Technical Ice Axes
Whether it's for Scottish mixed, Continental ice or drytooling, a pair of technical axes are your key weapons. In this comparison review seven models go head to head.
Your walking and mountaineering axe is a constant companion on a variety of snowy adventures. It helps to keep you safe when the terrain turns hostile, especially if you have to do an ice axe arrest. It needs to be versatile, tough and easy to use - so make sure you pick the right one. The DMM Cirque is a very strong candidate for the job. This is a tough, dependable axe with a pleasingly sleek design. It also has a number of important features which ensure exceptional handling qualities and performance.
The first thing you’ll notice when you pick up a Cirque is how good it feels in your hands. It has an ergonomic design and is well balanced for active use.
It is comfortable to carry and ready to brake in the reverse position. The pick has a non-aggressive curve with shallow teeth designed to give good holding power in an ice axe arrest.
The tip of the pick has a positive angle which offers better penetration on ice or hard neve, it also improves security on shallow placements.
The adze is wide and very effective at cutting steps and clearing ledges. An alternative hammer-headed version is available. This can be paired up with your usual adze-headed axe should you need to deal with more technical ground.
The Cirque is a very strong axe which is fully T-rated throughout shaft and the pick. The high strength clip in points at the top and bottom of the axe are perfect for classic winter belay techniques.
All components are joined with high strength rivets. These joins are also glued in for extra strength and security. The internal glue forms a strong bond and stops water entering and causing corrosion damage.
The shaft is made of high quality, high strength 7075 aluminium alloy, and each axe has a unique serial number allowing for ultimate traceability throughout the manufacturing process.
The slightly curved shaft gives better clearance in a climbing situation. It also feels more natural to plunge in snow when used in the reverse position. In addition, the hot forged handle has a deliberately smooth profile to increase the ease of plunging in neve.
The injection moulded rubber handle is ergonomic and grippy in wet or dry conditions; it also provides good insulation.
The adze version is available in several lengths (50cm, 55cm, 60cm, and 65cm). The hammer version comes in one standard, shorter length (50cm).
The axe is equipped with a DMM Standard Leash which is easy to adjust and gives a comfortable and secure attachment to the axe.
The Cirque is a well designed and strong walking and mountaineering axe. It won’t let you down, even when route taken is harder than expected.
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