Forum Index > Trip Reports > Coleman Pinnacle (Artist Point) 12/14/17
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awilsondc
Scramblin' Fool



Joined: 03 Apr 2016
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awilsondc
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 11:14 am 
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Jake, Dave, and I teamed up to tackle Coleman Pinnacle near Artist Point on the last day of good weather.  We met up at a park and ride at 5:30 and were on the trail shortly after 8:00 am.

As we were nearing the parking lot, sunrise colors were pretty impressive all around.  I stopped a couple times for photos, but was only really happy with one.

Sunrise on American Border Peak and Larrabee
Sunrise on American Border Peak and Larrabee

Jake and I hiked in boots up to Artist Point on a firmly packed trail, Dave opted to put on snowshoes part way up, and we made decent time getting to Artist Point where Jake and I put on our snowshoes.  There were a couple split boarders or skiers up there, the last people we'd see until back at Artist Point later in the day.

Jake and Dave starting out
Jake and Dave starting out
The road ahead, from Artist Point
The road ahead, from Artist Point

We made our way to the traverse under Table Mountain.  This traverse is renowned for avalanche danger, and sure enough we crossed an avalanche which was likely a couple days old.  Avalanche conditions for our trip were "low", which is a rarity.  This trip certainly has avalanche risk and is only recommended in stable snow conditions.

Avalanche - several days old
Avalanche - several days old
Baker
Baker
Lovely scenery
Lovely scenery
Jake and Dave with Table Mountain
Jake and Dave with Table Mountain

After Table Mountain we reached a saddle and traversed on the west side of... I forget the name Dave mentioned, something like Snow Bunny hill or something, anyway we traversed the west side under some cliff bands to another saddle.  The views just kept getting better and better!  This is truly very scenic area.  One of the best in our state!

Traversing
Traversing
Gorgeous country
Gorgeous country
Helicopter
Helicopter
Jake admiring Baker and the Coleman Pinnacle
Jake admiring Baker and the Coleman Pinnacle
Onward
Onward
Pano, just past table mountain
Pano, just past table mountain

We hit another saddle and traversed on the east side of Ptarmigan Ridge and made a less than optimal route finding choice.  We went up to the summit of point 5831 rather than around it.  This entailed a bit of class 3 scrambling (interesting when done in snowshoes) and a bit of bushwacking down the other side to get back on route.  A nice little bit of spice for our route.  Once back on route, the view of the Coleman Pinnacle was really impressive jutting up above the horizon.  I'm a sucker for pointy peaks, I just love 'em!

Jake leading the way
Jake leading the way
Dave on one of the flat sections
Dave on one of the flat sections
Jake and Dave with Coleman Pinnacle and Baker
Jake and Dave with Coleman Pinnacle and Baker
Snow and rock with Shuksan
Snow and rock with Shuksan
Cool views
Cool views
Jake approaching the Coleman Pinnacle
Jake approaching the Coleman Pinnacle
Dave approaching the Coleman Pinnacle
Dave approaching the Coleman Pinnacle
Shuksan
Shuksan

We traversed around to the southwest side of the pinnacle.  The snow cover on the SE facing slopes here was really thin.  We even hiked through a short patch of heather, and near the base of the summit block was fairly melted out.  We took off our snowshoes here for the final 200 feet up to the summit.  The final scramble was mostly melted out easy class 3 rock, which was a fun way to reach a summit in winter conditions.  The views from the summit were incredible!  Jake and Dave spent several hours through the course of the trip identifying all the surrounding peaks, and Jake annotated my panorama (which was actually cropped from a photoshpere and has some stitching errors, sorry about your head Dave! lol) to list several of the peaks in view from the summit.

The summit block of the Coleman Pinnacle
The summit block of the Coleman Pinnacle
Jake and Dave reaching the summit
Jake and Dave reaching the summit
Dave and Jake on the summit of Coleman Pinnacle
Dave and Jake on the summit of Coleman Pinnacle
Coleman Pinnacle summit selfie
Coleman Pinnacle summit selfie
Baker from the summit
Baker from the summit
Shuksan from the summit
Shuksan from the summit
Coleman Pinnacle Summit Panorama. Annotated by Jake Robinson.
Coleman Pinnacle Summit Panorama. Annotated by Jake Robinson.

We had lunch and spent maybe 45 minutes on the summit before heading back.  After reaching our snowshoes we strapped them on our packs and plunge stepped down the steepish snow back to the traverse section where we put our snowshoes back on for the way back.

Heading back to our showshoes
Heading back to our showshoes
Jake descending
Jake descending
Mount Shuksan pano
Mount Shuksan pano

We made a couple different route choices on the way back, like going around point 5831, but mostly followed the same track.  Again, the views were just amazing all day.  I can't say enough how beautiful this area is!  This was probably my best snowshoe trip ever in terms of scenery.  Just, amazing.  Eventually we made it back to Artist point around maybe 3:30 and hung around for the sunset.

The scenery was great the whole trip
The scenery was great the whole trip
Jake taking some video at a flat spot
Jake taking some video at a flat spot
Jake with the long stride
Jake with the long stride
Jake, wondering in a winter wonderland
Jake, wondering in a winter wonderland
Views for days
Views for days
snow. rock. Jake. Shuksan.
snow. rock. Jake. Shuksan.
Shuksan and pillow soft snow
Shuksan and pillow soft snow

After the sun had dropped behind Mount Baker there was an interesting solar flare, bright spot kind of thing to the left of Mount Baker.  None of my pictures of it came out all that well, and we weren't really sure what was causing it.  We stayed until a bit after sunset and got to see some decent colors, but after the sun had set we thought the show was over and put on crampons for the hard packed boot path back to the car.  We were wrong however.  As we descended pink colors broke out over Table Mountain which was pretty impressive.  There were also some nice colors over the border peaks and Larrabee.

Sun setting behind Baker
Sun setting behind Baker
Shuksan with golden hour light
Shuksan with golden hour light
Sunset behind baker
Sunset behind baker
Baker sunset pano
Baker sunset pano
Table Mountain sunset
Table Mountain sunset
Dusk colors and Table Mountain
Dusk colors and Table Mountain
Heading back to the car with dusk colors
Heading back to the car with dusk colors

It took us 8 1/2 hours car to car, 10.4 miles 2800 ft elevation gain (it felt a lot harder than that) with ~45 minutes on the summit and another ~45-60 at Artist Point for sunset.  Phenomenal trip!  Thanks Dave and Jake for the gorgeous day trip!
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Jake Robinson
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Jake Robinson
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 1:42 pm 
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Here are some cell phone pics I got on this beautiful trip:

Dave in the morning
Dave in the morning
Dave taking photos of Shuksan
Dave taking photos of Shuksan
Dave hiking with the Mt. Baker Highway peaks
Dave hiking with the Mt. Baker Highway peaks
En route
En route
Food break
Food break
Traversing
Traversing
Summit ridge and shuksan
Summit ridge and shuksan
Baker from the summit
Baker from the summit
Aaron on the summit
Aaron on the summit
Improving light on Shuksan
Improving light on Shuksan
Plunge stepping
Plunge stepping
Lovely scenery to the south
Lovely scenery to the south
Hiking back
Hiking back
Never enough Shuksan!
Never enough Shuksan!
Hiking back
Hiking back
Sunset over Baker
Sunset over Baker
Evening light on Shuksan from Artist Point
Evening light on Shuksan from Artist Point
Pink sky on the return
Pink sky on the return
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RichP
sin rumbo



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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RichP
sin rumbo
PostSun Dec 17, 2017 3:31 pm 
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That looks awesome. Great pics, guys.  up.gif
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Jeff
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Jeff
Ramen Elitist
PostSun Dec 17, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Would you recommend trying the west side of ptarmigan ridge instead?
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awilsondc
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Joined: 03 Apr 2016
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awilsondc
Scramblin' Fool
PostSun Dec 17, 2017 7:10 pm 
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Jeff wrote:
Would you recommend trying the west side of ptarmigan ridge instead?

Nah, the east side was fine, just needed to drop down into the basin a little bit sooner to avoid going up to point 5831.  Here is our track.  The left / upper track is how we came in, the right / lower track is how we went out.

Final portion of our route up Coleman Pinnacle in winter conditions.
Final portion of our route up Coleman Pinnacle in winter conditions.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Looks gorgeous, thanks for sharing.  up.gif
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Brushbuffalo
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Brushbuffalo
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 8:59 pm 
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You fellows hit it perfectly. C.P. is a good summit anytime but spectacular on a clear "winter" day. And thanks for those sunset pictures!  Awww!  up.gif   up.gif  up.gif

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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MangyMarmot
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MangyMarmot
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PostSun Dec 17, 2017 9:52 pm 
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Awesome trip guys! Awesome photos! Here are a few of my photos:

Baker with Coleman Pinnacle from Artist Point.
Baker with Coleman Pinnacle from Artist Point.
Heading up the ridge.
Heading up the ridge.
Kodak moment.
Kodak moment.
Lasiocarpa Ridge.
Lasiocarpa Ridge.
Baker and Coleman.
Baker and Coleman.
Explorers
Explorers
Climbing the pinnacle.
Climbing the pinnacle.
Near the summit.
Near the summit.
Summit shot.
Summit shot.
Baker
Baker
Heading down.
Heading down.
Shuksan
Shuksan
Sunset
Sunset
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks
PostSun Dec 17, 2017 10:03 pm 
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awilsondc - thanks for the labelled panorama. Those take a lot of time to create, especially with some distant small (in view) peaks you labelled.

--------------
Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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seattlenativemike
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seattlenativemike
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PostTue Dec 19, 2017 1:22 pm 
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puzzlr wrote:
awilsondc - thanks for the labelled panorama. Those take a lot of time to create, especially with some distant small (in view) peaks you labelled.

yes thats awesome!  Thanks

--------------
www.mikereidphotography.com
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silence
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silence
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PostTue Dec 19, 2017 3:50 pm 
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up.gif  up.gif  up.gif

--------------
PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/33792231@N00/sets
FILMMAKING: http://www.crestpictures.com/

Keep a good head and always carry a light bulb. Bob Dylan
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awilsondc
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awilsondc
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PostTue Dec 19, 2017 7:19 pm 
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The credit for the labeled panorama goes to Jake.  Well, I took the photo, but Jake did all the peak identification and labeling.  He's getting quite good at it, so thanks Jake!
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cartman
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cartman
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 7:40 pm 
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That's a fantastic area with or without snow.  If you ever go back in stable conditions, the Portals and Lasciocarpa Ridge make for a great overnight trip.
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