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Avalanche Shovel and Probe

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Read an old forum post from 2012, but suspect kit has moved on from then. Looking for a neat, small shovel and probe system. Ie probe stowing in shovel handle and handle detachable from blade.
Wondered what anyone had found??
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I bought a BCA one on ebay last year.
An integral 2.4m probe that stows in the handle.
Similar to this http://backcountrysafety.com/snow-shovels/backcountry-access-arsenal-snow-shovel-with-avalanche-probe/ but my 2nd hand one only cost about £20.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I used to have a BCA one but the handle fell out of my sack somewhere in Les Karellis. This prompted a rethink.

Getting the probe out and the pins back in is a bit fiddly - not what you need when you’re panicking. The probe was very short - less than 2m IIRC. The handle was quite short which made for inefficient digging.

Now I have 3.2m probe and a 3-part shovel with a decent handle.
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Quote:

Getting the probe out and the pins back in is a bit fiddly - not what you need when you’re panicking. The probe was very short - less than 2m IIRC. The handle was quite short which made for inefficient digging.


I have this one I think. The probe is short, but it is over 2m, maybe 2.2 or 2.4?

It's far too fiddly to get it out of the handle, when skiing I remove it and keep it seperate in my rucksack, I only keep it in the handle for storage. It's frankly a bad idea, I would advise against buying one. A 2 or 3 part shoel is great, but get a separate probe.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
don't bother to think small, generally a probe should be 2.2m or longer - for lower weight go carbon. For shovel think strong, plastic is junk and won't dig in concrete avalanche snow. Pick from the top brands in this field, ie ortovox, BCA or similar.
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You'll need to Register first of course.
As I've mentioned before even 2.4 is too small really when you think about it, as you stand when probing - so that's nigh on 2m gone for a start!

On a course a good few years ago when we were asked to get our probes out the head guide/instructor threw mine away as being as useless as "fill in the gaps".

Majority of lightweight kit you see is for ski Mo racers to meet the regulations for racing.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
As @Charliee says, think about why you are carrying this stuff and how easier it will be to deploy in a time of very high stress.

I looked at carbon probes but the Ortovox PFA one I have is virtually the same weight and half the price. Don't be tempted to save weight with a plastic shovel.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I recommend Black Diamond 3m probe and the Deploy shovel with the metal blade
The handle goes down into the blade so it’s neat but still very strong.
Never had any trouble with both in my rucksack.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
VolklAttivaS5 wrote:
I recommend Black Diamond 3m probe and the Deploy shovel with the metal blade
The handle goes down into the blade so it’s neat but still very strong.
Never had any trouble with both in my rucksack.

agreed! Same here.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@Tomahawk Tone, had both about 10 years. Like someone else said you want a decent length probe because your pal could be down that deep. So that’s why I’ve got a 3m one seemed a good all rounder.
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