/ DMM's all new ice axes (nearly) unveiled

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Andy Mountains - on 30 Jan 2012
mkean - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
The two new names in that little trailer the "Apex" and "Switch" a Nomic and Ergo-alike respectively?
So the range goes:

Cirque
Raptor
Fly
Apex
Switch

Looks interesting the Apex looks like a similar head angle to the Nomic but with a more pronounced hammer?
franksnb - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: looks like the handle is full of holes, i hope these serve a purpose. also looks like the old pick will fit. i think i saw a sliding hand rest.
ice.solo - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

something in there had a huge curve to the shaft - like an ergo.
franksnb - on 30 Jan 2012
iksander on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to franksnb: Looks like they are traditional tubular shafts rather than forged?
franksnb - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to iksander: presumably they're lighter/cheaper
Gob_Stopper on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Wish they'd give us some decent pictures rather than all these barely distinguishable glimpses.
petellis - on 30 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
Wonder what the "totally new range of camming devices" will be - presumably they mean something other than the dragons, something smaller perhaps...
stevendo - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to iksander: looks like they've started to update the site http://dmmclimbing.com/products/ice-axes/
alpinestar_no1 - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to stevendo:
There is a PDF with lots more info http://dmmclimbing.com/documents/NewProducts2012LowRes.pdf
mkean - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to petellis:
Wonder what the "totally new range of camming devices" will be - presumably they mean something other than the dragons, something smaller perhaps...

Or something that looks like a Wildcountry technical friend with a dragon stem on it :-)



Chi Cheng - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to mkean:

Look exactly like that, 4CU head and the Dragon Stem.

http://dmmclimbing.com/news/2012/01/new-products-unveiled-at-ispo/
petellis - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to mkean:

> Or something that looks like a Wildcountry technical friend with a dragon stem on it :-)

So it is! Not that that is a bad thing, I always liked the way the 4cu/tech friends sat in placements. Wish I'd known the were coming before I splashed out on some dragons recently, I'd probably have prefered them...

Was hoping it might be something more techy like a re-designed 3CU or zero equivalent...

iksander on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to alpinestar_no1: They look solid (although strangely familiar...) I wonder how big the handle is on the Switch?

Shame the Fly still has that bulge on top of the blade
nickcj - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to iksander:

The pdf booklet says they are going to reshape the head of the fly after recent feedback.
lithos on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

no clipper leash attachments/method at all - interesting !
In reply to Andy Mountains: yet still no new crampons?
Jamie Abbott - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Bugger! I had a pair of Quarks for crimbo. I was wondered if DMM were working on some new axes as the current line up is rater dated. I would have liked to have sung a pair of Apexs before plumping for the Petzls. Hey-ho.

Cheers,
Jamie
alpinestar_no1 - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to lithos: I presume you are talking about the Switch? There is a small hole at the end of the handle you can thread with 4-5 mm cord and then clip your leash, just as the nomic. I find this better then clipping direct into the axe, that metal klank klank for each stroke drove me nuts when I had the vipers.
neil the weak - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to alpinestar_no1: He's not talking about a lanyayrd attatchment point, he means a clipper leash I think.
lithos on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to neil the weak:

wot he said
alpinestar_no1 - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to lithos: allright my bad... :) These looks like cumputer generated pictures, lets see when the products are out. I would exepct the fly and probably apex with leash attachment.
lithos on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to alpinestar_no1:

C-, more research needed, look at the linked pdf document with photos

of course they could change it all !
neil the weak - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to alpinestar_no1:
> (In reply to lithos) allright my bad... :) These looks like cumputer generated pictures,

Too much internet porn for you clearly.....

> I would exepct the fly and probably apex with leash attachment.

I wouldn't. The Photo's are of the current samples / pre-production versions. Doubt they'll change all that much.

