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builder206

need avy gear advice

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Noticed this recent post on the Eastern Sierra Avy site. Interesting to note that 3 of the 4 blades that didn't fail/distort are the Voile T6. Maybe not just marketing.

 

Also interesting to see the BCA redesigned their shovel blade to a more 'wrap-around' style similar to the Voile.

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In all of the beacons we had in my AVY class, the Barryvox and the Tracker had the best range of them and they were also easier to use for multiple burials.

 

Almost any beacon is better than no beacon, though - just make sure you know how to use it. The more idiot-proof the better so you're not wasting time trying to remember how to use it.

 

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Maybe not just marketing.

 

OMG! IF I DONT HAVE THE RIGHT SHOVEL IM GOING TO DIE! DIE! DIE!

 

Not you, but possibly one of your partners. Post wasn't meant to beatingA_DeadHorse.gif, just an FYI for those looking for avy gear. drinks.gif

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Not you, but possibly one of your partners. Post wasn't meant to beatingA_DeadHorse.gif, just an FYI for those looking for avy gear. drinks.gif

 

A splitboarding queer. quelle surprise.

 

There's an article in an upcoming CAA on how all shovels break, FWIW

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I'd recommend a G3 shovel, and here's why:

 

I bought a Voile shovel back in the 90's. I'm not sure of the model name.

IMG_04281.jpg

I used it and abused it. I even used it to dig my truck out when it was stuck in the snow a couple of times. The blade is slightly bent and dented but not cracked.

 

Several years ago I decided I needed something a little smaller, so I was a sucker and bought a BCA one with the probe inside.

IMG_04241.jpg

 

I only used it a couple of times and the blade began to crack. I assure you I was not levering the blade, or at least not much compared to the abuse I put my Voile through. The crack occurred, of course, when digging in dense snow. I believe it was not the strength of the aluminum, but the shape of the scoop that caused this failure. When pressing the tip of the blade straight into the snowpack, it makes a flat kerf. When you press the shovel all the way into the snow, the curved upper part of the blade comes into contact with the kerf and flexes, even when you push the shovel straight in. The BCA shovel begins its curve only 6 inches from the shovel end. This leads to repeated slight flexing every time you push the shovel in more than 6". A weak design point where the wings of the shovel meet the handle tops off the equation and I was left with this small crack.

 

IMG_0426.jpg

 

(Off the point, I never liked the flimsy, short, hard-to-access probe in this shovel, either.)

 

I think the Voile shovel lasted so long because the blade is flat for a long distance, and has a considerable brace in the stamped aluminum where the blade and handle meet.

 

I subsequently bought a G3 shovel which has a huge weld right where the shovel meets the handle, which I've been happily using and abusing ever since. The scoop is also flatter for a longer distance before it begins to curve toward the handle. This makes for better compression tests and less flexing of the blade because I'm less likely to drive the shovel straight in all the way.

IMG_04251.jpgIMG_0427.jpg.

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Hugh, please hold your powder day envy to a minimum. I will look for the CAA article.

 

Kit, thanks for providing pics on the BCA failures.

 

 

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