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By photocodo
From Hendersonville, NC
Oct 21, 2012
The "crack"
My brother lives in Montana and has slowly been getting into ice climbing. I was thinking about getting him a few trad/alpine draws for Christmas. My question is two fold.
First, what are the best biners to use...And second, what about slings?

As far as biners, my limited reading about ice climbing and common sense would tell me LIGHT and not too small (big enough to clip with gloves on). I have really been digging the Camp photon wiregate for trad, for some reason it just feels super smooth in my hand and the gate action feels great too. I was also thinking about something like the hoodwire or something that wont get caught on the sling when he really needs it to work. My one concern with the hoodwire (or any other biner) is that ice could build up around the nose. What do you guys use? To be honest I would like to keep them in the $8 range (or of course cheaper).

Now how about those extendable pieces of material that go between the two biners? Is there a material that holds up to ice better or holds up better for ice climbing. My guess would be dyneema for weight, or is nylon better? Ive been using BD slings and metolius monsters, I like them both but how about for ice?

Thanks for the help guys and I will be coming back to this forum when I move up to the North East.

cheers,

Cody

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By doligo
Oct 21, 2012
Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
If I were your brother, I'd be super psyched to receive these as a present and maybe a couple of screamers. The whole point of a meaningful gift is something that they would love to have but would not dare to splurge on. Don't worry about not getting a full rack of draws even a few of these would be a super nice addition to any ice, trad or alpine rack. Petzl Anges are nice too, but in my experience they're kinda a bitch to clean on ice.

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By kevino
Oct 21, 2012
For what its worth, I picked these up recently when BC.com had their 20% off coupon. I have used them for cragging and plan to use them for ice climbing as well.

backcountry.com/camp-usa-orbit...

I have some DMM phantom draws and they are nice, but on the smaller side for gloved hands.

For alpine draws I'm a mammut whore and use their moses wiregate with their dynemma sling. I've never had a problem with biners icing up.

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By C'est La Vie
Oct 22, 2012
photocodo wrote:
Now how about those extendable pieces of material that go between the two biners? Is there a material that holds up to ice better or holds up better for ice climbing. My guess would be dyneema for weight, or is nylon better? Ive been using BD slings and metolius monsters, I like them both but how about for ice? Thanks for the help guys and I will be coming back to this forum when I move up to the North East. cheers, Cody


You could make him some alpine draws. BD slings work well, so do Mammut and most slings. I don't have much experience with the thicker ones, and it's not the first thing I would reach for.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Oct 22, 2012
Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
ive not had issues with the petzl ange finesses for ice

just buy the large large option.

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By Dom
Administrator
From New Brunswick Canada
Oct 22, 2012
Moby dick 5.11-
BD hoodwires with BD 60cm dynex sling makes for a nice ice quickdraw. I wouldn't complain if I received that from my brother. Lots of options here though...

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By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Oct 22, 2012
As far as Ice climbing goes I like the pacific Omega biners see link below, they are reasonably light and big enough to clip and handle with gloves on.
omegapac.com/product113.html

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By T Howes
From Bozeman, MT
Oct 22, 2012
Just get some screamers for your bro.As far as biners go, you're on the right track trying to find big and light.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Oct 22, 2012
Bocan
I use screamers for all my ice draws. I made them with Trango wire gate on the screw side and the Trango neoclassic bent keylock on the clipping side for reduced snagging. Then have rubber banded each end to keep the biner in place for quick clipping. Pretty effective and decently cheap overall.

Besides my anchor gear I only bring about 1 quick draw and 2 or so alpine draws. The alpine draws mostly get used on a wandering line

It's ice, screamers are the way to go in my opinion.

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By DannyUncanny
From Vancouver
Oct 22, 2012
Petzl Ange large size are pretty awesome

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By Ryan N
From San Louis Obispo
Oct 23, 2012
RJN
I climb with all screamers and a couple runners all with wire gates. Mammut makes a great screamer that's the bees knees as far as I'm concerned. And for my biners i use the BD hoodwires. Whatever biner you end up with go wiregate.

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By nick frazee
From bozeman, MT
Oct 23, 2012
i use mammut moses binners on mammut dyneema screamers. its a great, no hassel, low bulk, and light weight set up.

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By shoo
Oct 23, 2012
Rock wars, Red River Gorge
Personally, I think big, easy to use, and less fiddly trumps any concerns about lightness, at least for technical ice. Gear is all so light now that it doesn't make that much of a difference. That equation changes when you are talking more alpine, where weight has a premium.

I prefer to use sport-style, super thick nylon dogbones with full-sized notchless 'biners on each end (spirits for screw/bolt end, anything easy to clip for rope end). You are wearing gloves and can't feel your fingers. Make your life easier and use big stuff. I haven't really had problems with non-lockers getting frozen shut and am not really concerned about it.

The more alpine or rock that gets added in, the more light trad draws I'll throw in the mix to replace the sporty draws. Here, I opt mostly for skinny dyneema to minimize bulk and weight, but I'll also generally have a thicker nylon or blend for peace of mind. For the trad draws, heliums are the shit. I'm sure the larger sized anges and hoodwires are good here too. Pretty much anything light, notchless, and easy to handle is good.

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By Alpinisto
From Connecticut
Oct 23, 2012
Wild Country Heliums (big...check; light...check) and Dyneema slings for alpine draws plus a few with Screamers. 'Tis the shiznit.

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By David Ford
From Cambridge, MA
Oct 23, 2012
Because it hasn't been said yet, I'll add that ice climbing can get pretty wet, so the fact that dyneema doesn't absorb as much water as nylon definitely seems to be a plus. The average ice climber has to deal with way more wetness than the average rock climber.

I'll also echo what others said in terms of bigger biners for clipping with gloves on, and wiregates, which are less prone to freezing shut. I use BD Hotwires. They're great. Thawing out a biner that's frozen shut is a serious pain in the ass! It's bad enough to have to deal with it with lockers at the belay, so use wiregates wherever you can.

I usually carry two screamers when ice climbing, one for the first piece on the pitch and one to use on whatever piece I'm the least excited about. Some people carry only screamers. Some people carry no screamers. I think carrying a couple is a good compromise.

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By funkyicemonkey
From Colorado
Oct 30, 2012
All the above is good advice. I have Wild Country Heliums and I love them, but they are not that big and can be fiddly in thick gloves. To be honest look for simple wire gates (dont freeze shut) and easy handling. A few screamers are very useful but not necessary. As for weight, well when on the ice you have a few pounds of crampons, a few pounds of ice axes, lots of clothing, often two ropes, helmet, impact glasses, warm clothes, spare gloves and a lot of other bits and bobs - a few extra oz's dont matter.
Climbing ice can be hard on gear, so keep the budget sensible. By the way as an after-thought I prefer loop slings as I can flip biners quickly - very handy for alpine routes.

Good luck to your brother - its a terrific sport, still with great characters and soulful beauty.

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By Syndicate
Oct 30, 2012
Trango superfly are light, big and cheap
ange large size
WC heliums, but expensive

I dont often extend my ice placements with alpine draws on pure water ice. Alpine draws are more versatile overall, but bulkier.
Nylon absorbs water and can be irritating. Dyneema just gets a bit stiff but is never hard

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