Nice shovel. Excellent weight, size is good compromise between packing and digging. While we prefer a slightly larger blade for extensive pit work or traveling in high-risk situations — we’re fine with this as an everyday tool. The skeletonized Alugator avalanche shovel blade has numerous slots you can use for lashing to a pack or building a rescue sled (or creating a deadman snow anchor). Blade edge is sharp and serrated. We prefer a straight edge that’s blunted, but five minutes with the disk grinder solved the problem.
Best Alugator feature? Lead-in notch for inserting the ovalized shaft eliminates fumbling, as well as protecting the shaft-blade fixation button from being accidentally depressed. I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the future of avalanche safety. Clearly, in the event of a burial the challenge is time. Speed of your beacon search is factor two (though incessantly harped on in beacon PR as factor one). Factor one is how fast you can dig. Saving a second or two in the time it takes to get your rescue kit out might not seem a big deal, but the seconds can really stack up when you start fumbling with probes, shovel shafts and whatnot. Ideally, a shovel and probe that nearly deploy themselves would be ideal. Getting closer. Little things help.
Alugator ski touring shovel weights:
Total: 472 grams
Blade: 270 grams
Shaft: 202 grams
Shaft, collapsed and inserted, 31 cm
Shaft, collapsed and removed from shovel, 38 cm
Shaft, extended, inserted in shovel, 52 cm
Total length with shaft extended, 75 cm
Blade 25 x 21 cm