly.


7:22 a.m. on January 28, 2005 (EST)

First, I'm not an experienced climber, but here is my 2 cents. Last year, I put up a wanted ad and bought 1 doz of almost new Russian Irbis Ti at MEC gear swap for about 1/2 the original price. I use them exclusively for the following situations:
1. To pitch my tent on the frozen Lk Superior.
2. Use as horizontal rescue anchors for (a) ice rescue practice on rivers; and (b) as back up screws for crevasse rescue (to be carried by inexperienced members of a rope team).
3. As a bailout anchor along with a solid Abalakov v-thread anchor in ice climbing.

I use the Turbo Express for ice climbing (bought as blems and at REI sales). The Irbis Ti can be nicked a lot easier than the steel screws, and it threads have smaller surface area. I would NOT have my life hang on a single Ti screw under any situation. You can google for more info. Climb safe ;-))

June 25, 2018
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