Price Paid: $35
I always keep one of these within reach in the lid of my pack. It is definitely not my go-to protection on any routine basis, but this fluke excels at being quick to place when you need protection in a hurry, and the snow is not sufficiently consolidated to hold a picket in a deadman / T-slot configuration without first compacting / tamping the snow, and sometimes you just don't have time to do that.
For example, I might use the fluke as a first anchor to backup a climber holding a crevasse fall before a proper system can be setup, or to strengthen a sitting belay on a snow slope descent. In contrast to a picket or ice axe, the fluke will force itself deeper under load (when properly placed), so it is nice to have when the snow is sketchy.
Having said that, there is no question that a properly embedded picket or ice axe, or a bollard when the snow will accommodate one, is more secure, so the utility of the fluke versus deciding to carry its weight is a tradeoff for many. Protection is a toolbox, and for me, the set of tools would be incomplete without this fluke.
There are probably lighter options than the DMM Deadman Bent — I selected the DMM simply because of the apparent design attention to detail in comparison to offerings from other manufacturers.
Where to Buy
Here's what other sites are saying:
Description of DMM DeadmanThe Deadman is the most compact device designed to protect steep snow slopes. The DMM version is the best compromise between holding power and size. Powder coated in bright colour for easy location and with a stainless steel striker plate to take the hammering only an ice axe can give. And for all you wire geeks we use 7x19 4mm galavanised wire.Features360g7x19 4mm galvanised wire
- US Outdoor Store
The DMM Anodized Deadman Snow Anchor holds solidly in soft-snow conditions that render other anchors useless. The first person on your rope team just plunged into a crevasse, and the snow conditions are absolute slop. Just pound the DMM Deadman Anchor into the snow, slot the stainless steel cable in a trench, and clip in to rescue your buddy. A reinforced stainless steel plate on the top of this fluke provides a solid pounding surface, so it won't be completely thrashed after one day on the mountain.
Holding position or belaying on waist deep snow can be incredibly unnerving and traditional protection, like ice screws, can be next to useless. The DMM Deadman is ideal snow protection and, When placed properly, it will hold when nothing else will.
- Mountain Gear