Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Gear4rocks Ice Screws
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 1.  
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By christopher biehl
Feb 18, 2013
Gear4Rocks is a Ukrainian company that has had some notoriety for their cheap and cheerful but completely useful cams and nuts (even plastic nuts). Their equipment is not CE certified or climbed on by any number of big name climbers, but that is essentially their tagline. They make it a point of remarking that their gear is designed only to do what it’s supposed to do and not make a big ‘to do’ about anything else.



I ordered 3 10cm and 3 20cm screws around early November and I’ve been testing their ice screws for the last few months of “winter” here in the northeast, and let me tell you, they are interesting. First of all, they arrived in a beat up package in the U.S. mail, it took them about a month to be shipped over here which I though was completely understandable. The package was exactly what I was expecting, just some ice screws in a manilla envelope. Awesome! They seemed fairly well made, the tips seemed sharp and they were of a weight consistent with their tagline. Simply made to do what they needed to do. So, then I waited, and waited and waited and waited and then things started freezing, and I was elated! So I hiked out to my favorite early season gully to give these things a nice easy lead warm-up. This is where you may want to stop reading if you’ve just bought a pair of these.




I started up the first pitch and attempted to put a 20 cm screw in, well it wouldn’t catch and it wouldn’t catch and finally….it didn’t catch. So, I grabbed a stubby and 2 twists and it was in. Hmm, maybe I just had first lead jitters and wasn’t reading the ice right? So I continued up, and it’s easy climbing to the bottom of pitch two so I forego anymore screws and set up the belay on a tree just off the side of the gully. Bring up my second and I’m off for pitch two, I get to the first section of vert and go to put another 20cm in and it won’t catch, so I grab another of the 20 cm screws and it just barely catches so I start screwing and after about 6 twists I was starting to pump. I could hardly believe how hard this screw was to put in, I thought maybe the ice wasn’t as thick as I thought and I had hit the rock behind, but I put the pick of my tool through the hanger and started twisting, and that was enough to get it going again. Alright, I continue heading up and look to put another screw in and the 20cm just will not catch, so I grab a stubby and it spins right in. Finish out pitch two, anchor off another tree, bring up my second, pitch three. Same outcome, I get one 20cm in and the rest I have to use stubbies because the big screws won’t go in. I set up and anchor and bring my second up, when he gets to the 20 cm that I put in he tells me it wont come out and looks like the hanger has detached from the tube! I thought that wasn’t possible, it was only the 2nd time I had slotted it. So I told him to unclip it and I’d clean it on the rappel. Well, that’s exactly what had happened, so I had to bang it back onto the head of the tube and torque it with my axe just to get it off. This is a screw that I had not fallen on, not put any weight on, I had simply placed it, clipped an extended draw and climbed past. The hanger had deformed and come off the head of the tube and was so deformed that I couldn’t even screw it out. After this climb I was going to head over to a WI4 and give it a go but after the screws performance on this WI3- there was no way I was going to try to place these on anything harder.




In conclusion, if you’re looking for screws that are going to deform, be hard to place and just simply prolong your day on the ice, go for it. They may work well for the person that will never climb harder than WI2 but that's about it. The stubbies seem to be manufactured and sharpened differently than the 20cm’s and because of that they’re easier to place. I took these out on a few more climbs and they performed the same way. I really wanted these to be good, I was pumped when I received them because I thought, these look great. I’ll never have to buy BD’s again, but alas, there’s a reason that you pay more for the BD’s or Grivels etc., they work and work well. I did take a short fall on one of the 20cm’s, that I was able to place, and it held, It didn’t shatter the ice or pull out so that’s a plus on its side. When buying ice gear the old adage “buy nice or buy twice” really comes into play!



FLAG
By christopher biehl
Feb 18, 2013
I just thought that I should add that I'm not affiliated with any company and I did purchase these ice screws with my own hard earned cash.

