Category Archives: Mystery Ranch Employees

Mystery Ranch ISO 9001:2008 Certification is Official!

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If you had been visiting Mystery Ranch on a Friday at the end of June, you would have been surprised by all the hooting and hollering.

If you worked at the Ranch, you would know that really, we do this all the time.

But this celebration was something different. Dana Gleason, with great fanfare, and in front of a floor of momentarily motionless sewing machines, had just announced that our ISO 9001:2008 registration audit was over – and our auditor was recommending us for certification!

Now, for the acronymically overwhelmed, that last sentence may mean very little at first glance. But for us, it means the culmination of over two years of preparation and effort put into our quality management system.

At the Ranch, we’re committed to upholding the highest standards in the industry for design, craftsmanship, improvements, and customer satisfaction. Not all gear is created equal, and we wanted to ensure that the quality management system that backs those high standards was also one of the best in the industry. After thorough research, several intense analyses of our existing system, and a few not-so-gentle nudges from potential customers in Europe and the fire industry, we chose to start work … READ MORE >


Posted in Backpack Hunting, Disc Golf, Fire and Trail, Military & Tactical, Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Stories from the Floor, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Don’t Tell My Physical Therapist

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The words of the surgeon cut through my oxy codone soaked brain more effectively than his scalpel through my shoulder.  “I can’t believe I’m saying this… but I think we might have to go back in there.”  We sat and looked at each other blankly.  I came to two realizations during this silence (1) I wouldn’t ride my bike again this summer, and (2) you shouldn’t purchase used body parts from Belgrade MT.

The bike crash I experienced on the summer solstice has resulted in two surgeries, 10 weeks in a sling, and god knows how many pain killers. I have two more weeks before I can begin to move my arm out of the sling, without weight.  To say the summer hasn’t been the best would be an understatement, so when my friend Jay Beyer gave me a chance to go into Yellowstone on a backpacking fly fishing trip, I jumped at the opportunity.  Although I couldn’t cast, the idea of sleeping out in the backcountry had me in a whole new state of mind.  I traded out my pouty pants for a pair of waders and headed to West Yellowstone to meet the boys.  Dana had previously built READ MORE >


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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 >


Posted in Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Trip Reports | 7 Comments

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

READ MORE >

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Camp Patriot Celebrates Its 6th Annual Rainier Summit Bid

Andy, Art and Keith on their way to the summit during the 2012 Camp Patriot Rainier Climb

Camp Patriot 2012 Summit Challenge

 

Andy, Art and Keith on their way to the summit during the 2012 Camp Patriot Rainier Climb

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 to climb Rainier with Camp Patriot in 2010 during my first year working at Mystery Ranch.  Mark Seacat had done it the past few years and since we became one of the main sponsors of the event, we continued to send guys to shoot photos and video of the summit attempt.

There was a strong crew this year.  Alongside the sturdy and determined Curtis Fawley and Art Rausch, were 2 inexhaustible guys from RMI and IMG, and the invincible Andy Politz to assist in the summit bid for our guests of honor.

Our Guests of Honor, Keith Zeier and Victor Munoz at Camp Muir

Let me introduce –Victor … READ MORE >


Posted in Military & Tactical, Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Trip Reports, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Monumental Elegance

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The desert has always inspired me with its clean crisp air and the stark contrast between the iron red dirt and cerulean sky.  A time in my life existed where I would go to places like these for weeks at a time, climbing and soaking in the surroundings, while living virtually on pennies.  Though it was a simple existence, it burned into my memory as a time of focus and reflection- – a period when I could breathe unobstructed by the constrictive ways of modern life.  When each morning you would wake to the sunrise screams of Peregrine Falcons echoing  from high sandstone walls, and observe the almost defiant way the desert sirens its guests in with an unnameable beauty, and stillness.  Recently I had the chance to visit some of these places again with my friend Justin Griffin, a strong and talented climber from Bozeman with a lust for life.  We had a week to soak up the sun, climb, and maybe get a chance to breathe.

Stop 1: City of Rocks

Eager, with the car ride taking a toll, we decided to stop for a quick pump in Idaho’s City of Rocks.  Granite sport climbing seemed a great … READ MORE >


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Props to a solid elk hunting partner

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“Unsuccessful.” That’s how my partners elk drawing results read. In an area with ample tags, he was one of a few who did not draw a bull permit. Kyle is a brilliant pack designer at Mystery Ranch, the man responsible for the Blackjack, the Saddle Peak, the Naya Nuki and the Fuze, among others. I’ve had the privilege of working with him between classes at Montana State.

Despite the lack of a tag, Kyle has devoted himself to following me around in the woods with over twenty pounds of camera and video equipment in an attempt to capture the experience.  Props to a solid elk hunting partner and friend!

Let’s hear about your hunting partner!?… READ MORE >


Posted in Backpack Hunting, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Trip Reports | 3 Comments

Baker and Tai: from the factory to the flanks of Mt. Rainier

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MEET RAY BAKER: The Ranch Boss at our Seattle location, he’s been with the company since 2004. The man is a stud, given a roll of Cordura, a pair of scissors, a needle and thread.

“He’s one of the best pack sewers and designers… ever,” says hunting guru and Mystery Ranch marketing director Mark Seacat.

Ray Baker, rockin’ the mutton chops, is photographing the trip. We’ll post his photos here when he gets back.

MEET BRIAN TAI: He’s an experienced firefighter who started consulting to build fire packs in 2004, and joined the Mystery Team in 2008. These days, he heads up sales development and marketing for our fire line.

Brian Tai does some explaining at the basecamp in Ashford, WA.

But this week, Brian and Ray will need more than superior sewing and selling skills to survive. They’re currently climbing the 14,411-foot Mt. Rainier with wounded veterans Derrick James Ford, Eric Andrew Cowan, and Gilbert “Mag” Magallanes as part of Camp Patriot, the organization that takes disabled vets on outdoor adventures.

Seeing as Ford and Cowan have each had a leg amputated, and Magallanes survived the blast of a 2000-pound bomb with multiple injuries, the folks at … READ MORE >


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Moving In… the Timelapse!

Dana Gleason and Luke Buckingham at the Official Ribbon and Tie Cutting Ceremony!

Moving into a brand new building this January was quite the event!  We captured the three day process through the camera lens… it only took 10,369 photos stitched together to make this video!… READ MORE >


Posted in Backpack Hunting, Dana DNA, Disc Golf, Fire and Trail, Military & Tactical, Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Mystery Ranch on Denali, Skiing, Stories from the Floor, Trip Reports, What's Hot | 1 Comment

Dana goes REALLY BIG on the Facebook Pack Giveway!

Dana had more fun than should be allowed... check it out!

Did you win?!  Watch the video to find out!!!

 … READ MORE >


Posted in Backpack Hunting, Dana DNA, Disc Golf, Fire and Trail, Military & Tactical, Mountain Adventure, Mystery Ranch Employees, Mystery Ranch HQ, Skiing, Stories from the Floor, What's Hot | 10 Comments