At the risk of interrupting this nonsense
, I have some useful information to add to my comments about the Trap Dike. I think my time on the winter Trap Dike trip was short for two reasons. 1) Reversing the route means I only had to carry some water and climbing gear up the mountain and wasn't weighted down and it gets you back to Avalanche Lake in about 35 minutes as opposed to the hour plus it would take to walk down to Lake Arnold and re-connect with the trail to Marcy Dam and 2) The snow was such that anywhere there was a good enough incline on the trail, I could run/slide down quite easily.
Having said that, reversing the route IMO is a highly condition dependant option. The day I did it, the conditions made this relatively safe. I wouldn't want to do that if it was more icy or if the snow was thin. Having said that, I don't know how you could have judged what the conditions were going to be like on the slab until you got there and if it turned out they were not good to reverse the route, I would have descended into the gulley to the north of the Trap Dike and fought my way through the trees until back into the dike. It would not have been pretty, but, eyeballing it, I'm pretty sure it woulda got me back down.
I had a 9 hour window of good weather and I'd been wanting to do it for two years and that was my last chance, so, I struck!
Oh and MurphysLaw and I did 4 or 5 routes at Deep Notch the day after.