FLAG
By Paul-B
Feb 18, 2013
Flakes of Wrath
While I would've assumed they sucked, I appreciate you taking the risk and writing a nice review. Cheap products are always tempting, clearly these are not worth it!

FLAG
By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Feb 18, 2013
+1 on having the balls or stupid to try them :P

FLAG
By kovacs69
From Dallas, TX
Feb 18, 2013
Sounds to me like you got SCREWED...ahhh I just had to say it.
Sorry about that I just couldn't resist.

Better luck next time.
JB

FLAG
By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Feb 18, 2013
Bocan
NorCalNomad wrote:
+1 on having the balls or stupid to try them :P


haha right! I would have had a matching set of BD screws on my harness as well. Ballsy!

FLAG
By Woodchuck ATC
Feb 18, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Here I thought those 20cm ones were going to be designed with a reversed threading on the screws......you never know. I bought the USHBA Ukranian/Russian titanium ice screws back in the 80's. They worked just fine, but I know alot of others were not pleased with them. Screwed in fine, never took a fall though on them.

FLAG
By christopher biehl
Feb 18, 2013
After I couldn't thread it I took a good hard look at the threads and confirmed that they were in fact not reverse threaded.

FLAG
 
By Superclimber
Feb 19, 2013
Ur gonna die;)

FLAG
By Morgan Patterson
Administrator
Feb 19, 2013
Stoked...
wow brave - glad ur okay - are you going to be giving the plastic nuts a try soon? I know I saw one positive review but I think they may have been paid.

FLAG
By christopher biehl
Feb 19, 2013
Don't worry. I'm going back to my bd's and these screws are going in the retired gear box. And no, I will not be trying the plastic nuts.

FLAG
By mmainer
Feb 19, 2013
Thanks for posting, good information.

So would you say the 10 cm screws are worth the $23 since they can actually be placed, or are they crap as well?

FLAG
By Colin Simon
From Boulder, CO
Feb 19, 2013
Just below Thunderbolt Peak
Good review. I like that you gave them a chance and wanted to like them, but couldn't honestly support them.

I think their plastic nuts are pretty interesting. They're very light and cheap, but if you really fall on them, they may be welded there forever. Potentially very useful in the alpine.

Maybe their cams have improved, but they are so crappy that I would never use them on anything hard. Maybe maybe it would be nice to have them in a place like Indian Creek where you just want a ton of cams as long as they work, but I would never, ever take them up something like the Diamond, much less a real trip.

FLAG
By christopher biehl
Feb 19, 2013
If you buy them in the 3 pack, maybe just maybe they'll be worth it but save up a few more dollars and buy a good screw. In the end, they'll have to be sharpened more often and I'm not sure how long the hangers will last. It's really your life, spend as much money as you believe your worth.

FLAG
By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Feb 19, 2013
Middle
mmainer wrote:
Thanks for posting, good information. So would you say the 10 cm screws are worth the $23 since they can actually be placed, or are they crap as well?


I would say they are not worth the money compared to BD Turbo screws.

backcountrygear.com/black-diam...

FLAG
By Unassigned User
Feb 20, 2013
Yeah that's what I figured when I saw their products! Thanks for the review!

I would be very leery of buying ANYTHING w/o a CE or UIAA approval rating and using it honestly!

I work too hard for my money to buy products they are unproven and junk honestly!

FLAG
 
By Jeff J
From Bozeman
Feb 20, 2013
Your write up reads alot like a memoirs of early 1970s when steep ice was just being discovered and people were really pushing gear well beyond what it was designed for. it sounds like those screws are about 30 years out of date in design.
Thanks for the effort in exploring the G4R gear and updateing the climbing community.
Nice write up.

FLAG
By Hunter Bon
From Slo, CA
Feb 20, 2013
So the question to ask is wether or not some of their ascenders are trustworthy? I mean theres not much there that could go wrong right?

FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 1.