MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe Binding Repair Hack Using a Televator Wire

MSR Evo Ascent Binding Repair Hack Televator

I broke the binding on a pair of MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoes when the pins that hold the binding to the snowshoe frame busted. I’ve used these snowshoes pretty hard for the past 10 years, so it’s not like they’ve let me down. But the pins broke two miles into a tough eight-mile winter hike where we had to do a lot of trail breaking.

We tried fixing the binding by reattaching it to the snowshoe with zip ties, but they broke almost immediately. But my friend Larry and I figured out a hack using the televator wire, that worked so well that I thought I’d share it with you. I haven’t tried it with any other MSR Snowshoes but I suspect that it might only work with MSR Evo Ascents, because of the way they’re constructed.

MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe has two parallel serrated crampons that run the length of the snowshoe
MSR Evo Ascent Snowshoe has two parallel serrated crampons that run the length of the snowshoe

MSR Evo Ascents have two types of crampons: toe crampons and two parallel serrated rails that run down both sides of the snowshoes. The binding pins (which broke) attach the pivoting footbed to these two side rails. There’s also a heavy-duty televator wire at the rear of the snowshoes that slots into another set of holes in the long serrated rails.

If you remove the televator wire by squeezing its sides, you can re-insert it into the same holes that are normally occupied by the binding pins. Here’s what it looks like.

Replace the pins with the televator wire
Replace the pins with the televator wire

The televator wire fits perfectly into the binding pinholes and there’s enough play that the binding can continue to pivot as normal. There’s one final step, which is to duct tape the televator wire to the footbed so that the wire doesn’t rotate by itself underneath your foot. That looks like this.

Finally tape the televator to the bottom of the footbed so it doesn’t rotate under you.
Finally tape the televator to the bottom of the footbed so it doesn’t rotate under you.

It’s a great hack and worked perfectly for the next 6 miles of our hike. I’ve gone and ordered an MSR Snowshoe Repair Kit which has replacement binding pins to make a proper repair, but if you ever find yourself in this situation, you should give this hack a try.

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10 comments

  1. I knew at some point duct tape would come into play.

  2. … and baling wire, had it been available!

    Red Green would be proud.

    Great resourcefulness.

  3. After this inspiration, I’m adding some new stuff to my repair kit….heavy duty paper clip (aka short piece of wire), small twist D rings recycled from pet bird toys and wire locking key rings.

  4. THAT is a cool thing to know. Thank you!

  5. Great idea/hack! Hiking with engineers is a great idea also. I carry a #10-32 1/2 inch machine screw with a flat washer and a locknut. Fits perfect and way cheaper than the MSR repair kit. Had this happen after many years on my Evo Ascents. We did have the lost pin but the wire we used to hold the pin wore out quickly and the pin was lost the second time. That’s when I started carrying the screw fix. Wish we had figured out this hack.

    • Come to think of it. Maybe I’ll keep that televator wire where it is and get MSR customer support to send me another televator wire. If it doesn’t wear out, maybe I’ll leave it there. Wouldn’t that be something? Chuckle.

  6. Ingenuity is definitely a required skill for the backcountry, and you certainly had it! Congrats!

  7. Great hack! The foot plate of one of my Lightnings broke a few miles from a trailhead on the descent and I was able to tie it in place. Then purchased and I now carry a second footplate. Your hack wouldn’t help a footplate fracture, but is great for losing a pin!

    • I don’t think it works for the lightnings, but I haven’t tried it. The lightning binding doesn’t attach to the side rails and is narrower than the televator bar.

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