Trip Report    

Winter Scramble - Dixie Peak

A great bad weather alternate (although we ended up doing it the day after the bad weather, with spectacular sunshine). A great winter scramble training trip with route finding challenges on the ridges to Dixie (bad runout avoidance in several places), plus a high end workout (afforded by the interconnected network of trails in the area).

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We used all our gear, with boots below ~2900’, then micro-spikes on steep compacted trail, and finally snowshoes for most of the day (with ice axes out on the ridges to Dixie).  The logging road towards Teneriffe had too much fresh snow for booted traffic (in the morning booted tracks turned around after going a short distance), but later in the day we saw booted folks walking our packed track:


We had originally scheduled this as an alternate for a trip to 5050 Pass (from Dosewallips) on Saturday, but the forecast for high winds (30-40 mph) caused a change to Sunday.  Unfortunately only 3 of our original party were able to attend on Sunday, leaving the ‘lucky’ remainders with even more trail breaking quality time.

We encountered beautiful cloud/lighting conditions as we approached the haystack:


A great navigation learning moment is where the logging road reaches the saddle between Mount Teneriffe and the ridges leading to Dixie.  An understandable inclination is to take the descending logging road towards the visible summit of Dixie, but after reviewing the maps you quickly see the best route is to follow the ridges (less gain, avoids steep/brushy time consuming terrain):


The north trending ridge to Dixie was surprisingly alpine, with some spots reminiscent of a mini El Dorado knife edge ridge.  One of the bad runout spots to work around:


Great views from the summit (note the logging road saddle and Mt Teneriffe):


…another bad runout spot:


With rapidly waning sunlight (2 hours to sunset) we found ourselves on the logging road heading home (note The Haystack in the distance):


To achieve a workout comparable to our original venue (5050 Pass) we intentionally added extra distance/elevation gain using the unique set of interconnected trails in the Mount Si area.  With this extra trail work we ultimately ended up back at the cars after ~2 hours of headlamp trail hiking, for a just under 12 hour day of ~15 miles and ~6000’ gain.  A great beautiful weather day in the NW mountains (as usual ;).  Photos from this and other trips to this venue can be seen here.