Thank You, Chad Kellogg

  Over the weekend, the climbing community lost one of its greatest spirits, and MSR lost a true ambassador and friend. Chad Kellogg was a pioneer, visionary, and among mountaineering’s most elite athletes. A brilliant force of nature, he’d helped define speed climbing of the world’s highest peaks. To us at MSR, Chad was an inspiration—larger than life, yet undeniably human. Chad had lived his life with a sincere humility and kindness that touched all of us. His soft-spoken demeanor was juxtaposed by an intense and unwavering dedication to his passion that earned him wide respect throughout the international alpinist community. As a guide and rescuer in addition to professional athlete, he’d given himself to the sport and his fellow climbers. Beyond Chad’s numerous first ascents on remote peaks, he…

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Jess Roskelley on the Path of Greatest Resistance

Click image to open gallery Story and photos by Jess Roskelley Climbing has always been a privilege for me. As the son of a well-known climbing figure, John Roskelley, my interest in mountain climbing grew as I accompanied my dad on more and more trips around the Pacific Northwest. I had a rare opportunity to see how a professional climber trains, works, and plans for the next expedition, while trying to maintain a normal life at home. Communication was limited in the 1970s and 1980s, so it was always a relief for my mother to get a call from dad in Kathmandu, Rawalpindi, or some exotic place to let us know he was okay and headed home. It was a fun, adventurous, and sometimes stressful lifestyle that was not for…

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Fine-Tuned Forecasts: Northwest Avalanche Center Launches New Website

Story by Kate Hourihan / photos courtesy of NWAC Between all 20 Avalanche Centers in the U.S., and many others worldwide, no two organizations deliver a daily avalanche forecast in exactly the same way. While there are many overlaps in language, iconography and general structure, each avalanche center ultimately has its own format. And because of this, as research evolves in understanding how to best to keep people safe from avalanche danger, avalanche centers have the ability to fine-tune how information is delivered to users through forecasts. In December 2013, the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) launched a new website. In addition to a visual face-lift, new mobile capabilities, and a more user-friendly interface, significant changes were made to how the daily avalanche forecast is broken down and presented to users. The…

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Sitka- Running Wild

Story by Adam Andis/ Video by Alex Crook I used to imagine Alaska as a vast, wild expanse. In my mind, this state was full of immutable glaciers, unsummitable mountains, and impenetrable forests. I had always assumed that Alaska’s remoteness and immenseness protected it from the forces that had forever changed my childhood home in the Midwest. Now that I live in Alaska, I’ve come to realize that the Alaskan wilds are just as fragile as any other. It is just fragility on a larger scale, but the threats, in fact, loom even larger. I live in the small island-town of Sitka. We only have about 14 miles of road; the rest of our 100-mile by 30-mile island is jagged peaks, deep fjords, and dense forest. Incidentally, the coastal brown bears…

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The Lunchroom: An Interview with Terry Breaux, MSR Product Manager, Shelter

By Ryan Hayter The Lunch Room (TLR): Shelter is a basic need for mankind. What exactly do you do? Terry Breaux (TB): I design tents. It’s not just about stopping the rain from getting in or about deflecting cold weather. It’s more about how you feel when you’re in the space – the livability. How easy is it to get in? How do you function inside? Is the natural lighting plentiful and pleasant? Does it make you comfortable? All of this goes into the design process. For four season tents you’re looking for security and strength while three-season backpacking tents need to be airy and light. Every design is different. TLR: You’re probably one of a handful of tent designers in the world. How did you get into it? TB: I…

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Leif Whittaker on the Privilege of Climbing Mountains

Photos and story by Leif Whittaker The view from the barren promontory above Namche Bazaar in Nepal looked out on a windswept hunk of the Himalaya where the sunrise struck, bathing the world’s highest mountain in flattering gold light. Dad and Mom stood next to me, their breath white in the frigid morning. The alpine air was redolent with juniper. We talked about climbing, a favorite subject of the guides, Sherpa, and photographers who clustered around us. I listened intently to Dad’s stories about his ascent of Mount Everest in 1963 and Mom’s stories about the 1978 K2 expedition. Though they spoke of daring, superhuman feats—like descending from 29,035 feet half blind and without bottled oxygen—I heard a conspicuous tone of humility in their voices, as if they acknowledged how lucky…

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Roping Up

Story and photos by Keenan Murray A brotherhood of devotion. Sinuously dangling in the breeze, it is the last connection and the vehicle of strength from one friend to another. Out of respect for the thin line of life, I cherish it — take care of it, for I know that it will guard against more than an unexpected meeting with the stone cold ground. The words of Royal Robbins run through my head: “Climbing is a great game — great not in spite of the demands it makes, but because of them. Great because it will not let us give half of ourselves — it demands all of us. It demands our best.” Not only is the team physically bound together by the rope; it is the mental, emotional,…

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The Lunchroom: An Interview with Jim Meyers, Senior Copywriter

By Ryan Hayter The Lunch Room (TLR): You don’t hear of too many brands having dedicated in-house copywriters. What exactly do you do? JM: We now have three full-time copywriters and basically, if it’s got words on it, one of us wrote it. Up front, a considerable amount of time goes into planning and strategy. We work with the division directors and marketing team to determine where products fit into the line and ensure we develop messages that convey what the engineers had in mind when they created the product. We even sit-in on line-planning sessions, talking about products that are still just a glimmer in an engineer’s eye. We’re all “users” too, so we can all offer feedback that helps shape the products we create. On the other end…

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The Lunchroom: An Interview with Drew Keegan, Division Director, Fire

 By Ryan Hayter The Lunch Room (TLR): You have fire in your title. What exactly is your role? DK: I’m responsible for overseeing strategy, product development, marketing and sales for stoves, cookware and fuel. I get to use my knowledge of combustion and stoves, and tap into my engineering background on a regular basis. TLR: How long have you been doing this? DK: I joined the company 14 years ago as a manufacturing engineer with the goal of moving into R&D. I came in with an engineering background, and a passion for climbing and mountaineering. It’s hard to find engineering jobs in the industry because once you’re in nobody leaves them. The manufacturing opportunity opened the door for me to eventually move into product development and management roles in filters,…

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