for any noobs reading - many of the smallest sized shovels being sold today by some companies as snow safety gear are not acceptable for use in the bc.
G3, Black diamond, voile, i think ortovox and i'm sure others make shovels that have no business in anyone's bc pack as an 'essential' item.
don't get a teeny tiny little bitch shovel just to keep your pack light. get a man's shovel and save a life like a real 'murican hero
get the hell off my lawn.