So your in the market for a new avalanche shovel and you come across the term “UIAA 156 avalanche shovel standard” but your not quite sure what this means? Snowsafe breakdown what UIAA 156 avalanche shovel standard is and what snow shovels are certified for winter 2021.
A Global Mountain Network. The International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation (UIAA) known by its french name Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinisme (UIAA, lit. International Union of Alpine Clubs) was founded in 1932 and has a global presence on six continents representing 90 member associations and federations in 67 countries.
Standard 156 is dedicated to Avalanche Rescue Shovels, it took UIAA a decade to find the problems with failing avalanche shovels, from Feild Testing, Lab Testing, and Standard development.
UIAA Safety commission President Dave Custer explains more:
During these observations and tests some shovel models failed during avalanche rescue practice; this evidence was followed up with more rigorous testing of shovels on the market wherein, once again, shovels used in practice rescues failed at ‘sobering’ rates.
Based on the evidence that safety-critical mountaineering equipment was failing during training exercises, standards development for avalanche rescue shovels began.
The Standard defines the thresholds for the minimum mechanical requirements based on current, correctly performing products on the market. In parallel, it defines the thresholds for the minimum values of ergonomic requirements derived from the field experience for a good shovel performance based on user capabilities.
It also outlines a minimum construction requirement for good operability on the field. Finally, it defines testing procedures, built on a robust technical basis.
In the lab, tests were designed to the failure modes found in the field: tension and bending.
Standard 156 will be tested at UIAA-accredited laboratories. Currently, TüV Süd in Germany tests for this standard.
UIAA 156 is a growing safety standard which is really really good news, more and more brands are encorperating the 156 standard into there avalanche shovels, rigirous tests are made to certify the avy shovels and brands are creating trusted products for us avy heads who love skiing in the backcountry.
Please see the following shovels which hold the UIAA 156 Safety Standard:
Ortovox Kodiak Shovel
The UIAA Certified Ortovox Kodiak Shovel is a hard-wearing, durable avalanche shovel with an ergonomic D-grip as well as a unique clearing function.
Ortovox Pro Light Shovel
UIAA Certified, Extremely lightweight, compact and functional, the Ortovox Pro Light Shovel is the perfect companion for all ski tourers who want a lightweight and robust shovel as well as placing a high demand on their equipment.
Black Diamond Transfer LT Shovel
At 405 grams, the Black Diamond Transfer LT shovel is the lightest UIAA certified shovel on the market.
Due in December 31st 2021
Black Diamond Transfer 3 Shovel
Built with an extendable handle and high-volume blade profile, the Black Diamond Transfer 3 Shovel helps you throw as much snow as possible from the smallest footprint.
Black Diamond Evac 7 Shovel
Our top-of-the-line shovel for professional use, the Black Diamond Evac 7 Shovel features a unique handle that can be set up in two configurations for digging test pits or rapid snow removal.
Mammut Alugator Pro Light Hoe Shovel
A savior in time of need: the high-performance tilt proof design of the Mammut Alugator Pro Light blade, together with the ergonomically shaped D-grip, offers maximum stability and transfer of strength when shoveling.
It’s important to stay safe and have the correct training when skiing or snowboarding off-piste please check out further blogs below:
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