Why are there holes in my shovel?

6:48 p.m. on March 19, 2013 (EDT)
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This should be an easy one:

I'm not a back-country skier so I don't know much beyond the basics of avalanche science.  I do have a shovel that I use in the Summer to dig in the snow if I need to make a windbreak for the tent or something.  But one thing about it puzzles me: why do avy shovel blades usually have two holes in the side?

55195-medium_work-Mini_Telepro_T6_Avalan

I imagine its for stowing the thing but I can't think how to use the holes for that.  Anyone have a pic of the correct way to use these holes? 

Maybe this belongs in the gear forum, oops. 

8:34 p.m. on March 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Emergency dead man anchor. Extra stake out for your tent. Or worst case a way to transport an injured partner.

8:58 p.m. on March 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Most of us ski patrollers and backcountry skiers in avy territory put ropes thru them and around the handle top for use as shoulder straps. Only one knot needs to be untied to take the rope out.

 That's the main reason they are found on most brands of avy shovels. You'll see ski patrollers in big ski areas carrying them like this.

5:19 p.m. on March 20, 2013 (EDT)
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It makes it lighter! :) And at Halloween you can use it as a mask. They are also great sleds when on a slope and want to get to the bottom faster.

7:04 p.m. on March 20, 2013 (EDT)
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to carry it with shoulder straps, and as an emergency sled to evacuate your buddy with the broken legs...

9:32 a.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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All of the above, I believe, but my knowledge on it is mainly academic. 

8:16 p.m. on March 22, 2013 (EDT)
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Pasta strainer.

12:12 p.m. on March 23, 2013 (EDT)
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insert hooked end of bungee cord, turn 90 degrees - and lash it to your backpack.  or, loop the free end of a 1 to 1.5 inch cargo strap through those holes to secure it to a daisy chain on your backpack.  or forget the holes and get a mystery ranch broomstick:

http://www.mysteryranch.com/adventure/skiing-snowboarding-packs/broomstick-pack

and yes, as a couple already noted, those holes can help (with skis) turn it into an impromptu sled if needed, or as a snow anchor by looping a line through the holes and burying the shovel.  

1:55 p.m. on March 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I though maybe you looked through them to avoid snow blindness, but your eyes would have to be pretty far apart wouldn't they. Haha.

Mike G.

1:28 a.m. on March 28, 2013 (EDT)
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Well, that is simple.  Geesh. It's to keep you from ruining both eyes at the same time.  You have a spare to stare with.

8:22 p.m. on March 31, 2013 (EDT)
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speacock said:

Well, that is simple.  Geesh. It's to keep you from ruining both eyes at the same time.  You have a spare to stare with.

 Excellent point!

September 23, 2014
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