2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of Seattle-based Mountain Safety Research (MSR), a world leader in high-performance outdoor equipment. Through the decades, MSR has been a company of engineers, inventors, and ‘unruly dreamers’ who challenge the status quo to find better solutions to the challenges of life in the mountains.
The company credo is that ‘the greatest innovations and explorations are inspired by the world’s unruly dreamers — the innovators and visionaries whose ideas and actions radically shift the mindset of what’s possible.’
In the early days, MSR’s efforts focused on raising awareness about climbing equipment safety and finding innovative, safer ways to make outdoor gear. At first, the Mountain Safety Research newsletter – see Issue 1 – sold equipment made by other manufacturers. Founder Larry Penberthy soon realised that MSR needed to manufacture its own equipment in-house to meet the high bar for quality and safety that he expected.
Doug Sanders, VP of MSR, explained, “MSR was founded in 1969 on a crusade against unsafe climbing equipment, and we’re still obsessed with creating the most reliable and high-performance gear possible. While our innovations have evolved over the past 50 years to establish MSR as an industry leader, our dedication to engineering products that deliver when customers need them most remains unchanged.”
MSR’s first offerings included an auto-belay device, snow flukes, speedy ice screws and safer climbing ropes. The brand also ventured into some more unexpected product offerings, including cold-weather gloves, helmets, and the MSR Mountain Parka, which pioneered the use of pit zips for ventilation.
The company has engineered iconic products in the outdoor industry including the Whisperlite Stove in 1984, the first dromedary bag in 1990 and the Denali Snowshoe, which transformed snowshoe design in 1996. More recently, the company launched the MSR Impact Project, a non-profit fund dedicated to advancing safe drinking water access.
MSR Global Health leverages the company’s expertise in water treatment to improve safe drinking water access in developing countries. To date, nearly one million people around the world have access to safe drinking water because of MSR’s global health technologies.
MSR has extended an invitation to join in its celebration of unruly dreamers by submitting a video response to any of four questions. The contest will be open until 7 August 2019 and the winner will be awarded MSR’s prize package on 10 September 2019; select submissions will be recognised in an MSR video on the same day. Click here for more information on the campaign, about the contest guidelines or to submit your story about what makes you an unruly dreamer.