One look at the MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes and it is obvious that these shoes are designed for traction. Instead of adapting the tubular frame design that typifies the snowshoe industry, MSR developed a revolutionary new frame using bar stock aluminum, with crampon teeth cut into the frame. At 3.6 pounds for the pair, the Lightning Ascents are heavier than some other snowshoes, but their performance features may well justify the weight.
Jay Ham started backpacking in 1990 and went lightweight in 1995. Wanting his children to experience and share in his love of the outdoors, he became obsessed with reducing the family's base weight to make backpacking with small children possible. He and his wife began designing and making much of their family's gear (including kid-sized frameless packs and top bags), as lightweight gear was scarce at the time. With a Masters in Soil Science, Jay now manages a 2.5 million acre Soil Survey project in remote Northern Arizona.
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