Jul 19, 2011 at 2:56 am #1276910
Hello all, I recently picked up my first set of snow shoes this spring and would like to add a new snow shovel to my gear closet as well. I was wondering if anyone could tell me when some of the newer models will be coming out for this fall and winter and maybe some suggestions on how to compare them? I have been looking at http://www.mountaingear.com mostly because they seem to have a good selection compared to my local stores, any other on line suggestions would be helpful.
ScottJul 19, 2011 at 12:00 pm #1760908
Can't tell you when or if anything new is coming out. Can recommend what I have: BCA Tour – http://backcountryaccess.com/index.php?id=64&page=Tour/Tour_Systems. This is minimal if you are thinking avalanche gear, but plenty if you want it for digging shelters and such, and it's the lightest metal bladed shovel I know of. Also worth looking at if you are NOT going to need this for digging in avy debris: http://www.snowclaw.com/Jul 19, 2011 at 1:54 pm #1760931
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
+1 on BCA. I like the traverse and companion models. The flat back is great for smooth snowpit walls. I would suggest looking only at metal bladed shovels, the plastic blades work well on soft snow only.Jul 19, 2011 at 7:20 pm #1761043
USA Duane HallParticipant
@hikerduaneLocale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
I chose a Black Diamond shovel a few years ago, mostly because it extended to be the longest shovel at the time I could find. My back isn't the best, so the less I have to stoop, the better. +1 on a metal shovel. Unless you are digging much, the snow shoes or your boots can scrape all the snow you need to move. I go on trips with groups some, so they like to dig a kitchen, a shovel helps me fit in better and do my share of group work.
DuaneJul 23, 2011 at 3:13 pm #1762391
@crgowoLocale: Desert SW
Its not the lightest but its a great price. AAA 4004 Red Aluminum Sport Utility Shovel
http://www.amazon.com/AAA-4004-Aluminum-Utility-Shovel/dp/B002SIR91A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311458950&sr=8-2Jul 23, 2011 at 3:37 pm #1762392
@rcowmanLocale: Canadian Rockies
what are you going to use it for? emergency use? Digging full snowcaves, windwalls etc?
u can just use a snowshoe as an emergency shovel. The snowclaws are also a good back up as an emergency shovel.Aug 2, 2011 at 1:03 am #1765424
@copperheadLocale: Down Under
+1 for the snowclaw, which I recently bought for emergency use and smallish campsite jobs
AndrewAug 2, 2011 at 12:34 pm #1765535
@owareLocale: Steptoe Butte
I know some avalanche professionals that carry a snow claw for stuff like the Haute Route
to go ultralight. Others that won't go out without a grain scoop (drilled full of holes
to save weight).
If you need a shovel for avalanche, you should try some out before you buy.
The lexan ones break. Been there. More than once.
How you shovel makes a difference. Prying like you would with a dirt shovel is asking
for broken and bent snow shovels.Aug 2, 2011 at 12:48 pm #1765540
I have the Arva Snow Pure Light which is the lightest shovel I have found. The spec. says 284 grams but mine weights 325 grams. Info:
http://www.arva-equipment.com/en/Products/product_163.htmlAug 2, 2011 at 3:54 pm #1765590
Recent shovel tests published in the avalanche review (
) indicate that a blade made from 6061 T6 is really the only way to go for serious use. Voile's seem to be the strongest but I prefer the g3 avi tech as it fits in the shovel pocket of my skiing pack better. The small g3 guide spadetech is also a nice (my wife has it).
K2 has a nice looking one out this fall too:
Ortovox and bca will probably be upgrading their metal selection soon as well.
Backcountry.com has the best selection of shovels I have found and has a bunch of them on sale right now including the g3's.Aug 2, 2011 at 4:32 pm #1765610
I've been very happy w/ my BCA Tour- pretty decent compromise of strength/weightAug 2, 2011 at 7:58 pm #1765689
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Another vote for the BCA Tour.
