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Suggestions for Probe and Shovel

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I have guessed that as long as you stay away from a plastic shovel you should be alright, but are there any brands / models that anyone prefers? Or any that I should steer clear of?
post #2 of 29
My preferred stuff is the Voile TelePro shovel and the Black Diamond Quickdraw 265 probe. But most any gear by G3, Voile, Black Diamond, or BCA will be good.

Some things to avoid: probes that fit in shovel handles, probes shorter than 240 cm, very short shovel handles, and of course plastic shovel blades. And if your partner shows up with any of those, trade with him/her.
post #3 of 29
It's nice if your probe has length markings on it. You can use it in your study pits instead of a ruler and save some weight in your pack. The advice from Bob Lee is right on.
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
if your partner shows up with any of those, trade with him/her.
I took a mountain travel and rescue course and practiced with some beacons in our spare time at night. The course director told us that too. He said he knows the gear he buys will save him, but the gear someone else has might not. At the top of a climb, change gear with your buddy's.
post #5 of 29
Lexan doesn't count as plastic.....
post #6 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
Lexan doesn't count as plastic.....
Maybe not, but it sucks too.
post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
Maybe not, but it sucks too.
Strength vs weight/Lexan vs metal. I'll take that bet.

not to mention fingers on cold metal
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
And if your partner shows up with any of those, trade with him/her.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aceman View Post
He said he knows the gear he buys will save him, but the gear someone else has might not. At the top of a climb, change gear with your buddy's.
Guys, that is a really arrogant attitude (I won't make the mistake, but my buddy will) which will eventually get people (most likely your partner) killed. If your partner doesn't have the right gear, don't trade with them, get them the right gear.
post #9 of 29
FWIW all my shovels are metal, but there is a world of difference between Lexan and Acrylic. They don't look or feel any different, but it shows up with impact and crack resistance and flex. Acrylic can shatter, Lexan won't.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
Guys, that is a really arrogant attitude (I won't make the mistake, but my buddy will) which will eventually get people (most likely your partner) killed. If your partner doesn't have the right gear, don't trade with them, get them the right gear.
Funny you should say that it's arrogant, then note that bad equipment is a risk to lives. Some people would say there's a fine line between arrogance and really wanting no one to die. Me, I'd just as soon be thought arrogant. Once you're at the trailhead, it's usually a little late to go shopping.

When someone's equipment is unacceptable, nothing makes the point quite so well as asking them to trade.

And if Lexan doesn't break it certainly bounces off avy debris. Try it, then trade it.

http://www.telemarktips.com/TeleNews69.html
post #11 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
Funny you should say that it's arrogant, then note that bad equipment is a risk to lives. Some people would say there's a fine line between arrogance and really wanting no one to die. Me, I'd just as soon be thought arrogant. Once you're at the trailhead, it's usually a little late to go shopping.
I think your missing my point. The best rescue equipment is ones head. I was refering to the bad decision to go continue into the backcountry with "bad" equipment and the bad decision not to know what your partner has before you go. If you don't know those things then what other assumptions are you making about your partners? Your right, it's too late to go shopping at the trailhead. You should have been squared away long before that....
post #12 of 29
Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Sometimes real life isn't so buttoned up.

This is getting away from the point that plastic/Lexan shovels are a hazard to one's health, but...

Situation #1: Any number of times I've met up with planned partners at the trailhead and they have invited other people along that weren't in the original roster. Their gear isn't up to par, I ask to trade.

Situation #2: Potential bc partners say "I have a shovel, probe, beacon, etc, and when the shovel turns out to be plastic say something like "well, I'll just carry it for this tour because I can't afford...etc." Then I say, fine, if we trade. Sue me for terminal arrogance, but it gets the point across.

Situation #3: I meet people on the skin track that want to ski with my party, but they have plastic shovels. Should I just ignore that?

Etc.

And while I agree that the best rescue equipment is one's head, in no way does one's head suffice as the only rescue equipment.

And can we agree that Lexan/plastic shovels bounce off avy debris?
post #13 of 29
I might agree that AL might do better, I don't really know, because I haven't done any real world A to B testing. But the story is entitled "March, 2006 Commentary & Opinion..."

Any real experience digging with both in real avi debris? (I will fully admit, I have none)
post #14 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
I might agree that AL might do better. But the story is entitled "March, 2006 Commentary & Opinion..."


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
Any real experience digging with both in real avi debris? (I will fully admit, I have none)
Yes - not for people though, but to try it as an exercise and comparison. I tend to spend a fair amount of time in the bc. If you don't have any avy debris handy, try your local road or parking lot berm. It's enlightening.
post #15 of 29
Yeah, just try to dig out of your driveway after the plow comes by for shovel testing.....

