User Review: MSR Denali Ascent
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $160
These are very durable and dependable. The heel lift is a great aid when ascending, bindings are strong and easy to adjust. My set is over 15 years old and still going strong.
- Well built, sturdy and rugged
- Tails can be added to increase load carrying ability. They are comfortable to wear and walk in.
- They stopped producing these.
- The shoe cradle will not side-articulate.
I have used my Denali Ascents numerous time when out in the Sierra Nevada wet snow up on Donner Pass and they always have performed perfect. They work well in hard pack as well as fresh powder. Once you adjust the bindings properly it is a simple process to put on these snow shoes, and remove them with out falling down!
I use mine with the 6 inch tail extensions installed onto them. The tails are easily removed and stowed when extra flotation is not needed. When I do not need the snowshoes they store flat and are easy to pack around. Most of my use of these shoes has been in freshly fallen snow where there was no previous trail packed down for me to follow. I typically will carry 40 to 60 pounds in my pack when I go out snow camping.
The binding straps are still available at REI stores and reasonably priced, they come in a 2 pack set for around nine dollars.
The heel lift device makes it easy on the ankles when walking up a hill. They can often be a small problem to release though to put them back to a flat position. That is because when they are lifted up they really lock solidly into place. I guess it is better to have them lock solid and not fall flat and just put up with the burden of releasing them back down.
With the flotation tails installed it takes a bit more effort to make a very sharp turn or to turn around. Do not even think about backing up while wearing these.
I am very satisfied with these snowshoes. They are comfortable to walk in, easy to maintain, and the flotation tails make them very versatile.