Due to its small 23x20 inch blade size, the Crest Shovel from CAMP would not be ideal in deep burial situations. However, given that the Crest is the lightest ISMF certified shovel on the market, it's perfect for skimo races when you have an army of blades for digging. It also has several options for condensing into or onto a pack so you can keep yourself streamlined during the race.
- Includes carrying bag with straps that can be lashed to a small or overly-stuffed race pack (85 grams).
- Handle slides into the blade for additional packability options, and redeploys quickly by pulling on the handle.
- Four slots on the blade enable you to use the shovel as an anchor or emergency stretcher when combined with skis.
- Aluminum alloy shaft is strong, rigid, and contoured for easy gripping.
- Polypropylene blade is designed to prevent the bouncing that occurs with other plastic blades.
||Aluminum alloy shaft, polypropylene blade|
|Blade Dimensions||23cm x 20cm (460cm²)|
|Skimo Co Says|
|Usage||Racing, playing in the sandbox|
|Notes||Several options for packing|
|Bottom Line||Light & cheap|
|Compare to other Shovels|
Questions & Reviews
You cant beat this shovel for racing! The weight savings from a "real" shovel for the money is excellent. In real application, it does perform best in the sand box with my toddler rather than digging out a burial.
Background on product familiarity: The Crest shovel mainly just sits in my pack for racing and training, but my, ah, assistant (?) has also tested it out thoroughly.
First, the first impressions out of the box: The shovel is small, very small. The blade size is adequate, but the shaft is only a bit longer than necessary to get one bulky gloved hand around the base of the shaft and another on the handle. The metal shaft seems sufficiently sturdy, and the small metal handle is okay for gloves (although probably not for mittens). The shaft inserts reliably and securely into the “neckless” blade, and the shaft end is nicely plugged.
The suspect element is the blade: soft flexible plastic without any sort of reinforced edge.
Second impressions, in use: If an avalanche did hit a rando race (which happened at the World Championships several years ago, though fortunately it missed any competitors), then perhaps a crowd of nearby racers could chip away enough at the avy debris to uncover and extricate a fully buried victim. But a single skier in the backcountry with only a CAMP Crest shovel to dig out a partner? Ineffective at best, and entirely impossible at worst.
The Crest does have another valuable application, which also demonstrates its size. Here is our daughter just a few days after she turned three years old: http://tinyurl.com/CAMPcrest
Note how it’s perfectly proportioned for her body (and she’s about average height for her age), and how it’s so light that she can one-handedly scoop up loose snow. She absolutely loves it -- I have to sneak “her shovel” away from here when packing for a race. Plus the blade is so flexible that she can’t inflict harm on herself or anyone/anything else.
Third impressions, for long-term durability: The leading edge of the blade is already dinged up from some minor use. But the blade’s flexibility will probably help to prevent any conceivable catastrophic failure. And anyway, this isn’t the kind of shovel you’ll be using frequently to actually, well, shovel.
Most entertaining gear review ever? Possibly. I almost spit up my lunch laughing! Great statement on a situation where reality and meeting the spirit of the rules gets ridiculous. While I guess the current rule is better than when bear claws were OK, what next, ISMF avy beacons that have a battery, blinking light, certain dimensions and nothing more to them? The possibilities seem endless.
1. Here's the updated url: https://photos.app.goo.gl/THUJBCCTWCusYyzH8 ... for my daughter putting the shovel to good use just a few days after she turned three years old.
2. By the time she was five years old, she deemed the shovel far too small for backyard snow play applications.
3. After a race this past weekend, when discussing gear plans for a racer about to enter his first Euro race, we were all in agreement that he has absolutely has to get one of these shovels (and then just bring another "real" shovel for pre- and post-race touring), since it's still the lightest approved shovel for racing (plus it's nearly free too).
I have the shovel. I love it. I use it for race day. And I would be so frustrated if I ever witnessed some freak slide, say at the Highlands Bowls in Aspen during the Power of Four, and knew this was the only thing in my pack. Skimo courses are mostly safe, but snow is a curious medium and stranger things have happened.
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