Krzysztof Smulski and Marek Janeczek from Camper, a DMM distributor in Poland for ten years, visited north Wales this week to see first-hand how DMM designs and makes their products. Camper were also joined by four of the climbers they support back in Poland: Agata Wisniewska, Maciek Bukowski, Szymon Lodziǹski and Michael Kwiatkowski.
As part of the their factory tour everyone assembled, riveted and rectified three Aero quickdraw biners, under the watchful eye of the assembly team. They then took them through to final inspection where they were all passed apart from two referrals, that required further rectifying before being allowed to keep them. Marek commented after finally getting his biners passed, that: "I've a huge respect for the ladies on carabiner assembly. It wasn't as easy as it looked, especially to do efficiently with the fiddly springs and pushers. The bent-gate was a lot trickier to assemble than the straight-gate."
Since their visit coincided with the sun shining and the hills looking particularly mystical poking through the cloud inversions, time also had to be found to pull on some holds in the Llanberis Pass and savour the unique experience of climbing on slate. The slate slabs made a big impression although Szymon singled out the sportingly bolted route, Jack of Shadows, for praise, describing it as: "really, really good with unusual moves."
DMM's Export Manager, Chris Rowlands, said: "The idea of the visit was to provide a insight into the ethos of the company with a behind the scenes look at our manufacturing base in north Wales. I'm sure they now have a far greater appreciation of the intricacies of carabiner assembly and our stringent quality control. There's very little trad climbing in Poland but the popularity of sport climbing and indoor climbing is growing rapidly."