New Mystery Ranch Adventure Backpacks

New Adventure

We are excited to launch three new packs today, all designed by Dana’s son, D3. With backpacks in his blood, D3 designs with deep respect for and understanding of the history of pack building, and strives to improve on the classics using innovative materials and a fresh perspective on his father’s brand.

Designing packs for Adventure has been at the heart of my work since I first tried to trick out a custom version of one of Dana’s originals. Pack bags give me room to play as a designer, but the frame is hallowed ground since my dad takes pride in his frames above all else. I knew that whatever change I made was going to have to be a big step forward. Years of exploration and testing have lead me to understand basic elements, strip away the extra, and re-craft a frame that carries a load better, is more comfortable and lets people forget about a user’s manual.

Designer, Dana “D3″ Gleason

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Going big and going home – The first ascent of the Pisce Wall

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About a year ago, my friend Tom mentioned that there was an alpine wall way back in the Beartooth Wilderness that not only had not seen an ascent, but had no name.  He had done a reconnaissance trip in 2009 to see what this thing looked like and exactly what it would take to get back there.  He told me about a 20+ mile approach, much of which was off trail and through swamps, down timber and difficult orienteering.  Apparently, other parties had tried to access the wall from different locations, but all had been skunked.  Often called the Phantom Wall or the Secret Wall, the details were undeniably intriguing.  Tom’s pictures showed it to be steep, littered with cracks, and beautiful.  I had to at least see it.

My enthusiasm grew, which only stoked Tom’s interest in an attempt. Once we persuaded Tom’s brother Pat to come along (an easy sell), our team was complete.  Pat’s experience with dreaded offwidth cracks rounded out our skill set and  and set us up to handle anything this mountain could throw at us.  Since August typically has a short weather window, we decided that a week in the middle of the month … READ MORE >


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Jungle Bears

The anticipation was building.  Our Mystery Ranch packs were loaded to max capacity.  3 cameras, 16 camera batteries, 2 audio recorders, handfuls of AA & AAA batteries, 2 Garmins, 19 Mountain Houses, 1 Snowy Mountain Rifle Co .300WSM, 2 water filters, 4 bear tags, and 3 guys looking for an amazing Idaho bear hunt.  We hoped the planning we had compiled over the past 6 months would finally come together on what would become our hardest hunt to date.

I laced up my boots and made one last attempt to collect my thoughts before hitting the 10 mile hike to our camping location.  We had all the necessary gear to accomplish our goal in 7 days.   Now we just had to put the pieces together and take the pain that comes along with carrying +70lb packs.  The country we were hunting was a beautiful backcountry landscape and helped us push through the aching pain in our shoulders and feet.  The only thing that stood between ourselves and our camp for Day 1 was a 1600′ vertical ascent.  What looked like a maneageble open hillside on Google Earth, turned into an overhead jungle of brush.

We clawed up the mountain, busting … READ MORE >


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Alex Lowe – The Greatest Mountain Athlete Of All Time

Alex and Jennifer Lowe skiing toward the north face of Notch Top in Rocky Mountain National Park in 1982.

Words by: Jennifer and Max Lowe

Alex Lowe was a Montanan who arrived on the national climbing scene in the early eighties with a voracious appetite for climbing in all disciplines. He became known as the “Jack of all Trades” and “The Fiend”, climbing big walls and difficult free routes as well as forging steep ice and notable alpine ascents around the globe. Alex was known to be fast, bold and somewhat of a visionary in developing the direction of mixed climbing and technical ice routes. In the spring of 1999 he was called, “the world’s best climber” by Outside Magazine. He died in October 1999 at the age of forty, buried by an avalanche in Tibet.

Jennifer – The North Face of Notchtop was one of hundreds of adventures that Alex and I shared in the mountains during our first years together. Our Kletterwerks packs accompanied us as we explored the US and traveled to Europe, Alaska and South America to climb. In later years Alex went on to climb on every continent and we settled in Bozeman where he worked as a professional athlete and guide and I settled into parenting and a career in art.

