Gear Archives: Making Traction—MSR Snowshoe Innovations

Posted by & filed under Other.

Photo by Peter Mathis

Photo by Peter Mathis

Snowshoe technology reaches back thousands of years and across the globe, but in recent years it’s made history right here in the Pacific Northwest—and MSR has a lot to do with it. Take a look and see how our MSR Denali™ and Lightning™ snowshoe models helped usher in a new era of snowshoe design.

The design revolution

The modern snowshoe looks very different from the traditional hardwood and rawhide designs of old. The shift to new materials—aluminum and plastic—in the 1970s allowed for smaller, lighter and more durable frames. Other innovations soon followed: suspension binding systems increased the snowshoe’s efficiency, making it possible to traverse long distances in rough and mountainous terrain, while integrated cleats helped cut through ice and crusty snow. Just as revolutionary, however, were innovations introduced by MSR, including injection-molded plastic decks, modular flotation and 360-degree traction. Read More →

Tags: , , , ,

MSR Snowshoes: Bred in the Mountains, Made in Seattle

Posted by & filed under Other.

With the right snowshoes—MSR snowshoes—you can venture out into most anything winter has to offer, from snow-covered hills and forested trails, to glacier fields and steep, icy slopes. MSR designs have led the industry in innovation for twenty years, and one of the ways we continue that forward progress is by manufacturing our snowshoes right here in Seattle, Washington. Take a look and see how we create the unrivaled traction, modular flotation and ergonomic efficiency that go into MSR Snowshoes. 

Manufactured in Seattle

All MSR snowshoes have been made on site in Seattle since the 1995 launch of the Denali Classic snowshoe. Working from a concept by renowned inventor and big wall climber Bill Forrest, and developed using MSR technology and engineering, the Denali featured traction bars and crampons made of strong martensitic steel in a design that revolutionized the snowshoe industry.

caption

Bill Forrest from the MSR photo archives (left) and MSR Denali Classic Snowshoes, 1995 (right)

Read More →

Tags: , , ,

MSR Backcountry Cafe: Apple & Sage Stuffing

Posted by & filed under Other.

Recipe and photos by Tara Alan

If you’re anything like me, you never grow tired of the dressing (or stuffing!) your family makes at every winter holiday meal. Whether it’s concocted with cornbread or mushrooms, oysters or dried cranberries; whether it’s stuffed inside a bird or baked in a pan, it’s your favorite side dish, and you secretly wish you could have it more often. So why not tuck into a whole bowl of stuffing, and eschew the cranberry sauce and green beans? Well, now’s your chance!

Stuffing Read More →

Tags: , , , , ,

MSR Backcountry Pole Technology: Rethinking Traditional Design

Posted by & filed under Tech.

Photo by: Peter Mathis

Photo by: Peter Mathis

For winter backcountry travelers, poles are simply essential pieces of gear. Whether your route contains snow-laden log bridges, endless switchbacks or a rocky alpine approach, poles help increase your safety and efficiency while traveling through demanding terrain. But not all poles are engineered equally. Here we take a look at the unique technology behind MSR’s backcountry poles, and explain how our engineers employed fresh ideas to solve many frustrations plaguing traditional pole designs. Read More →

Tags: , , , , ,

Radiant Burner Stoves: The Ultimate in All-Weather Performance and Efficiency

Posted by & filed under Tech.

burner

Originally Published on 8/21/2013

MSR engineered the Reactor and WindBoiler stove systems to be the fastest, most fuel-efficient stove systems in the real-world conditions of the alpine. Achieving such a high performance standard required a stove that goes beyond the conventions of camp stove burner technology. Based on decades of research and more than five years of development, the MSR engineering team built the Reactor, and then the WindBoiler, around a unique radiant burner head. The Reactor was the first climbing and backpacking stove to truly harness the benefits of a radiant burner. Radiant burners allow canister fuel stoves to achieve high-performance, excellent efficiency and great weather resistance. Read More →

Tags: , , ,

In Terms of Backcountry Water Treatment, When is Water Considered Safe to Drink?

Posted by & filed under Other.

P1020226

Photo by: Ryan Peterson, Unuk River in AK

Brown, silty streams, tea-colored rivulets, even clear, ice-cold lakes—any backcountry water source can serve up a cocktail of contaminants. But not everything that’s present in an undeveloped water source is necessarily harmful, and only some things pose an immediate threat to your health. In fact, it’s impractical and unnecessary to remove everything, all the time. So, in terms of backcountry water treatment, when is water considered safe to drink? Read More →

Tags: , ,

A Day in the Life of an NWAC Avalanche Observer

Posted by & filed under Other.

MSR-DIL5

Story By Kate Hourihan

After a couple of hours behind the wheel just before dawn, I arrived at the home of Jeff Hambelton, a professional observer for the Northwest Avalanche Center. My goal for the day was to tag along with Jeff, and experience a typical day of observation from start to finish. I wanted to know more about Jeff and his work with Washington state’s Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC), but also what he’s thinking about when he is out, and how he translates his findings back to the Avalanche Center. Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Flashback: Softgood Solutions—The MSR Mountain Parka

Posted by & filed under Cult.

MSR is known for high-quality, reliable outdoor hardgoods. But did you know that in the company’s early years, MSR also made clothing? In fact, over the years, MSR offered such items as waterproof rain jackets to insulated footsacks that converted into puffy overpants. But our first foray into clothing started with the MSR Mountain Parka, which debuted in the April 1973 Mountain Safety Research Newsletter written by MSR founder and professional inventor Larry Penberthy.

Parka 1 Read More →

Tags: , , ,

Snow Safety Tools: 7 Apps to Help You Stay Safe in the Backcountry

Posted by & filed under Tech.

By Ali Carr Troxell

Up until now, technology didn’t really exist in the realms of snow safety and weather prediction. Inclinometers, paper topo maps, online weather websites and walkie talkies aren’t what we’d exactly call 2.0. Be a Luddite no longer and grab that smartphone—the app world has stepped up with a handful of ways to make your life easier when it comes to staying safe on the snow.

WEATHER PREDICTION

RadarScope Read More →

Tags: , ,