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Can anyone ID these screws?

Original Post
William B · · Longmont, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0

Picked up some new screws and the gentlemen was nice enough to throw in a bunch of these old unmarked screws.

My limited knowledge of vintage ice screws gives me the impression they're from the 80s but I'm hoping someone can help me identify the brand, model, and era.

Thanks in advance!

-Will

climber pat · · Las Cruces NM · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 241

Are they titanium?  I bought 10 titanium ice screws off of a Russian climber in that time frame.  

After the cold war the Russians were selling just about anything they could and they had a lot of titanium from their military aircraft industry.

Jim Amidon · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2001 · Points: 880

Yea I was thinking those look like the old Russian screws.....

William B · · Longmont, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0
climber pat wrote: Are they titanium?  

Yes, at least they appear to be.

Mees · · Iowa · Joined Dec 2011 · Points: 55

look like irbus (sp?) russian screws

Brian in SLC · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Oct 2003 · Points: 15,864

Yep, looks like Russian ti.  

Probably all the unmarked ti screws came out of the same shop especially after the break up of the USSR.  Irbis or USHBA or Altai or some such.

I bought a couple in Katmandu in the early 90's.  Look pretty similar to those.

I might carry one to bail from.  The models with four teeth were much easier to start in water ice, I dimly recall.

William B · · Longmont, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0
Brian in SLC wrote:I might carry one to bail from.  The models with four teeth were much easier to start in water ice, I dimly recall.

Thanks. I have more than a dozen of them so I figured I'd keep a handful as sacrificial anchors and pass the others onto a friend who is just starting to build a rack. 

Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5
William B wrote:

 pass the others onto a friend who is just starting to build a rack. 

You might rethink that if you want to keep him/her as a friend.  They suck for hard ice, and usually need a tool to place for more leverage.  They'd be ok for a secure belay stance.  

Mark Pilate · · MN · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

Haha, yep. Agree with Skibo.  Even BITD they were considered bail pieces only cuz they were light and cheap.   Suck to place though and the hanger orientation is not ideal for draws. 

Not necessarily a bad way to learn from a certain perspective.  Combine them with a set of straight shaft leashed axes and heavy plastic boots and learn the hard way.  After a season leading WI 3 like that you can jump right to M9 the next season with modern gear!

Skibo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2016 · Points: 5
Mark Pilate wrote:  Combine them with a set of straight shaft leashed axes and heavy plastic boots and learn the hard way. 

And then there're the two-toothed Salewa screws....

Scott Biegert · · belle fourche · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 5
  • These screws are not intended for leading on ice due to their small diameter and thread thickness
  • perfect bail screw
Stiles · · the Mountains · Joined May 2003 · Points: 840

Is there any advatage of leaving rap screws rather than an abalokov?    Inexperience and time not withstanding

Mark Pilate · · MN · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

No.  

Time and available materials being the only consideration, really.

Remember, the context was historical. With modern screws you can make an Abalokov now almost faster than placing a single one of those screws.  Nobody really carries them now, or has use for them....thus why the guy gave em away for free.   

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 91

Not an ice climber at all, but just curious: why would they be so much harder to place? Is it because it doesn't have the handle? Wouldn't it be possible to just add something to achieve the same objective? As far as I know Titanium is super light & strong, but pretty expensive.... I would think it would be awesome for ice screws?

Scott Biegert · · belle fourche · Joined Mar 2019 · Points: 5
Franck Vee wrote: Not an ice climber at all, but just curious: why would they be so much harder to place? Is it because it doesn't have the handle? Wouldn't it be possible to just add something to achieve the same objective? As far as I know Titanium is super light & strong, but pretty expensive.... I would think it would be awesome for ice screws?

The teeth and thread style make a huge difference on placement. Some start easy and others you need to use your pick to make a hole to even start and than use the pick for leverage to place. Uses a lot if energy just placing screws if they are hard. Titanium is harder but thread will peel off.

chris magness · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 590

What's all the talk about a bail screw?  Build a thread, I've never bailed off a screw in thousands of pitches.  Those things are old-ass sketchy junk (yes, appear to be Russian titanium). They belong hanging on a wind-chime, not on your rack or your friend's rack... even as a bail piece.  

Franck Vee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 91
Scott Biegert wrote:

The teeth and thread style make a huge difference on placement. Some start easy and others you need to use your pick to make a hole to even start and than use the pick for leverage to place. Uses a lot if energy just placing screws if they are hard. Titanium is harder but thread will peel off.

Right, kinda like fiddling with a tricky nut, but probably longer... well nice vintage stuff at any rate.

Mark Pilate · · MN · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 10

Probably biggest factor (in addition to the sucky teeth and threads) was the narrow diameter tube.  They’d jam up quicker (less internal area for shavings to pass through)

William B · · Longmont, CO · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 0
chris magness wrote:

 They belong hanging on a wind-chime...  

That would be a fun conversation piece for the front porch... I may try it.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Ice Climbing
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