Snowshovel? Pah, Snowclaw!

I had to get something to build myself a wee windbreak for cooking when I’m using the Big Agnes bivy in the snow. I looked at proper snow shovels, but even the lightest ones are too much weight and bulk.

So as suggested (Kev…) I got a Snowclaw, and it’s pretty much ideal. It’s light, it’ll fit behind the MSC pocket on my OMM packs, it’ll work as a seat as well.

Yes, yes, I know everyone got one last year.

Still, in the yellow and black it looks a bit like a LaSportiva boot that’s been crushed by steam roller. So that’s fine then.


7 thoughts on “Snowshovel? Pah, Snowclaw!”

  1. I should point out that I don’t actually have one of these so if it all goes horribly wrong, don’t blame me :o)

    I stuck my snow shovel on the kitchen scales btw. 750gms (ish) Erk!

  2. Did you get to use the ‘techno frisbee’ this weekend ptc? Is it really a viable alternative to a ‘proper’ snow shovel?

  3. I’ve had a Snowclaw guide for a couple of years now and imo the answer is basically ‘yes’, a lot of the time anyway .

    To clarify, I’ve used snow shovels for a dozen or more years with my ski touring, beginning with a Lifelink polycarbonate one (~500g) but moving on to a metal bladed Voile Mini (640g iirc) after I encountered wind-blown, frozen Norwegian snow that the Lifelink just couldn’t make an impression in! That would still be my choice for most Scandinavian touring, and we’d also make sure we had at least one ice-axe with a steel adze in the party to help with ice-chopping.

    But I’ve also used the Snowclaw and it’s effective as long as the snow isn’t concrete. The chopping/digging/scooping action is quite effective and not too tiring since it’s close to the body. It’s also easier than a full shovel at times for excavating inside your hole or cave in cramped conditions.

    So for the UK where I don’t really expect to be digging major snow structures but might want a seat or windbreak or slot shelter then I’d probably take just the Snowclaw. It will do the job and it’s so light and compact that I’m happy to always include it through the winter on a ‘just in case’ basis. I’d swap to my metal shovel if I expected the worst conditions or intended to go snow-holing. And ideally as part as a group I’d ensure we had a mix of Snowclaws and standard shovels since they each have their strengths.

  4. Thanks mattc and ptc for the tips and experiences. I think I’ll go for a snowclaw now and maybe add a shovel when we starting ski touring in January. The snow was soft and powdery over the weekend but has iced up hard this morning (-9C overnight).

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