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.