|Putting it together|
Some of the BCA shovels have probes within the handle- nice, though you can get lighter, longer probes which are less of a faff to get to in an emergency situation.
Some of the Black Diamond ones have a curved handle so that the handle and shovel sit together, nestling away in your bag, and then when needed, you don't need to wonder where the handle went as it is already attached.
|In confined space|
The K2 rescue shovel weighs in at 695g and has an extendable handle. (The handle comes out for storage rather than nesting inside). One of the exciting things about it though, is that the handle can be turned around and be used as a snow hoe as well- again either with a shortened or lengthed handle.When building snow holes etc, space can often be cramped, especially as you get further in, and this modification is fantastic, allowing you to use the shovel with relative ease where others would just snarl up and get in the way.
I grant you that generally when you come across something that is a bit of a transformer, the response is a bit guarded- Jack of all trades and master of none- is generally the saying which comes to mind. This particular shovel though, is quite a revalation. It does what it is meant to do with considerable gusto.
|...Moves a lot of snow|
The blade is smooth and straight, the shaft is 28cm when collapsed, and a mighty 64cm when extended. Great for extended reach into a snow hole to hoe out the chopped up snow which you have just carved out of the interior, and it moves a lot of snow very quickly. It has a swift and efficient action, though I'm sure other versions from other companies do too- however, I can vouch for this one in particular.
If you get the Rescue shovel plus, apparently it contains other bits and pieces that you can use to connect skis and rucksac together in order to create a rescue sled, though I haven't seen that.
|In Hoe version|
All in all, it seems like a great and very solid rescue shovel, and if you're snow holing, it has some definite advantages over a number of other models you may come across.
|A small but homely snow hole|