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Thread: MSR Plastic Snowshoes - any good?

  1. #1
    Member Kurchian's Avatar
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    MSR Plastic Snowshoes - any good?

    MSR sells a line of snowshoes (Denali) in their "flat and rolling" series that appear to have a plastic frame instead of the traditional snow show tubular frame. I have rented them and I liked them expect for the louder noise they made.

    I'm thinking of buying a pair and would appreciate comments from owners. My snowshoeing will be largely on flat and/or rolling terrain.

  2. #2
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    The Denali is good for the terrain you describe. (For steeper terrain you'd want to consider one of the "Ascent" versions of the Denali and Denali Evo lines.) For user reports on MSR snowshoes generally, run a search here on the terms "MSR" and "snowshoes." You'll find lots and lots of opinions, some of them even well-informed.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  3. #3
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1
    For user reports on MSR snowshoes generally, run a search here on the terms "MSR" and "snowshoes."
    Unfortunately, the search function does not index 3-letter terms, so you have to use Google advanced search. http://www.google.com/search?as_q=MS...s=&safe=images

    Many members have and use MSR Denali Ascent or Evo snowshoes.

    Doug

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    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up for Denali Ascents!
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    President Catskill 3500 Club
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    Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to

  5. #5
    Senior Member Tom Rankin's Avatar
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    Thumbs up for Denali Ascents!

    And see this thread for repair tips...

    http://www.adkhighpeaks.com/forums/s...nowshoe+repair
    Tom Rankin
    Volunteer Balsam Lake Mountain
    President Catskill 3500 Club
    CEO
    Trail maintainer for the Dry Brook Ridge trail from Mill Brook Road to just past the Lean-to

  6. #6
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    I really like my Denali Evo Ascents, which I have used on several hikes now. The heal lifters and detachable tails are a great system. The traction is great and the design of the nose seems to make them faster than traditional snowshoes. I am aware of the "Achilles hinge", but did not know about the field repair kit. I'm going to order one today.

    I do not understand the comments about being noisy. They seem to make about the same amount of noise as any other snowshoe I have used. IMHO the noise is dependant on the snow/ice conditions and the hollering back and forth between members of a group.
    Last edited by Paradox; 01-21-2008 at 06:05 AM.
    WNH4K:48/48, SLAT50:50/50, NEHH:100/100, NE115:115/115,
    TW72:60/72, WADK46: 18/46, 52WAV:16/52, Cat35:9/35(39)

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    Senior Member Jay H's Avatar
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    I think they are noisy and since I'm behind many of VfTTrs who have them and some that don't they seem noisier than the webbing/hypalon type snowshoe.. Since I am behind them, you can say that it would be the same type of snow, maybe just a little more hardpacked. Maybe some kind of harmonic induced by the stiff plastic versus the tensioned hypalon or hypalon type material.

    Jay
    You must go and you must ramble
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    Till your life is in a shambles
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    Senior Member MichaelJ's Avatar
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    The full-length crampons, combined with the toe crampon, in my opinion make the MSR's (we have Evo Ascents) excellent for trail conditions in the northeast. They have enough flotation for the usual 6"-12" breakout plus several feet of consolidated snow underneath, and all those teeth on the bottom mean much better traction on the more packed sections of trail.

    I would still (personally) use my Atlases for deeper off-trail cavorting, but for everything we've done on-trail with a base under them, and even the occasional icy summit, they perform admirably.

    We liked the Evo design better. The Ascent indicates the presence of the "televator" which is simply a heel lifter to allow the 'shoe to be at an angle on the slope while the foot remains closer to level. I found this weekend that you don't want to do this on loose stuff, as it makes it too easy to put weight on the back of the 'shoe instead of kicking in the toe, and then sliding back. But then flip that lifter in for the packed steep sections and feel your calves thank you.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. - Edward Abbey

  9. #9
    Senior Member Paradox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay H
    I think they are noisy and since I'm behind many of VfTTrs who have them and some that don't they seem noisier than the webbing/hypalon type snowshoe.. Since I am behind them, you can say that it would be the same type of snow, ...
    Jay
    I have a tough time believing anyone could stay ahead of you.
    WNH4K:48/48, SLAT50:50/50, NEHH:100/100, NE115:115/115,
    TW72:60/72, WADK46: 18/46, 52WAV:16/52, Cat35:9/35(39)

  10. #10
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Having used mine twice (Denali Ascents) I am leery of the televator lasting long-term. The locking mechanism relies on the plastic groove in which it slides retaining its shape, something which mine is having a difficult time doing (after only two uses). I have not yet figured out the optimum boot position to keep the televator happy. Also, some of us (on Saturday) found that the rubber straps loosened as they warmed up causing our feet to slide around in the bindings.

    YMMV - they are light, and they do have good holding power.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  11. #11
    Senior Member WinterWarlock's Avatar
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    MSR lightning ascent

    FWIW

    I have the Lightning Ascent model - a bit different than the Denali's but I love them...the reason I mention this is that Campmor has last year's Lightning Ascent's on sale for $149 - to me it's a sturdier (and quieter) shoe, and this price is great, and I believe less than the Denali price.

    The one advantage I see to the Denali line is the extension tails...
    The Edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.

    Hunter S. Thompson

  12. #12
    Senior Member Pig Pen's Avatar
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    I have used Denali Ascents for the past 5 years. I have had one failure in that time with fairly heavy usage. My humble review is that they Kick A##.

  13. #13
    Senior Member sardog1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikehikeskifish
    Having used mine twice (Denali Ascents) I am leery of the televator lasting long-term. The locking mechanism relies on the plastic groove in which it slides retaining its shape, something which mine is having a difficult time doing (after only two uses). I have not yet figured out the optimum boot position to keep the televator happy. Also, some of us (on Saturday) found that the rubber straps loosened as they warmed up causing our feet to slide around in the bindings.

    YMMV - they are light, and they do have good holding power.

    Tim
    The Televator is usually very reliable and durable. Mine have been for the last five years. If it's not, I'd get in touch with your MSR dealer.

    If the straps are loosening, it's because they weren't tight enough to begin with. Make sure you're starting at the toe and working your way back to the heel. I've used these straps in temps from +45 down to -30 -- I've never had them loosen when I put them on correctly. They're a major reason I love my Denali Ascents -- except for that $%^&*#! racket they make.
    sardog1

    "Å! kjære Bymann gakk ei stjur og stiv,
    men kom her up og kjenn eit annat Liv!
    kom hit, kom hit, og ver ei daud og lat!
    kom kjenn, hot d'er, som heiter Svevn og Mat,
    og Drykk og Tørste og det heile, som
    er Liv og Helse i ein Hovedsum."

    -- Aasmund O. Vinje, "Til Fjells!"

  14. #14
    Senior Member HAMTERO's Avatar
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    I have the regular Denali ones. They rock. I did pop some rivets on my old pair but repaired them with bolts. That was under severe usage, lots of twisting on rock/snow/ice.
    "I'm on a permanent vacation"

    Don Sheldon

  15. #15
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1
    The Televator is usually very reliable and durable. Mine have been for the last five years. If it's not, I'd get in touch with your MSR dealer.
    We'll see -- it's possible I hadn't gotten it really locked in, or there was snow or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by sardog1
    If the straps are loosening, it's because they weren't tight enough to begin with. Make sure you're starting at the toe and working your way back to the heel.
    I admit I am still on the leading edge of the learning curve, having used them twice. I don't doubt they could have been tighter, but it was a challenge at 5 degrees to snug them up. Experience is a good teacher, right?

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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