Customer Gallery

Above: Rick Boyce of Massachusetts headed to the Mountaineers Route - Whitney. Please scroll

Newest pics are now added at the top of the list that starts below - click most images for blowups:

This pack has been so great! I am a large format film photographer and my camera equipment alone weighs more than 30 pounds. I can go backpacking for days with this pack and feel totally comfortable. So solid. Here is a recent pic from Paria Canyon.
Best,

-Ben

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30 miles in Utah's Canyonlands. The pack is a dream to carry!

Thanks Dan -

Justin

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Dan,

Thanks for sending the replacement bayonets to Tuolumne! I had a good ~100 miles of off trail exploration. I continue to enjoy the pack. I've put about 1100 miles on your pack so far and it is amazing!

 

Hey Dan,

How's it going? Hope all is well. Here is a nice picture from last summer in the Sierras showing off two of your packs:

Meir

Stanton Pass, northern Yosemite

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Hello Dan,

Recently back from K2 basecamp. What a spectacular place and setting. Nothing like it anywhere. K2 itself is magnificent in every way. We had three days of brilliant weather to enjoy the views.

The new pack worked perfectly. Each one gets better.

John

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Hello Dan,


It’s time I sent you a photo. That’s me in that picture and that’s your pack on my back. The hut is Mueller Hut, adjacent to Mt. Cook, New Zealand. Generally, I would have said I carried my pack up the mountain. But that would be wrong. Your pack carried me up the mountain. This was my first walk after my spinal surgery, nine months before and your pack - your workmanship and ingenuity - made it possible for me to have my photo taken here


Thanks, Peter

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Hello Dan,


When you state, "all day comfort" on your website, you nailed it! Absolutely amazing fit! It rides along like it's part of my body.
Last Thursday I grabbed my new pack from the UPS drivers hands, loaded it for 4 days and headed into Johns Brook Lodge in the Adirondacks. 36 miles of High Peak hiking and trail work with weighs ranging from 14-36 lbs.
Love this pack!! The 38 inch LBP does everything I need. It gets small for day hikes and expands up for hauling and thru hiking. I stayed with the caretaker who is a friend and he loved the pack. He was especially intrigued with the hidden hacksaw blade on board. He will be perusing your website as soon as he gets back to civilization.

Thanks for a great pack!


Joe Rector

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Dan,

Attached is a photo of me and my SARC on a ridge walk (adjacent the pocket glacier on Fissile Peak) just above Russet Lake where I camped.

Cheers, Michael

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Dan,

I just got back from a 5 day trip in the Winds with my LBP. It worked great and I never even realized that it was there which is the biggest complement I know of a pack. We had great weather the first couple of days going over Illinois Pass and spending some days off trail, but then the weather got bad so we went back to a trail but had strong winds and a foot of snow at 11,600 feet on Lizard Head Plateau. Thanks for a great pack!

Brad

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Dan,

I finally gotto put my SARC to the test--7 days in the Olympics, most of it absolutely brutal off-trail bushwhacking. Amazing trip, and the pack was worth its weight in gold. Adjusted it once, and never had to mess with it again. It completely disappeared (which is the highest compliment)!


Thanks again for an incredible work of art!


Best,
Ken

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Dan,

I just wanted to write you a quick email and thank you for designing a great pack for me. I just completed a 250km traverse of the Talkeetna Range here in Alaska and couldn't have been more pleased with the performance of my pack. It was wonderful in terms of comfort, versatility, and durability. In fact, another person on the team wanted to try mine out for a few days and was completely sold as soon as he put it on. Hopefully, he'll be contacting you in a few weeks to start an order. The entire group actually referred to my pack as "the Ferrari". Thanks again!

Best regards,

Dan

McHale Pack is on the far left.

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Hi Dan --


I've used the Merke 35 a couple times since you sent me off with the demo a few weeks ago. One an overnighter to Camp Muir on Rainier. The pack was a pleasure to use.

Herb

 

 

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Hey Dan,


I've been using your pack you made for me for several few years, and I still love it. I thought I'd pass on this photo of it sitting on the Great Wall of China - we spent a couple nights camping in the towers.


Keep up the great work!

Happy Holidays,
Dustin

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Dan,

Thanks so much, the pack is superb. Unexpected details are all delightful, quality is (as expected) incredible. The shoulder pouch almost fits my binocs...oh well, they fit in the hip pocket and camera happens to fit in the shoulder pouch, barely! Will probably get a slightly larger circumference shoulder pocket with the next pack (!). Still, I couldn't be happier with the purchase or the process.


Had to wait to write until I actually 'tried' it out a bit on a three day hike along some spectacular Wasatch ridge lines, camping at high lakes. Attached is a shot of the pack at the top of the Pfeifferhorn (aka the Little Matterhorn) and the awesome ridge route I followed to Lone Peak (the notched peak at the center). Another at camp above Red Pine Lake, filtering water using gravity. The stiff fabric that stands up on its own and bright colors make finding stuff inside easy in low light. Also, another summit shot showing just how little the big pack can get!


Only hiked in stripped-down guide mode with thirty-ish pounds so far, amazingly stable and comfortable. Heading out to the Wallowas next week for an extended trip...can't wait.

Thanks again.


-Dillon

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Dan,

Just got back from the first official S-Sarc trip at Point Reyes and the pack worked great. My son was eyeballing it the whole weekend and wanted to know if he got it when I died. I let him hike in front the rest of the trip!

Rich


A view from our camp last night.

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Hi Dan-

Here is my S-Sarc below Mount Challenger heading for Luna Cirque along the Picket Traverse last week (July 29-Aug3, 2013). The pack continues to work wonderfully!

Regards,
Dave

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Dan-


Just wanted to share a few pics with your packs from out recent trip to the Arrigetch mountains in the Brooks Range of AK! Best pack I've ever used hands down, thanks so much!


Nick

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Hi Dan, Sally Underwood and I just finished a 10 day backpacking trip in the high sierras. Going over kersage pass we ran into two women who had white McHale packs! I had to take a photo of all four of our packs and send it to you.

Kristi

 

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Somebody shrunk my McHale pack!!! Haha. It looks so tiny. I was snowshoeing in the Giant Forest in Sequoia NP over the weekend and loving my pack as always! I think it just gets better the more I use it. Happy New Year to you!


