Different Methods for Moving Snow: Scooping vs. Paddling

How do you shovel? And where? Those might sound like silly questions, but they’re not, given the context of mountain travel and safety. Not all mountain professionals are the same; they have different outlooks, different goals and needs. G3 knows this, and built two designs of shovels that are tailored to work with specific shoveling techniques and specific duties. Now, with that in mind, do you scoop or paddle?

With G3, it’s all about the blade. And geometry. AviTech and SpadeTech are similar in that they both feature interchangeable, telescopic handles (T- and D-grip) that work with either blade, but where they differ is the size, shape and angle of the blade, and what shovel is best for you is determined by what you want from it.

The AviTech sounds like what it’s meant for: avalanche science and general backcountry dependability. The larger blade with angled geometry works well scooping large amounts of snow, which is not only good for digging out your buddy, but also for conducting snow science tests. If you dig a lot of pits, the smooth, flat blade and angled handle craft consistent pit walls and columns with ease. The traditional scoop and extended handle combo also excels with expedition-style winter camping chores.  

The SpadeTech is the paddler’s tool. Built in response to mountain guides and alpinists who prefer a smaller, but effective tool that can be used with one hand to perform a host of tasks while on the mountain, the size and linear geometry are great for materializing pressure on the tip of the curved blade with less effort, making it ideal for cutting cornices, chopping hard snow, tailoring skin tracks, and ultimately, through “paddling,” it is very effective at moving lots of snow. It also happens to fit nicely into the sidecountry skiers’ more compact backpack, resting fairly flatly in the pack, which makes sense when riding chairs.

The bottom line is that you can’t go wrong, but you should consider which tool is the best for your kind of use. G3 knows that backcountry skiers, mountaineers and guides sometimes have specific uses for their equipment, but that their expectations remain the same: they want it to work.

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