Long Term Update: Salewa Quick Screw ice screws and Climbing Technology Alpine Up belay device

Several years back, I did an initial review of the Salewa Quick Screw ice screw and the Climbing Technology Alpine Up belay device.

The initial review for the Alpine Up can be found HERE

The initial review for the Salewa Quick Screw can be found HERE

This is a long term review update, detailing my experiences with these climbing implements. 

Alpine Up

The Alpine Up has become my go-to belay device for every type of climbing. I use it for top roping on rock, lead climbing on ice, alpine climbing, trad rock, and everything else. It does everything so well that I find that I’m not interested in using any other device.

I generally belay a leader in the assisted brake “click up” mode. The brake assist gives me extra confidence that I will be able to arrest a lead fall, even if my technique is less than perfect, I’m taken by surprise, or I get conked on the head by a falling rock and knocked unconscious. Paying out slack is at least as easy as any other device I’ve used, and better than many.

When belaying someone on a top rope from below, I typically use the dynamic mode. It allows for smooth belaying and easy transitions to lowering down from the route.

Belaying a second up a pitch in “guide mode” is very easy. Of all the autoblocking guide mode devices I’ve used, only the Kong Gi Gi or Plaquette has less friction in guide mode (and these devices aren’t great at anything other than guide mode.)

Rappelling can be done in autoblock or dynamic mode. If I’m going down first, I typically rappel in autoblock mode. This allows me to go hands free and untangle ropes etc. It also provides self-locking safety, and if I’m injured or otherwise take my hands off of the device, I stop.

If I’m rapping down second, I will generally rap down in dynamic mode, as it’s a bit faster and smoother, and if I’m going down second, I’m not worried about being able to stop and go hands free.

Well used Alpine Up

The down sides of the Alpine Up are that it’s a bit bulky, and it only works well with specific shaped carabiners. I’ve become used to the bulk, and I have purchased a couple of Climbing Technology locking biners of the same shape to use with the Alpine Up in case I lose the original biner. I just carry these on my rack for rigging anchors and other standard locking carabiner uses.

This device is so versatile, and does everything so well, I just don’t see any reason to use anything else at this point.

Salewa Quick Screw

Racking Salewa Quick Screws

The Salewa Quick Screw has become my go-to ice screw for waterfall ice climbing. (I use aluminum screws for alpine ice climbing because of the significant weight savings.) I have a full rack of nine Quick Screws now and the more I use them, the more I like them.

Being able to rack screws on my harness is great. The color coded biners make it easy to grab the right length of screw without faffing around with ice clippers. The teeth bite the ice as well as any other screw I’ve used, and I like the compact head design, which fits nicely in my palm and makes it very ergonomic when getting the screw started. The attached quick draw makes clipping very fast once you get the screw in.

When I’m climbing ice, I want the process of placing a screw to be a quick and simple as possible, and the Quick Screw lives up to its name. I can get the screw in and clipped into the rope faster than with any other style of screw.

Here is a short video of placing and removing a Quick Screw one handed:

SALEWA QUICK SCREW

2 thoughts on “Long Term Update: Salewa Quick Screw ice screws and Climbing Technology Alpine Up belay device

  1. The alpine up looks very nifty for most uses, althought for auxiliary uses requires extra carabiners in odd working positions, something that probably could be improved having stuff incorporated in it.

    I don’t think that I could go without my ATC in the pack as backup, just in case.

    On screws, anyone who had to look where to place a warthog out of frozen turf, in a less than ideal placement, will appreciate any help driving screws. 🙂

    • For “guide mode,” every belay device requires a second carabiner. The Alpine Up is no different in this respect. It’s true that the Alpine Up is quite different from a typical ATC/Reverso device, and this means that people are not likely to be able to just figure out how to use one if you handed it to them.

      Rather than take an ATC backup, just use a Munter hitch as a back up belay device. You already are carrying a large pear shaped locking carabiner anyway.

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