Artist Point Snowshoe

Sunny weather + low avalanche risk = Mount Baker!

My good friend Jack and I got on the road before dawn yesterday, and drove to the Heather Meadows ski area. We stepped out of the car into the blistering cold, strapped snowshoes to our feet, and went exploring. As we hiked, the cloud cover broke up, revealing a cobalt blue sky and the warm sun. A perfect day in a winter wonderland, under the two ice giants Kulshan and Shuksan.

We hiked up steep slopes to Artist Point, powder crunching under our heavy snowshoes, looking up nervously at the slopes above us. There was no question the snow was coming down one day, but we decided it wouldn’t slide today, and continued up the trail. Still, it felt sketchy. At the top we had a brief celebration, then headed back down, arriving at the car just before sunset, and being treated to a brilliant display of alpineglow as we left.

Ski lifts and the North Cascades

Leaving the Heather Meadows ski area

Table Mountain

Table Mountain and the Heather Meadows Visitor Center, closed for the winter

Mount Shuksan

Mount Shuksan

Two snags

The North Cascades were our backdrop

Mount Shuksan

Mount Shuksan

Mount Baker

Mount Baker (aka Kulshan)

Although snow was blowing off the slopes of Baker like Everest, we experienced a perfectly windless day.

Appreciating the view

Jack taking in the view from the top

Alpineglow on Mount Shuksan

Alpineglow on Mount Shuksan

Shuksan stands high enough above sea level to catch the last rays of daylight, which have traveled through more sky than normal, removing all of the blue from the light, leaving only the red hues.

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10 thoughts on “Artist Point Snowshoe

    • This was only my second time at Heather Meadows; last spring I took my road bike up from that last town to the end of the (plowed) pavement and back down. That day was clear and sunny all over the state, but Baker was making its own weather. It was frigid, wet, and so foggy there were no views to be had. What a difference!

    • Thank you kindly! 🙂

      My only regret with this one is that we didn’t get to stay out in the dark. The stargazing should be spectacular from up there. But that just means another trip is necessary…!

    • A Canon 5D v3 and a 24 mm f/1.4 v2. And a good tripod. They say “a tripod is your sharpest lens.” Whether that’s true on a sunny day on reflective snow or not, it helps me slow down and think about the composition, and to get the horizon level (something I have a hard time with).

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