Randy Cain

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Hi Dan,

We are back from the expedition across the South Patagonian Icecap. Great trip in a beautiful place. I will need to get back to Southern Chile! The back was a great asset on the trip. We needed to carry some big loads to get on and off the icecap. We had 75kg of gear each and I carried the Lions share in my McHale pack. See attached photo as we exited off the glacier.

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Hi Dan, This is the second season using the pack, thought you might want to see a pic in use. My CM pack loaded with 85 - 90 lbs is the most comfortable I have ever felt with that kind of weight. My brother has noticed the difference and claims he will be ordering one for himself. Thanks.

Trever Lively

 

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Having a McHale Pack is just one reason this guy is happy. We don't take all the credit!

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Dan, I LOVE my pack!!!! I think I told you I finished my New Hampshire 48 so now I’m an official 48’er, 46’er in the Adirondacks and of the Northeast 115, we’ve done 101 – only the 14 in Maine are left for next year!!!!

Now I have to do my WINTER Adirondacks – 14 left!!

Michele

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I finally moved from Indiana to California to be near the Sierras. And the bear canister holder, which I anticipated needing, is superb! I have a Bearikade Weekender, and it rode like a champ on top of the pack. No wiggling, no shifting, no sliding. Cinche it down and it never moved an inch!!!! I could jump around, and it still didn't seem to budge! And I discovered that it was nice to just tip the pack on its side, unclip one side of the canister holder, pop the canister lid, and easily access it for a snack. AND while it's on its side, the pack made a really comfy backrest!!! So the system worked REALLY well. Thought you might enjoy the pics. Thanks again for an awesome pack, Dan, and I hope you are doing great!!!!!!

Randy Cain

Pic is of Cottonwood area. The road coming in over the ridge can be seen in the blowup.

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hi dan-

the s-sarc worked out wonderfully on the ptarmigan traverse. i have never had a pack feel so comfortable.
my buddy probably has a pic or two of the pack in action along the traverse that i will forward at some point. the attached pic of the pack was taken at a critical
point along the traverse.

dave

 

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Dan, thanks for getting the pack to me in time for my trip. Here is a picture of me wearing it looking down on Elk Creek. We hiked all the way down the creek and out the top, this picture was taken just as we climbed out of the valley.

Thanks again, the pack was comfortable as heck the whole time.

TJ

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Dan - Just back from a successful trip up the entire West Rib to the summit of Denali. We took a full three weeks due to tough weather but were finally able to summit on July 11th at about 8 pm. Your pack was a big part of my success as it was the only way I could carry (double-carry actually) 60-65 lbs up 50 deg ice and snow for days without back pain. My shoulders did hurt after several days of humping hard while pulling a loaded sled but less than with any other pack I"ve ever had. I was also able to strip it down for summit day and then reconfigure it again for the heavy loads on the way down. The waist belt and shoulder strap design is the best in the business, no exceptions. Although my teammates razzed me about the size and color I think they were secretly envious. The only problem was that it got filled up when they couldn’t fit the common gear in their smaller alpine packs so I carried pretty heavy the whole time! I'm the guy in green (and brown) of course. Gray

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Bushwhacking in Colorado high country.

Helluva a pack(s) McHale.
I must say, I was sitting around on a rock hanging with my dogs as we got up
to the saddle and realized I still had the pack on.
I recall reading a review once and some gal said she did not want to take
her pack off...I thought then, she is daffy!

Could probably take three days worth of stuff in the Bump. Click image

Many thx

Greg

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Dan,

Here's a photo that Mel took of me on Mt. Bogong with my S-CMII. It’s the highest peak in our local range.

Jess

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Dan, That's one hot lookin' mamma right there!!! I've been out several times already this spring, and the pack is amazing!!

Randy Cain

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Dan,

The back rest is in great demand around camp, I have used it as a bartering chip many times. "man my ass is sore from sitting on rocks!" " Well if you give me 4 cookies you can sit on it for an hour". Seriously!

It has been a major expedition hauler for me. On North Cascades trips I have seen a lot of your packs, not as many in the Tetons, Wind Rivers and Bugaboos but I have seen them in these places too. It always is a conversation starter!

Drew Bosarge

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Dan,

Pack rides like a champ. Lamarck Col. (Flowers at Lamark Col) Click image.

JK

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Dan,

Love the pack!!! Its perfect. On top of forester pass. The weather was fabulous! Just rolled back into Bishop. I can not believe how much I love my pack.

Nikki

(From a customer testing her Denali pack on the Muir Trail). Click image

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Dan,
Well it's been a few years and quite a few miles on the pack now. Wore out a set of mountaineering boots but the pack is still as good as new. I thought you would appreciate a picture of the pack in the northern Brooks Range 2011 (ANWR) north of the continental divide and WAY north of the Arctic Circle. I hauled over 100 lbs in the pack at times with a smile on my face and covered over 50 miles of back country in a mighty special part of our great state!

Jon Freeman
Full Dyneema Critical Mass INEX +2" delivered Sept 2009


 

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Dan,

I thought you might like a picture of the pack against the Annapurna range. The pack worked great! (click image)

Thanks!

Basil

Howdy Dan,

Thank you Dan for the amazing pack! I lived out of it for three months while I travelled from Alaska to Arizona. In Alaska, I took it 220 miles down the Copper River, and it perform flawlessly, both on the bow of my packraft and on my back swollowing everything I needed for the five day journey. Now here in Arizona, I've primarily used the pack for crag. Next weekend, I'll be leading a climb up Baboquivari Peak with my trusted pack.

Thanks again,
Brandon

PS - I've attached a picture of my McHale on the bow of my packraft on the Copper River. That's Miles Glacier up ahead. Click image

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Dan,

Whitney was excellent. Nice weather. After about 8:00 am, it was tee shirt and shorts all day. What made the day exceptionally nice was the LBP37. This is an amazing pack. All that volume and it has the profile of a daypack yet carries like my Sarc Popcan. I can't say enough. It gives you the ability to carry those extra margin of safety items and still feel like you have on a minimalist daypack.

