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.