Shovel: friend or enemy? Choose wisely, and it will be your boon backcountry companion. Choose poorly and your mouth will have the permanent taste of ass, even as your back pains you. Black Diamond's Transfer shovels come in peace. And pieces, for excellent packability.
The Transfer 3 scoops .3 gallons, the Transfer 7 scoops .7. The 3 is perfect for both big mountains and backcountry light. It's 23oz and it breaks down as shown. Note you can't push the handle all the way through the blade like you can on Black Diamond's other shovel, the Deploy. The shaft is trapezoidal (latin for "not round") so it doesn't rotate as you try to lock the pins. The T handle has an cutaway in back that makes it mitten-friendly much like a D. The anchor rigging holes are too small for a carabiner but will take webbing and cord just fine.
The handle extends to 33in on the 3 and 34in on the 7, saving your back. Last time up Denali I took a short-handled shovel and paid the price: I can still taste the ass, and everything I eat tastes like… well, you get the point. For avalanche work the flat bottom makes a clean cut, and the aluminum blade is tough enough for reliably chopping through debris. The smaller volume blade is your friend here: you're going to be moving a lot of snow fast and endurance is important. Do the math: 1 meter deep = 1 ton of snow. So grab a Transfer and a copy of Strategic Shoveling and go practice.