On the opposite side of the Mountain from Sadie's Driver's Park Butte party, I enjoyed a casual day heading to Huntoon Point from Heather Meadows.
This destination came about because:
a) it was sunny,
b) I was solo,
c) I knew there would be lots of other people on the route,
d) I've never been to Huntoon Point in the winter, despite being in the neighborhood on a number of occasions and
e) I was supposed to meet some friends afterwards for a post-birthday dinner, necessitating a definite 'be home by 5' agenda.
The weather was spot-on spectacular! Short sleeves & sunscreen in March... Perfect!!
I've been up here a few times in winter but had never ventured out to Huntoon Point. Now I can mark that off my to-do list.
The route is beautiful. Pure North Cascades beauty. Mt. Shuksan, Mt. Baker, Table Mtn, Austin Pass... all in your face and forcing you to realign your perspective on many things.
Every visit to Artist Point reminds me of my first snowshoe up here with Hiker Boy & his international band of merry makers. I mention this because Hiker Boy had previously felt under the weather due to what he thought was an ear infection. Ultimately it turned out to be a much more sinister medical condition requiring Chemo that ultimately put a stop to his hiking activities all together -- partly due to his condition but mostly because he decided to re-prioritize his life objectives. He kept up his own website for a time, but now I'm unable to locate him. Being at Artist Point always makes me wonder about how he is doing.
Not too far from the parking lot I came across this perfect snow camp location. A young dad, his young son and his yellow lab Sonny enjoying the end of their camping trip. Hard to ask for a better morning view.
Evidences of recent avalanches, and unrelated ski tracks, could be seen below Table Mountain and across the Bagley/Chain Lakes basin.
This picture was taken at Artist Point, where Hwy 542 ends in the summertime... once the 35 feet of snow gets removed. Typically this road doesn't open until at least mid-July. Mount Baker is on the left and a corner of Table Mtn is on the right.
There were a lot of visitors today, including a large group all wearing identical jackets with the 2010 Winter Olympics logo on them.
A short panorama video from near Artist Point:
Once back to the car it was nice to cool off with a snow-packed-cold Root Beer before heading on down to check out Nooksack Falls on the way home.