Most important to me though is that I carried it for 12 hours straight. At the end of the day, I was in no rush to take it off. It felt as good as when I put it on in the morning. Yes, it was nice to take a few pounds off my back, but the pack felt great. No hot spots or sore spots. Even the next day after the ibuprofen wore off! Having a pack that really fits is amazing.

Phil

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Dan,

Pack is great but I need a smaller hip-belt now! Pick is somewhere in Iceland - can't remember exactly where!

Thanks, Michael Johnston

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Hi Dan!

I have been to the heart of mountains here in Korea with the pack that you made for me. Your pack made me to enable to traverse the mountainridge with such a easiness. Attached is the pics that was taken during the mountaineering. The pack is perfect in terms of fit, sewing and structure of the pack
My wife who has studied textile and design of clothes for over 2 decades and enjoys still sewing
was surprised to see the perfect quality of every line of stiches and was shocked to find the perfect
finish of your work. Click images.

Best regards,

BW Lee


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Dan,
I have my modified Windsauk, ie Lizard Horror, packed and ready to go for my latest Alaska hunting trip. I'm finding myself using the smaller Windsauk much more even on the long trips. I am a tinkerer and have tried several of the semi-custom packs out there, but I keep coming back to my McHales. Keep up the good work. Below is me with the Windsauk hunting last August in the Yukon. Click images.

Don Browning

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Hi Dan,

Pack is great - On the laugavegurinn near Alftavatn, Iceland. Thanks again Dan!

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Hi Dan,

I hope you have been well since last we talked - when I was doing a thru-hike of the AT using the pack I ordered from you. I wanted to let you know that the pack (I've attached a photo of it taken today) has completed the AT and been back to the wilderness for four additional multi-day backpacking trips. The pack today shows no wear, really. And not the slightest hint of any deterioration or flaws. I have been really happy with it. The shoulder straps have absorbed my stinky sour sweat and they smell kind of bad! I love the pack. click image

Tony

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Dan,
I finished the PCT 28 September, the day before the rain/snow started. My SARC-Chasm is a great pack that in the course of 2650 miles went through several configuration changes. It now seems too big for me after all the miles and experiences.
In the beginning, I had way too much little stuff that added up to weight in the 700 miles of the desert section. The terrain varied from hot and waterless to cold/snowy ridges-more variation than I had anticipated. Lots of distance between water sources required bigger water carries too.
From Kennedy Meadows thru the Sierras it was a late spring with lots of snow. For northern California and Oregon it was the height of summer so I had a light pack. In anticipation of rain/snow and the general ruggedness of the Cascades I added better rain gear after Cascade Locks.
That "tube" bag you made for me was very versatile both in positioning on the pack and in what I carried- everything from sleeping pads, to tyvek, to rain gear to lunch. The diameter and length were excellent.
I went the whole way in guide mode- never used my bypass harness or bayonets! What I noticed on the trail was that many people had bought packs based on their so called "base weight" and then were hunkered over when they added water (in the desert), or bear cans in the Sierras , or extra weather gear in the Cascades. My S-Chasm, on the other hand, could carry the weight and odd shapes easily and comfortably, and then cinch down when it was empty!
I know I sound a little smug, but I have to say that many of the so called "ultra-lighters" were fair weather backpackers who "bailed" to the nearest town/trailhead to wait out bad weather because they weren't carrying adequate cold/wet weather gear. That probably works well on the AT where towns and roads are so close but I prefer a higher lever of independence.
I also noticed that by northern California/ Oregon, the packs with light construction and bigger than designed loads were showing seam and fabric failures. (They can eat their snideness about my McHale pack. It went all 2600 miles to Canada with just a couple wear spots!) .
By the time I got to Washington, I had trimmed up so much around the waist that I was cinching my waist belt tight all the way to the end. I'll anticipate putting on a couple pounds but not too much. I am enjoying the new litheness.


But now that I'm back to Berkeley, I've been thinking about the LBP as plenty big for me (and to think that the S-Chasm was going to be my last pack- Ha!). When I get it together to order a LBP, I'll use the Chasm for Sierra bear can trips only!


Thanks Dan, for a great pack-Mori

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Hey Dan - This is exactly the kind of trip I wanted my SARC CM for. Four days worth of winter gear and two gallons of water got us into the Chesler Park area of Canyonlands National Park for a great trip. I took the bayonets out and and used it as a day pack too.

Thanks for a great piece of equipment that I never have to worry about.

VGA

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Hey Dan,

Hope you are doing fine over there in Seattle!

I just wanted to give you some feedback on my trip with the pack!

I had to change the area where I went for Hiking – it became the Hundfjället in Sweden (short trip) and the Femundsmarka (longer -at least planned, had to cancel earlier as the stove broke first day L - which is not nice @-10 degrees Celsius J )

For your info some pics of the pack and the area I choosed - I thought maybe you are interested.

So let me make some comments.

Well, on all those websites and chat rooms you can find lots of good testimonials about good products right. I don’t know about the other ones on your site and wherever, but my pack was the absolute greatest experience I have ever had since I am doing outdoors. No joke, I would not take it off when I stopped after a few days getting used to it! I started with approx 45-50lbs in it, and ended with approx 10lbs less. I don’t feel like I have used to full extend yet, as it was rather full packed then used to an extend even close to what you constructed it for! What really makes me crazy about it: I am back now for 4 weeks, and I repeat to think about to carry that pack and go out – I mean during the normal work days – again and again! I am constantly looking for opportunities to use it – not for the hiking itself, just to be able to carry the pack! It really makes me thinking that now in the areas where I like to go, its to much snow to hike. I am thinking of “how can I go skiing and take the pack instead my last years new pulk sled?”

So whatever: it’s the greatest product I have purchased for the outdoors (and you can believe me – I am really chasing hard on the good exclusive ones J ).

Cheers and all the best!

Until next time !

