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By Paul-B
Feb 9, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
Any strong feelings about one versus another? I am new to ice climbing, I am probably just going to buy the BD first shot, but I hear people just use coat hangers etc. Does this work well? Does the aligning tool of the First Shot actually help?


I assume this has been discussed in another thread before, but after a bit of searching, I couldn't find it. Feel free to direct me to a thread if you know of one.

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By Graham Johnson
Feb 9, 2013
a wire coat hanger bent into the right shape works very well. First shots are stupid/ a tool for people who failed preschool geometry. Practice lining up your screws a few times and you'll never need a first shot.

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By Highlander
From Ouray, CO
Feb 9, 2013
J-Snare

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By Benjamin Chapman
From Small Town, USA
Feb 10, 2013
old 1/4" bolt.
Ditto regarding the coat hanger. A wire coat hanger with the end cut at an acute angle and bent is perfect. The acute angle cut makes the end snag the V- thread cord every time. Graham is right on regarding the First Shot......a gimmick for a geometrically challenged. Getting two holes to intersect isn't rocket science.

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By Kevin Craig
Feb 10, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
If you're just starting out, the First Shot is probably a good purchase. Guarantees maximal depth V-threads and as you use it, you'll get a good idea for placement/angle to drill your own without the guide. I used one for about a year when it first came out (even though I'd been ice climbing for years and drilled hundreds of V-threads) and liked it. I eventually quit using it as it was just too bulky and the metal from which the hook is made was not very durable. It is the best way to guarantee a maximum-strength V-thread however.

I use a cable-based V-thread tool that I purchased in Canada years ago, but many folks use coat-hanger based tools to good effect. The Grivel "Candella" is also pretty good and several of my partners use that.

I'm not super keen on the J-Snare mentioned above as it always seem to require 3 hands to use and I only have the standard 2.

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By Andrew Mayer
Feb 10, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Graham Johnson wrote:
a wire coat hanger bent into the right shape works very well. First shots are stupid/ a tool for people who failed preschool geometry. Practice lining up your screws a few times and you'll never need a first shot.


+1

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By nick frazee
From bozeman, MT
Feb 10, 2013
get the standard petzl v threat tool. your not an idiot so you dont need the first shot. plus, (even though its not designed for this) its the best nut tool on the market, i use it All year round.
P.S. coat hangars break when its cold

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By clay meier
Feb 10, 2013
Thats Me
I live in Gunnison, Co which is historicly one of the coldest places in the lower 48. I use a coat hanger and have for years, never had one break. the first shot is the stupidest, most assinine, useless piece of gear I have ever attempted to use. Id rather buy hand jammies than buy one of those things.

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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Feb 10, 2013
Props to my home state show
clay meier wrote:
I live in Gunnison, Co which is historicly one of the coldest places in the lower 48. I use a coat hanger and have for years, never had one break. the first shot is the stupidest, most assinine, useless piece of gear I have ever attempted to use. Id rather buy hand jammies than buy one of those things.


Hand jammies? For real Clay? Getting soft in your old age, huh. What, are you going to start taping too? Just kidding, bud.

Clay made some seriously cool v-thread tools. All decked out with rope sheaths and stuff so nothing snagged. You should post some pics if you get a chance,

If you feel like wasting money, go ahead and buy a v-thread tool. Maybe if you plan on v-threading a whole bunch it might be a good idea but I feel like in Colorado you can pretty much get by without a v-thread tool. A coat hanger works great to bring a long just in case.

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By Alan Ream
From Lafayette CO
Feb 10, 2013
Breakfast of Champion slacker climbers.
I have 2 different gizmos - one with a fishhook end and some new thing with no pointy end that snares the cord or webbing in a loop- both are cool but i almost never use them - The one time I had to build V- threads as there was no other option to get down- I didnt have a V- Threader with me so I just used the wire end of a large stopper- that works well in a pinch and in the alpine you almost always have one with you.

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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Feb 10, 2013
RJN
The candelera(?) by grivel is my favorite. Fits snugly in a 22cm screw and has a little blade to cut cordalette for v threads. Real flexible plastic. Never had a problem with mine. It also works great for clearing stubborn ice in screws.

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By Josh Hutch
Feb 10, 2013
2nd pitch of Chockstone Gulley, Skylight Area, Ouray CO
I made one out of a bicycle spoke. Bent one end at about a120 degree angle and sharpened it and bent the othe end over its self and used a dog collar key chain (more heavy duty then a regular key chain) so it fits on a beiner. Used a vacuum seal from a carburetor to cover the sharp end. Don't want to hurt your self or your $200 pants.

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By Sunny-D
From SLC, Utah
Feb 10, 2013
Top of Jah-Man Sister Superior
I have had the same "coat hanger" tool for 20 years and have built 100's of V-threads with it-- works great. Get a heavy duty coat hanger from a dry cleaner. Measure it so it fits inside of a 22 cm screw. Put a loop on one end and a 1/4" hook on the other and you are set. Go some where for an afternoon with looks of ice and practice making A threads and V threads and you will get the hang of it.

