Mt. Baker for the New Year

The first day of the new year requires something a little special. And while snowbike trips are nothing new, it’s the exploring and views that I look for.

The weather forecast, interestingly enough, was for cold and clear-ish in the NW of the state. Usually, that’s reserved for the eastern Cascades.  Looks like Mt. Baker is it! I hadn’t been to this volcano yet, and the more southerly of the two SnoParks is almost west of Mt. Baker, and should have decent light conditions around noon.Screen Shot 2017-01-01 at 8.24.27 PM.png

The drive to Glacier, WA, was interesting – quite a few cars were in the ditch along the Interstate, and driving the snow and slush-covered byways in early morning felt a bit like a daze. That is, until 4 idiots in pickup trucks came careening towards me at high speed.

Sunrise was pretty.

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The ride started with a short warmup on a snowed-in dirt road, before turning into a snowmobile trail. The trail is mostly in the woods.

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After the first 4 miles it gets a bit steep at 10% grade. The snow was fairly well packed, though.

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After about mile 6, it was all pushing. It didn’t help that I am riding on a 80mm rim in the back since my big one broke – it definitely feels less stable and has less traction.

A group of snowmobilers came to a stop and gave me the thumbs up. One of them writes for an outdoor magazine and wanted to know *why* I do this: for the downhill, or for the snow adventure? He said that I am nearing at a very nice view point, maybe 1.5 miles more.

Never listen to directions from people with engines. Pushing for 1.5 hours, I arrived at the fabled viewpoint.

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If I only knew where Mt. Baker is!

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I decided to push a bit higher in hopes of less tree coverage. Always remember to look back:20170101_122001.jpg

And I hit the jackpoint – at least for how much energy I was going to spend today.

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7 Responses to Mt. Baker for the New Year

  1. brewermd says:

    Ah, the road up to Heliotrope…nice choice.

    • 2wheeltrails says:

      You’ve hiked this, or driven? Seems like it’d be a long slog by foot – especially back down. Do you know if the views from Lookout Mountain are worth pushing that high?

  2. mujozen says:

    Awesome! I love that area. Do you know if the motorized folks were getting all the way to Artist Point? You did well to get as far as you did. I imagine it was tough, even for a fat bike. I REALLY need one of those. Great pics!

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