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MSR Lightnings

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Just a quick note for those Slow shoe types that we all know exist. I had the chance yesterday to evaluate a new set of the MSR Lightnings. I arrived at Baker ski area such to leave about 8:00 and headed out to try and put a test on them. We hiked up the lake chain then made a fairly direct climb up a couple gulleys to the summit of Mt Herman and then back out to get the shoes back to the distributer before evening.

 

My first impression was that they were noticebly lighter than my current shoes (old grey MSR's) they also pack very flat so hauling them was easy. I found the new bindings to be quick and easy as well as very mitten or glove friendly. Later I also found them to be quite secure. At the first stop I realized that the new fabric deck was way quieter than my plastic decks this is a real bonus. In typical cascade snow they were a good size shoe for me(175 lbs plus 30 lbs of pack wieght) though you do lose the option of tails. We did some direct steep stuff and the televator addition is nice for that. At a couple places we traversed some consolidated avy debris, rough hard ground but the shoes were quite nimble and the outside rail crampoons worked great. One down side I noted, the straps have a clip that is supposed to keep the tails under control. When we were able to get into some deep powdery stuff the tails would get pushed out of their clips by the snow. I found this a little distracting as it allowed the straps to be loose right to the buckles, and I am nervous without some redundacy. If I ignored it, the trick buckles were secure and never sliped but if I were to own a set I would definatley change the keepers around.

 

I was not able to find any icy patches to really try how well they resist sliding around. (33f at 5400 ft with snow falling.)

 

In general I thought they were pretty good shoes and was strongly tempted to upgrade from my old war horses.

 

Just thought that some of the board would be interested in the input.

 

Overall I had a pretty sweet day on an easy peak running around in the snow.

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Thanks for the first impressions...I've been threatening to ditch my ghetto MSR's for either the Lightnings or the NorthernLite Backcountry...so this definitly helps.

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I am looking for a set of shoes for both me and my wife, mine would be both for climbing and back country "walking", and hers mostly just he walking part... I was planning on getting two sets of lightnings, but thought I had better ask around as $500 is a lot of cash for shoes... Any thoughts?

 

Thanks

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I was planning on getting two sets of lightnings, but thought I had better ask around as $500 is a lot of cash for shoes... Any thoughts?

 

Now that's an understatement. Snowshoeing sucks. So... it might as well suck on the cheap. Buy some cheap plastic MSR ones and save several hundred bones. They'll still suck but you can spend the difference on beer.

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Second on snowshoeing sucking... I like to think of it as a necessary evil for carry over routes.

 

WRT MSR's latest offering I think they are too heavy. Atlas makes a pair that are the same dimensions but are under 2 lbs for the pair. I would think one would want to get the lightest pair possible if you are going to have to climb with them in your pack.

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