Behind the Shot: Photog Scott Rinckenberger Talks Light, Shadows and Snowshoeing

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My assignment was to shoot the new MSR Revo Explore snowshoes in their element: long distance treks without a defined trail, without getting into the realm of technical terrain. I pulled together a group of outdoor athletes with some serious snowshoe experience, and booked a yurt in the Oregon backcountry to make the most of a late spring snowpack. Read More →

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Radical Reels: The Best Action-Packed Mountain Sports Films

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© Sebastien Montaz-Rosset | Petit Bus Rouge

© Sebastien Montaz-Rosset | Petit Bus Rouge

By Ali Carr Troxell

Picture this: a bunch of svelte mountain athletes rabbiting between slack-lining, base-jumping, paragliding, and free-soloing…wearing clown shoes. All at a frenetic pace set to music that’s better suited to a big top than an outdoor film. This mash up of skilled athletes and acrobatic circus performers is the premise behind the French film, Petit Bus Rouge (or Little Red Bus, as it translates). It’s a sure audience-pleaser scheduled for this year’s Radical Reels tour. Read More →

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Backcountry Basics: Recognizing and Assessing Avalanche Terrain

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Photo: Dale Atkins.

By Dale Atkins

“We didn’t think we were in an avalanche path.”

These were the sorrow-filled words told to me by a couple whose friend was buried and killed in very small Colorado avalanche back in 2000. The problem of not recognizing avalanche terrain is not new. Avalanche survivors have likely uttered similar words for centuries, and even today the message is still heard after some accidents.

Avalanche terrain can be a broad and complicated topic. But here, I’ll introduce some ideas and key points about avalanche terrain that you may not have heard before. I hope this will encourage you to seek out information. Recognizing avalanche terrain is key to staying alive and having fun in the backcountry. You can’t control the weather or the snow conditions but you can control when you go—and where. Read More →

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Backcountry Basics: How To Use Your Avalanche Probe, Shovel, and Snow Saw

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Photo by: Scott Rinckenberger

Photo by: Scott Rinckenberger

Written by Jeff Hambelton

Working in the backcountry during the winter for the Northwest Avalanche Center, I investigate the current snowpack, track the avalanche hazard, and perform all manner of experiments in the name of snow science. If you ask me what’s in my pack, you may get varied answers, depending on the mission. You might find overnight gear, maybe a science toolkit, sometimes a picnic lunch. But you will always find my shovel, probe and snow saw—the basic tools for snow science and companion rescue. Read More →

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A Day in the Life of an NWAC Avalanche Observer

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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 →

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Flashback: Softgood Solutions—The MSR Mountain Parka

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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 →

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

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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 →

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Snowshoeing: Looking at your favorite trails through a wintertime lens

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Photo Credit: Scott Rinckenberger

Photo Credit: Scott Rinckenberger

By Scott Schell

Snowshoeing is the wintertime equivalent to summer’s hiking, right? Or is it? Heading out onto your favorite trail with snowshoes on your feet may seem like a good idea, but avalanche conditions may not warrant safe travel. Before venturing out this winter, you should educate yourself on how to properly read wintertime terrain, as well as understand the risks associated with traveling through it. Here, we’ll look at the basics of recognizing avalanche terrain. Read More →

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Day in the Life: MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes

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Winter weather is here and in many places snow has already blanketed the local hills. Here’s a dose of inspiration to get you excited for the snowshoeing season. Whether your mission this year is to complete a backcountry camping trip, a hut-to-hut, or simply enjoy many days of fun winter adventure and hiking, MSR snowshoes are engineered to back you up with confidence behind every step.