Editors' Choice 2019: Black Diamond Ultralight Ice Screw Review

Our top climbing gear picks of 2019

The Black Diamond Ultralight Ice Screw.

“Have I gotten better or is it the gear?”—this haunted me as I deftly placed the new BD Ultralights (13-, 16-, 19-, and 22-cm lengths; 2.6–3.4 oz) on the steep lines above Vermont’s Lake Willoughby. With instant bite, smooth boring, and easy-action handles, there was no need to run it out. Aggressive geometry on the steel teeth gave a bulldog bite, and the aluminum shaft—an ample 2cm in diameter—provided a smooth, stable drive. Add in a snappy, fold-out plastic handle, and these things practically spin themselves in. Meanwhile, dual clipping points provided greater versatility during anchor management. Pairing aluminum and steel, BD has shaved 45 percent off the weight.


See more of our top climbing gear picks in the Gear Guide 2019: Editors’ Choice Awards, and listen to our latest podcast for an interview with Black Diamond’s climbing category director Kolin Powick.