I just put in a new bathroom fan and noticed the previous one was vented into the attic. I understand this can cause mold after awhile. I live in WI where we see a lot of snow. I was told the roof exit style ventilation can cause an ice dam, blocking the vent. I assume that the snow melting from the hot exiting air refreezes making the ice dam. So, I'm supposed to run the duct to a soffit vent. But, the area in the attic where the soffits are have very little room to work. I think I'll have to force myself to work in the small space but what are my options?
You should not vent out the soffit if you have soffit vents. The moist air will be sucked into the soffit vents, and cause just as much (or more) trouble as venting directly into the attic.
The best option is to vent out the gable end of the attic. Make sure the ducting is sloped slightly back towards the fan, so condensate can drain. Use rigid metal ducting, not that flexible plastic junk.