Back Country Hiking

Ptarmigan Ridge

 It was an exhausting 12-mile hike that included about 2500 feet of vertical elevation. Around 8am, about 12 of us gathered at our prearranged meeting place in Bellingham, Wa for some ride sharing.The anticipation was high, as the weather forecast was for clearing skies. It didn't take to long for this spirit to dampen, as the rain began to pour during our drive.

As we approached the Mount Baker ski area, the sky was teasing us with a few patches of blue. Some quick beams of sun broke though the clouds to warm us as we prepared ourselves at the Artist Point parking lot (Elevation around 5000ft). Poles, backpacks, layers of clothes for changing weather conditions etc.

The first section was a trail that sent us underneath the top edge of Table Mountain. A spectacular day lingered with us featuring dramatic clouds and stunning vistas. The gray sky darkened and teased. Working our way up to about 6000 feet some areas were covered with low lying blueberry plants that are well known for their berries and color as fall approaches in the mountains. 

As our trail took us higher above tree line, areas no longer could support the growth of evergreens. Dramatic clouds continued to obscure our views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan, but the colors were fascinating. We had along on the trip a geologist that explained some of the reasons for the colors of the rocks. It was nice, but my camera was trained on the visual treats encountered. Even without the sun I loved the experience. Even though Baker and Shuksan stayed obscured, I would go back again... and again...