The MSR Gear that Got Eric Larsen to the North Pole

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By Eric Larsen

On May 6th, my expedition partner Ryan Waters and I reached the geographic North Pole after 53 grueling days. To reach the North Pole from land is a journey of 480 miles in a straight line, but the route is anything but direct. With sea ice moving and shifting due to winds, tides and ocean currents, the surface is constantly in flux. Huge pans of ice collide and crack in a screeching chug, chug, chug sound. There is an overall drift to the ice, too. The entire mass moves slowly from the pole toward Canada, the U.S. and Greenland. In fact, waking up each morning, we were usually quite distraught after checking our GPS—losing up to 3 miles of forward progress while we slept. Read More →

Flashback: The 1970 MSR Climbing Tower

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We’ve been looking through the original Mountain Safety Research Newsletter archives (1969-1982) again, and wanted to share this gem from the May 1970 issue announcing the new climbing tower. MSR Founder and newsletter Editor Larry Penberthy—always meticulous about setting the standards of safety through testing—built a tower structure for product testing and made it available to the public. It was free for Mountain Rescue groups, and only $1 per person otherwise. To use it, climbers needed to bring their own ropes and safety equipment, and make sure to follow the safety rules.

The May 22nd open house offered a chance to “see (and try) the new belaying techniques” and reservations were requested by phone, so enough “soda pop and cookies” could be provided.

Climbing Tower

To see more of the Mountain Safety Research Newsletter archives, visit http://thesummitregister.com/mountain-safety-research-newsletter-archives/. See something particularly interesting? Tell us in the comments!

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MSR SUMMER TREKKING POLES WILL CHANGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF WHAT A POLE SHOULD BE

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Some people are big fans of trekking poles. If you don’t happen to be one of these devotees, or if you have never used summer trekking poles before, here are some great reasons to consider trying them out this summer.

Research is beginning to show the benefits of hiking with trekking poles. In a 2010 study conducted by Northumbria University in England and reported on ScienceDaily.com, researchers tested the heart rates, perceived exertion, and muscle damage and function of two groups of hikers—one group using trekking poles and one going unassisted—while hiking Mount Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales. The results showed that trekking poles helped support muscle function and significantly reduced muscle soreness in subsequent days.[1] Read More →

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Marilyn Moss’ New Book Explores the Creative Genius of Tent Pioneer of Bill Moss

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The Bill Moss Story from Driftwater Productions on Vimeo.

Modern camping tent designs owe much to the creative mind and technical ingenuity of 20th century fabric designer and artist Bill Moss. In 1955, Moss was frustrated with the bulky, smelly, hard-to-assemble camp tents of the day. Inspired by nature’s versatile and remarkably efficient designs, Moss fashioned the now-legendary dome “Pop Tent,” redefining tent architecture, and with it, life in the outdoors—gaining a cult following along the way. Read More →

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Ode to the Shoulder Season—Skiing and Rock Climbing at Washington Pass

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Dana skinning towards Liberty Bell Massif on a warm May morning.

Dana skinning towards Liberty Bell Massif on a warm May morning.

Photos and Story By Leif Whittaker

By the middle of May, when winter’s final curtains of snow are pelting the North Cascades and warm afternoons are growing longer each day, we in the Northwest are aching for the full brunt of summer. It has been eight months since we last wore boardshorts and flip-flops. All the ski resorts are closed, but the trailheads and crags are still buried in a thick layer of winter’s residue and it will be another month or two before the highest arêtes and dihedrals are completely dried out. For many of us, the shoulder season is a frustrating interlude between two joyous extremes—deep powder and hot rock. However, as I discovered during a recent trip up Liberty Bell, the shoulder season is not a mere delay; it is a unique mixture of two opposing forces and, when combined correctly, the resulting concoction can be wonderfully potent. Read More →

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MSR Staff Picks: 5 Fast-and-Light Pieces

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This one is for the ounce-counters, minimalists and ultralight packers. We asked five MSR employees which pieces of gear they pack when the objective is to go farther—faster. These pieces represent some of our smallest, lightest and smartest products for minimizing weight without sacrificing reliability on high-adventure journeys. Read More →

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GETTING THE SHOT: Behind the Scenes on the Hubba Hubba NX Photo Shoot

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MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent marketing campaign photo. Photo credit: Garrett Grove

MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent marketing campaign photo. Photo credit: Garrett Grove

By Ryan Hayter

At MSR, we strive to not only build great gear but to inspire others to get outside and experience what makes us so passionate about the mountains. Imagery that captures those real moments in the outdoors – whether it’s a breathtaking view, an incredible sunrise or a shared, though silent experience with friends – plays a big role in telling the MSR story and our reason for being.

iOs photo credit: Megan Bailey

iOs photo credit: Megan Bailey

Read More →

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TENT CARE 101: KEEPING YOUR TENT CLEAN & DRY

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Camping season is calling, and if you haven’t been outdoors for a while, it may be time to get your gear in order. The good news is that if you take care of your MSR tent, you’ll have it for years to come. Here are three frequently asked questions and tent care tips from our customer service department that can help you keep your tent in good working order.

1. What’s the best way to store my tent between trips?
It’s best to store your tent in a dry and cool area, not in direct sunlight. Instead of storing the tent in its stuff sack, keep it in an oversized, breathable cotton bag or mesh duffel, just as you might store a sleeping bag. Or using a simple pillowcase can work just as well. Read More →

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Behind the Photo: Photographing the Milky Way

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By Jameson Savage

I vividly remember lying on the wet grass staring up at the Milky Way passing over Yellow Stone National Park as a child. I had never seen anything so thought-provoking or awe-inspiring before in my life, and I can’t safely say I’ve seen anything that compares to it since. This is an experience that I wouldn’t want anyone robbed of, but as our cities expand we lose our connection to the stars ever so gradually. The larger they grow the smaller our view into the universe becomes.

Over the course of the next five months I’m setting out to capture the Milky Way throughout the Western United States documenting the impact that our cities have on it’s visibility, and what we can do to curb this effect. I’d like to share the experience of this project with you by running through the planning and gear that you will need to capture Milky Way images such as these taken at Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and Crater Lake, Oregon.

Bonsai_Rock_MSR Read More →

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