Press Releases

MSR® Shovels Engineered to Move Snow Fast

MSR (Mountain Safety Research®), the Seattle-based manufacturer of high-performance outdoor equipment, today announced the addition of three new backcountry shovels to its elite collection of snow safety tools.


MSR combined uncompromising 6061-T6 aluminum with optimized ergonomics for unparalleled efficiency in three new shovels: the Operator™ T, Operator™ D, and Responder™ shovels. From their aggressive, precision-designed blades to their rapid-deploy shafts and meticulously engineered handles, MSR refined every detail.

“We built these shovels for recreational to pro-level skiers, guides and patrollers so they could shovel harder and faster without wasting energy. All three share a forward-thinking construction that maximizes strength, speed, weight-savings, and performance,” said Chris Parkhurst, vice president of MSR. “The designs are built with a serrated edge, as opposed to a round or triangular blade, to create a more stable and powerful chopping surface. We also engineered angular sidewalls to ensure skiers and snowboarders can capture firm snow blocks to move more snow faster.”

Each shovel is built with a high-strength neckless blade for added durability and packability as well as a rapid-deploy, tri-lobe-shaped shaft that prevents rotation, allowing instant, hassle-free deployment. For added versatility, each shovel’s upper shaft has the ability to click directly into the blade for a more compact design.

Operator T

Built as a basecamp and backcountry shovel, the Operator T’s large blade is engineered for digging professional snow pits and constructing wind barricades and shelter walls. The blade’s 40-degree angle to the shaft maximizes scooping and transferring. The compact, ergonomic T-handle is built to perform like a D-handle, providing users a more comfortable and effective fit.

Unique features:

  • Large blade angled for scooping
  • Ergonomic, low-profile T-handle

Operator D

The Operator D shovel swaps out the T-handle for the more utilitarian D-handle. The specialized, ergonomic handle is built for the biggest jobs—from building kickers to snow caves—when grip and maximum leverage trump a more compact handle.

Unique features:

  • Large blade angled for scooping
  • Utilitarian D-handle


The Responder shovel’s ultra-compact blade features a reduced, 30 degree scooping angle for ultimate packability in a backcountry or sidecountry pack. The shovel’s flat back shaves snow pit walls smooth while its vivid yellow color ensures it remains visible during whiteouts. The blade’s serrated edge cuts through cement-like debris while the shovel’s straighter blade-to-shaft geometry excels at chopping and paddling away snow in confined spaces or during burial rescues.

Unique features:

  • Ultra-packable, compact blade
  • Ergonomic, low-profile T-handle

The new MSR backcountry shovels debut this month at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market in Salt Lake City and are available for testing at the All Mountain Demo on January 21 at Solitude Mountain Resort. They will be available at retail stores in August 2014.

About MSR® (Mountain Safety Research®)

Seattle-based MSR has been engineering standard-setting high-performance outdoor equipment since 1969. A commitment to quality manufacturing and innovation ensures customers are outfitted with the finest, most reliable gear available for outdoor adventures. MSR product lines include: stoves, fuel, cookware, water treatment and hydration systems, shelters, snowshoes, snow tools, and backcountry poles. The majority of MSR products are made in the company’s Seattle, U.S.A. and Cork, Ireland manufacturing facilities. For more information, visit