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Via Spotted Mountain Climber's Log

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MTVTNovember Struggles  Sucess!
Date Climbed: Nov 22, 2014
My partner and I headed out to try to do the 17.3 mile dix loop in two days this Saturday. We got to the North Fork at 9 am and headed along the river catching the trail when we could find it (there was some snow). After crossing the wetlands between the North and South fork and continuing along the South Fork for a bit, we decided to head up the North ridge of Spotted Mountain and follow the ridge over to east dix after summiting. We had thought that this was the recommended route for the loop (it is most certainly not), and headed off trail towards the ridge. It proved to be dense and icy requiring a lot of squeezing between hemlocks and scrambling up snowy rock. The ridge between spotted and dix was even more dense and scrambly, and by the time we got on to East Dix it was 3:30 and we didn't have much daylight left. My partner went to find his down jacket which had fallen from his pack during the scramble, meanwhile, I looked for the supposed trail from east dix to the rest of the range. Ever since Spotted the wind had been blowing tremendously (actually came close to pushing me over a couple of times and I weigh 190 lbs) and when we got on East Dix it started snowing. We realized we needed to find a place to sleep for the night and took the narrow unpacked trail (eventually recognized some crampon marks)down into the notch between East and South Dix. We had planned on sleeping in a lean-to and only had a bivy sack and rain fly with us (as well as sleeping bags and pads). After heating some snow for water and eating powerbars and pepperjack cheese, we settled down between two hemlocks (me wrapped in the fly, him in the bivy) on the snow. We were warm enough and the snow was easily tossed off whenever we (frequently woke up). Then, around midnight, it warmed up and started raining. By 6 am Everything was soaked completely through. We threw our soggy gear into our packs, put on the dry clothes we had left and started moving fast to chase the numbness from our extremities. The rain finally let up and after some dense bushwacking we made it to the east dix slide which was covered in wet sticky snow. The hike out, although we were wet, was warm and painless, welcome after the night before. Needless to say, we didn't complete the loop, but instead thanked our luck for the warm day and made it back to the car by noon.
Posted Nov 24, 2014 7:44 pm

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