4.5 mi rt
1418 ft ascent
5283 ft max
gpx track, use at your own risk: Huntoon
I do this snowshoe every year, it is just that wonderful. I parked at the upper parking lot for the ski area. My goal was Huntoon Point, a little left and beyond Artist Point.
There is a Huntoon Drive in Bellingham in the Sehome Arboretum and a Huntoon Rd. up by Lynden so I was curious who this Huntoon person was. Turns out he was quite cool. Bert Huntoon moved to Bellingham in the late 1800’s. He summited Baker in 1894, and apparently fell in love with the area becoming an advocate for recreation in the Baker area. Huntoon was instrumental in the formation of the Mt. Baker Club in 1911, he also played a major role in the building of Chuckanut Drive and was a force in the campaign to include it in the state highway system. He was a member of the city park board and established Sehome Park (now part of the Arboretum) in the 1920’s. I think he certainly deserves to have a point and a few roads named after him!
There is a groomed trail that heads out from the parking area and the snowshoe area is directly right of that. The groomed ski trail soon heads off to the left and then it is just pick your own route to get up the hill. I went on a weekend so I knew there would be a lot of people and there was but I was prepared to share the hill with others. Good thing.
There were so many people out there, small groups and very large ones. Some would rush up the hill and then have to stop and rest. Me, I just have one speed and I don’t go fast but I don’t have to stop all the time either. If I get tired, I use the rest step method and that keeps me going at my steady pace. I saw an older man and his daughter, he was struggling and she was being really cool about it. I rarely involve myself but I did give words of encouragement to this man. The mountain does not care how fast you go.
You don’t see Baker until just the last part of the last ridge that your climb but then she appears in all her beauty. Once at Artist Point, I took a left and kept on going towards Huntoon Point just a little further out. The crowds thin out, most stop at Artist Point.
I met some really nice guys on the very top of Huntoon Point, they had spent the night and were starting to build up some snow ramps to do board tricks off of. One of the guys shared his story with me, they were up there to film a documentary of sorts of how far he had come and what you can do when you put your mind to it. Last year he was in a car accident that almost killed him and left his body mangled (crushed pelvic, broken arm, 9 broken ribs). After many surgeries and a long recovery he went on to summit Mt Rainier late last year. Cool guy, inspirational.
After hanging out up top I head down and soon left the main trail choosing instead to head straight down the hill to the Bagley Lake area and from there back to the parking area. Great day on the mountain.