Wedg­ing your body into a 6-inch crack, switch­ing be­tween hand­stacks, chick­en­wings, and ex­ces­sive try­hard, is daunt­ing enough. Add in a tipped-out cam, and the process be­comes down­right ter­ri­fy­ing. You need spe­cial­ized big-crack pro to keep the of­fwidth fear at bay so you can fo­cus on the phys­i­cal bat­tle.

DMM of­fers a strong pro­tec­tion so­lu­tion for the über­wide with their new No. 7 and 8 Dragon Cams. Th­ese col­or­coded, lightweight units (weigh­ing 13 ounces and 18 ounces, re­spec­tively) pro­vide big range thanks to their sin­gle-stem, dou­ble-axle de­sign: No. 7 cov­ers 3.47–5.85 inches, while No. 8 cov­ers 4.57–7.7. Dur­ing test­ing on some Boul­der Canyon slick, gnarly wide­ness—old-school “5.9s” on Cas­tle Rock—the ex­tend­able sling helped min­i­mize walk­ing, a sav­ior when you’re high above a sin­gle piece that can eas­ily um­brella. DMM also placed the er­gonomic trig­ger in just the right spot. Lev­er­ing be­tween it and the hot-forged thumb press meant smooth, easy cam­ming ac­tion, while the trig­ger is can­nily sit­u­ated such that the cam lobes won’t smash your fin­gers when re­tracted, a com­mon prob- lem with larger spring-loaded cam­ming de­vices. I also ap­pre­ci­ated the bite you get with the lobes them­selves, which use an ag­gres­sive Triple Grip tread pat­tern to min­i­mize walk­ing. This was par­tic­u­larly wel­come on the wa­ter- and rock-shoe­pol­ished gran­ite of Cas­tle Rock, and would be good in softer desert sandstone as well.

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