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Snow shovel
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Scott McCain
(Highlander366) - F - M

Locale: Idaho
Snow shovel on 07/19/2011 03:56:34 MDT Print View

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 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.

Thanks

Scott

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: Snow shovel on 07/19/2011 13:00:15 MDT Print View

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/

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: Re: Snow shovel on 07/19/2011 14:54:24 MDT Print View

+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.

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Long handle on 07/19/2011 20:20:08 MDT Print View

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.
Duane

Cesar Garcia
(crgowo) - F

Locale: Desert SW
I have this.... on 07/23/2011 16:13:45 MDT Print View

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=8-2

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Long handle on 07/23/2011 16:37:34 MDT Print View

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.

Andrew Bishop
(copperhead) - M

Locale: Down Under
Snow shovel on 08/02/2011 02:03:21 MDT Print View

+1 for the snowclaw, which I recently bought for emergency use and smallish campsite jobs

Andrew

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Snow shovel on 08/02/2011 13:34:49 MDT Print View

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.

Ole Saether
(osaether) - MLife

Locale: Norway
Re: Snow shovel on 08/02/2011 13:48:05 MDT Print View

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.html

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
Shovel Durability Testing on 08/02/2011 16:54:24 MDT Print View

Recent shovel tests published in the avalanche review (
http://www.avalanche.ca/adx/aspx/adxGetMedia.aspx?DocID=5c956bbb-c147-4aed-a002-6b5c1fb66a0e&MediaID=86e068df-da99-4cc0-b686-c7364959c174&Filename=Manuel+Genswein+shovel+review.pdf
http://www.voile-usa.com/avalanche_review_shovel_test.pdf
) 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:
http://straightchuter.com/2011/01/shovelful-of-love/

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.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
BCA Tour on 08/02/2011 17:32:15 MDT Print View

I've been very happy w/ my BCA Tour- pretty decent compromise of strength/weight

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
YEP! on 08/02/2011 20:58:19 MDT Print View

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.

Tohru Ohnuki
(erdferkel) - F

Locale: S. California
Re: BCA Tour on 08/03/2011 13:48:33 MDT Print View

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...

Greg Foster
(thefost) - MLife
New BCA Shovels on 08/13/2011 21:27:31 MDT Print View

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.

http://www.backcountryaccess.com/index.php?id=92

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Snow shovel on 08/13/2011 21:50:50 MDT Print View

"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.--

Chris Hanson
(ChrisHanson) - F

Locale: Eastern Wyoming
BCA Tour on 08/13/2011 22:21:06 MDT Print View

I was looking it up and found it for what looks like a great price (sans probe)

http://www.firstplaceparts.com/SH-20000.html?gclid=CK7gzZ_3zaoCFZIZQgodtWKfVQ

Don't know anything about the store, etc...caveat emptor

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Re: New BCA Shovels on 08/14/2011 08:28:52 MDT Print View

my "old" tour is 6061, are they using heavier 6061 now?

Greg Foster
(thefost) - MLife
Re: Re: New BCA Shovels on 08/19/2011 17:58:16 MDT Print View

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."

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Snow shovel update? on 12/12/2011 20:09:32 MST Print View

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:

BCA B52
Voile Telepro T6

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.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
scoop size and handle shape on 12/12/2011 20:30:04 MST Print View

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.