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Weekend Whippers

Weekend Whipper: Ice Climber Takes a Screamer

Another ice climbing fall?! Guys, come on. Number one rule of ice climbing...

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So the fall isn’t particularly big this week. But the guy falls on a Screamer—and it zippers open and holds! Most climbers will never experience or see this—heck, some of you probably don’t even know what a Screamer is—so we figured this could be an interesting one.

Screamers are “load-absorbing, tear-apart sewn slings,” as Gear Guy once described them.

Gear Guy went on: “Screamers hedge the bet in that gray zone of the unknown, and ice, ever changeable even on a good day, is the cup in which you shake the dice. Screamers can weight the dice in your favor.”

In this Weekend Whipper, filmed by Leopold Roessingh, climber Cris van de Berg takes a fall on an ice climb in Norway. The ice screw he falls on is connected to his rope via a Screamer. Below is a picture of the exploded Screamer that Cris forwarded along to us.

Photo: Leopold Roessingh.

Of course, while screamers can increase your odds of not cratering, don’t let Cris’ experience lull you into false sense of security that it’s okay to take leader falls on ice. Gear Guy thinks of Screamers more as mental pieces than anything: “I own and use a couple of Screamers, but more for rock rather than ice pro for the simple reason that if the ice is bad I don’t stop and waste time and effort putting in screws, and if the ice is good, the screw probably will hold without a Screamer.”

For more on Screamers and how effective they are, check out this article from Black Diamond.

Happy Friday and climb safe this weekend!


Watch Last Week’s Whipper

Weekend Whipper: Dry Firing off “Life After Greenstone” (V9)


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