3leggeddog on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Nice looking tools but I suspect those funky new handle will prove problematic; ice melts, water gets behind heat shrink on handle and fills holes, re freezes, expands and blows the insulating/grippy heat shrink off the handle. In built obsolescence, I guess.
coldwill - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to 3leggeddog: Looks more like injection molded to me, the holes shouldn't have any space to be filled. The handle on the switch looks a bit worrying not being adjustable an all, but looks like a Nomic without the issues at the moment.
coldwill - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to coldwill: In fact so similar, but probably without the flex in the handle.
So where's the Ergo/Force equivalent?
Run_Ross_Run - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

When are they on sale?
Morgan Woods - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Looks like they. Have ditched the I beam construction of the Rebel which is a shame. It was quite unique and worked well, now they look like any other axe.
hexcentric - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to coldwill:

Maybe they thought there was no market for the Ergo realistically?

Damo on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Morgan Woods:
> ...the I beam construction of the Rebel which is a shame. It was quite unique and worked well, now they look like any other axe.

"Any" other axe? Or you mean a dead-ringer for the Nomic? I'm surprised they can get away with it. The designers at Petzl must be drowning in flattery.

I like DMM and their history etc, got various bits of their gear, but when they do something like that, for me it detracts from the brand, more so when they advertise their ''innovation" etc. I know people said the same thing about Dragons and Camalots.

Predators and Rebels were unique and successful designs that projected a strong, unique and innovative image for the brand, something a bit special. I understand it might be a tight market and options are limited, but Black Diamond and Grivel seem to be able to come up with their own unique designs that work well and sell well - just not DMM.
coldwill - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to hexcentric: probably not.
coldwill - on 31 Jan 2012
gethin_allen on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Damo:
you mean a dead-ringer for the Nomic?
Is that because they use a dark matt finish?
It must be pretty difficult to make a tubular shafted aggressive ice axe that doesn't look like a nomic.
Lets not judge before anyone has seen a production version in the flesh.
Damo on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
> (In reply to Damo)
>
> Is that because they use a dark matt finish?
> It must be pretty difficult to make a tubular shafted aggressive ice axe that doesn't look like a nomic.
>

Er, no. Because of the same overall silhouette. The head shape. The head weight. The general grip shape. A matte finish is the least of it.

Vipers, Cobras, Fusions, Quantum Techs are aggressive shafted tubular tools that look far more different to the Nomic than the Switch.

Judge? If they don't want their product discussed and 'judged' then they shouldn't put it out there.
ice.solo - on 31 Jan 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

i think right now grivel is again having a day in the sun.
apparently theyve opened something they refer to as a laboratory for developing tools, and whilst petzl are still fumbling with a 50p bit of aluminium, dmm, cassin and edelrid are copying petzl and BD happy in its last innovations, grivel is taking the step of closing the gap between competition tools and alpine tools.

5 years ago nomics were viewed as hardcore tools for comp climbers and ueli steck, now everyone has them.
then the new ergo (whose previous incarnation sort of dissappeared from seeming lack of market) took that role, and also became normalized.

now grivel has stripped all the comp-only bits off bubu and cryo type designs and tempted us with the avatar and the reparto corse (both with the forged I-beam that dmm has just left behind). woo hoo i say.

in a sport where the tool has an actual role in the climbers performance, and we are looking at an evolution as significant as the jump between the aztar and the nomic, i feel the new dmm tools will be nice - but unlike much of their other stuff, wont win them any awards for innovation.

i wont consider robbing a 7-11 to get a pair, unlike i am for some new grivels...
coldwill - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to ice.solo: The Apex reminds me of the old Grivel Tech Wing/Top Wing. Seem to remember them being pretty good. The Switch looks to have a much more pronounced curve to the shaft than the Nomic, so maybe not that similar really.
Morgan Woods - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to ice.solo:
> (In reply to Andy Mountains)
>
>
> i wont consider robbing a 7-11 to get a pair, unlike i am for some new grivels...

man they really do sell everything there these days :p
Dane1 - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to gethin_allen:
> Lets not judge

Dissappoining all around knowing what DMM is capable of. A Nomic with none of the design issues solved...which would have so easy to do. And several new issues created if the pre production pictures are any indication.

Just another set of Quarks and Nomics....hope they beat the Petzl price point by a fair margin. 'cuz they will need to to compete imo.
Thanks to everyone for the comments and interest.

I think it is actually quite hard to make a realistic critique - positive or negative - of any new product without having held, let alone used the item in question.

