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Old Chouinard ice screws (vintage 1989) and use of locking carabiners

Does anyone know why the 1989 Chouinard catalog recommends using locking carabiner with that vintage of ice screws? The hangers on those screws are elongated.

3 Replies

 Thanks for the post!

I think I found the catalogue you are asking about. The suggestion to use a locking carabiner is based on an abundance of caution. Using a locking carabiner with an ice screw isn't unheard of, however the habit tends to be used more in areas where it is less likely the carabiner will freeze shut ('warmer' climates, routes in the sun, etc). I have included a photo of the catalogue. Is this the same one you were looking at? 


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At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you John for the reply. The catalog I was looking at  is the 1989 Chouinard Equipment catalog, which gives a more emphatic statement saying "The ice screw should be used only with a locking carabiner ".  This added emphasis was likely due to Chouinard's heightened concern over product liability. The catalog you were looking at was probably a 1988 one. But your response answered my question. 

I do have another question. Do you know why Black Diamond didn't continue with the reverse screw gate carabiners?



It's hard to say why they didn't carry on with the reverse screwgate caribiners. Likely it is just that they weren't that popular and it didn't make business sense. I'm not sure if Chouinard invented those, but I think they were producing them in the early 80s. If you haven't read Jon Krakauer's Essay After the Fall I highly recommend it. It is included in his book Classic Krakauer. It is a fascinating look in to the end of Chouinard Equipment and some of the litigation (particularly around 'extreme' sports like rock climbing) happening at the end of the 1980s. It is always interesting to think about how those events were at the front of mind as gear was being developed and catalogues were being printed during that time.

Really fun discussion, thanks for posting!


At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.