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Black Diamond ice screw

Dawn Glanc and her Black Diamond Express Ice Screw

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“Everybody loves ice screws,” said Dawn Glanc.

One the most accomplished ice climbers in the nation if not the world, Glanc pushes the genre, and when the ice gets steep, she starts drilling.

Here, she reveals the ever-elusive ice screw and gives us her two cents on how to use them.

Glanc uses a Black Diamond Express Screw for her ice ascents.

“It’s really super fast and easy to put in,” she said. “They have this express handle, and that’s a ratchet basically. So that allows me to turn the screw.“

While the general rule in ice climbing is simply not to fall, screws are a measure of protection to keep you from falling a long distance. While they are capable of holding tremendous force, there are many variables at work. Certainly a good idea, but if nothing else, screws are peace of mind.

“A lot of times, you’ll look down and if you see that ice screw below you, and if it’s close by it will give you more confidence,” Glanc said. “If you look down and that last piece of protection is way down there, and you know that if you fall you take a big fall. That’s not that much confidence building, so it’s probably better to put ice screws in.”

Watch her whistle in a screw 130 feet off the deck in Ouray.

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