Axes especially have an awful lot of features that effect whether a particular user likes them. The small details, balance, handling, pick performance and overall feel are really important factors that can not be judged accurately from a picture.

We are all out at the ISPO trade fair at the moment, but will get back with answers to all the questions raised here on Friday.

We are fully aware that climbers will want to try the axes for themselves and we will be holding a variety of demo events over the coming season so that climbers can decide whether they like them.

Regards

Simon

DMM
Zgemba - on 01 Feb 2012
Brannock - on 01 Feb 2012
The mini bulldog looks good.

Though maybe if they where shaped a bit more like a beak (tapered blade and hook shaped), they would be bit more intuitive to place and they wouldn't get stuck so often.
alpinestar_no1 - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Dane1: As posted on your blog this guy made a comparison from the pictures in the PDF http://ministrstvozadezinformiranje.blogspot.com/2012/01/dmm-vs-petzl-ice-axe-geometry.html
In reply to alpinestar_no1: I'm impressed with his technical skills but not sure exactly what it proves beyond modern ice axes tend to look rather like each other. Well, ice axes twenty years ago when I started looked like each other. They are all ice axes after all.

I'm sure you could superimpose a Nike, Adidas and Puma football boot on each other and they would all look the same shape.
franksnb - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

is it me or are they all on the heavy side?

full strength handles are welcome though.
remus - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to TobyA: Indeed, nomic and fusion 2 for example: http://imgur.com/lkHtF
Michael Ryan - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Dane1:
> (In reply to gethin_allen)
> [...]
>
> Dissappoining all around knowing what DMM is capable of. A Nomic with none of the design issues solved...which would have so easy to do. And several new issues created if the pre production pictures are any indication.

Interesting assessment Dane considering you haven't used the axes. I presume you have just seen the ISPO taster video and DMM page.

What are the design issues you mention?

alpinestar_no1 - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to TobyA: I found it quite interesting to see the curveture of the axes against nomic and ergo.
Dave Williams - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to alpinestar_no1:
> (In reply to TobyA) I found it quite interesting to see the curveture of the axes against nomic and ergo.

Perhaps all this shows is that Petzl got the geometry right with the original Nomic. After all, this hasn't changed at all with the gen II and gen III versions. If there was any geometry tweaks to be made one would have expected them to have been made by now.

*IF* (a big 'if'!) this is right, then perhaps there's little other manufacturers can do other than make clones with any discernible differences simply being in the detail.

As already said, I suppose the real clincher will be the swing test.

Dave
Hannes on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: The nomic equivalent is lighter than a nomic with hammers on which is nice but lordy, what have they done to the fly? 721g? Thats crazy heavy, I hope it is a typo or is including a leash.

Also, why would you want a leash on the Apex? Unfortunately that is too heavy as well so the only interesting axe of the line up matches what I have today and doesn't really leave me wanting to buy a new set.

As for axes the same basically, I have a picture of me holding a mountain technology vertige against my nomic. Apart from the obvious lack of a bend in the old axe the geometry is exactly the same when comparing the bottom pivot point and angle of pick as well as pick length and shaft length. There's no need to reinvent the wheel is there?
coldwill - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Hannes: Remember the difference between the Nomic and the new Fussion, look the same on paper, perform quite differently.
In reply to Hannes:

> Also, why would you want a leash on the Apex?

Probably because there are a few other people who, like me, like leashes sometimes! :-) I've even seen pictures of a couple of people using Nomics with wrist loops, so there is still some market for it.
Dane1 - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Mick Ryan - Senior Editor - UKC:
> Interesting assessment Dane considering you haven't used the axes.

None of us have from I what I read Mick. But your don't have to be a rocket scientist to make the observation that we have another set of clones with similar and long standing issues. BD didn't do so well following a that path with the Fusion II.

I'd rather DMM continue to innovate rather than copy dated designs.

I'll be the first to cheer on DMM if my first impression is wrong.

