Gear Archives: The Evolution of MSR Avalanche Probes

MSR was founded on mountaineering and snow safety, and our new 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: MSR Avalanche Probes

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The Gear Institute Tours MSR’s Water Research Lab

Earlier this year, we gave you a behind-the-scenes look into the world of MSR’s on-site water research lab in this article. The microbiology lab was established in 1997 and has been dedicated to quality control, as well as researching, developing and testing water treatment solutions for outdoor users, the U.S. military and citizens in developing nations ever since. Recently, The Gear Institute stopped by to take a tour of the facility and find out why we go through such thorough testing on our water treatment devices. You can read all that The Gear Institute learned here.

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Backcountry Water 101: Danger Zones

After a long day trekking in the backcountry, that idyllic, trickling stream may look extremely tempting, but a cool sip isn’t worth the risk of ingesting waterborne contaminants. The best way to greatly minimize the risks of infection is by treating backcountry water with a filtration or purification system (more on that later), but you should also educate yourself about the wilderness water contaminants that pose immediate threats to your health, and the backcountry “zones” in which you are more likely to encounter them.

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Timelapse of a Glacier: A Climbing Ranger’s Perspective of Mt Baker

Photos and story by Leif Whittaker Every weekend when I arrive at a trailhead that I have been to a hundred times before I wonder if I should get a new job. Most climbers would find it monotonous to visit the same ridges, valleys, glaciers, and summits over and over throughout the summer. Admittedly, I often look at the first few steps of a familiar trail and have trouble getting motivated. But after three years on Mount Baker I have learned to appreciate the tiniest details of the seasonal cycle and I believe the mountain is always telling a new story. 

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Gear Overview: The New WindBurner™ Personal Stove System

The new WindBurner Stove System is the first truly personal stove system from MSR. The latest in our line of the world’s fastest, most fuel-efficient stoves systems, it features the same radiant burner and windproof technology that makes our Reactor a powerhouse in weather that shuts other stoves down. Yet, the WindBurner brings with it personal features that solo travelers or minimalist backpacking pairs seek most.

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Behind the Curtains of Hell: 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell

A report from the 9th annual 24 Hours of Horseshoe Hell endurance climbing competition.   by Andrew Chasteen The shotgun blasts, and 280 climbers scatter like buckshot in all directions.  Most are running—some are walking briskly up the steep approaches to the crags that make up the borders of Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.  Ten minutes ago the full crowd of 700-plus was lost in a trance of psyche and adrenaline as Jeremy Collins and Kris “Odub” Hampton put on a show (as usual) for the famed Climbers Creed to “I got 99 problems but 100 pitches ain’t one.”  But now minds are focused and fixed on the next 24 hours of pain.

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Make Ahead Mac-N-Cheese

Story and Photos by Tara Alan Where I live, in the Green Mountains of Vermont, the first yellow, orange, and russet leaves are beginning to appear scattered upon the ground. Nights are becoming cool enough to wear a jacket, and the scent of wood smoke is apparent on the breeze. It’s clear that autumn is just around the corner! What better way to spend these glorious end-of-summer days than in the woods? And what better way to end them than with an evening of camping? On chill nights like these, I want a supper that’s warm and cheesy, quick and easy: macaroni and cheese. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a spectrum of macaroni and cheese. On one end are those blue boxes containing a handful of elbow noodles and…

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Gear Overview: New Revo™ Explore Snowshoes

New for 2014, our Revo series snowshoes combine the confidence-inspiring grip of MSR’s perimeter traction with the unrivaled durability and torsional flex of our proven plastic decks. Together, they offer a light, rugged snowshoe built for surefooted stability through any conditions you find beyond the packed trails. The Revo Explore model features our new HyperLink Binding, which provides exceptional comfort and ease of use, making long days in the backcountry even better. In this video, we explain the key features and technologies of the Revo Explore—and how it maintains the legendary versatility that have defined our performance plastic decks.

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Alpine Mentors: Aspirations Fueled by Experience

Alpine Mentors is a relatively new non-profit program for young alpinists that promotes clean, lightweight, and low-impact climbing. Co-founded in 2012 by alpinist, guide and author Steve House and his wife Eva, Alpine Mentors connects seasoned alpinists with technically proficient young climbers who aspire the climb the world’s greatest mountains. Joining the program as a mentee is no small commitment. Over the period of two years the group spends 14 weeks traveling all over the world. While the mentees don’t pay tuition, they do cover their own travel expenses. The first four young climbers to participate in the program are finishing up their two-year cycle this year, just as a new regional chapter begins in the Pacific Northwest. We caught up with Steve and one of the first program participants,…

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