Sebastian

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Dan,

It worked! I took my new McHale pack, inside the Rick Steves bag, on the airplane as carry on luggage! The total weight, both bags and my gear for 10 days, was right at the Lufthansa limit of 8 kg (about 17.6 pounds) per person. We (my wife and I) did not check any luggage, but they did ask us to weight our carry on bags. I transformed the McHale pack into a full pack on the train from Frankfort to Rothenberg. I used the full sized McHale pack for 10 days traveling through Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I transformed the McHale pack back to carry on size for a flight from Munich to Athens. In Athens I made it a full size pack again. We had luggage for the next part of our trip shipped to our cruise line. After our 14 day cruise on the Mediterranean I transformed it back to carry on size, for the flight back to Seattle. It was nice having a full size pack, with a functional waist belt that fit my long torso, to carry my gear with. It was worth the extra time to transform the pack from carry on, to full size, and back again. I think you have designed a great "transformer" Back Pack! In addition I took off the top "fanny pack" and used it almost every day. The fanny pack was large enough for a coat, water bottle, and some food. It was more comfortable to carry all day, for me, than a small day pack. This was a "trip of a life time" and the McHale pack played an important roll! Keep up the innovative work!

Blessings,

Dana Cowell

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Dan,

Hope all is well with you. Just got back from Elephant's Perch, wow, what an amazing place. Sawtooths rock!
I am totally amazed at how amazing that pack you made for me carried. The only thing better would be having someone else carry my stuff. I even carried all the group gear down just to see how it worked with a bigger load, and it was still amazing. Then went to Cal and was blown away at the Needles.....went to Whitney, hiked to the top, descended the Mountaineers Route, then climbed the East Butress. Pic is attached. Again, the pack kicked butt, weighed the load at 55 lbs.

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Dan, Hi, You made a pack for me two years ago. I wanted a versatile pack, and pointed out 3 needed(days sport-climbing, 2-4 days trip do-all pack, and traditional backpacking), after almost daily use and 5 time 6day+trips, I have to say that I am highly satifact. In fact, I cannot comment that much about the pack, as it is the only backpack that I rarely think about it while backpacking, most of the time, I’ve just literally forget its existence. Great stuff!

Weih - Switzerland

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Hey Dan!

I have been back from Iraq now for a couple of months and thought I'd
send you a picture of the bag you made me on the back of my new bike!
That back pack has been so incredible, I hiked for 2 weeks with it in
New Zealand, took it for a trip on the Wild Coast of South Africa and
strapped it to the back of my bike and rode the entire Blue Ridge
Parkway with it. Thanks again for everything Dan
I hope you are having a great summer and that you're not to busy to ride!

Take care

John

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Hey Mr. Dan, successful Solo journey on the JMT! Did it in 13 days
not exactly " flashing" the trail but I did hit some storms etc. The
pack rocked and many asked about it on the trail. Inhale, Exhale,
ahhhhhhhh McHale!

Below: Summit Mt. Whitney and click on Muir Hut

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Dan,
I am really enjoying the pack. I just went on a three day climb with a group of eight and by the end of the trip, they were all asking for your website information. I carried gear for myself and my daughter with no problem and did not experience the usual shoulder and back pain from packing so much weight. In fact, the rest of the crew peeled off their packs at every stop and I did not feel the need to set the thing down until we hit camp. It was great! SW

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Hi Dan,

This Memorial Day weekend, we McHale pack people took a photo for you in front of Dragontail. From left to right: Jon Ewen, Bonnie Betts, Ron Raff. We climbed Colchuck and Dragontail the next day. Thanks for keeping us going to the mountains!

Cheers, Bonnie

click image for blow-up.


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Dear Packman:

As Hardangervidda is a huge treeless plateau (all above 1000m), there’s nothing to strap a camera to for a self-portrait, although there is a shadow of me, but here’s the ‘waiting for a taxi’ (at the only road I saw on the trip) photo.

Neil

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Hello Dan,

I am writing to tell you that I am extremely happy with the backpack
you made for me a couple months ago. It is a dream to carry. I just
finished an 8 day backpack in Zion National Park and the pack was
comfortable the entire time - never once did it cause me pain or
stress. It's simply amazing!

Thank you for your measuring me up so well and manufacturing a good
looking pack that fits me perfectly. It is greatly appreciated.

With kind regards,
Jim Papp
Bellingham

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Dan,

I'm a proud owner of a full dyneema S-Sarc (super side pockets and EXP shovel pocket too)... the pack is just beautiful! I really can't say enough good things about it. Its so functional and versatile. You can really dial it in to make it perform to your specific needs at the moment. The design is truly elegant. I wish I could come up with something real cool to say, like how one guy relates his SARC to his favorite hot sauce (in the Accolades section of the website), but I guess I'm experiencing a little writer's block. I do want you to know that I'm just so happy with the pack and the places I've been with it so far have been some of the richest experiences and most enjoyable moments of my life. I attached some pics of last summer's trip.
Hope to own a couple more packs from you in the future. I'd love an INEX or MB CM2 and a LBD or LBP. I fantasize about loading up a big pack, like an INEX, with as much food as possible and walking till my food runs out ... I wonder how long I could stay out? And of course there's Alaska.
Take Care,
Trent Hignight

Click images

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Dan,

That full dyneema Windsauk bag is great for the brushy places that I go. It absolutely won’t tear on the rhododendrons and laurels of my beloved North Georgia mountains, and the short height means that when my head ducks under a limb, I don’t have to worry about the pack snagging.

Thanks, Don


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Dano,

Thanks for the new paradigm pack. We did not need mules afterall. Not getting up Aconcagua had nothing to do with the pack!

Gerry

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Dan,

"This is, by far, the most comfortable pack I've ever owned... or even used. The LBP is especially great when I'm hauling extra gear for winter, or when I have more than a week between supply points".

John Haley (Quoddy)

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Hello Dan,

I wanted to thank you again for my great pack. I got it back around March of 1985, when I was 15 years old. You looked at me, then my father, and measured him. It now fits great, and has served me well all the times I have used it. I used it a lot until my mid twenties, and then put it away for a while. This thing is huge! I took several week long trips across the Olympics, and the only thing I had on the outside of my pack was the tent. This also takes into account that I always carried a six-pack of Pepsi cans and my Canon 35mm SLR with a 70-210mm lens, a doubler, and mini-pod inside as well. Now that my son is a Cub Scout, I have dusted it off and will be using it more often. I am enclosing a couple of pictures of my son and I wearing the only packs I ever owned. Once my son is a bit older, we will be contacting you to have a pack built for him. Until then, thanks for the many years of hassle free backpacking!