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By Paul-B
Feb 11, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
Sounds like I will just make one. Josh, I like the idea of using a bicycle spoke, get a large diameter one and it should be pretty sturdy.


Graham Johnson wrote:
a First shots are stupid/ a tool for people who failed preschool geometry.


I did pass geometery with flying colors, so i assume I'll be fine with out the first shot. However, I did not manage to do so in preschool. We just did 10 piece puzzles, that must've been one of those high dollar preschools.

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By Dylan Weldin
From Austin, Texas
Feb 11, 2013
Summit of my first tower, the Rectory via Fine Jade
Sunny-D wrote:
I have had the same "coat hanger" tool for 20 years and have built 100's of V-threads with it-- works great. Get a heavy duty coat hanger from a dry cleaner. Measure it so it fits inside of a 22 cm screw. Put a loop on one end and a 1/4" hook on the other and you are set. Go some where for an afternoon with looks of ice and practice making A threads and V threads and you will get the hang of it.


just for clarification, A-threads and V-threads are the same thing...

A = Abalakov. Named after its inventor Soviet climber Vitaly Abalakov

V = its shape, as in, the shape of an A thread

And yeah, coat hanger +1

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By Graham Johnson
Feb 11, 2013
You are right, Dylan that V and A threads are the same thing, but people often use A-thread to refer to vertically oriented V-threads (as in the holes are one above the other instead of side by side). I'm going to guess that's how Sunny D is using it here

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By Sunny-D
From SLC, Utah
Feb 11, 2013
Top of Jah-Man Sister Superior
Graham, Yes you are right... V for Horizontal Holes and A for Vertical holes. Basically the same thing. I have been reading though that the A threads (vertical holes) are stronger... Anyone care to chime in that has done testing or that is in the know?

If you really want to go all out get a Dewalt cordless drill and a 1 inch by 2 ft spade bit and carry that, it makes great V threads... Just make sure you have a longer (2+ ft) coat hanger threader to pull your cord or webbing with.

And no I don't carry a Dewalt cordless drill climbing. I did however use this method for building 60+ anchors for an Ice Festival here in Utah several years ago. Two 2 ft deep V threads equalized makes one hell of a top rope anchor. It also gives you tons of practice building V threads. I did them all the night before the festival started. Great Fun.
Dallen

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
Feb 11, 2013
One minor trick to help with the low cost version: make the outside end bent into a tight loop, bend the rest of it gently into a big loop, hook the sharp end into the tight loop, clip it on a biner. Stable protection to avoid hooking it on you or your gear.

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By Adam Burch
From San Dieger
Feb 11, 2013
you local?
Recently picked up the candela. Was running the coat-hanger for a bit, until I had the hook break off at the worst possible time.

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By Terry8
Feb 11, 2013
I used a hooked bicycle spoke for awhile, but it was too long and got in the way so I developed a retractable device using the 2mm stainless spoke wire. I put them on a website for sale at the suggestion of my climbing friends. Check them out at firnlinedesign.com
V-Dart V thread tool
V-Dart V thread tool

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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Feb 11, 2013
Middle
Stainless coat hanger, some athletic tape, and a plastic cap I found in my garage. Took less than 10 minutes to make.


V-Thread <br />
V-Thread

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By ColinM
From Escondido, CA
Feb 17, 2013
Capitol Peak
check out this video of how to do a wireless Ablakov. skip ahead to 3:40

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By ken johnstone
Apr 29, 2013
Kevin, The Jsnare is quite easy to use with just the two hands that you have. Try checking out the short video on Youtube Jsnare.4mv shot at the Ouray Ice Park. Coat hangers work fine, but if you ever want to pull your climbing rope through the thread then you chew up the end of the rope if it works at all. Jsnare has no sharp points, racks easily and is pretty light weight. You'll notice it on Vince Anderson's harness in his recent Patagonia videos . I'd be happy to talk to anyone who wants more information or is having trouble with using one. Lots of ideas...all work! kjohnstone@comcast.net

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By Matt Selman
From Spring City, Utah
May 5, 2013
I just use a nut. Slide the loop end into one hole, drop the rope down the other hole until it passes through the loop of the nut, and give the nut a firm tug. It's the same concept as discussed in the video above, using a tool that you often have on hand. I find it a lot easier than futzing around with sharp hook gadgets. Also, I don't bother slinging my A-threads with a separate piece of cord anymore, instead I run the rappel rope straight through them so nothing is left behind.

Full disclosure: I used to futz around with the Candela and thought it was a fine piece of equipment, until I dropped it on an approach.

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By daveb.
From Moab, Utah
May 31, 2013
ice
i second the j snare!

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Jun 3, 2013
The sure shot is a dumb idea.
I find that in any reasonable quality ice, you can see the screws in the ice for a V thread. Just put in the first screw at 45 degreese and back it out a few turns so not to dammage your tips. And drive in the second while aiming at the tip of the first screw. 90% chance of makeing the connection first try. remove screws and thred your cord.

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