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  1. #1
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    Avy shovel for newb?

    My daughter's boyfriend is starting his avy education this winter and will need tools. I figured a shovel makes a nice Xmas gift. I like my BD Deploy, although know it has some limitations. I remember hoe shovels were the hot thing several years ago but I see only a few brands have adopted them on certain models. And yes, I know a metal blade (he's the newb, not me).

    BD Transfer? MSR Responder? BCA Dozer? Voile Telepack?

    What would you recommend?

  2. #2
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    As a newb that shopped for a shovel last year, finding one that fit my pack properly was harder than I expected. It was probably my perfectionism, but maybe a gift cert for a shovel instead?

    Sent from my SM-S908U using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    Voile shovel with the saw built in seems like a good idea/combo.
    watch out for snakes

  4. #4
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    lowagriz’ thought about pack compatibility is probably a significant factor. I’d start there. That said, I like Voile and BD - simple and clean design. Something like the Telepro or Evac 7.

  5. #5
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    Go as big as you can fit in his pack. No UL bullshit and hoe mode is a major plus imo. I have the Ortovox Pro Alu III and am a big fan. The Evac 7 is rad, but that handle is tough to fit into most normal sized backpacks. A giftcard for your local shop would be a good place to start

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ASmileyFace View Post
    Go as big as you can fit in his pack. No UL bullshit and hoe mode is a major plus imo. I have the Ortovox Pro Alu III and am a big fan. The Evac 7 is rad, but that handle is tough to fit into most normal sized backpacks. A giftcard for your local shop would be a good place to start
    I agree with this and will add "don't buy a pack that doesn't fit a big shovel."

    Other hot takes:
    -round shafts suck. They are more difficult to quickly assemble than oval or oblong extrusions that stay aligned (looking at you, Voile TelePro)
    -shovels with a big extended dong for the shaft attachment don't pack as well (still looking at you, Voile TelePro)
    -D-handles are a strong preference for me but don't fit in all packs. I have one non-D shovel for my Dakine Vest but the rest of the time I always carry a D-handle.
    -a flat, square-ish blade is nice for digging clean snow pits but not a must have
    -any shovel that combines the shovel with a saw/probe/dildo/etc usually sucks compared to two independent pieces
    -hoe mode is a must IMO

    I'm a fan of the Mammut Alugator Pro Light Hoe and the Ortovox Kodiak. The BD Evac also hits all my requirements but I prefer how the hoe mode attaches on the Mammut or Ortovox. Voile had a swing and a miss with the Hoeback by sticking with round shafts. G3 is still stuck in 1999, BCA doesn't offer a D-handle hoe mode, and MSR offers nothing that the others don't.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2003
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    I use a Ortovox bigger (the better) metal shovel. I like the "T" handle.
    "True love is much easier to find with a helicopter"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    I've honestly never had a problem with my G3. You can choose which handle you like. As bomber as the old Voile in the car.

    https://us.genuineguidegear.com/prod...tore=1&lang=en
    Is it radix panax notoginseng? - splat
    This is like hanging yourself but the rope breaks. - DTM
    Dude Listen to mtm. He's a marriage counselor at burning man. - subtle plague

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    -any shovel that combines the shovel with a saw/probe/dildo/etc usually sucks compared to two independent pieces
    My avi instructor made his saw. So I did the same. Aluminum flat bar, teeth cut with a saw. Hockey tape (wrapped thick) for a handle... hockey tape also serves for emergencies. Still have it 24 years later.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2021
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    (snip)

    I'm a fan of the Mammut Alugator Pro Light Hoe and the Ortovox Kodiak. The BD Evac also hits all my requirements but I prefer how the hoe mode attaches on the Mammut or Ortovox. Voile had a swing and a miss with the Hoeback by sticking with round shafts. G3 is still stuck in 1999, BCA doesn't offer a D-handle hoe mode, and MSR offers nothing that the others don't.
    After making essentially the same shortlist for my own purposes, I'll point out for the gram counters that the Mammut Alugator Pro Light Hoe is 95g (3.35 oz) lighter than the Kodiak.

  11. #11
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    And they are on sale at the webbersite.
    watch out for snakes

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SB View Post
    And they are on sale at the webbersite.
    What’s a webbersite?

