Winter Heather Meadows Recreation Area

Winter Heather Meadows Recreation Area

Table Mountain North Cascades Washington Winter Heather Meadows Recreation AreaTable Mountain Heather Meadows Recreation Area 56528

Every winter for nearly twenty years I’ve made at least one visit to Heather Meadows Recreation Area. I come here for a variety of reasons, such as being close to home and one of the few places in the North Cascades with relatively easy access to subalpine and alpine terrain. Also because the scenery is some of the best in the state and the ever changing patterns of snow and light make for unique winter photography opportunities.

On this first trip of the 2015-2016 winter season I came mainly to begin getting in shape and acclimated for upcoming ski-photo tours. Last year was a near bust as far as snowpack is concerned, but so far this year winter storms have pounded the mountains resulting in a pretty impressive base. As of this writing the Mount Baker Ski Area reports 146″ in the upper runs, with more storms lined up waiting to dump more snow. The first break in the weather I’ll head back up for a few days of winter camping and photography.

Backcountry skiers North Cascades Washington Winter Heather Meadows Recreation AreaBackcountry skiers heading up to Artist Point 56540

Mount Baker North Cascades Winter Heather Meadows Recreation AreaMount Baker from Artists Point 56535

Nooksack River North Cascades Washington Winter Heather Meadows Recreation AreaNooksack River back down in the valley 56544





2 thoughts on “Winter Heather Meadows Recreation Area

  1. Great images Alan! Hopefully the coming El Niño weather patterns will hold off until later in January so more people can get out in the snow this year. I see some ski tracks down the side of Table Mountain in that first photograph – that has to be a rather quick way down!

    • Thanks Michael. After reading all the weather predictions for this winter I’m amazed there is so much snow already. I also heard that El Niño may be more present after the first of the year, hopefully it will not happen.

      Over the years it’s become nearly impossible to photograph Heather Meadows area without ski tracks. Backcountry skiing has exploded with tons of skiers hitting even the most extreme aspects of Table Mountain by mid-morning. The whole area is nearly as tracked out as the ski area by noon, even in mid-week when these photos were taken. I’m also starting to see regular tracks and runs on a peak out beyond Table at the start of Ptarmigan Trail, not far for a summer hike but quite strenuous in winter. If you’re camped out somewhere on Artist Point just after a good snowfall with good light you may be lucky enough to have a track free shot.

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