Ever so often a gear company finds a revolutionary way to re-invent a product and that is exactly what Mountain Safety Research did when they came up with the Denali Evo Ascent snowshoe. Billed as a backcountry, goes anywhere, with any load snowshoe, MSR has truly shown what their design team can do.
The Denali Evo Ascent is a new breed of snowshoe that has so many attributes it is hard to detail them all. The MSR Televator™ heel lifter allows the user to climb steep grades with out calf fatigue. Coupled with the steel traction blades that run down the sides of the deck and the aggressive crampon and molded braking bars this is one unstoppable snowshoe.
Another great advantage to the Denali Evo Ascent is its ease of use. The step in bindings allows you to enter and exit the snowshoes with little effort. Once in place simply secure your boot with four burly straps and your feet will stay where you place them and heel drift is a thing of the past. Theses traps were also designed to be easily manageable with gloved hands, a tight pull across the latching pin and viola they are tight and secure.
The tapered design of the deck both front and rear allow walking in these snowshoes which feels akin to walking in regular shoes, not the cumbersome process usually associated with snowshoeing.
I have had a pair for three years now and have covered many, many backcountry miles ranging from fresh deep powder, to glazed over wind blown slopes. This is truly a do anything snowshoe, in fact I recently competed in a 20 mile snowshoe race while wearing my pair, and they performed excellent in every aspect.
On the down side I will say that the Televator™ while easy enough to lift up it is sometimes difficult to disengage and I have had to kneel in order to get enough downward pressure to drop it. But this should in no way detract from this over all amazing product.
Make sure you spend the extra bucks for the 6″ flotation tails!
In addition to being an outstanding product, these also make great snow shovels or tent anchors!!
As with any product make sure you know how to use them properly. I have read other reviews of this snowshoe and have come to realize that those that have had a negative experience usually stems from not properly fastening the snowshoes or not placeing their feet appropriately or other minor errors in application. While not all that complex, any gear you buy make sure you are comfortable with the products functions before you leave on a trip. The backcountry is not the place to admit ignorance!!