Avalanches shovels are a matter of personal choice and with so many out there, it is hard to go wrong. The most important thing is to carry one – after that, if it works good, it is good. I consider a well-made shovel to be a quality tool and am very particular about what I look for in them. Probably the biggest mistake a skier can make with shovels to get a small, cheap one in order to save weight and cost. Save weight in your ski/boot/binding set-up and think of a shovel’s price in terms of what your friend’s life is worth. An extra $40 is well worth it and a good shovel will last a long time.
What I look for:
– A good sized METAL blade with high sides
– The joint between the blade and the handle should be precise – no wobbling
– I prefer a “D” handle as you can use it with mittens and clip it to your pack.
- A shovel is only as good as its individual parts.
- A flat back on the blade helps prevent scalloping when digging pit walls.
- A squarish, flatter top edge to the blade gives a better boot contact surface. Rounded shapes are sexier, but your boot glaces off of them.
An extendable shaft is a back-saver for big excavating jobs. Being able to use it with or with out the extension is a nice feature.
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Category: 02 Gear