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Ice Climbing Protection


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Back in the day electrical conduit was made (and much of it still is) from a thick aluminum. It was fairly cheap and was about 3/4 inch in diameter, though different sizes were/are avaialable. You could easily cut it into different lengths and rig different ways to clip into it. i.e. cut a small hole and sling it with cord or metal wire, though be damn sure if you're using cord that you clean off any burrs left by drilling the holes.


It was basically a cheap version of the Camp/Lowe Snarg. Or maybe comparable to on old fashioned ice piton...you pound it in. These were nearly impossible to pull out so they were often left in place and at the end of season, or the begining of spring, a pile would form at the base of popular climbs.


Needles to say these are not used by anyone (that I know of) today. They lacked any ribs or threads which we now understand to give an ice placement a major part of its holding power.

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I think I still have a few pieces of conduit in my basement somewhere. Along with the home made fluke and some home made hexagonal nuts. We used to think that making your own stuff and using cheap equipment that may actually have been manufactured for some other purpose was cool. Conduit had some of this stylistic/conceptual/idealistic sort of coolness about it, although it actually did work - at least for rapelling (I never took a fall on it nor do I remember hearing about anybody who did). Threaded screws were available since at least the early '70's and probably earlier, and I used them for any real ice climbing leading even in the conduit heyday (the late '70's?). I was and will never be much of a serious ice climber, though, so perhaps I really missed out on something.

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Thank god I'm here, to clear up these fucking mis-statements by these ambulance chasers.

Dru obviously knows that his picture is a photo of flex seal-tite. He is making a joke, duh.

I used to do alot of ice climbing, and EMT was used for rapell anchors only. They were cheap. Screws and snargs, and warthogs have been around for ever. MSR screws were very good, and were available prior to 1975.

You hardly ever (in fact I never have) seen aluminum conduit. There are three "ridgid" "metalic" conduiuts

Ridgid galvenized sch 40 pipe

IMC Intermediate Metalic Conduit not commonly used

EMT Electrical Metalic Conduit wall thickness less than

1/16 inch, same sizing scheme as copper water tube.

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According to my old copy of Freedon of the Hills, 3rd edition, threaded screws were introduced by the Russians in the 1960s.


I don't claim to have ever placed any conduit, but my understanding is in line with crazyjz's post that conduit was most always used at belay and rappel points. I couldn't imagine pounding in a piece of conduit on lead.


I'm not an ambulance chaser. frown.gif

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