Saturday, March 14, 2009

Full Moon Snowshoe Hike at Mount Baker

I've gotten into the habit of watching the full moon calendar during the winter. When the skies are clear, there's no better place locally to enjoy a full moon and the night sky then up on Mt. Baker. It's quite simply a world class outdoor experience. Tuesday night looked promising. Emails, telephone calls and smoke signals followed; by noon, the message came through:
Houston, we are a go.
I left work in Bellingham at 4 PM, met up with Dean and the rest of his fun-loving friends at Maple Falls, and we began our snowshoe hike around sunset out of the Mt. Baker ski area. We pretty much had things to ourselves. We made the top of the ridge right as the moon rose--that's the picture above. The pics here are copyright Scott T./Skagit Herald--pretty nice to have a professional photographer on the hike. And good company at that. It was so cold though that Scott's camera batteries froze. Vince R. came as well, to write the story, and he does a better job than I of telling the tale, and so feel free to fast forward to the link below. There's even a video clip. Our little full moon adventure made the front page of the Herald on Thursday--nice!
For my faithful blog follower(s), my bonus track comments are 1.) it was 5 degrees, and very very very very cold; 2.) full moon rise on snow canyon makes for an amazing ethereal pink glow--this is my first chance to legitmately drop the word "ethereal" in quite some time--it's a good word, and the pink glow seemed from another world; and 3.) I forgot my pants, my headlamp, my gloves, and food. Also, my ski poles were useless, because they were too long. But my new snowshoes are pretty cool--they have a heel elevator which is real nice for sharp inclines. Also, there were a couple nuts doing some rock climbing on Table Mountain with headlamps--kind of cool. As one friend said, just when you thought you'd seen it all as far as crazy goes, you see some fools night rock or ice climbing at 5 degrees. Life is good, and may it be long too.
We'll probably do this one more time this winter, maybe under a New Moon. The pics below may look like they were taken in daylight, but if you look close, you can see spots in the sky, aka stars, novas, nebulae, planets, galaxies and other astronomical events. Cue Neil Young's Pochohantas (from Rust Never Sleeps), and dream of traveling across an unsettled America, clear skies night after night. If you want. I would. Or you could just read the story--


Luna rising

Ring of Fire at Night aka Mt. Baker

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