New Snow Safety Tools For The 2014/2015 Season

Black Diamond Evac Shovel

As more and more people venture through the gates or choose to skip the resort altogether, outdoor brands are strengthening their commitment to snow safety for the the 2014/2015 season. Alongside game changing innovations like the Jetforce avalanche airbag pack, numerous improvements have been made to the essential three items that should be in any backcountry adventurer's pack: beacon, shovel, and probe. 


Black Diamond Evac (7 – $80, 9): A multi-functional backcountry tool, the Evac's durable anodized aluminum blade simply flips to operate in either shovel or hoe mode from the same attachment point. A winter saw accessory can be attached to the dual collapsible shaft for clearing branches or cleaning sidewalls in a snow pit. 

MSR Operator (T – $69, D) and Responder: The neckless, lightweight, and high-strength aluminum blade makes for ultra-packability. An aggressive, serrated edge easily breaks through hard pack conditions and ice. 

Mammut Alugator Twist ($59.95): The pre-shaped rotating shaft offers two positions (shovel and hoe mode) in one compact unit for cutting blocks, digging an avalanche pit, and shoveling snow. The T-grip and hardened, anodized blade with integrated stabilization ribs make for confident handling when digging.


Avalanche Transceiver

BCA Tracker 3 ($370): The Tracker3 is smaller and lighter than other models and is one of the most compact multi-antenna transmitter-receivers out there. With its intelligent multiple burial search mode and simple, intuitive operation, the Tracker3 is lightning fast. The real-time display enables swift and extremely precise searching.

Mammut Carbon Probe 240 Fast Lock


MSR Striker (CX320, 320, 240-$59): The new MSR line of aluminum probes use a variable diameter construction to cut down on weight, with a thick, 13mm diameter lower section for maximum stiffness and efficiency. Locking together in a single pull, the Striker probes come with 5cm depth markings offset for 360 degree visibility. 

Mammut Carbon Probe 240 Fast Lock ($74.95): A lightweight probe made from high-quality carbon and extending to 240cm. The Fast Lock Tensioning System which makes extending the probe easy and fast while wearing gloves.

Black Diamond Quickdraw Carbon 320 Probe ($80): Designed for deeper snow packs, the new Black Diamond probe features high-visibility cm shaft measurements for quick and precise depth evaluation. The probe's pull cord is integrated into the stuff sack for a super quick, one pull deployment. 

I have a Pieps and Black Diamond snow safety setup that I have been testing this winter and am so far impressed. Full reviews to follow.  


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