Terrible Skiing: An Ode

Photos and Story By Evelyn Spence Over my three and a half decades as a skier, I’ve witnessed a lot of things and been to a lot of places, from Alyeska to Vermont, from heli to hut. But before I stepped off the bus at Mongolia’s Sky Resort one January, I’d never seen a man skiing in pink swim goggles. I’d never seen a woman tucking with a Louis Vuitton crossbody purse flying behind her. I’d never seen a group of kids passing around a bottle of vodka while standing in the middle of a groomed run, nor a teenage boy plucking his eyebrows while waiting in line for a rifle range that’s inside of a ski lodge. I’d never seen a girl walk through a building with her skis…

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Off-Belay Americas: Home is Where You Park it

Among outdoor adventurers, rarely is one’s vehicle simply a form of transportation. Instead, it often doubles as a storage unit and can even moonlight as a mobile hotel. For our overland adventure from Seattle to Patagonia, our 1987 Toyota Land Cruiser needed to be ready to go in all three of these categories. Thus, we were forced to make a few modifications to “Beckey” that dramatically increased both her gear capacity and level of comfort when trying to grab a bit of shut eye. Storage If you hit the fabrication blogs you’ll discover one thing real quick—the two tiered system is king. A two tiered storage system eliminates the need to unpack and repack all your gear when you want to access some of it. It allows you to isolate…

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Take It With You: The 25-Year Journey of My MSR Titan Pot

Video and words by Dave Anderson To participate in most outdoor activities you need some type of equipment. The gear could be as simple as a pair of trail running shoes or as complex as a carbon fiber mountain bike. The more the equipment helps you enjoy the experience the more you become attached to that piece of outdoor gear. As a result of this sentimental bond of shared experiences, a mountaineer’s ice axe or kayaker’s paddle might be kept around long after its utilitarian function has been played out. This past fall, while waiting out the rain and snow on a climbing expedition in the Siguniang Range of Western China, I brewed up pot of tea. I stared at the slightly dented MSR Titan pot and tried to remember…

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MSR Backcountry Cafe: Lentil Stew

A life of travel and adventure on the open road sounds downright romantic, but in truth, it is usually far from glamorous. At least, that was my experience when my husband Tyler and I decided to spend two years on the seats of our touring bicycles. Sure, there were days when the sun was shining and a gentle tailwind urged us onward, through quaint towns filled with kind, curious people.

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MSR Winter Backcountry Poles: Behind the Gear

MSR Senior Design Engineer Blake Andersen answers a few questions about the design and performance of MSR Backcountry Poles. Who were MSR Backcountry Poles engineered for? MSR Backcountry Poles are designed for winter backcountry travelers who want a high performance adjustable pole that won’t slip, and makes no compromises in weight, stability or ease of adjustment. That could be mountaineers, skiers, snowshoers, or splitboarders who rely on their poles for efficiency and safety through many types of terrain. The inspiration came from our president who walks an impressive distance every day with poles. He recognized the need for lightweight, positive-locking poles that were easy to adjust. After finding the current offerings lacking, he asked me to come up with a better solution. What were your design goals with the Backcountry…

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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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Off-Belay Americas: Climbing in Joshua Tree

As climbers, our path has led us from one crag to the next while we continue to push south to Patagonia. Two weeks in our route brought us to the community of Joshua Tree, California. I say “community” because Joshua is not simply a National Park or popular crag, but a winter season gathering place for dirt-baggers, weekend climbers, and nature enthusiasts alike. Eleven months had passed since our first visit to the lunar landscape of granite mounds in this unique place and we were stoked to be back.

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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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Off-Belay Americas: From Seattle to Patagonia and Everything In Between

Belay: verb – fix (a running rope) around a cleat, pin, rock, or other object, to secure it. A rope and harness are essential pieces of equipment for any climber on a belay team. They offer assurance and security while crossing glaciers or when scaling a sheer face. Comparisons are often drawn between climbing and the journey we all embark on in life. Both offer peaks, valleys, treacherous crevasses and points at which the hand holds just seem to run out. A year ago we asked ourselves if this life journey we are on is at its fullest when navigated “on-belay.” Honestly, it’s an answer we don’t have, but a question we are dying to ask. Over the past two years we’ve had the ability to see one side of the equation. We enjoyed established…

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