RBK - on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Dane1: I had a swing with the new tools at ISPO today and they're really nice. As mentioned above it's the things that you can't see in the picture like the weight and integrated hammer/ adze that don't affect the swing that make them great tools. The picks look to be a big step on from previous DMM offerings as well. I'd buy them instead of Nomics as, on first impressions, they appear to have a number of marked advantages.
Tim Sparrow on 01 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Nomics with no need to buy hammer or adze at 40 each or so, no grip rest issue. If the balance is right its a no brainer. If the price is right that is.
Having just bought a pair of nomics and seen the grip rest issues (why does that serrated bit rub against your glove? Why do I need the grip rest on large and I don't have very large hands?) I am a bit fed up! Good job they are as yet unused. Roll on Sept when the dmm toys allegedly will be available.
Scarab - on 02 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

All said and done it might still not swing and feel the same even though same shape.


I dont know why everyone is slating DMM, BD were the first to completly rip off the nomic, exact same shape. Still they didnt get it as right...


But yeah, if better build quality, cheaper, more options. Maybe add clipper leash options as per new nomic.
Dane1 - on 02 Feb 2012
In reply to Kendal47:
> (In reply to Dane1) I had a swing with the new tools at ISPO today and they're really nice.


Sure they did. Next time I get kitted up to run it out on an "air climb" at a trade show I'll be sure to make them my first choice :)

Just me but I would rather have comments on the cosmetics than how they might climb from swinging them in a shop/show.
ice.solo - on 02 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

i dont know why everyone slates the new fusions, when many of the current hardest routes have been put up with them.

its the wizard not the wand.
RBK - on 02 Feb 2012
In reply to Dane1: Hi Dane, If you actually read my post properly you'll note the qualifying use of the words 'look', 'appear' etc. It was, as I said, a first impression based on using numerous BD, Petzl and DMM tools over many years and being aware of their various benefits and failings. It was intended as a helpful addition to the thread as I had been in the fortunate position to at least have held the tools. This seemed rather more constructive than dismissing them and DMM based on some pictures you'd seen.
hexcentric - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to ice.solo:
True but would they have chosen Fusions these wizards?
hexcentric - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to hexcentric:
However a carbon fusion.....now there's a thing.
Blizzard - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Hmm.. Nice video. Doesn't really give any info about their new axe tho
remus - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Blizzard: Have a look at the PDF about 10 posts in, much more informative.
Dane1 - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Kendal47:
> (In reply to Dane1) "If you actually read my post properly you'll note the qualifying use of the words 'look'"

Kendal, I have no doubt your comments were intended in a positive manner all along. I wasn't making a personal attack, just a general observation.
Please accept my apology if you thought otherwise.

I admire DMM as a company for a number of reasons. Even if the tools turn out to be amazing...they just need to climb as well as a Nomic. How hard can that be :)

augustus trout - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
Is everyone missing a few things, the head looks as though it has incredibly compact hammers similar to the Cold Thistle hammers that seem to be the flavour at the moment. The blade has a head that's designed to handle reverse picking and is also straighter which should make it address the issues that have been suggested as limiting the new Nomic picks on cascade ice (also suggested by CT). The handles are forged! Meaning that (while I cant imagine them saying you ever could) you can clip them/loop the rest without fear of them snapping off, like the Nomics and Grivel Techs with their plastic rests. I wouldn't count myself as an Ice climber so I don't know really how useful all these little additions are but they do seem to add up to an axe that might not be inventive but is really innovative and open up possibilities that the Nomic and the similarly priced options from Grivel don't.
Alexandre Buisse - on 03 Feb 2012
In reply to augustus trout:

One thing I noticed is that the Switch has no teeth at the bottom, so no plunging for it. It's when they try to address this that Petzl started messing up the Nomics, but it's a feature I'd really like to see done properly, as it can be really useful on approaches.

I also handled the new tools at ISPO and they looked sweet, I'm looking forward to trying them on ice.
playmobile - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

Wonder how many of you, making comments, actually climb a lot ? Because what you saying makes no different.

Sorry but I have to say, as Mick said, none of you have used them. However, everyone is open to their opinion. I remember what the late Jules Cartwright said about opinions

These axes are not going to suit everyone. Nothing made will ever, but the range is fantastic. Number one they are all made in the UK and designed mainly by UK climbers so that in itself should be applauded.

Do you wish to give the French you hard earned cash ?

