Alpenglowshoe: Why You Should Explore Artist Point This Winter

There might not be a more scenic and accessible place in Washington than Artist Point. Go on a rare clear winter evening, and the oranges, yellows, and pinks will make you want to freeze the moment for good.

It was a nice balmy 15F degree day at the Mount Baker Ski resort with very few people to contend with. The weather forecast showed clear skies and the sunset was going to be spectacular. A few weeks of heavy snows followed by a few more days of freezing temps made the snow great for all the newly unshackled college kids to shred and left the hiking trails wide open for a pretty sick me to tackle without infecting anyone.


I left for Artist Point with the idea that maybe the freezing cold would make me forget that I'd had a headache and somewhat sore throat all week, and boy was it working well! When I got there around 2:30 pm, the sun was still shining bright in the sky, but after marvelling my way up the snow and past the greenish cabin, shadows were getting longer - it was only a matter of time until it disappeared behind that slumbering giant, Mt. Baker. 

And when it finally did, it was something to behold. A truly breathtaking show of every warm color, reflected off the white canvases of Mt. Shuksan and the rest of the North Cascades.


I stopped to take dozens of pictures, but after a while, my fingers went through the usual winter transition from painful to numb. Raynaud's is a bitch.

Then I packed it up and left because I like my fingers where they are - attached to my body. Will return.

Summary: Route = follow the snow-covered road and many skin tracks up to a safe, relatively flat terrain. Use a map and compass if needed. Explore at will and be weary of avy condition if going OOB.

PACK LIST

  1. Winter clothing
  2. Snowshoes
  3. Water bottle, because my insulated bladder doesn't work
  4. camera + gear
  5. GPS + map/compass
  6. Headlamp
  7. Snacks (did not eat)
  8. Sunglasses & sunscreen

Published: December 21, 2016

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Brad Geyer

Seattle

From 8am-5pm M-F, I am a structural engineer, but once I get home, I'm engineering my next bushwackin' sufferfest to some desolate peak in the Cascades. Sony a6000 w/ Sony 55-215mm, Sigma 19mm, Samyang 12mm.