|Apr 6, 2014 (Sun)
|Elevation: 4714 feet; Order of Height: 11
|Participants: Andrew Lavigne, Stephanie Dusablon, Roland Hanel
Hard snow and tiring conditions in the classic mountaineering outing of the Adirondacks - the Trap Dike on Mount Colden.
After a very soft-snow experience just days before on Gothics, I was concerned that there might possibly be avalanche conditions in the Dike. We made sure we got an early start (before 7am), and with brisk walking, we were at the base of the Dike not long after 9 a.m. The whole of this side of Colden was in the shade and the temperatures were still below freezing, so we knew the snow was stable.
In fact, it turned out to be too stable. Stable as in rock-hard stable, and our climb was actually a tiring calf-burner of an ascent, with careful crampon-placement required on almost every step. The Dike was well-filled in with snow, with the ice steps noticeably shortened as a result.
We were quite careful, both in terms of movement and staying roped and protected. That, in combination with our relative rustiness with respect to winter mountaineering, meant we were very, very slow. It took us nearly eight full hours to climb from Avalanche Lake to the summit. Ideally, we should have been able to complete that climb in perhaps a third of that time.
Still, it was a useful experience, and the weather - with crystal clear air and brilliant sunshine - couldn't be beat. We arrived back at the car at 10pm, marking the end of a very arduous 15+ hour day.
Trip Reports, Image Galleries or Other References:
Image Gallery: April 2014 Trap Dike climb