Who said they have faults, none of you have used them

Those of you moaning about the tech axes, any of you climb VI and above ? Remember, Central Ice Fall Direct VI-6 was climbed with old Mc -Iness Terras and strap on crampons. Never heard of the route, then it that case you should get out more and stop making silly comments. I doubt you could make those and sell them these days, but they did the job.

It is always better to have a range of products at 95% and out too its customers, rather than strive for 100% and the products never come out and that is only to say if there is anything wrong. Wait for perfection a company will go bump.

Also 1 must point out DMM changed the ice axe design for ever, first time round with their predator. Everyone else copied.

There top two new axes are very strong, you can use the handle to hang off and as a runner with the rope to hang off, not like most other tools. These new ones are rated quite high in strength.

Grand job DMM, to bring out such a range of kit, from such a small company, not being located in the alps is quite staggering in this day and age with fierce competition and a down turn in the economy .

I am sure this range will be a winner.

You chaps and lasses must be feeling very proud
In reply to playmobile:

> I remember what the late Jules Cartwright said about opinions

Well, what did he say?

> Do you wish to give the French you hard earned cash ?

If they are selling something well designed that I want, then that's fine. Just the same as if the firm is British, Chinese of Bolivian.

I actually agree with the thrust of your argument, but drive-by spray attacks suggesting other people are shit climbers and therefore can't have a valid opinion, like this one, get taken more seriously when they're not delivered by an unregistered newbie using a pseudonym. You've got a fair point, why not stand behind it?
Hay - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to playmobile:
Agree with Toby.
Valid points undermined by xenophobia, grade-snobbery and rose-tinted glasses. Strap-on crampons and Terras. Give me a break.
jadias - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to playmobile:

If the company in question wasn't DMM one might be be driven to conclude that you work for them...

However, I think you're just a pretentious douche. Get off your high horse and leave people to climb as they want, with whatever they want, at whatever grades they want. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and that opinion may just be based on their experiences after all...

They do look like cool tools. I was tempted by a pair of Nomics before next winter but I may hold out for the Switch and see how it turns out.
ERU - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to jadias:
> (In reply to playmobile)
>
> If the company in question wasn't DMM one might be be driven to conclude that you work for them...
>
> However, I think you're just a pretentious douche.

Is anyone else making a slight comparison to Rover now? We'll all be wishing we bought one one day.
Mausman. - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:
A very unfair comparison i think. A large part of why rover went under was not because their cars wern't cutting edge it was because they were complete crap which had a nasty habit of falling to bits when you least expected it.

I origionaly come from near Birmingham so have met a lot of people who have owned/worked for Rover and would say there is virtualy no similarities between DMM and Rover.
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to playmobile: Stupid post.Do you wish to give the French your hard earned cash ?

There's items that Petzl sell that are actually made for them by DMM.

The UK Petzl distributor also employs about 70 odd people so there's abit more to it than giving the French you're hard earned cash.

I'm also pretty certain that DMM will be looking to export as many products as they possibly can. Lets hope all the nasty people in France, Germany USA etc aren't all thinking 'Do you want to give the English all your hard earned cash'
Martin W on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut:

> Lets hope all the nasty people in France, Germany USA etc aren't all thinking 'Do you want to give the English all your hard earned cash'

Even if they are thinking that, it shouldn't stop them buying DMM products. They're made in Wales.
yesbutnobutyesbut - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to Martin W: Plenty of English people work for them ;-)
mike kann - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to yesbutnobutyesbut: Unfortunately outside cham DMM isn't that well known - I doubt most will have heard of them to give their hard earned cash... why I'm not sure as it far exceeds the quality of most european kit...
jadias - on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains:

There's a fair bit of it in Japan. Wallnuts, etc for sale at one gym here in Osaka and Cirques aren't hard to find even in the larger chain stores.
Gob_Stopper on 05 Feb 2012
In reply to Andy Mountains: Whilst being very similar to other axes on the market, if DMM can undercut them price wise then I think this range could be very competitive.
Gabriel - on 08 Feb 2012
Held them today and compared to my 3rd gen Nomics. Interesting. Can't wait to test them next autumn. Few interesting tweeks, like more rounded shaft rather then flat and curved one of Nomic, flat hammer head...As with all gear- the one you criticize might work a magic for someone else, so lets see.

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