Mountain Project Logo

Building my first rack of ice screws

Original Post
djh860 · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2014 · Points: 110
Wondering how many and what sizes I should keep.  I picked these up this summer on a deal.  This will be my first season of leading.  I think my leads will be soft to moderate .  I’m thinking of keeping 10
Ben Williams · · Reno · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

1 22cm
1 19cm
6 16cm
2 13mm

......

Or take away a 16cm and add a 10cm 

Kyle Tarry · · Portland, OR · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 344

Keep them all, lead for a season, and then sell the ones you don't use.  Without knowing what routes you're going to get on, in what condition, how you like to protect, and a bunch of other variables, it's really hard for some random people online to give good recommendations.

For example, my standard ice rack looks much different than what Ben suggested above, but that doesn't make one of us right and the other wrong.

Ben Williams · · Reno · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35
Kyle Tarry wrote: Keep them all, lead for a season, and then sell the ones you don't use.  Without knowing what routes you're going to get on, in what condition, how you like to protect, and a bunch of other variables, it's really hard for some random people online to give good recommendations.

For example, my standard ice rack looks much different than what Ben suggested above, but that doesn't make one of us right and the other wrong.

Well said. It looks like the OP might be climbing ice on the northeast. I’ve never climbed there, but the ice could perhaps be thinner.

Also to the OP - if you bought used it might be worth making sure the screws are sharp. It makes a world of difference.
Jeremy Cote · · White Mountains NH · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

1 22cm
1 19cm
4 16cm
4 13mm
1 10mm

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,936

Looks like a good start, but you're a bit light on the shorties. I suggest filling out your set with these:

Josh Hutch · · State of Jefferson · Joined Dec 2008 · Points: 90

1 22cm
6 16cm
6 13cm
2 10cm (for early season)

I like to have around 13 screws with me for a climb. Knowing I will be committing at least 4 to belays (assuming it’s a multi pitch with no anchors) that leaves me 8 to protect between belays. My 22 cm stays with me for v-threads 98% of the time.  The actual number of 13cm vs 16cm screws depends on the climb and time of year. 

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,936

I'm with the rest here: 13s and 16s should comprise the bulk of your rack. As a new leader, you have no business on ice too thin for 13s or too aerated/candled for 16s. As you gain experience and venture into these more challenging ice conditions, then you can add more 10s and 19-22s.

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

Here here if your climbing pure ice routes you'll be leaving two art each anchor and want two ore for the anchor your climbing to so already 4 and that doesn't count your lead screws....

luke smith · · Salt Lake City, Utah · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 50

13's have the same count of threads as 16's (17's) so unless you plan on the outer couple of centimeters of ice being rotten/wet/air filled go with more 13's than 16's.  Easier to put your body into them to bite, especially when you make it to steeper ice.  You really only need one large one (21 or 19) to make a v/a thread and can use solid 16's to belay with, maybe I need to climb in more places but I've never felt like I needed a 19 or 21 cm to get to good ice, if it's that shitty you just climb through or chop it away with a tool.  10's will hold ;) but maybe if it's your first season leading don't plan on leading anything you would need them on as others have already said.

Allen Sanderson · · On the road to perdition · Joined Jul 2007 · Points: 1,188

As said above, keep them all until you figure out what you like to have around. Here is what I have in my arsenal:

1 22cm - glacier travel
2 19cm - anchors
4 16cm
4 13mm
2 10mm

As my regular partners also have a rack of screws we typically combine our arsenal. If really need more I would buy one or two 16s and 13s,  and a couple of 10s.

Stiles · · the Mountains · Joined May 2003 · Points: 840

Thats an impressive line-up

mario molina · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0

I'd throw in some Screamers.
I know there's an endless discussion about them on MP, but I like them

spaceman laflare · · purpskurp nebula · Joined Dec 2017 · Points: 0
Gunkiemike wrote: I'm with the rest here: 13s and 16s should comprise the bulk of your rack. As a new leader, you have no business on ice too thin for 13s or too aerated/candled for 16s. As you gain experience and venture into these more challenging ice conditions, then you can add more 10s and 19-22s.

bingo

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Climbing Gear Discussion
Post a Reply to "Building my first rack of ice screws"

Log In to Reply