Know Your Gear- The Evolution of an MSR Avy Probe
The history: MSR Avalanche Probes
With these needs in mind, we took up the challenge of making a design that was both stiff and lightweight, leading to the very first variable thickness probes. Made of strong 7000-series aluminum, the critical lower sections of our two probes feature a larger 13mm diameter and a thicker wall to maximize stiffness, while the traditional-sized 11mm upper sections save weight, as they do not need to be as thick for the probe to do its job effectively.
It’s this unique construction that makes our Striker probes among the stiffest aluminum probes on the market, while remaining impressively lightweight.
Two options, engineered for superior probing accuracy
Designed for guides, professionals and dedicated recreationalists, the Striker™ 320 probe is a professional-length, reliable probe with the strength and stiffness for tackling deep snow packs and aiding search-and-rescue operations.
The shorter Striker™ 240 probe offers skiers, snowboarders and snowshoers reliable probing accuracy in the backcountry with its ultra-stiff, deflection-reducing lower sections and its exceptionally light and packable design. It’s ideal for average snow packs.
Improving user interface
For quick deployment, the Striker probes use a T-handle that’s easy to grasp and get leverage on, and tapered ferrules on each probe section that allow the sections to link together quickly without any hang ups.
In addition to designing a stiff and lightweight probe that deploys quickly, we created other efficiencies, including intuitive user cues. Color-coding indicates the thick lowers from the uppers, and extremely clear depth markers, offset around the probe, let you read the measurements no matter how the probe is turned. Also, the top section of the probe is textured for added grip and the T-handle clips to the probe so that it’s not whipping about you as you’re trying to move quickly.
Finally, we created a stuff sack that even those who don’t like stuff sacks may appreciate. Made of lightweight Tyvek® fabric and featuring a small magnet closure at the top, the stuff sack helps keep things organized in your pack until you need to use the probe. Then, all it takes is one quick motion to throw open the sack and slide the probe into your other hand for immediate use.
Designed to free up weight but to be there when you need it, our Striker probes are built to serve as an essential part of your backcountry toolkit—not just for avalanche rescues, but also to analyze the conditions before you even decide to venture farther into the backcountry. Because the more information you gather on the conditions, the more likely it is that you won’t need to use the probe for what it’s really meant for.
Source: The Summit Register