Winter has arrived! Over the past couple weeks we’ve had lower temperatures and lots of rain. Last week it cleared up and brought sunny cool days. When I finally caught a glimpse of the nearby mountains I knew that we had to get up and play in the snow.
Saturday morning we got our winter gear together, grabbed our snowshoes out of storage and headed up to Artist’s Point at Mount Baker in Washington State. It was a busy road up, with lots of people heading to the nearby ski hill.
We made it to the parking lot just after 10 and were soon working our way up the snow-covered trails to Artist’s Point.
The most amazing part of the day was the weather. Lower down in the valleys, they were forecasting a high of -1, however up on the mountain we were experiencing an inversion, which meant it was 10 degrees in the shade! I think my thermometer even hit 20 degrees in a sunny, South-facing bowl!
It was a real joy to feel my hiking muscles working again and a humbling reminder of the extra challenges of hiking in snowshoes.
We made the viewpoint of Artist’s Point within about 45 minutes and took a well-deserved break in some shade. Then we continued onwards, dropping into a snowy bowl and then up onto a ridge-line We had a commanding view of Mt. Baker and decided to stop for lunch and make that spot our turn-around point.
The return trip gave us excellent views of Mt. Shuksan and took much less time than the uphill had. I love tromping easily downhill through fresh powder on my snowshoes!
It looks like this winter is going to bring lots more snow than last and I hope to get out on my snowshoes often, even planning an overnight trip or two!
What will you do this winter to stay in trail shape?