Gear Archives: The Evolution of MSR Avalanche Probes

MSR was founded on mountaineering and snow safety, and our MSR Striker™ probes not only continue that legacy but also deliver on our founding promise to build better, more reliable and easier-to-use gear. Vastly different from the MSR probes of 40+ years ago, the Striker probes’ unique construction and features meet the needs of everyone from mountaineers and professional guides to backcountry skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers. Here’s a brief look at past and present MSR probe innovations. The History of MSR Avalanche Probes In the 1970s, before snow science was standard practice for the typical backcountry traveler, probes were primarily used in avalanche rescue situations to help locate buried skiers or climbers, as well as by mountaineers to detect voids, crevasses and other hidden dangers lurking beneath the surface of…

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Gear Archives: Diving Deep—The Evolution of the MSR® Snow Fluke

Some people love snow flukes: skiers who want a low-profile anchoring device that fits in their packs; mountaineers traveling in softer or uniform snow conditions; rescue guides or climbing pairs who may need to anchor with only one free hand. As snow protection gear, the fluke definitely has its place, and it’s been part of MSR’s history almost from the beginning. It goes back to 1969, soon after Larry Penberthy founded Mountain Safety Research, Inc. to support the work he began with The Mountaineers of independently reviewing climbing equipment and making gear that was safer and easier to use. Penberthy published his findings in the Mountain Safety Research newsletter, which sold third-party and MSR brand gear. The first two pieces of gear featured in the newsletter were Edmont cold-weather gloves…

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Making Better Snow Tools: the MSR Snow Saw Legacy

For some, winter adventures in the backcountry mean snow camping—for others, backcountry skiing. Whether you see yourself building a snow shelter or checking snow conditions this season, you’ll need snow tools you can rely on to deliver unmatched performance in the field. Developing gear that’s safer and easier to use is something MSR has been doing for more than five decades, and it’s a focus that has led to innovations in snow tools, including the snow saw. But first, a little history… Making a safer saw: the Igloo Tool The innovation started soon after the founding of MSR, with the introduction of the MSR Igloo Tool. First offered through founder Larry Penberthy’s Mountain Safety Research newsletter in November 1969, the tool provided alpinists and expedition travelers with a safer alternative…

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