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Ice build up in ice screws
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Dec 9, 2012
Flakes of Wrath
I recently purchased several used BD turbo screws, been happy with most of them, but one seems to always get build up of ice inside the core of the screw that will not break loose. Basically one placement, and it is done for the day. I've tried just tapping it on the ice, sometimes (rarely) works. I was wondering if there were any tips out there to prevent this. I was considering coating the core of the screw with an extremely thin layer of bike grease, or something to this effect. Ideas? Paul-B
Joined Mar 26, 2011
150 points
Dec 9, 2012
At the matching crux
Don't bother putting anything inside the screw - it will wear off after 1-2 placements, tops.

First thing - is the inner surface of the screw still polished and smooth or is it scratched up? Look through it at a light source. If scratched, that's why ice cores are sticking to it.

You have a couple options for clearing ice out of screws:
  • Bang the hanger side (NOT the teeth side) against the ice
  • Carry a wooden or plastic dowel with you to punch out the ice core once you get to the belay.
  • Put the clogged screw inside your jacket enough to loosen the ice core, then use one of the above.
  • Some people will blow through the screw, but that seems like a good way to lose your lips

If it's scratched up, you'll want to use a wooden dowel wrapped in very high grit sandpaper to polish the screw's interior surface - start at 400 and work your way up to 800. They make adhesive disks in various grits that are perfect for this. A paper that is meant to be used with a polishing compound would be even better. If that's more than you're comfortable with... your options are the bullet points above. Hope this helps.
Jon H
From Boulder
Joined Nov 24, 2009
98 points
Dec 9, 2012
Mean Green P2
Jon H wrote:
Some people will blow through the screw, but that seems like a good way to lose your lips


You can blow through the non-pointy end. I've never had my lips stick to the metal if that is your concern. The one thing is that it is ABSOULUTELY VITAL that you point the other end of the ice screw at your partner's face (best if they aren't paying attention) when blowing out the ice cores.
jack s.
From Kamloops, BC
Joined Jan 11, 2011
12 points
Dec 9, 2012
Try banging the hanger on the head of your tool instead of the ice. cdec
From SLC and Moab, ut
Joined Jan 3, 2007
239 points
Dec 9, 2012
Clear Creek Canyon, Capitalist Crag
If you have a few inches of tail on your side of the rope after the knot, use it to push through the screw. That way you don't have to carry a wooden dowel or anything. Robert Buswold
From Longmont, CO
Joined Jul 5, 2010
55 points
Dec 9, 2012
RJN
I put them in my partners jacket and melt em out while im leading the next pitch, but this has happened maybe twice. Ryan N
From Bellingham, WA
Joined May 21, 2009
183 points
Dec 9, 2012
Flakey Pull Roof v5
Couple light taps on the ice, quick blow through the screw and you are good to go.... Never had to do more than that (except for the frozen mud core sample I took last week, that one we had to push out with a stick.)
I also hit my screws and crampons with a light coating of WD-40 every few times I go out. Not only do screws bite better, it keeps your stuff from rusting if you can't dry everything out right away.
logan johnson
From West Copper, Co
Joined Mar 1, 2006
332 points
Dec 9, 2012
put it down your pants and it will melt out. directly in the buttcrack seems to work best. Kevin Connolly
From CO
Joined Sep 28, 2009
2 points
Dec 9, 2012
Flakes of Wrath
Good tips. I appreciate it. Paul-B
Joined Mar 26, 2011
150 points
Dec 9, 2012
make sure you slap on the ky deicer if using the buttcrack holder Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
1,494 points
Dec 9, 2012
on top of the RNWF June 2012
Kevin Connolly wrote:
put it down your pants and it will melt out. directly in the buttcrack seems to work best.


Ice screw buttplug, most horrible mental image imaginable.
Keenan Waeschle
From Bozeman, MT
Joined Feb 8, 2010
217 points


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