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View Full Version : Have You Ever Fallen on an Ice Screw?



Adventure Spirit
03-15-2014, 05:35 PM
Or do you know someone who has?

IF YOU'VE FALLEN ON A SCREW OR KNOW SOMEONE WHO HAS, PLEASE ASSIST YOUR CLIMBING COMMUNITY BY ANSWERING THIS BRIEF SURVEY OR PASSING IT ALONG.
Several lab-based studies have been done on the holding power of ice screws, but to my knowledge there has been no research done on actual in-the-field experiences—and, of course, there can be big differences between a weighted bucket in the laboratory and a climber clinging to an ice cliff. If you have fallen on an ice screw, I'd sincerely appreciate your field data—please fill out this survey (link at bottom)!
This research will be very useful to the climbing community, helping all of us in making more personally appropriate choices in our ice climbing. Additionally, it is possible that this data could be useful in prompting more rigorous industry investigation into the topic. We will work to distribute the results from this survey to the climbing community via Facebook, on-line forums, and blogging.

SOME IMPORTANT NOTES ABOUT THE SURVEY:
Please proceed with this survey only if you HAVE taken a fall on an ice screw.
Please fill out one survey for each ice screw that you've fallen on.
If you fell and the 1st, 2nd, 3rd screw did not hold but a subsequent one did, please fill out one survey for each screw.
Each survey should take only 1-3 minutes to fill out.
It is pretty understandable that your memory could be a bit scrambled following a fall!--Please answer the questions to the best of your memory and ability.
Each question is followed by a “Comments” box. Please add any detail you feel would be useful.
The survey can be found via this link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VSTDYW3

THANKS FOR YOUR HELP IN FILLING OUT THIS SURVEY AND/OR PASSING IT ALONG TO OTHERS IN THE CLIMBING COMMUNITY!

tradman
03-15-2014, 07:34 PM
they forgot to ask how much rope was out.. length of fall means nothing without knowing how much rope in system.

Jacon
03-16-2014, 10:43 PM
I agree with tradman. Without some estimation of the fall factor, this data is not useful.

TCD
03-17-2014, 01:38 AM
This thread

http://www.iceclimbingforums.com/showthread.php?9340-Falling-on-Screws

has anecdotal data...

rockytop
03-18-2014, 06:36 AM
Tradman and Jacon have it, better get that factor in your study A.S.

Adventure Spirit
03-20-2014, 07:04 PM
Thanks for your interest in--and conversation around--the survey. We've had a strong response thus far with the survey. While fall factor might appear an important point (thanks for raising it--SurveyMonkey limits the size of surveys without a stiff monthly fee) interestingly enough--and perhaps pointing to the value of research--the preliminary results seem to indicate that fall factor actually doesn't play that strong a role, as most all screws appear to be holding. I'll save specifics for a later point once more responses have been gathered. Please do assist with that by passing along the link via your own community channels. Thanks!

tradman
03-21-2014, 06:34 PM
Thats the whole point. My one ice screw fall i had 70?ft of rope in the system going around some icicles w/ snow on them and it was super soft. Only blew one stitch on the screamer. That same fall on 20ft of rope would have felt a lot different and perhaps had a much different result. If you do a survey and all the falls are soft falls but you do not know that they are soft falls then the whole thing is as usless as tits on a boar hog.

Number8
03-21-2014, 09:41 PM
"the preliminary results seem to indicate that fall factor actually doesn't play that strong a role"
How the fck do you come to that conclusion when the amount of rope involved wasn't included in the survey?
Have you accounted for unicorns in your survey?

The_Dry_Tool
03-23-2014, 06:33 PM
I think what he is saying is that whether it is a Fall Factor 2 or a .2, the screws are holding. The horn form a unicorn might work as well, based on how the ice screw are holding.

Casualobserver
03-23-2014, 07:46 PM
I tripped and fell on an ice screw once and it felt like I'd been mounted by a unicorn.

tradman
03-23-2014, 08:09 PM
yea but if have no info on what the fall factor is and all you know is that there were 10 falls and all 10 screws held you still know nothing. all 10 falls could have been a .001 fall factor?

Jacon
03-24-2014, 05:20 PM
Oh my, this thread has become hilarious. What Number8 and tradman said: the "preliminary data" means NOTHING AT ALL. Full stop.

OK, done here.

smike
03-24-2014, 10:38 PM
While fall factor might appear an important point (thanks for raising it--SurveyMonkey limits the size of surveys without a stiff monthly fee) interestingly enough--and perhaps pointing to the value of research--the preliminary results seem to indicate that fall factor actually doesn't play that strong a role, as most all screws appear to be holding. !

Either that is the season’s best troll, or its the scariest comment I've ever read on this forum... speechless..

