Shoveling is typically the most time consuming part of avalanche rescue, especially for deeper burials. You can save considerable time by using strategic shoveling techniques, as described by Edgerly and Atkins (International Snow Science Workshop Proceedings 2006) and Edgerly (International Snow Science Workshop Proceedings 2010). Both articles are well worth 10 minutes of your time as they will save you critical time if you are put in the unfortunate position of needing to do a rescue.
In addition, here's an excellent Backcountry Access YouTube video describing the basic technique.
A larger party would seem advantageous for excavation, but quickly and efficiently organizing the party to dig strategically can sometimes be challenging.
|Courtesy "Steve the Cook"|