Drive in piton "SNARG"


Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Drive in piton "SNARG"
Page By JScoles
Page Type Sep 8, 2003 / Sep 8, 2003
Object ID 804
Hits 8597
"Snarg" type pound in ice screws are acknowledged as being one of the quickest, easiest and safest forms of ice screw protection.

Manufactured from Titanium. Lightweight and incredibly strong. Suitable for all types of ice climbing, except for use on very brittle, slender columns.

Product of ALVOTITANIUM. Made in Russia.


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JScoles - Jan 8, 2004 11:38 am - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
This is a redesign of an obscure Soviet product which I first saw well over 15 years ago, even then they were rather rare and it cost me a good deal in trade to get a pair of them, but that is story for another day.

My older version is rather large and clunky when compared to the newer ones. As well the new ones weight a little less, have a nice angled hanger, rather than a flat one, and a better striking surface. Apart from these details, they are basically the same and both made out of high grade TI and finished very very well.

As ice pitons go there are most likely the best I have ever used as they are an absolute dream to get out of the ice. The hanger floats around the collar so you never have a problem trying to get them out of a tight spot. You turn some and then move the hanger back and ratchet it again simple neat and no fuss. There is simply nothing better in a tight spot, a lot easier than chopping them out as in the case for Snargs or Scrubes.

As they are Ti they have a rather thick boar of about 23mm which tends to fracture hard ice very badly so choose you spot carefully. I find the best use for them at an upward angle in ice filled cracks or dead vertical at the top of a bulge or column. The key to using them horizontally, or any other ice piton for that matter, is to place them in at a positive angle (10deg min) in the ice, the opposite of a regular screw. The more of an angle the better as even when placed dead horizontal to the climb you can pull them out as you go by depending on the ice conditions and any negative angle usually means they will simply pop out from the slightest weight.

Their only flaw is it that you are bashing down on a hunk of Ti, which, though strong, is rather soft, so even after a few uses they start to show some mushrooming on the head. As well, if you miss and bash the hanger you will give it a good dent. Apart from this, they are a must on my rack when doing long routes as they are great for setting up belays and weight less that regular screws.

As the Snarg is not in production anymore and the SCRUBE rather expensive this might be your best bet.

I give them 5 out of five as this model is most likely the Zenith of ice piton design. You can get them on Ebay at this site


for about 25$ US

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