Ice Screw Comparison


Original Post
Northeast Alpine Start · · Conway, New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 126

I recently (like this morning) finished rounding out my rack with Petzl Speed Lights. I still have tons of love for the BD screws I've been climbing with for 15 years. I dove into some of the details in comparing them here. Please check it out:

http://northeastalpinestart.com/2017/01/12/ice-screw-comparison-review-and-giveaway/

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478

You focus on weight, but not real world use. I've found the petzl screws much easier to start than BD screws. However the BD screws had around 10 days on them (no rocks hit). Did you feel any difference between them new out of the box?

coldfinger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 55
Nick Drake wrote:You focus on weight, but not real world use. I've found the petzl screws much easier to start than BD screws. However the BD screws had around 10 days on them (no rocks hit). Did you feel any difference between them new out of the box?
I have to agree, this "review" is pretty thin. Maybe you could add some less obvious info you gleaned from using them?
Michael S. Catlett · · Middleburg, VA · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 175

Petzl are the shit unless in wet ice. Aluminum conducts the cold so fast they are clogged before you make a few turns. In cold dry ice, you can't beat them

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

My rack is a mix of Petzl Laser Speed and a few Laser Speed Lights for my longer screws. As noted above, the Laser Speed Lights occasionally get "stuck" in wet ice due to how the aluminum conducts heat differently, which leads to freezing. That said, I agree that it makes sense to replace your long screws with orange ones - the weight savings are worth it and these really long screws are usually only placed at belays or while making threads.

Too bad that this review does not take a deeper look at the screws outside of manufacturer specifications and marketing - the Big Agnes belay parka review was similarly thin.

Northeast Alpine Start · · Conway, New Hampshire · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 126

Fair points all around!

@Nick Drake: out of box I feel they all cut into ice like butter, with perhaps the Petzl teeth being a small percentage easier to start.

@coldfinger: Full disclosure I have about a half dozen climbing days on the Laser Lights (and a season or two on the SS Lasers). I've also conferred with local climbing guides regarding the durability of all models and formed some of my opinions for their info. All told I am personally sold on the weight savings of the Speed Lights, and will probably need to post a new review in a year or two after more heavy testing.

@Michael: Cold dry brittle ice is the New England norm so I might be biased here. I haven't tried the aluminum ones is warm & wet conditions yet so I will update my review if my experience warrants it.

@Nick: I hear you. I admittedly have limited experience with the Speed Lights having been climbing on BD for 15 years and a few Petzl SS in the last couple years. The Speed Lights are very new to me. The purpose of the "comparison review" was to mainly look at the actual weight savings along with some pro/con considerations. It was certainly not meant to be definitive. I mainly wanted to figure out more hard fact numbers than "30% lighter"... Regarding the Big Agnes jacket review what kind of information would you have been more into? I had a limited demo period but wanted to pull out as much real-life experience as I could but if the review felt thin please give me some feedback on where it needed more attention!

Nick Sweeney · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 650

Honestly I agree with Nick Drake (like usual) - there is just not much in the way of real world use/testing.

Otherwise, your reviews are pretty good and informative. Keep it up!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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