DMM is based in Llanberis North Wales in the UK, and is now the sole remaining dedicated manufacturer of Climbing and Mountaineering Equipment left in the UK. Originally better known for their range of Rock Climbing Equipment, DMM first ventured into winter gear in the early 90s with the launch of the then-revolutionary Predator Ice Tool.
This was the first fully curved technical ice tool in the world. Since then DMM has gradually built up a superb range of Winter gear to suit every style and cater for every need, culminating in the launch of the Anarchist and Rebel Ice Tools 18 months ago. This was another world first, as the head and shaft of both the Anarchist and Rebel tools is forged in one piece.
The Cirque ice axe is an excellent walking/easy gully tool. It comes in four lengths, between 50-65 cm. The shaft is gently curved which makes plunging the tool easier when going uphill. The pick is Alpine in style, which makes it suitable for self arrest, and every tool comes with a standard leash. Ideal companion to this tool would be the Summit crampon which is fully strap on, meaning it will work well with less technical boots which tend to be more bendy. The crampon is easy to adjust using the stainless steel adjuster, and every pair comes with Anti Balling plates.
Moving up the range, the Raptor axe is a straight shafted tool which again is available in a range of sizes. The difference between this and the Cirque is that it can be used as a pair, ie one adze and one hammer, making it suitable for slightly more technical climbing. However you can still use it singly and the Alpine pick is suitable for self arrest. The head is ‘modular’ which basically means you can change the pick if you need to.
Getting more technical now, and the Fly ice tools are one of DMM’s best-ever sellers. They benefit from being wonderfully versatile for those wanting a tool for most occasions. They are light and superbly balanced, again with a modular head system so you can replace picks. They are good on pure ice climbing /mixed climbing, and Alpine. Supplied with a Chokehold leash they remain DMM’s best all rounder.
Probably the best companion to this tool is the Aiguille crampon. This has a plastic toe binding and a step in rear binding which allows you to use a variety of boots. As with all DMM crampons they come supplied with Anti Balling plates. These are regarded as the most versatile crampon in the DMMrange.
The Rebel and SuperFly are designed specifically for steep icefall climbing. Both have a comfortable grip, but the Rebel has an adjustable finger rest which is pretty much vital nowadays for this style of climbing. Both have a clipper leash system which is generally favoured on steep icefall climbing. The major difference comes is in the construction, with the Rebel being hot forged in one piece, doing away with the need for a separate head and shaft which are usually glued and riveted together.
Match these up with the Gladiator or Terminator Crampons and you won’t go far wrong. The Gladiator is the same style of construction as the previous two models with the front points aligned horizontally. It has the same quick adjust system and is ideal for technical Ice climbing or Mountaineering. The Terminator, which incidentally was the worlds first fully asymmetrical crampon, is DMM’s only fully rigid version. The frame is constructed in a horizontal alignment as are the front points. Unlike the other versions it can be set up with different front point options. Originally designed as a monopoint it can also be set as a more orthodox dual point. The Terminator excels on steep ice or mixed routes.
Finally, the Anarchist. Designed to be used leashless, this tool is mainly aimed at Dry tooling or competition-style climbing as it has an ergonomic handle and a fully adjustable finger rest. Constructed in the same way as the Rebel, this tool is super strong and also has a hot forged pick.