Steve Gengo

Kirkland, WA (Click images to enlarge)

 

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Dan:

Pictures and text for your customer's (cult) Gallery

'' An heresy for Ultralighters: carrying a 60 lb load in a backpack trip (Adirondacks, NY) ! This SCM-II full Dyneema stout pack rides like a Rolls-Royce of pure comfort. I have never felt any sore spots around my waist with this amazing double buckle Critical Mass belt. Indulge yourself in investing on a Mchale creation: you won't regret it and you'll certainly be a new convert in the Mchale Cult !''

Thanks Dan !

Ricardo Camiot
Montreal, Quebec, Canada (Click Images for blowups)

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Dan:

I’m back from my trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and have attached some photos for your website. The pack performed flawlessly during our 10-day, 85 mile trek. This was the first hike I didn’t have items hanging all over the outside of my pack. What a pleasure. The fit was great and the ability to manage heavy loads was brilliant. In fact, I insisted that the teenage scouts load me down with 15 pounds of extra water for one 1000-foot vertical climb into a dry camp and I really didn’t mind the 70-pound pack. With the bayonets extended, I generally carried a full load comfortably and on our side hike to the top of Baldy Mountain, I used the scaled down version to carry 25 pounds on about a 3500-foot assent. Thanks for all your hard work.

John Canfield

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Dan:

I’m just writing to let you know how much I love my new SARC pack. I’ve carried it for more than 20 days this past summer, and it is easily my favorite backpacking pack I’ve ever used.

I don’t even bother to use the back pad, as the pack is plenty comfortable without the pad.

I just returned from 9 days backpacking in the Wind River Range. My friend had a _____pack that was driving him crazy because of the discomfort and pressure-points from the hip belt. By the 4th day of the trip, he swore that he would be buying a McHale so he could backpack in comfort like me. I’m sure you will be hearing from him around Christmas time.

Hope all is going well with you.

Kai Larson

Longmont, Colorado.

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Below: One of my customers living the dream of becoming a goat and never returning home! Location: 11,600' Washakie Pass in the Wind Rivers. Click image for a big one.

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Out and About in California, Twin Peaks Camp, Trent Hignight

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I've been meaning to send you some photo's of your great pack in
action, here you go.
It's been working out really nice. Next year hopefully it'll see
Wyoming and Alaska.
Thanks for all your hard work, it really shows in the details!
Cheers,
Bradley Katz
JK Sound

Dan,

I finally got around to sending you some photos from our trek to Philmont Scout Reservation in Cimarron, NM in July. You may recall you made the special first aid pouch for my son’s pack. You can see it in a few of the pictures. The packs fit and worked flawlessly. We probably had a tendency to fill them up too much because they worked so well. Feel free to use any of the pictures for your website. My son and I ended up carrying the larger cook pots and the fuel bottles for our crew. They fit really well inside the pack and in the outside water bottle pockets. The packs took some real abuse as you can see by the varied terrain we hiked.

Again, thank you for all your help in getting us “geared” up for our trek. We backpacked 91 miles over a ten-day trek through some of the most beautiful country we have ever seen.

Glenn Smith

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Thanks for the bombproof pack! Don Browning, Georgia

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Dan,

I have been a believer in McHale Packs since November 2000 when I purchased a 98 Inex bayonet from you. I am a 22 year member of the Sitka Mountain Rescue Team and have used the Inex extensively on mountain rescue missions in SE Alaska for the past seven years. My McHale goes everywhere with me. It is the most comfortable pack I have ever owned and carries heavy loads far better than any pack on the market.

I had a noteworthy incident with my McHale recently that tested the durability of the pack. The results were very impressive. See story here

Don Kluting
Director, Sitka Mountain Rescue

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Dan,

I've had a chance to use the demo a bit more and I can say that it is the finest pack I've ever put on my back. I thought it would be fiddly but it isn't. I also picked it up with the camera gear loaded to a point I almost never carry and wondered how far I could carry it, but once on the weight just sort of disappeared - at least as far as any pressure points or fitment issues. Now if you could build the "anti-gravity" pack, you'd be set for life.

It was foggy, rainy, windy, and rather balmy considering we were shooting mostly at 5,000 feet and up - I was wearing the lightest summer gear. I'd planned to car camp but we all ended up getting rooms in Blowing Rock or Little Switzerland as gear had to dry out at the end of the day.

I got rooms with 2 double beds since they were the cheapest, so the gear got placed on the one nearest the heater/AC. I got razzed for buying a room with an extra bed for my gear! I should send you a pic of the McHale demo nicely tucked in at night. Bet you don't have one like that!

Cheers, Steve

Dan,

Thanks for an amazing pack. I was able to carry backpacking and climbing gear 10+ miles a day up mountain passes and across small glaciers. My shoulders and back were fine at the end of the day and I could not believe how comfortable 50-60 lb loads felt (and much higher when training). Pic's at the Paintbrush Divide, Grand Teton NP.

Tom Sedlak

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Hello! Greetings from Norway!

You may remember me, the Norwegian gear freak and pilot.

I have been using the pack I bought from you quite a bit this summer, the UnLtd +1, and now it is going to Himalaya and up Ama Dablam with me.

As you may have understood, I own quite a bit of cool gear. I consider my free time too valuable to be destroyed by poor gear. Usually better quality means higher pricetag, but not always.

When it comes to my McHale pack I have never before experienced so much value for money!!

I insisted on the larger side-pocket as I came to suspect that this was a very capable pack - very much so! This summer I have mostly used it in "heavy carrying" mode with the side-pockets on.

The first real test was when I hiked to my friends "mountain refugee" where I was going to assist him for three weeks.. It is a sturdy 6 hrs walk from the nearest road. I carried at least 55 lbs more likely 60+ lbs, and I never adjusted my pack after I had put it on This has never happened to me before!! The only thing that took me some time to get used to was the way the side-pockets were attached. That they were hinged on one side and strapped across the pack on the other, was new to me. After a while I found out that the pockets stayed more stable this way, no more "wobbly" side pockets! However they got a little in the way for the kangaroo-pocket which is great for stashing raingear/shells/fleece.

As you may understand I am more than happy with my McHale pack!

The only thing is that over the summer I have lost a little weight, which was desirable, and will need a hip-belt that is one or two inches shorter for next summer as the current one is good for Himalaya and winter use.

