Field Testing MSR Snowshoes in Switzerland

Designing gear can’t happen in a cubicle. Sure, there’s a lot of computer work that goes into creating CAD drawings and engineering specs, but the real solutions—the big ideas—come from the field. Chris Barchet, category director for MSR Water & Winter products, is a perpetual field tester. He recently headed to the Andermatt region of Switzerland on a snowshoe R&D trip to reacquaint himself with the terrain and chat with mountain guides and users to find out what works best for them. Here’s a quick look at one of the many professional recon missions Chris takes in the world’s most incredible places.

Read More

Day in the Life: MSR Revo Explore Snowshoes

Winter weather is here and in many places snow has already blanketed the local hills. Here’s a dose of inspiration to get you excited for the snowshoeing season. Whether your mission this year is to complete a backcountry camping trip, a hut-to-hut, or simply enjoy many days of fun winter adventure and hiking, MSR snowshoes are engineered to back you up with confidence behind every step.

Read More

SnowSchool Turns Students into Snow Scientists

By Kerry McClay, National SnowSchool Director for Winter Wildlands Alliance “So the snowpack is only about 20% water?!”  It’s a bluebird day at Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area in the Boise National Forest, and a group of students from the local high school are standing in a 5 ft deep snow trench they’ve dug themselves. Marching out into the forest on snowshoes they’ve used depth probes, density cutters and spring scales to measure snow-water equivalent (the estimated water content of the snowpack), and are discussing their findings with a snow science graduate student from the nearby university. The low water content of the snowpack is coming as a surprise to a few of them. Later these students will analyze snow crystals with macroscopes, cut snow blocks to make an igloo,…

Read More

Eric Larsen’s Last North Expedition (Day 47): Bears, Mental Struggle, and the Fierce Beauty of the Arctic

 “I couldn’t decide if the Arctic Ocean was trying to swallow us whole or create the worst road block in history. It’s frustrating, scary and overwhelming all wrapped up into one big polar mess of emotions… Still there are few moments when I am not completely in awe of the beauty and power of this place.” –Eric (Day 32) Eric Larsen and expedition partner Ryan Waters have reached day 47 of their Last North expedition, an attempt to break the unsupported ground speed record to the North Pole. Last week they crossed the 87th parallel, marking a distance milestone that sends them into the final stretch of the 500-mile journey. They have 102 miles to go. The duo is finally making decent distance each day, sometimes reaching 17 miles via skis…

Read More