Mt. Baker/Artist Point full moon camping

With forecasted clear skies and recent fresh snow, the full moon and Mt. Baker were calling my name. I took my time getting there since I wanted to see the moon and not the sun! I started hiking at about 5pm and 22 degree, clear skies. Skinning was pretty straight forward and I was thankful that I packed light.

I found an awesome place to camp with a view of Mt. Shuksan and Mt. Baker on the edge of a cliff. The moon was ridiculously bright and I was able to capture many photos. It’s really difficult to photograph the cold, clear night so the viewer may imagine themselves there. I think that everyone should see the mountains in the winter under a full moon though. It is pure serenity.

I was trying a new winter setup with the groundcloth, rainfly, 25 degree sleeping bag and an extra coat. I figured I could use the fly to keep off any wind and I’d have an extra coat if I got cold. I never got cold, but the wind picked up overnight and snow was being blown through the top vents in the fly and right on my face! Good morning. The rest of the system worked great and I was able to keep my load light and small.

In the morning, I packed up very leisurely, only quickening my efforts because of the icy wind and swirling snow. Some good instant coffee and oatmeal and I was all warmed up and ready for a day in the snow. The remainder of the day I spent wandering around Artist Point, photographing the snow formations and patterns. I had more ambitious skiing plans but I was happy to be on skis in the mountains and having time to photograph a beautiful place. Enjoy the photos!

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6 thoughts on “Mt. Baker/Artist Point full moon camping

  1. Nice pics!!! I got the impression from your light-weight bivy description that you were not using a tent, but from the looks of the pics, looks like you were. Just curious how you lightend things up..I’m always like to unload unnecessary wieght..

    Thanks for any elucidation, Rich

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    • Thanks, I lightened things up by taking the rainfly/footprint only for the tent and by using a summer bag (packs to the size of a loaf of bread.) sleeping in my long underwear and ski jacket adds insulation, and I’m wearing it anyway, so it really doesn’t add weight. I always bring my hooded synthetic fill jacket so I can use it for emergency, but I only used it as a pillow. One recommendation I can offer is using the fly only (no poles/no footprint) and using it like a tarp and pitching it with ski poles. This can work well too depending on the shape of your rainfly. I’ve even used the footprint as a tarp over a snow trench. Anything to keep off the wind and help prevent extra radiative cooling. Snow caves are also great if you have time and are not claustrophobic. Hope this helps, Eric.

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