Created from 6 pictures from Giant Ledge









Gear Wars: Snowshoes
MSR Lightning Ascent vs. Atlas Series 12

MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes.png, 48 kB

MSR Lightning Ascent
Atlas 12 Series Snowshoes, 57 kB

Atlas 12 Series
Features: Total-Traction frame delivers 360 grip
Ultralight weight
Televator heel lifter reduces calf fatigue
3-strap step-on binding fits a variety of boots
True Hinge steel crampon
Tough decking material
Elliptical aluminum frame
Light weight
Quick-flip heel lift
Spring-Loaded Suspension ratchet binding
Offset rows of aggressive teeth
Duratek decking is indestructible
Comments: These shoes have the BEST grip of any snowshoe I have tried. A blade of aluminum forms the frame and is serrated to provide traction. Crampons under the toe and under the deck add more traction. Since they are also the lightest I have tried, they are less fatiguing when carried ON a pack or worn ON the feet. The bindings are easy to use but do not feel as secure as some other shoes. The retainer clips on the straps allow the straps to work out of position and almost seem backwards. MANY users report the failure of the rivets holding the binding and crampon together. The Televator can be hard to put up and down but does make climbing slopes easier. The bindings on these shoes are one of the best I have used. You stick your foot in and warp the strap around the back of your boot. One tug on the strap over the forefoot and a couple of clicks on the ratchet for the heel strap and your foot is securely placed. The grip is good with the forefoot crampon biting in and the rear crampons adding stability and preventing slip. These shoes aren't heavy and I never feel tired when using them on my feet. They DO seem heavy when strapped to my pack. The heel lifter can be hard to put up and down but does make climbing slopes easier.
Winner: MSR The light weight of these shoes and their superior grip overcome the failings of the bindings. If MSR would solve the rivet problem AND upgrade the bindings this might well be the PERFECT snowshoe for mountain climbing.