Thought we’d start firing a few gear reviews from up here on the big one.
Caleb reviewed our Backcountry Access shovels a while ago. Happy to report that all shovels are working well here at 14,200 feet on Denali, with no durability issues. That said, I’d like to single out the G3 SpadeTECH we brought along. While our BCA shovels have an incredible ratio of durability vs weight vs blade size, the G3 biases everything to the durability side, making this our shovel of choice whenever we have dense snow to chip away at. On Denali you get lots of that kind of snow, so we’re incredibly glad we threw in the G3 at the last minute. While the Guide doesn’t have the blade size we like for a Colorado avalanche safety tool, you could still press it into service for that. Quite a nice tool, if I do say. (Note, we modified the G3 with a D-handle from a cheap hardware store snow shovel — all shovels on Denali should have D-handles.)
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.