Making the kangaroo-pocket of spectra was smart, I now have a very tough kangaroo-pocket which I believe normally is pretty vulnerable and I have required a taste for spectra. (The spectra shoulder-pads were nice too!)........................

Thanks, SPJ

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Hey Dan,

The pack is doing great, though it's a bit grimy looking. It's so damn muddy in Hawaii. The green color and grey is holding up great. The mud is giving the pack a nice seasoned look. The maiden voyage for the pack was a 135 mile sea to summit trip to the top of Mauna Loa. A buddy and I went from sea level to 13,600 feet and back to sea level. Lava, lava, lava, hot molten lava and more lava. We were able to go back down from the summit to the lava flow ocean entry. Played with molten lava. The spectra allow me not to have to baby the pack. All I can say is the pack is the best piece of backpacking equipment I've ever owned. It is all you say and more. I had to carry 60 lbs (lugging 4 gallons of water) at 10,000 foot elevation to 11,500 and the suspension felt like part of your body. When you're sucking wind, its nice to not have to deal with more irritations than necessary and the pack just felt good. It's a weird feeling because all the weight just goes on your hip and the pack feels like an extension of your body. Very nice. No sore shoulders or hips. It's really amazing. The incredible thing about the pack is that it was packing 6000 cubic inches worth of stuff yet only weighed 3 lbs, 10 ozs. Most full on expedition size packs weigh in 7 lbs plus, so saving 3 1/2 lbs yet having the flexibility to carry bulky things was great. I'm even using the pack for my day pack on days where you need 4 liters of water by cinching down the volume to 2000 cubes. Again, having all of the weight on the hips just makes hiking and packing very comfortable. I'm running the pack without the back padding and just the mesh. It's nice and cool and I just pack my tent body or ensolite pad along the back so there aren't any poky things coming through.

The lava was pretty rough stuff. I didn't put any protection for the corners of my Integral Designs MK1 and the lava wore a hole through the corners from just 1 overnight camp. The pack had some minor abrasion from the lava, but nothing major. The Hawaiians don't call lava "a'a" (pronounced "ah" "ah", the sound you make when you fall on it) because its smooth. The a'a lava is broken glass sharp and falling on it could be very unpleasant. That lava took off 3/8" off of my new Danner vibram boot soles over 13 days of walking.

The attached picture is at the summit of Mauna Loa (notice the water bottle pocket, I put the McHale pocket on my belt to save weight on the slog to the summit). There is a huge caldera behind me at 13,600 feet. That caldera is as large as Kilauea Crater, 10,000 feet lower. It's a trippy thing to see it all the way up there. We spent 13 days walking through all that lava. Our longest day was 23 miles, followed by 18 and 19 miles. I love my pack. It made the walking a piece of cake, my boots were another story but the pack carried everything flawlessly. No pain and incredible load transfer.

I'm going to do a winter trip to the Mauna Loa summit and the McHale is going with me. Plenty of space for bulky but safe synthetics. I'm also taking it with me on an around the world walk about in the near future and the nice discrete look of the pack is a big plus.

Thanks again for the pack. I am glad I took the plunge and got the best pack out there!

David Park


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Dan,

Here's the pics you wanted for the recent success on Mt Goode. The pack was wonderful.

Thanks, Larry L

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Dear Dan,

Am sending a few shots from our beach hike last Sep, # 21 & # 24 are of Lori coming down ropes and ladders on several steep & slimy banks carrying about 45 lbs in her McHale pack. The camera tends to flatten this out, believe me, it is a lot steeper and higher then it looks, and there are several bluffs we have to make before the tide comes in.

We have been hauling your packs out here, up on Rainier, in the Alpine Lakes area, and many other places for over 20 years, and never had a zipper or anything else fail. You would think something would happen with all of the weight and over stuffing that we do for a week long trip. When the kids were little, we had to take even more weight because they couldn't carry much in the beginning, so Lori's pack was a little over 50 lbs and mine sometimes 90+ lbs, which included all of the camera gear. I used to haul out a medium format camera with 3 lenses, several backs, (2) 35mm cameras (to shoot prints & slides) + their lenses and the tripod.

Thanks, James C


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Dan,

We're back from our successful trip to Denali. 59:20 on the Cassin
from 'shrund to summit. My pack was awesome and many were envious.
It performed exactly as expected, from the 60+lb approach load to
20lb daypack loads for laps on the fixed lines.

Thanks again!

evan freeman


this is of me fooling around at the bergshrund below the fixed lines
at around 15,600 on the W. Butt.

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Dan,

We headed out to Glacier National Park, loaded up our two new Super SARC +2 packs and hit the trails. The photos are from our major hike up to Rainbow Glacier (seen in the upper photo) and all the Quarts lakes located in the North Western portion of the park. The packs performed flawlessly, fit great and carried the weight without effort. Glad we got the Super SARC +2 giving us plenty of room for all of our gear and the bear canister. The hydration pack (Summit Flap Bladder) was nice to have for the exposed ridges. Provided easy access for Alexis.

Alexis loved the color combination and accents you put together, cute.

Thanks again for all your help during the fit process, the packs were great and we are already planning our next backpacking trip.

Paul & Alexis Slebodnick

Annandale VA.


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Dan,
I still have all three of my packs and every time I head up into the North Carolina or Tennessee mountains people always want to know what kind of pack I am carrying. Sadly I watch some hiker struggling with the "Big Name" packs a the end of a long day on the trail and I never have any carry issues with my 48 pounds in my Sarc. At 57 the legs are not what they used to be but carrying a McHale is certainly allowing me to add more miles to my totals! Attached is a picture from this spring of myself and Jager over looking the valley from the Cumberland Plateau. Thanks for being a friend and making such great packs.
Stephen Armstrong
Decatur, Alabama

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A hard act to follow: Dan Mazur, Avante Garde 8,000 meter guide makes the cover of Pacific Northwest Magazine in the Seattle Times wearing his McHale Pack. Click image for blowup. See Dan's services at: http://www.SummitClimb.com

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"Big load, long trail & hard climb, all eliminate by my Critical Mass Alpine II Bayonet. I just focus to climb until summit and safety down. A great success on Mt. Yari with my friends and McHale Pack."

Thanks Dan, keep going !

