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marylou

Shovels

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personally, I'll carry a stove board so I can have my shovel free to do yo yos or sculpting the snow kitchen or quinzee while cooking. fruit.gif

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thanks for the broccoli bands idea beck, that will work great. l.goddess: yeah just sling it over your shoulder. as beck says it makes life easy during beacon searches too. It's a pain to carry a shovel around while working the transceiver in one hand, and an even bigger pain when you don't carry one around at all laugh.gif

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Most of the saws in handle that I have seen are too short for real snow pit work. frown.gif

Voile & Life-Link make probe extenders that work with most all ski poles to extend the poles to a reasonable distance.

 

For goods sake its a shovel. Plastic ones work fine for shoveling snow, incl avy debris. Maybe I've just heard to many internet horror stories, but never seen any actual proof that they don't work. Any ways, I've got a LL T-Handle. And the T is more versatile, and IMHO more comfortable than a D. And it's got a large blade, but not a ginormous blade thats too damn big to lefting anything efficently (it's all about cadence!)

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personally, I'll carry a stove board so I can have my shovel free to do yo yos or sculpting the snow kitchen or quinzee while cooking. fruit.gif

 

There's nothing wrong with this approach if you're going a short distance to a base camp, however for longer trips it's good to have each piece of equipment you carry perform multipul tasks.

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I have a Life-Link HMX, but with a d-grip, not the t-grip like Iain posted. The handel extends on it to about 5'.

 

I also have a Life-Link Denali, it is huge, thick aluminium, dosent extend, but no shovel --except for maybe a grain shovel-- can move as much snow as easy. It is way too big to ski with.

 

The worst snow to shovel is the 3-4 day rock hard re-frozen shit that the plows chuck in front of your car during a nice storm/thaw/re-freeze cycle. Always fun to come back to.

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The Life-Link lexan blade with the t-grip has worked well for me. Digging a snow cave once and hit a layer of ice. Just busted out the ice axe to break it up and back to the shovel.

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I'm ordering the Traverse EXT Shovel from Backcountry Access. Its advertised as the lightest aluminium extendable shovel. Having it be metal and extendable is important to me. Its first purpose is for avie rescue, and hard debris can turn away a lexan blade (you can also light a stove on a metal shovel blade). But having an extendable handle keeps me from breaking my back digging pits.

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Hi, thanks for all the input, who knew there was so much to say about a shovel?

 

Took all of your thoughts, plus a few of my own, and went shopping today. REI has almost nothing in the way of shovels, but Second Ascent had a good selection of old and new. I ended up the a Voile XL, metal blade, nice and light, a little more $ than I wanted to spend, but as I've said so many times, the right piece of gear shouldn't be determined by cost. Anyway, what's forty bucks, really? fruit.gif

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exactly, Marylou, what's a couple of Jacksons for gear?

 

my stove board does double duty as a backup shovel ,and my shovel doubles as a snaffle smasher yelrotflmao.gif

 

since shovels are relatively poor place to cook on (many people do it, but are usually wobbly, don't insulate the stove from the snow and you can't light it on fire to preheat the stove, so I bring a stove board)

 

To save weight on spring ski tours, find a shovel blade that you can jam your ice axe handle into and leave the shovel handle at home...

 

shovel-nalia!

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I agree with you about the usefulness of a stove-board, Beck. If you want to travel light, it is an extra item as Alpine K implies and a shovel will work - sort of. However, I find a piece of wood (NOT metal) vastly superior for cooking on and a small piece of the thinnest plywood or panelling that I can find does not weigh much and costs nothing. I once insulted two esteemed members of cc.com by suggesting that their MSR Trillium was a silly piece of gear, but in my opinion any metal stove platform is inferior to a wood one and it is also a waste of money.

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You guys can justify it however you want, but you're carrying one more thing than you need to. A shovel works good enough as a cooking platform. How much other useless crap do you guys carry?

 

Light is right.

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I agree with you about the usefulness of a stove-board, Beck. If you want to travel light, it is an extra item as Alpine K implies and a shovel will work - sort of. However, I find a piece of wood (NOT metal) vastly superior for cooking on and a small piece of the thinnest plywood or panelling that I can find does not weigh much and costs nothing. I once insulted two esteemed members of cc.com by suggesting that their MSR Trillium was a silly piece of gear, but in my opinion any metal stove platform is inferior to a wood one and it is also a waste of money.

 

I agree with you Matt. A little piece of thin plywood, work way better than any metal stove stove boards and I would guess better than a shovel blade. They don't cost anything to make, they are light, they don't conduct heat as well as metal (i.e. don't melt a snow hole or tent fabric), and you still have your shovel free for digging.

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I have evidence that if you go sledding on a lexan shovel, it will break (two thus far). We haven't broken an aluminum one yet, even off the roof of a lean-to... Nobody said we were smart, but rarely do we find anyone who puts their gear through the ringer more than we do. Nothing builds confidence in your gear like recreational misuse.

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