The "snow hoe" option is actually very nice. Great for when you are digging pits with multiple people. You can hoe shit out of the way while others dig. It also could be very useful if you are digging like hell for a person with two or three others. Again, clearing snow as you dig into your victim.
I've been doing a bit more research, the Kodiak looks pretty awesome too if you want the pick axe function. Though I'm still with my original choice.
It's amazing how many design features you can fit into a shovel (and how important some of them seem to be).
The G3 AviTech was tempting me briefly. But the Beast is easier to source where I am and seems comparable in a few key ways and a solid choice.
Probe wise, I havent found any option recommended more frequently (by europeans) than the Ortovox. I also haven't seen any carbon probes for sale locally of 3+m but most will take a 40mm or 60mm extension piece. So going to stick with that option too and probably get the 40mm extension. Seems a sensible compromise of all the considerations raised.
The difference between a 240 and 300 prode is only a few ozs. in weight and a couple extra shaft pieces in bulk. I've always had a 300cm and you're not gonna notice a difference in weight/size that's equivalent to a couple clif bars. Seems strange to risk having a probe that's too short for the rescue vs. having a longer one that might be just a few bucks more. It's not like you're gonna buy multiple probes, so why not get one that will work no matter where you move/travel?
The shovel you listed seems like a good option. I've always opted for one with a telescoping handle too. I used to have a T-handle, but now that I'm venturing over into mitten territory (instead of gloves) I replaced it with a D-handle.
Having a probe that would work everywhere does seem more practical to me.
My probe is 320cm, but realistically speaking, if you're digging up someone buried 300cm, you're likely going to be digging up a corpse. They're just too deep. It's gonna take too long.
if you hold a tape measure in your hand and let it drop to the floor you'll be holding 75-100 cm of tape in your hand if you remain upright. in a probing situation are you going to go down to one knee driving your hand to the top of the snow each time you probe or are you going to remain standing?
i think its a silly argument to go short. are any of you really that concerned over the weight of two more fucking tent poles? would you accept a beacon with 30% less range? an airbag with 30% less capacity just so it will weigh 5% lighter?
Shrug. Well I listened to your advice and as already stated, since 300cm or longer were not available (without ordering for the US maybe), whereas the 280cm once actually was I've gone for that. Following the recommendation of several avalanche professionals is good enough for me.
I'm glad at 320cm yours all "go up to 11" so to speak but the crucial thing is that I now have something that I can and will carry with me in the side country where I will be using it instead of nothing. So let's just move on and hope none of us ever need to use them for real.