The DMM Cirque is a clean, thoughtfully put together general ice axe. The adze and pick are substantial, and will cope well with long sessions of front pointing, step chopping and daggering. The teeth layout is such that they will grip on ice and névé but will remove easily with good technique. Head grip clearance is very good and this axe carries well in the walking/braking position. The shaft is bent and has a decent diameter which makes swinging a delight. It is T (techincal) rated, which means it is strong enough for belaying. The sticky rubber hand grip is very useful but would benefit from being recessed. It comes with a heavy-duty slide-adjusted leash. But the DMM Cirque will not appeal to walkers looking for an ultra-light model.
Materials EN47 steel (head), 7075 aluminium
Sizes 50, 55, 60 and 65cm
Weight 640g (60cm with leash)
Made in Wales
Stores in the UK 250
Stockist details tel. (01286) 872222; www.dmmclimbing.comVerdict
An outstanding mountaineering and walking axe that will help you balance, cut steps, front point, belay and, most importantly, brake with great confidence. Indeed, Trail rated is as ‘Best in Test’.
Review by Jeremy Ashcroft
First published in Trail magazine January 2009