Timely post for me to replace my durable, yet bouncy polycarbonate/Lexan shovel. It works great for kid forts.

What would be some good recommendations for a more durable aluminum shovel that can also be useful as everyday/roadside shovel stashed in a vehicle, yet reasonably light for BC tours?
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
Yes - not for people though, but to try it as an exercise and comparison. I tend to spend a fair amount of time in the bc. If you don't have any avy debris handy, try your local road or parking lot berm. It's enlightening.

Fair enough.

Counter point. If these shovels suck so bad, why do almost all manufacturers continue to sell them?

(I think it's just arguement for the sake of academic excercise at this point...)
post #17 of 29
Avoiding all of the above "my shovel is better and you are an idiot" banter, the BCA Transfer 7 is a great shovel. Long handle and burly construction. Really like it.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
...If these shovels suck so bad, why do almost all manufacturers continue to sell them?...
Epic. Bob Lee answered fully by the 2d post for anyone shopping.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpinord View Post
What would be some good recommendations for a more durable aluminum shovel that can also be useful as everyday/roadside shovel stashed in a vehicle, yet reasonably light for BC tours?
http://www.genuineguidegear.com/prod...l_avitech.html
http://www.voile-usa.com/Merchant2/m...ode=Pro-Series

For certain values of "reasonably light"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
Fair enough.

Counter point. If these shovels suck so bad, why do almost all manufacturers continue to sell them?
Well, the ones I mentioned earlier, G3 and Black Diamond and Voile and Backcountry Access don't seem to...anymore (though they used to). But I suspect that it's so that 'boarders can build sickter kickers.

I dunno, I'd hate to think that sometimes manufacturers don't totally have our best interests at heart. Why do they sell cheap painful boots and crappy clothing?
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ESTtoMST View Post
Avoiding all of the above "my shovel is better and you are an idiot" banter...
Why do you hate the internet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ESTtoMST View Post
...the BCA Transfer 7 is a great shovel. Long handle and burly construction. Really like it.
Heh, I suspect that you mean the BD (Black Diamond) Transfer &.
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Lee View Post
But I suspect that it's so that 'boarders can build sickter kickers.
I guess Dakine and Burton use aluminum because they're mainly focusing on skiers.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicolaib211v View Post
I have guessed that as long as you stay away from a plastic shovel you should be alright, but are there any brands / models that anyone prefers? Or any that I should steer clear of?
Here's a great resource for backcountry gear reviews/opinions:

http://straightchuter.com/category/t...iques/02-gear/


Scroll about halfway down the page to see shovels.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jxb View Post
Here's a great resource for backcountry gear reviews/opinions:

http://straightchuter.com/category/t...iques/02-gear/

Scroll about halfway down the page to see shovels.
Ah, I looked all over for that picture but couldn't remember where I'd seen it. Worth a thousand words, ¿qué no?
post #24 of 29
Ok, I feel I can confess my shovel is a BCA Chugach Pro. I have an older Voile with a non-telescopic handle that I deemed unworthy after digging my car out with it but both are metal.

In all the time I have followed rescue gear discussions I have not yet seen anyone who really liked a plastic shovel if they ever used it in avy debris or parking lot berms.

post #25 of 29
I've seen plastic and Lexan and composite shovels break. Get the metal. Plastic/lexan sells because it is light and looks cool.
post #26 of 29
FWIW,with a gift certificate burning a hole in my wallet I almost went for the BD Deploy for it's sleek design and idiot proof handle.



Instead, I opted for the Transfer the gun metal BD Transfer for the color :


Actually, for the extended arm.

I thought a good point to pass along made by the store owner (a long time friend and BC officianado) was with round shafts, the torque developed by twisting motions is borne by the pins, not the shaft. I liked the rectilinear BD shafts better for this reason versus the Voile's round. Aesthetically, they're cooler looking too and worth $10 extra.

Get the BD Deploy for your partner.....and be safe out there. Happy New Year!
post #27 of 29
I also just picked up the BD Transfer 7 shovel for my very near future Avalanche course (Jan. 8th). I also like the shaft on the BD series better than on the other manufacturers due to its rectilinear shape which gives it a more solid feel and much easier and solid pin engagement/disengagement. When I played with the others, eg. BCA I always seemed to be fiddling with the pins more. Granted, the BD Transfer series is a bit heavier, but I could just as well lose a pound or two of body weight too.

I picked the Transfer 7 over the Transfer 3 due to its slightly effectively longer length (better for my back - I'm 6'2") and a slightly larger blade which would also be more useful for digging out the car if needed. The weight difference is insignificant to me. I would go with the larger 7 vs the 3, as long as it fits in your pack alright.
post #28 of 29
I use the transfer 7.
post #29 of 29
Try chopping branches with a lexan shovel too...


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