Crag
03-25-2014, 08:55 AM
A.S. You have to able to account for the spoing in the rope you just have to. Without it your data will not be valid hence you're wasting your time. Less rope out less spoing, less ability to absorb fall energy through the system. More rope out more spoing, a higher degree of fall energy absorption.

The system is comprised of anchor, body-wear, connector & deceleration device. The rope plays a dual role in climbing - connector & Deceleration device. It's the only component in the system that does. It shouldn't be over looked. The amount of rope in the active protection system directly correlates to F.F. F.F. at the anchor directly correlates to the many factors that determine an anchor's success or failure.

brokesomeribs
03-26-2014, 11:24 AM
Either OP is a troll or doesn't understand the simplest high school physics.

Jacon
03-26-2014, 12:43 PM
Oooh I didn't consider that they might be trolling. That would be a superb troll.

Crag
03-27-2014, 11:34 AM
Nah - Rado's Trolls from years past were the best. "shredding the Black Dike."

LarryK
03-27-2014, 05:04 PM
AS - Not to beat a dead horse, but why would the length of rope in the system not be a factor? When I answered the survey, I included my one experience of falling on ice (thank god!) and included information that there was probably 40 feet of rope out with probably three screws below the ice screw I fell on. Clearly, if there was only 20 feet of rope in the system with one ice screw, the fall factore would have been greater.

Pappy
03-29-2014, 07:06 AM
I see he has now included fall factor and type of rope system (thereby inferring diameter) which I also thougiht kind of important. Filled it out for the first time I fell on a screw (alas, not the only) which was a little sobering: ~25' on stubby Chouinard, crappy March ice on Franky Lee at Rumney, fall factor approaching 1 as only one screw in the system with ~30' of rope out. In other words, getting towards worst case conditions, which left me hanging upside down with my head 3' off the deck. Was using double 8.8s. Probably skews the data in a bad direction (really kids, don't try this yourself), but the f#@king thing held. How does a survey account for dumb luck, which my continued existence would indicate I possess in abundance, at least while climbing.

Pappy
03-29-2014, 07:17 AM
And unicorn horns may work just as well. It's worth noting that the most spectacular fall I ever witnessed on ice was a ~60 footer when the hanging curtain Stegg was leading snapped off. In that case the fall was held by a tied off icicle, but there was probably 140' or so in the system (double 9s). As that is not even the longest fall on ice in Stegg's appalling CV, I think we begin to see that dumb luck is the critical X factor.

tradman
03-29-2014, 07:26 AM
I probobly did a FF1 on a #2 chiounard silver soldered micro wire BINTD @ the Gunks. Upside down and 2ft from smashing my head open on the rocks. Dumb luck is key to survival some days.....

Martinfuehrer
03-30-2014, 08:42 PM
The point here is that there are too many factors other than just fall factor that go into the performance of an ice screw to survey all of them in a forum like this. For some reason the climbing community has latched on to FF even though it's a gross oversimplification. The mere idea that fall distance and mass do not matter is theoretically valid at best. Try take a 1ft factor 2 fall on a single stubbie and while we are all weary of this scenario at anchors, it will very likely hold. Try a 50 ft factor 1 fall (I wouldn't ). Ice quality and the dynamics of your rope system are just as important, likely more. I'd welcome any field data I can get whether fall factor is part of it or not.

Pappy
03-31-2014, 11:25 AM
The point here is that there are too many factors other than just fall factor that go into the performance of an ice screw to survey all of them in a forum like this. For some reason the climbing community has latched on to FF even though it's a gross oversimplification. The mere idea that fall distance and mass do not matter is theoretically valid at best. Try take a 1ft factor 2 fall on a single stubbie and while we are all weary of this scenario at anchors, it will very likely hold. Try a 50 ft factor 1 fall (I wouldn't ). Ice quality and the dynamics of your rope system are just as important, likely more. I'd welcome any field data I can get whether fall factor is part of it or not.

Agreed. One of the more amusing and aggravating things I've seen in the last couple of decades is an attempt to reduce the experience to the quantifiable. See numerous on line squabbles over whether this or that piece of gear/anchor system/etc. holds 11kN or 13kN, and only a fool would use the 'weaker' rated piece. As someone who has always (and still do, tho' not exclusively) used knotted slings I remember when sewn slings were first introduced and touted because they were stronger, and all I could think was, 'Why would you spend the extra $$$?' If you are ever in a situation where that kind of difference really matters, then you probably screwed up the system. Pro in ice (and rock, for that matter) is pretty much completely dependent on the unquantifiable: Ice quality and expertise of the leader. The rest is squabbling over how many angels fit on the head of a pin.