Did you hear?... MSR founder Larry Penberthy died of natural causes

MSR founder Larry Penberthy died of natural causes on Nov. 24. He was 85.

MSR founder Larry Penberthy died of natural causes on Nov. 24. He was 85. Penberthy founded MSR in 1969 with the intent of making and selling safe mountaineering equipment as a means of funding outdoor research and safety education. He pioneered metal-shaft ice axes, helped popularize bicycle helmets, researched mountain sickness, and developed the first remote canister stove. For industry old-timers, Penberthy was most famous for his newsletters. Always opinionated, the mimeographed newsletter with its fuzzy pictures never pulled a punch. Two of Penberthy's prime targets were REI and its then president, Jim Whittaker, both of whom he chastised often. The MSR newsletter was anxiously awaited by retailers and mountaineers who found Penberthy's mix of science and diatribe a regular treat. Certainly his work and his writing typified the outdoor industry's rough and tumble past, and era when PR people writing product puffery wasn't even considered.


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