Ben & Team Kinetic Friend’s Club (Click image for blow-up)

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Hey Dan - Thought you might like this photo of the Zero Sarc that you recently made for me on it's maiden voyage. This is from just below the crest of Max Patch - one of the most beautiful highland balds here along the AT in North Carolina.



Pack is perfect for a long weekend or a fair weather week (if there is such a thing)

Thanks
VGA

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Below: Arlene wanted her 20 year old travel pack in the gallery! Click for 8x10 Posted 4/28/07

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Hi Dan,

We skied into avalanche pass in the ADK mountains. This pack continues to serve us (my wife and I both purchased P&G popcans in 1000D grey cordura) both so well.

Winter is very unpredictable here, so I carried alot of emergency bivy gear, as we always do for safety's sake.

The packs continue to perform flawlessly, and the loads simply "float" on my back.

I can't say enough about the packs, the pack just sits so naturally on my back, whatever the load.

I've tried out alot of packs, looking for something comfortable. Everything else seems to load up the shoulders or the hips. I think you should try to patent the term "suspension" since your packs arethe only one that actually suspends a load.

So far, we've just been using them without the bayos, can't wait to put our summer backpacking loads in them.

You Da Man,
James Joyce

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Hi Dan,

The new pack is outstanding !! I just returned from Tanzania, Africa and spent 8 days trekking Mt. Kilimanjaro. We approached the summit via the Shira Route and covered approximately 80 miles over the week. We began the hike up to Uhuru Peak at midnight on day 6 and reached the summit at 0720 !! Amazing sunrise in Africa !! The pack was used in day pack mode carrying several liters of water, snacks, extra clothing and gear. This is my second pack from you and am still amazed on how well they fit and how comfortable they are. Scrambling up some of the more technical sections, I forgot that I was even wearing a pack. Thanks again for making a great pack !!

Marty

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Hey Dan,

Thought I'd shoot off this photo I took of the beloved spectra sarc.
It's going on 3 years and still carries a load (or lack of!) like a
dream. Here's a shot from last summer when I soloed Sahale and went
on to Stehekin for a nice walk. Made it to the bakery for some great
food just in time! Maybe you can find a spot on the website. It's
pretty artsy! I check all the updates on the webpage, glad to see
you're still improving on your designs all the time. Take Care.

Best,

Tim Boland

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Hi Dan,

Here is my pack (SARC Chasm???) resting outside a shelter on the
climb up Hogronden in Rondane National Park, Norway. I am now back from Europe where I have hiked in the mountains of Norway, Scotland and Slovenia and my trusty Sarc Chasm followed me every step of the way. It was in roll top mode without the bayonets and the stays shortened in length and looked much like the last picture in sarc chasm v zip page (green and grey pack)

Roger

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Dan Mazur at Rainier with a Super Sarc.

http://www.himalayaclimb.com

St.Helens in background

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Hi Dan ,

Just finish an alpine project in Japan Alps. ( Yatugatake Range )
Wear your pack is the key to keep smiling on the trail !

SARC & Critical Mass Pack ------- Good Job

Thank you,

Ben
( Hong Kong )

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Happy Easter Dan:
Finally got to give my new pack ( Subpop Chasm ) a good try out on the weekend.
Was happy with it on the few short hikes (12km only) prior to Easter.
With time limitations over Easter (packed a three day pack plus 3
litres water to keep the weight up) and did a 37 km one day (10 hour)
hike (Freycinet Peninsula, South East Tasmania) with elevations to
600metres, and boy was I happy with the pack...it out performed my
expectations...probably the first time I've been hiking when I wasn't
continually adjusting the pack and fiddling making minor adjustments.
At the end of the hike the only soreness I had was in my leg calf
muscles...a reflection on my relative lack of fitness..my neck,
shoulders and back were great with no aches or pain thanks to your
custom pack design and individual fitting. As 'Gomer Pyle" (sorry
shows my age) said "Thank you, thank you, thank you......"
Am most impressed with the changes to the belt pouches.....it's great
to be able to walk and keep walking without stopping whilst getting
a nibble or beanie or my camera out of the pouch or getting a drink
from the bottle pouch.

Regards
A. Browne
Australia

view to south from East Freycinet Saddle to Shouten Island

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Dan,


Here's a photo that you can put on your front page. I come across pictures from time to time that I forget I have. This was taken by a friend of mine about 4 years ago a top Silver Peak on Snoqualmie Pass. The clouds looking to the east makes it look like I'm on a big mountain. Kind of deceiving. Anyways, here I am with my Zero SARC.
Keep making superb packs.
Thanks.
Ernie Zeller, Seattle

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Hey Dan,
We recently gave our Super CMII's a good workout in the Adirondack High
Peaks Wilderness the weekend of January 28, 2006. They both performed
flawlessly. Your packs are what others dream to be. We covered 19.5 pain
free snowshoe miles. Thanks so much, Eric Paulk and Martin Mylet

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Above: David Gravlin doing the Muir Trail - Popcan P&G pack.

Above: David Gravlin on the High Sierra Route - Cirque Pass and The Palisades - with his Popcan P&G - nice tan!

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Terry Pattinson, Houston, TX, in the Sierra, doing the PCT all the way, 0-Sarc pack in 2001.

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Ivan Phillipsen in the Santa Rosa Mountains Southern California with a Subpop/Popcan roll-top. See Accolades section.

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Brian Kloer of Georgia loaded down with a 0-Sarc in Rocky Mountain National Park .

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Mike Burns 1000 ft above Camp 3 on Denali in 1994 with a Non-CM Alpine 1

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Dan McHale - "I'm a customer too! Sitting on my ass on the way in to Mt Joffre, Kanninaskus Country, Canada - pack: CMII

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Above: Gerald Dienel from Arkansas with a Super CMII - Willmore Wilderness Canada

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Hi Dan, just want to say THANKS again for the great pack, I don't want
to even admit how much I was carrying for a 14 day excursion in the
Willmore Wilderness in Canada. It was heavy, but not painful with the
McHale pack. I'm so happy with it. Sandra Healy (CMII)

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Hey Dan,
I went in the other room, and my son put that pack on. Do you think it fits
him ok, or will he need something smaller? Hehehe...

