Friday, November 27, 2015

Snowshoeing to Artist's Point


We've already had more snow in the mountains than we had all of last year.  The ski resort at Mount Baker is open for the season and I decided that if there was enough snow to ski there certainly was enough to do some snowshoeing.  The reports were of three to six feet of base at the ski resot and there certainly was all that and more.

I parked at the ski resort and followed the road (now closed and part of ski run) to Artist's Point and then further up on to the shoulder of Table Mountain.  Artist's Point is a popular viewpoint from which both Mount Baker to the south and Mount Shuksan to the northeast are visible  The road, however, is closed in the winter and accessible only on skis or snowshoes.

Artist's Point is only four miles round trip and is at an elevation of 5100 feet.  I probably did an extra mile to Table Mountain and another 500 feet of elevation.  The day was sunny and cold and there was a lot of fresh powder, so I had a wonderful time, though I missed having my wife along - she is visiting family in Michigan and Illinois.

Mount Shuksan


Table Mountain


Herman Saddle and Herman Peak


Table Mountain



Table Mountain and Herman Saddle


looking back (north)


Mount Shukasan





American Border Peak


snow trails


the road to Artist's Point


Mount Shuksan



snow shadows



Mount Shuksan


the restrooms at Artist's Point



somebody is using them


Mount Baker from Artist's Point


Mount Shuksan


Mount Larrabee and the Border Peaks



camper


Table Mountain


Mount Baker



trails


Mount Baker


Mount Shuksan



Table Mountain


Mount Baker Ski Resort


Glacier Peak


Mount Baker


Table Mountain



Mount Shuksan


the view south


Mount Baker


Mount Shuksan



moi


snow



Mount Shuksan


snow


skier's tracks




view to the northeast


the road to Artist's Point


snow and sunlight


old snag


Mount Shuksan

14 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. If you haven't tried snowshoeing you must give it a go, Marti. It has entended our hiking season to year around.

      Delete
  2. Wonderful pictures! I wish we even had snow, let alone such an unspoiled landscape. Not much to do here with the mild rainy weather in Germany. At least it is no harm for the native orchids as long as it does not freeze over too badly.

    As for the snowed in bathrooms: what if you have an urgent need? Would you have to shovel the way to the door?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Martin. Nice to hear from you again and trust you are well. As to the bathrooms, they will soon be covered by thirty or forty feet of snow. When we are up there in the winter we just find a convenient tree.

      Interesting your reference to freezing temperatures. Our orchids seem to do better when we get some very cold weather over the winter. Perhaps they need that to bloom. They certainly need the moisture provided by the snow pack.

      Delete
    2. Well some of the orchid species like the Ophrys have their leaves already out by fall. They do not like harsh frost. However they have no problem if they're covered with snow. Then frost cannot harm them and they seem to profit from the moisture in spring. However exposed leaves do not cope well with cold.
      In the warmer areas of Germany (like the upper Rhine valley) we do not get a lot of snow though. Not much precipitation at all by western Washington standards I'd say.

      Delete
    3. Very few of the orchids here have leaves that persist through the winter. The only one I can think of is Goodyera oblongifolia and even those will die back in very cold weather. The moisture from is important for the whole area, though, even those areas that do not get a lot of snow.

      We do not actually get much snow where we live. We didn't have any last winter except one short storm in October.

      Most of the snow is in the mountains, in fact there are already 6-8 feet of snow at Mount Baker and more falling.

      Delete
  3. So many beautiful views and pictures! Looks like you're getting all the winter weather this year... We haven't even had a deep freeze yet! Heck, my Oleanders are still outdoors =\ Anyway, beautiful shots =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The mountains are getting hammered. Had a cancel a trip to eastern Washington this week because the passes were so bad. Lots of rain down where we live and no snow but that translates to a lot of snow further up

      Delete
  4. Stunning snowy scenery Ron. I especially like the buried restroom photos. Some of that snow would be nice here in Tasmania, it was 33C (91F) here today. Too hot for me I'm afraid. I showed my wife your photos & she said "No way, a bit cooler would be nice but not that cold for snow". Only a few weeks ago we had a freak dose of snow in the highlands, about an hour's drive from here & the temperature dropped nicely. I prefer cold to heat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have the best of both world's, Tony, with mild summers and winters with little snow. The mountains are only an hour's drive away and we can enjoy the snow and winter sports there if we wish.

      Delete
    2. Normally Summer is only in the mid 20's (celcius) but the last few weeks we've had some really hot days.

      Delete
    3. Climate change? This past summer was extraordinarily hot and dry here and we had a very warm winter as well with almost no snow in the mountains.

      Delete
    4. Climate change for sure I reckon Ron. I remember as a kid & teenager that Tasmania had a well earned reputation for being wet & cold. It used to rain here a lot & due to that it was always incredibly green across the whole island. Now over the past 20 years we've had so many droughts & they reckon this Summer will be the worst. Farmers are already struggling due to lack of rain. It was unimaginable years ago to think that Tasmania would ever have drought problems

      Delete
    5. We've had milder winters than usual and warmer summers for quite some time but the most obvious symptom is the retreat of the glaciers. At the rate we are going there won't be any glaciers by the turn of the next century.

      Delete

I have had to increase the security on this blog because of the flood of spam that has been coming through recently. I apologize for the extra burden this puts on those who visit the blog but am sure they will understand.