The Pit Boss gets its name for its excellent use in building snow pits and snow columns (e.g. for snow-pack research). Most backcountry skiers, of course, want to bring their shovels primarily as an emergency tool in case of an avalanche release, but the pros will do the so called “Rutschblock” test not only once a day, but often every time they have to cross a slope. Snow conditions vary from slope to slope depending upon which direction the slope is facing (shade or the sun). This blade design has been optimized for snow column tests by including strong, steeper side walls and a rib design for more stiffness. With almost 40-inch extended handle length, The Pit Boss shovels easily, and when you’re done, just slide the handle forward so it will rest inside the blade for easy packing. The Pit Boss is extremely sturdy and features a T-grip design but I hear that you can replace it with a D-grip if you prefer, which can be ordered from Life Link directly. The Pit Boss has by far the coolest (or let’s say hottest) design, displaying red and yellow flames on an overall black colored shovel.