I am a big fan of shovels that convert to hoes and I think BD has come up with a winner here.

I asked for some feedback on the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides informalex and got lots of positive responses from people who had used them HARD and from some people who were just familiar with them. Everyone who had used them HARD agreed that it was a solid, efficient tool.

Consistent positive comments were:

  • Great ergonomics. It feels solid and moves snow really well as a shovel or a hoe. Big blade that you can get a boot on if need be.
  • Durable. I asked specifically if anyone had bent or broken one. Lots of folks said they had worked the Evac hard with no problems. I got one very disappointing report of a broken weld at the base of the blade on a first use of the shovel and one report of a slight bend in a blade while digging out frozen-in tent pegs.
  • Great tool for snow craft.

Consistent negative comments were:

  • The big blade and bent handle take up a lot of space in the pack.
  • The finish on the blade and handle picks up snow easily.
  • Handle sticks and or freezes but gets less sticky with time or a coating of graphite lube.
  • The buttons that you depress to change modes are awkward in gloves.

The big blade and curved handle do take up a lot of space and It is a pain in the ass to pack around. It was mentioned consistently how it didn’t fit into BD packs very well. That has supposedly changed with larger shovel pockets in the new BD ski packs. For me and a solid majority of the respondents, the benefits far outweigh the inconvenience. It is a solid, working class tool and in the hands of a REAL shovel operator it can move a lot of snow in either mode.

Larry Stanier
IFMGA Mountain Guide
CAA Professional Member