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Placing an Ice Screw on Lead

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December 19, 2013
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January 19, 2014

Best Practices for Placing an Ice Screw

by Dale Remsberg – IFMGA Mountain Guide

dale.bioPlacing an ice screw while on lead has changed a lot over the years. Gone are the days of hanging from your leash and wrestling in a 22 cm screw, getting completely pumped in the process. The ice tools are better, the ice screws all have “express” knobs, are of a much higher quality, and our knowledge of what makes a good placement has evolved as well.

That being said, there is still plenty of nuance when it comes to getting a quick, solid ice screw placement while leading a pitch of ice. Considerations such as body orientation, where to place your screw in the ice, and timeliness take on added importance as you venture onto steeper and more committing routes. Becoming efficient at ice screw placements can increase your confidence while leading a pitch, and help to conserve energy for the steeper sections of a route.

In the video below, IFMGA Mountain Guide Dale Remsberg demonstrates the techniques that he uses to make a quality and fast ice screw placement while leading.