Trying to spend more time up here and catch the first snow before they close down the road to Artist’s Point. It’s a drive from Seattle but so worth it for the spectacular views. I have a few rituals heading out 542. I stop at Subway for dinner near Glacier. I hit the Starbucks off Woburn Street to get a triple tall mocha in the morning and wash up. If that isnt enough I also stop in Fairhaven at Tonys.
Anyway, the drive up is great. I know all the landmarks and once I pass the DOT buildings, I know the windy road to the top begins. Shuksan has a tiny dusting of snow on the peak. Table Mountain has no snow yet. Baker is beautiful as always. Its just enough nip in the morning that Picture Lake usually has mist at night. Because I am here for photos, usually I am heading in at dusk at others are heading out and vice versa in the morning. Met quite a few other photographers. Lent my tripod to one, had a nice snarky conversation with another talking about how many a7s shutters he has destroyed while making hours long time lapses. Also shared some homemade pumpkin bread with him. Helped a couple from Kentucky find some of the lesser known gems in the area. Gear-wise, I was carrying two bodies: Sony a7r and Sony a7r2. Zeiss had sent me a preview copy of their new Milvus 15mm so I was intent on using it as much as possible. I also put my Voigtlander 10mm to use for its unique perspective.
Once in the parking lot, I decided to stay in the area as sunset/sunrise would be good from the Huntoon area. Really happy with my decision.
My friend Dan was coming off of 3 weeks of solid work behind a screen and was in need of some backcountry time. So we headed up to Artist’s Point for an overnight and views of Mount Baker and Shuksan. Took us about an hour to snowshoe up to the point and scout around for a camp spot. Several promising locations were already carved out of the snow. The weather seemed mild during the day but got cold and windy at night. We did well with our 3 season Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 tent. I hiked up everything in my Zpacks Arc Blast 45L pack and it felt comfortable from the moment I slipped it on. My Z-packs 10 degree down sleeping bag kept me warm all night in freezing temps with considerable wind. All in all, I was happy with our gear choices including bringing a few bottles of Pike Kilt Lifter ale.
Decided to camp over night near Artist’s Point to catch the sunset and night skies. Almost slept through this but thankfully I got up and captured some stars. Sony a7r and Zeiss 16-35mm. www.mikereidphotography.com
I had heard that Park Butte, the area south of Mount Baker was clear of snow. So I decided to hike in last night and catch both sunset and sunrise. I’m glad I brought my Zpacks 10 degree down sleeping bag and down jacket since it was rather nippy. I also used this trip to test out my new Inreach SE Satellite 2way communicator. All in all a great hike and nice early start to this morning. www.mikereidphotography.com
A tarn near Park Butte just as the sun crested the ridge.
I had noticed on WTA.org that the Chain Lakes Trail up around Artist’s Point had mostly melted out. So I decided to go up there for an overnight and hopefully some nice light on Mount Baker. My gear selection was Arcteryx M40 pack, Shires Tarptent Contrail and ZPacks 10 degree bag. These choices turned out to be good, I was warm enough at night and the pack carries so well with about 25 lbs or so. I have to mention that I really appreciated the Zep Peach air freshner that someone left in the bathroom at Artist’s Point. Much appreciated as its a losing battle in the bathroom, but the Zep helped.
Iceberg lake wasnt quite totally melted out but still had a nice reflection. I decided to scramble down the avalanche chute and try to find a spot along the lake. I think it was definitely worth the trip. www.mikereidphotography.com #backpacking #hiking
This is the view from West Seattle across Elliott Bay. With a long enough lens, Baker looks very close to the Space Needle. In fact, its about a 3 hour drive away. This was shot last night with my sony a7r, Zeiss 100-300 and a mutar 2x doubler. http://www.mikereidphotography.com #spaceneedle
I’m going to say yes to fall foliage although I may have been imagining it. Bugs were a bit less than the last time I was there and Baker didn’t show (clouds). So I ventured up again last night and hiked in, as everyone was hiking out, intent on finding a nice spot near Iceberg Lake. I got to the lake just as the alpenglow was peaking and got a few shots. Then I scouted about for a camping spot and pitched my tent. I got up around 1am for a few Milky Way shots then back in the sack. Scouting around for photos in the morning, I was struck by the abundance of ripe huge berries 🙂 I slipped at one point and ended up with berries all over my backside. Looked like blood. Maybe that was why no one would pick me up at Austin Pass for a ride to AP. Speaking of which, doing this loop starting at Artists Point is highly recommended. Going the other way coming up from Austin Pass looked like quite the slog.