Porter, Seattle

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Picture of Scott and Alexis MacLennan nearing the end of their Mt. Assinaboine hike. Two McHale Packs: S-CMII & Non-CM Alpine 1

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Cindy on Granite Mt a couple of weeks ago (we'll try to display the logo a little more prominently next time!). Pack is a huge success. 0-Sarc

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Sumi Lavin on Cathedral Peak, Yosemite - Sarc pack

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Jerry Shustrin ( white helmut ) with a Sarc on Capitol Peak Colorado.

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Hi Dan,

I wish the picture showed the pack better, but maybe the goat rocks mountains make up for it. Anyway, here’s a picture of Pete Cummings enjoying his classic Zero SARC. I’ve gotten a lot of use out of the fanny pack lid on groomed ski trails this year. I like the pack a lot.

Best regards, Pete Cummings

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It was a long week and the weekend did not get any better. Finally got some free time on Sunday and hiked up Mt Si.

Steve

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Above: Joe Rice from Idaho in the Wind Rivers with a Non-CM Alpine 2 - looken good Joe! Thank you Dan for making the best packs, and also providing customer service second to none."

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Tim heath (left) and friend with McPacks - Aconcogua.

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Steve Koester - Here's looking at Denali!

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Russell McCrary, in middle, with a S-CMII, Denali West Buttress 7/5/04

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Barbara Kearns, New York - Mt Fuji - August 2001 with a CMII

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Karl Ullman in the Olympics with Students from the PCT Leadership School he founded. 1997 Photo

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Mike Bayerl inShenandoah Nat'l Park with a big Alpineer - Looks big but it's only 50 lbs.!

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the wind rv pic is just me in eastern central ak dressed in my normal
garb, on an anverage day, with a standard load. it was a nice time...
the prior time i walked this valley i ran smack dab into a momma bear
and cubs. not a relaxing afternoon. i have done that twice and it's
scared the living shit out of me each time. Peter Vacco

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Singapore Dave at Shishapangma

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Hi Dan,

Here's a shot of me with some friends in the Crazy Mountains of Montana. The pack is a non cm alpine 2. I used it over 40 days last season and it still looks like new. It's probably the best investment in outdoor gear I've ever made.

Thanks for still producing a product to be proud of.

Ron Davis

Ron Davis
Yellowstone Llamas
www.yellowstone-llamas.com
Offering Backcountry Treks in Yellowstone National Park
And the Mountains of Southwest Montana

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Below:

Hi Dan, Dave Peterson here, I mentioned some time back I
would send a picture of my pack to you - here, ya go. A Windsauk in roll-top
mode. Just a short trip to Desolation Wilderness (that's Pyramid Peak under my
chin...). Doubt I had much weight in the pack (maybe 25 lbs), so did't really
test the carrying capacity. Tell ya what though, my feet hurt, but my
shoulders definitely didn't! (corner of picture is blurred, turned out there was
something on the lens..)

thanks

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Hi Dan,

I now had a chance to use the new Pack a few times and I have to say you
are "Dan the Man" !!
this is by far the best made piece of Gear I ever bought, it works as
promised, carries well and the external side Pockets work great, I could
not be happier with my purchase.
I will take this Pack on my Mera Peak/ Nepal Trip this October and hope to
send you some pictures should I ever return!
Thanks again for a great Product,
Gernold

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Hi Dan,

Is Ben from Hong Kong ! Just want to say thank you and let you know we were success to summit the Mt. Bogda with your pack ( 5445m ,Super hard alpine route ! )

http://www.summitpost.org/show/mountain_link.pl/mountain_id/2807

Mt. Bogda locate at Xinjiang, China , not far from the very popular 7506m peak----Mt. Muztagata. We are the first group of Hong Kong people getting summit & was the only group success within the past 3 years.

Your pack work excellence, no slip even thought wearing a harness and thick cloths. We are a group of 6, 4 use Mchale pack, the remain 2 planning to buy , we love it so much !!!!

We took thousand of pictures, I will select some good job and send you a CD when we send you the money order later.

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Below: Remarkable design! I’ll never go back. Someday I’ll get a smaller lighter one but for now the versatility of this one meets all my various hiking/climbing/photographing/hauling needs. Thanks again Dan.

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Dan,
I finally got out into the field to use my Super-Sarc: went from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley with my wife. It looks like I'm being ambitious and going the other way (starting on John Muir Trail), but really we were coming down!
John Reed

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Below:

Dan........Oh… and by the way… I am actually from North Dakota. I live in Minnesota, but have spent the majority of my life in North Dakota. So, really, you could update your map if you wanted to say you’ve sold a pack to a North Dakotan.

Christopher Nicolai

P.S. Note that the Hibatchi Ridge picture was taken by Conny Amelunxen. It can be found here: http://www.bivouacadventures.com/Pages/gallerya-set.htm

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Dan,

Here I am (Below) with my new S-Sarc by Tumbling Glacier on The Rockwall in British Columbia on 7 September. The pack was great for this trip.

Thanks,

Greg Sergesketter
Houston, TX

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Dan,
I just received this picture from a friend of mine (below). This is that trip we took up Fisher Creek from Easy Pass last July. I finally got some pictures from him. This is me on Kimtah Peak. Click photo for larger image
Nice view of Eldorado in the back ground.
Thanks for another one of your superb packs! Keep up the excellent work!

Ernie

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Hi Dan:

You can't see much of the pack in the picture but it fit's Ian fine and I've heard nothing but compliments about it. His thermrarest is inside; the zrest is for the dog. This was our last outing, The Trinity Alps in California in October. That's Mt. Shasta on the horizon.

John C

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Dan,

Here are a couple pics I promised you.

The first is my new S-SARC+2 P&G loaded up for its first trip to the Santanoni Range in NY’s Adirondacks on Nov 19th 2005. I originally had the snowshoes on the back of the pack but moving them to the sides really brought the ctr of grv in nice.

This is my 5th full size pack since 1971 – all major respected brands in their day, external and internal – and I can unequivocally state that your product is absolutely the best. I’d like you to know that I really appreciate what you accomplish by combining sensible design, premium materials and custom fit. The irony is that one can only truly appreciate how it rides after you realize you haven’t thought about your loaded pack for the last couple hours on the trail.

John Peltier