For Fall 2103, Petzl has completely redesigned their ice screw line. Almost mimicking the Black Diamond Express ice screws, the new Petzl Laser Speed screws use retractable crank arms to aid in easier starts and quicker placement.
Petzl rounded out the threads on the new Laser Speed ice screws in order to increase the durability and stop them from burring so quickly. An innovative tooth design with self cleaning notches makes the screws much easier to sharpen and also helps them to clean better when you take them out of the ice.
Much like the Black Diamond Express ice screws, the Laser Speed feature a lightweight aluminum hanger with retractable cranks arm that is color coded according to screw length. A specially heat treated steel tube improves the strength to weight ratio and durability of the ice screw.
For more fast and light pursuits such as alpine climbing, Petzl designed an anodized aluminum version of the new ice screws, the Laser Speed Light. The teeth are still made from hardened steel for easy placement and longevity, but the Light ice screws weigh 30% less than the regular Laser Speed.
To accompany the new ice screw collection, Petzl created the LIM’ICE sharpening tool offering a quick and easy way to sharpen your screws all by yourself. Dual sharpening guides use the self cleaning notches to lock in the screw for a more precise sharpening on both sides of the screw teeth.
Petzl held a Screw Off competition where I had the opportunity to place one of the new Laser Speed screws in a huge block of ice, competing against a bunch of other people to see who could get their screw in the fastest. I sadly did not win, but was impressed with the feel and performance of the new screws.
Ready to ship in August 2013, the Petzl Laser Speed ice screws retail for $59.95, the Laser Speed Light for $69.96, and the LIM’ICE sharpener for $69.95.