Jennifer Lowe-Anker, READ MORE >


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NICE Metcalf

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INTRO

Based in Bozeman, Montana, Mystery Ranch has had a decade’s long heritage in hunting. Our Internal Frames from the old Dana Design Terraplanes in the 80’s and 90’s to the NICE Frame systems we have today, share a robust framing that controls the outlandish loads required to pack in a camp or pack out a trophy. Carrying unreasonable loads in unreasonable terrain and circumstances is second nature to us, around the world and in the backcountry of Montana. The progression of MR hunting packs, based off our military influences, moderated and edited by Mark Seacat and our in-house crew of hunters, has ultimately landed us here with the lightest weight NICE Frame pack we’ve ever made. Introducing the NICE Metcalf.

DESIGN

Kyle Christenson on designing the Metcalf:

At Mystery Ranch design is a communal ongoing process. We strive to wow our customers by integrating their ingenuity and feedback directly into our products.  Our direct sales approach gives us immediate access to those who use the product creating a tight feedback loop for development.  The NICE Metcalf in no exception, as it has been developed by hunters that not only use our gear, but use it hard!  The NICE Frame

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The Monarch

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BY: MONTANA WILD

Man vs. Elk.  It’s a battle that consumes the minds of thousands of hunters each year.  To me, elk hunting has become a passion and a lifestyle.  I love the challenge and the places that it takes me.  I don’t have a long history with elk, it’s only my third year chasing the wild beast, but it’s something that has become a part of me.  This year I once again drew a Missouri Breaks tag.  After failing to arrow a bull there last year, I made it a goal to return and get redemption.  After 5 grueling days I was without an elk once again.  At that point, the decision was made to swap the open country for the dark timber of Northwest Montana.  I already had a location picked out as I had done some scouting there this summer.  Trail cameras had shown that some mature bulls were inhabiting the area.

We arrived at the trailhead at 5:30AM.  This would be the first time we’d be camping out of our Long Bows, and we were excited to see how they’d handle the challenge.  The packs loaded nicely, and I can say I could comfortably hunt for … READ MORE >


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New Mexico Backpack

Mystery Ranch.

After three summer months of New Mexico’s 95-plus degree heat I’d had enough and needed some relief.

Luckily, even though New Mexico is in large part a desert, the north central part of the state is dominated by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, parts of which feature a series of 13,000 foot peaks and some unmatched high-elevation backpacking spots.

I grew up in this area in a tiny village of 50 people; my mom still lives there, tending to 10 acres of alfalfa fields, a large garden and a couple of horses. My friend Adam Buechley also still lives there, and if anyone was going to be game for a weekend outing it was him.

He’s a couple of years older than I am, but we grew up together and have had many adventures, including the time we drew skateboards under all the cows on roadside signs near our houses, and the time we trudged through thigh-deep snow drifts on a backpacking trip we took with friends in lieu of going to our high school prom.

Today Adam is an accomplished skier, rock climber and all-around outdoorsman. He’s worked as a Forest Service Hot Shot and snowboard instructor and is … READ MORE >


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FEATURED POST

Camp Patriot Celebrates Its 6th Annual Rainier Summit Bid

Camp Patriot 2012 Summit Challenge

 

Tim and I summited Mt Rainier in July of this year with 2 men wounded in war.  One had a prosthetic leg above the knee, the other, 2 carbon fiber braces supporting his legs that had been violently destroyed.  They summited a 14,000 foot peak, whose average summit success rate is somewhere below 40.  Not an easy challenge, let alone doing it with 1 leg.

I had the opportunity … READ MORE >

Posted in Military & Tactical, Mountains & Trails, Mystery Ranch Employees, Rants Exclusives, Trip Reports, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Kyle Taylor Profile : Implement Productions

Kyle Taylor

Our friend Phil Baribeau just launched his new site, Implement Productions.  Check out his profile on Mystery Ranch Athlete, Kyle Taylor.… READ MORE >


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Athlete Steve Popovich 2011-2012 Ski Edit

Big Poppy

Athlete Steve Popovich shreds. Hard. Watch his full 2012 season edit here!… READ MORE >


Posted in Mountains & Trails, Skiing, Trip Reports, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment