Barometer Mountain by Mount Shuksan / 靠薩克森山的氣壓山

Barometer Mountain was a great find among North Cascades hiking reports. The trip also allowed us to explore the area for the first time. We even drove on Mount Baker Highway nearly to the eastern end.

Barometer Mountain, the leading protagonist
Barometer Mountain, the leading protagonist

See more trip photos here.

Barometer Mountain at a Glance

Access: Bagley Lakes Trailhead
Round Trip: TBD
Elevation Range: 4160′-5763′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Bailey Lakes Trail

There weren’t many cars on the highway. But I expected that since we started fairly early. On the way to the ski area, we drove past the famous Picture Lake. Lots of people had taken iconic photos of Mount Shuksan there.

It was a pleasant morning with a dozen cars in the parking lot. The pup and I hiked through the eastern shore of Lower Bagley Lake. Then shortly, we were up at the upper lake. I put on snowshoes by the outlet. Then we went up toward the head of the basin.

Upper Bagley Lake outlet
Upper Bagley Lake outlet

See more trip photos here.

Going up to Herman Saddle

Later, we made a rising traverse toward Herman Saddle. Then I saw two skiers below us. We stayed out of the northwest-trending gully. So instead, we moved in the direction of the trail. From there, we crossed the southern slopes of Mount Herman. The skiers opted to go straight up the avalanche terrain.

Slowly, Mount Shuksan rose from behind Austin Pass on the eastern skyline. So I kept turning back to see the magnificent view. It could have been the closest we have seen the mountain. As terrain flattened at 5000′, the pup and I moved southwest and contoured the slopes. Soon, we reached Herman Saddle at 5300′.

On Herman Saddle
On Herman Saddle

See more trip photos here.

Galena Chain Lakes Basin

But the views didn’t stop there! Because more vistas to the west welcomed us. Mount Baker was, of course, the main attraction on that side. We surely could have stayed here for the scenery. But, alas, Barometer Mountain had called, and it awaited our arrival.

We dropped 500′ into Galena Chain Lakes Basin. Then we went around Iceberg and Hayes Lakes through the dividing ridge. From the western shore of Arbuthnot Lake, we then went into Anderson Creek Basin. Next, we went up to the southeast saddle at 4700′. Then we moved up either on or east of the ridgeline. It was steep from 5200′ to 5400′.

Onward to Barometer Mountain
Onward to Barometer Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Barometer Mountain Summit

There were dry rocks higher up on the ridge. So we were able to stay off the snow on either side. Views improved with the elevation gain. Still hard not to keep stopping and checking out the nearby peaks. Later, we made it up on the snowy summit after a short rock scramble.

I would say this to just about any summit with jaw-dropping views. But WOW! This mountain was a gem. So “good things come to those who wait,” I guess? But the only peaks I knew were the ones we have climbed. They were Church Mountain and Excelsior Peak. Also, Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan.

American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee
American Border Peak and Mount Larrabee

See more trip photos here.

Outro

As I looked around me, I realized just how much of the Cascades I have yet to explore. So I made a note of the high points on my never-ending list. Tomyhoi, Yellow Aster, Ruth, Icy, Winchester, Larrabee, and American Border. The list kept growing. We stayed a while on top. Then we made our way down the mountain.

By the time we made it back to Bagley Lakes Basin, the snow had become slushy. There were also more ski and snowshoe tracks since this morning.

Shuksan to Baker panoramic view on Barometer Mountain
Shuksan to Baker panoramic view on Barometer Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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