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Ice screw durability


Original Post
Hanna D · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0

I've started ice climbing and I'm slowly collecting the right equipment (very slowly, I'm a student in debt  ) and I've gotten the opportunity to buy older ice screws cheaply from a friend/acquaintance. A few BD express ice screws of different lengths and a Grivel 360. They haven't been used a lot (5 week/2week trips) but they are 7/8 years old. He says they've taken no big falls but who knows...

My question is simply whether it's a good idea to buy these older ice screws. And more in general: how long do ice screws last? I understand that there are big differences depending on how often you use them but is there a way to know when they're ready for replacement?  Probably this is general knowledge but I have no idea.


Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

Freshly sharpened (as needed) there's no reason 8 year old screws can't be every bit as good as brand new screws.  They don't go bad due to age.

jg fox · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5

Make sure the threads are in good condition.  If the threads are heavy nicked, don't buy them.

dave custer · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 1,070

The good news is that the ice will probably fail before the screw is damaged. 

If a screw manages to hold a significant fall, it will probably be bent.

climbing coastie · · Wasilla, AK · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 90

I would steer you away from them simply because they are express screws. If they were turbo express I'd be trying to buy them out from under you. ;-). Placing an ice screw without a knob on it can be quite the task (I can't believe BD still sells non-turbo screws). I guess they have their place, but on lead ain't one of them IMHO. 




jg fox · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 5
climbing coastie wrote:

I would steer you away from them simply because they are express screws. If they were turbo express I'd be trying to buy them out from under you. ;-). Placing an ice screw without a knob on it can be quite the task (I can't believe BD still sells non-turbo screws). I guess they have their place, but on lead ain't one of them IMHO. 




She said BD Express, not Turbo.  I thought express had the knob.

climbing coastie · · Wasilla, AK · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 90

I stand corrected. I got them backwards. 

OP, what's your friends number???

Tony A. Davis · · Golden, Colorado · Joined Jun 2009 · Points: 155

Good advice from all. Looks like they go for around $60 new so if you can get them cheap then they should serve you for quite a while, or until the next generation of ice screws appear. My Petzl sonics are maybe 7 or 8 years old, I keep them in their ice flutes on a gear sling so they don't bang together and they looked nearly new, until recently when I loaned them out to friends! So as long as they look good and are at a good price then buy and enjoy!

Ice4life · · US · Joined Nov 2010 · Points: 330

I would say $30.00 a screw is average for the types you listed. Not sure how much your buying em for, but if you can pull $20.00 or less, claim they'll need to be resharpened or something that's ideal.


Check:

Threads for nicks, tube for straightness, and inside for no scratches mirror like is ideal. Lastly make sure knobs fold in and out properly. You're good to go if all those check out. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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