User Review: DMM Deadman
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.