  13. #13
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    watch out for snakes

  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by SB View Post
    That's a great deal.

  16. #16
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    Is there really a difference between those two besides weight?

    Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk

  17. #17
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    The blade is a bit wider on the Pro vs the Ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenalated View Post
    I agree with this and will add "don't buy a pack that doesn't fit a big shovel."
    .
    I wonder if any studies have been done (I would think so) to try to determine the "perfect size" shovel. At a certain point, a big shovel won't cut through setup firm debris as well as a smaller one. Obviously it would depend a lot on the snow. I'm on the big shovel team too, but I have to wonder...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SB View Post
    Is that the recalled shovel?

    https://www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/2023/Ma...njury-or-Death

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy View Post
    I wonder if any studies have been done (I would think so) to try to determine the "perfect size" shovel. At a certain point, a big shovel won't cut through setup firm debris as well as a smaller one. Obviously it would depend a lot on the snow. I'm on the big shovel team too, but I have to wonder...
    We did a shovel review once, before we wisely decided to leave gear reviews to other outfits. The Voile shovels came out on top in durability in hard avalanche debris. For info more recent than a decade, check Backcountry Magazine.

    Sent from my SM-A536U using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    Nov 2010
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    I go through a lot of shovels for some reason. I currently carry a the big BD Evac when I’m working and have a silly small/light Mammut shovel for lift laps. I keep an Ortovox beast on my sled and my nice avalanche shovel in my pack when I’m doing that. The big BD shovel doesn’t pack very well but it does handle really nicely. When it dies I’ll try the big Mammut hoe next. I actually like T-handles that insert into the blade for hoe mode, the other side of the T makes for a nice handle to pull on when moving a lot of loose snow quickly. I do not like any shovel that has a neck sticking up above the perimeter of the blade, they don’t pack well.

  22. #22
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    I ended up ordering the Mammut Alligator Hoe. Given the recall I called their office (it's only a few miles down the road) to ask and was assured that was only one batch of one part that they had concerns over and they pulled them all back. It was on sale for under $55 with free shipping the price was right too. I'm sure he will enjoy it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by homemadesalsa View Post
    We did a shovel review once, before we wisely decided to leave gear reviews to other outfits. The Voile shovels came out on top in durability in hard avalanche debris. For info more recent than a decade, check Backcountry Magazine.

    Sent from my SM-A536U using Tapatalk
    I wasn't really thinking of reviews since I'm happy with my shovel. I was thinking of a scientifically controlled experiment, like the stuff you see at ISSW etc. How crazy would it be if it turned out a 5" blade actually moves more snow than a 10" one?

  24. #24
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    I have been in this State for 30 years and I am willing to admit that I am part of the problem.

    "Happiest years of my life were earning < $8.00 and hour, collecting unemployment every spring and fall, no car, no debt and no responsibilities. 1984-1990 Park City UT"

  25. #25
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    That first link is very sciency
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5968987/

    And helpful. It seems a deep shovel is better.
    But were the areas the same? I would hope so since they put so much effort into the study


    Click image for larger version. 

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    The deep shovel blade (DS), with a 47% larger volume than that of the flat shovel blade (FS), both with a straight shaft, proved to be much more effective in the given test environment. Both the snow mass shifted per unit time and the snow volume per scoop were approximately 15% higher with DS as compared to FS. The increase in the snow volume removed per scoop corresponded to the difference in the volume size of the shovel blades. Interestingly, the mean and maximum shoveling rates did not depend on the shovel shape used. The smaller amount of snow removed per scoop with FS did not lead to an increase in the shoveling rate. The video recording showed that a considerable amount of snow on the shovel, in particular of FS, subsequently slipped off during the removal motion. This means that one intends to move the same amount of snow with FS and DS, but with FS a larger portion of the snow fell back into the box. As the snow fell back into the box, the excavation time increased accordingly. That means that reducing the snow mass per scoop of granulated snow when loading would improve the effectiveness of FS. Summarizing, for granulated snow, DS was most effective. However, for stronger binding snow, the effectiveness of FS may be equal to DS.
    I’ve just decided to be a middle aged somewhat depressed somewhat anxious fucktard until the end.

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