PMC members Phlan and Paco climbed the trapdike Sunday at least we think we climbed it that day because there was no one else climbing up there but us. Phil would have been there but he was MIA (recovery time off) the climb was really fun although it shore was purty ding-durn cold. Only about a pitch or so of ice, but the setting is really inspirational and feel super alpine like. Some other PMC member applicants were present and accounted for down on the lake and were freezing their ###'s off watching and waving to us. We waved back with our frozen limbs.
Phlan and Paco skied in early, it was Paco's first time on mountaineering (randonee) skis borrowed from Phlan and he did OK on the steep part of the trail after flailing at first then putting on the skins, we got to the dike around noon and conditions were cold but the dike is so sheltered it isn't too windy in there although you can get spindrift type stuff. We climbed the ice up to where it ended and it looked like just snow above us. There were no anchors that we could find so we put in a couple of pins and rapped down. The pins (two LA's) were good and in sound rock when we put 'em in, but as always, caveat emptor.
The TD can be done in a day if you are pretty quick and start early. I would not recommend going all the way up to the summit most of the time because it is very hi avvy potential up there a good part of the time. Plus, the PMC don't particularly dig snow climbin', get my drift?
We were back in the parking lot around 4 o-clock sharp. Paco only fell down a couple dozen times on the trail.
Phlan got back to lodge early and was seen consuming ice cold sardines with lick smacking relish all evening long and later falling asleep and snoring during the slide show. (still eating sardines and almost choking on them.) between the lodge and the slide show PMC members and member applicants were sighted at the Lake Placid Brewery downing some hop malt type beverages in excess. (well, maybe not excess but that stuff is purty darn tootin' good.)
If you are leading the Trap Dike, bring a small assortment of ice screws. On Sunday, the ice was brittle and dinnerplatey low down but after a bit got better and was surprisingly good and fun to climb.
Snow pickets might also be useful, but not necessary unless there is a LOT more snow or you are going higher up. Again, not recommended due to avvy potential.
Phlan has also soloed this climb, but that depends greatly on conditions and the ability or sanity or lack thereof, of the individual. In general, I would not recommend it. Although, the day I soloed it was one of my better days in the mountains... even though it is an easy climb it has a really cool feeling about the climb and it's a real mountaineering adventure.
There have been three major rescues on this climb, so it is frequently underestimated.
On the approach, skis are WAY more fun than snowshoes. This ski is one of the best ski tours in the whole adirondack region. DON'T POST HOLE!!! Learn how to ski, skiing is for real mountaineers, it's worth it.