One thing we’ve wanted around here for years is a multipurpose shovel shaft that doubles as an ice axe and perhaps other tools. I don’t know if it was serendipity or what, but when WildSnow progeny Louie worked in product design for K2 a while back, he was part of the team that designed and brought to retail exactly that product. Yep, great minds think alike and a product he’d been dreaming of for years came to fruition!
Press release folows, edited for brevity and clarity:
…Latest addition to K2’s tool collection – Rescue Shovel Plus-Ice Axe (Shaxe) – is the ultimate multi-purpose backcountry tool for a wide array of winter adventures. Modeled off K2’s successful Rescue Shovel Plus platform, which was designed to not only function as a standard shovel, but also as a hoe, emergency rescue sled, dead man anchor, and foundation surface for a stove. Shax (edit: Let’s just call it that cool name) features a removable handle with an interchangeable ice axe head. Complete with a storage sleeve and rescue sled instructions, the handy multi-purpose tool is certified (CE) standards for global distribution. Beyond the convenience of carrying one tool, the Rescue Shovel Plus-Ice Axe is lighter, deploys longer than the average backcountry shovel, and is more cost-effective than purchasing several separate tools. MSRP $139.95
Features: Emergency Sled Ready with included hardware, Hoe Mode, Blade Webbing Holes for use as a Deadman Anchor, Removable Handle, Interchangeable Ice Axe Head, Storage Sleeve
Weight: 810g, (Ice Axe Only: 365g) Handle Length: Extended 64cm (25 ¼”), Collapsed 41cm (16”) Blade Dimensions: 25cm x 28cm (9 ½” x 11”)
I can tell you we’ll be testing the heck out of this thing, and probably building a carbon shaft version. After all, even something that’s totally modified needs more mods since this is WildSnow.com
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.