It may have a smaller scoop but big scoops tire you out quickly. Dug enough test pits and practice rescues to verify that.Aug 3, 2011 at 12:48 pm #1765855
@erdferkelLocale: S. California
If you check now, a seller on evilbay has what looks like new old stock BCA tours and companions on sale as do some online retailers…Aug 13, 2011 at 8:27 pm #1769108
Looks like BCA did update their shovels with stronger 6061 aluminum. If I were in the market for a new snow shovel, I would definitely consider the new BCA B-1 over the older tour.Aug 13, 2011 at 8:50 pm #1769116
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"The lexan ones break. Been there. More than once."
Interesting. I have an ancient Lifelink shovel that is still going strong after about 25 years. What do you want to bet that they changed the lexan plastic formula at some point in time?
–B.G.–Aug 13, 2011 at 9:21 pm #1769125
@chrishansonLocale: Eastern Wyoming
I was looking it up and found it for what looks like a great price (sans probe)
Don't know anything about the store, etc…caveat emptorAug 14, 2011 at 7:28 am #1769171
my "old" tour is 6061, are they using heavier 6061 now?Aug 19, 2011 at 4:58 pm #1771228
I was curious, so I asked BCA:
"As far as I know, we’re using the same grade of aluminum for the B1 as we did for the Tour. The difference in strength comes from the new welded ferrule (where the blade attaches to the shaft) – this basically eliminates the main point of stress on our old, formed ferrules (where the ferrule met the blade). The new blades are also much stiffer torsionally due to the raised segments in the shovel pan."Dec 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm #1811451
drowning in spamMember
Ryan, thanks for the link to the shovel tests. I'm looking for a shovel that will see a lot of use this winter, so toughness means a lot to me. This has me looking at two shovels right now:
The Telepro seems to be a better shovel in every way according to the specs, and unfortunately I haven't been able to find any reviews for the B52.Dec 12, 2011 at 7:30 pm #1811458
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I have an older BCA Tour. I got it over other shovels because it has a smaller scoop for cave & quinzhee digging and so I don't get too tired digging & paddling snow in an avy rescue. NEVER get a plastic scoop shovel. It will fail in hardpacked avalanched snow.
It has a T handle but you may prefer a D handle for more comfort.Dec 13, 2011 at 1:43 pm #1811723
@djrez4Locale: Rocky Mountains
Brooks Range (maker of the ridiculously cool/expensive Rocket Tent) offer a build-your-own shovel system. Two blade sizes, Two blade edges, two shaft lengths, T or D handle, and more. I'll be carrying a D-handled Compact Pro with rescue shaft and a backcountry edge on an alpine blade in Red when Santa and Hanukah Harry deliver it next week.Dec 13, 2011 at 8:56 pm #1811866
@footeabLocale: Pacific Northwest
In winter, you are never using a shovel enough to be "uncomfortable". Those complaining about shovel length are just using the whopping 5 minutes of shovel work as an excuse to complain and generally vent their frustration at the world. If adding another 1/4 or 1/2 a pound to your pack to aleviate a whopping 5-10 minutes of work is your ideal comfort level. Ok. Otherwise that is what you have a back for.
I therefore take the shortest handled Voile XLM T6 shovel weighing in at a slight bit over 1lb. Am trying to modify it to fit my Ice Axe. You don't get to pick the snow conditions and having a plastic shovel is worthless. One must have an aluminum shovel blade for icy conditions. Even then said shovels do NOT like icy conditions and you will be using your ice axe to break the crust layers.Dec 13, 2011 at 10:14 pm #1811893
@bestbuilderLocale: Pacific Northwest
Eugene, I have the T6 and it is a work horse. If you need to dig, its the one for me. I do wish it were lighter but I opted for strength over lightness and I haven't regretted it.
Its one that you don't have to worry to much about if someone else in the group uses it (I would always be paranoid with a lighter shovel)Dec 23, 2011 at 7:40 am #1815280
@jumpbackjackLocale: Armpit of California
Here's an inexspensive one, not sure how well they do but the price is right, and the weight isn't to bad.
http://www.recreationoutlet.com/p-442-emergency-avalanche-shovel.aspxDec 23, 2011 at 11:20 am #1815352
never mind .. reposted the shovel test ryan posted earlier ….
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