The Snowy Highpoint

[Summit team: Targo]
I visited Spruce Knob on March 9th, 2004, and this is one of the more adventurous highpoints I've ever visited. It was snowing again and this turned out to be another easy highpoint where our car couldn't take us. While we were driving uphill, the snow got heavier and heavier, and about 4-5 miles before the summit we got rather stuck. Turning the front-wheel drive car around on the narrow and slippery road was quite an adventure on its own since the car tended to slip away from the road and we had to gather some rocks and gravel from the roadside to secure it.
Someone else was driving by in a big-ass four wheel drive vehicle, and I asked if he could take me closer to the summit. The guy was reluctant, thinking that after I come back from the summit we couldn't get down any more as the snow was getting thicker by the hour, and told us to come back in a few days. What a wimp. Since a little snow is no deterrent for a serious highpointer, I took our car downhill by about half a mile and started walking up. The road goes actually past the summit by a mile and a half and then turns back. I didn't want to waste time on it and took a shortcut through the woods (click on topo map below). The correct place for a shortcut is relatively easy to find since it is a bed for a small creek (which actually disappears pretty quickly when going upstream). Still, crossing the woods made an interesting map and compass exercise. I covered the way back mostly jogging, making for a 2.5 hour hike total.
Note: Going off the roads and trails in snow may be dangerous. Don't do it unless you have 1) a map, 2) a compass, 3) warm clothing, 4) some hiking/orienteering skills.

Here are the instructions from Backbone Mountain, MD:
1. Take US-219 South (West)
2. Go 7.9 miles and keep straight onto SR-32
3. Go 21.7 miles and turn left onto US-33
4. Go 22 miles and turn right onto CR 33/4. It is couple of miles before (north of) Judy Cap.
5. After 1.8 miles turn left to stay on CR-33/4
6. Go 0.6 miles and turn right onto Public Road 112
7. Go 7.2 miles and bear right onto Public Road 104
8. Go 1.5 miles and there you are!

Going through the foods. My compass was really helpful here.

Lookout tower on the summit

And the view from it

No one to take a picture of myself but myself :-)

Going back is much easier than coming up. Just follow the tracks in deep, fresh snow.

This doesn't really look like a path to a D1 highpoint, does it.

Someone else has also walked through these woods quite recently.

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