This latest iteration (2015) of an Ortovox classic avalanche shovel offers an even better weight-to-rigidity ratio. Stabilization ribs and high sidewalls give the anodized blade its stiffness, while the integrated shaft socket makes it easy to pack. With the new quick-lock, the blade and the fluted telescoping shaft can be put together in one motion. The new T-Grip Pro can be inserted for both right and left-handers. One hand grasps the long grip side, which serves as an ergonomic lever, while the other hand has maximum hold on the shaft’s rubber-coated grip zone.Although usually tucked away in your backpack or pants pocket, the included Pocket Spike can quickly be retrieved in risky situations, like when you’ve only got a few feet to the summit or you have to cross a steep slope. In two steps, you can affix it to the PRO ALU III shovel handle for added protection. The pocket spike's sharp forged axe head is made of AL 7075 T6. The shaft spike replaces the shovel blade. These two parts snap together to form a single piece with no sharp edges — to be appreciated on tours where a little additional support is needed over the last few meters.