Login with Facebook
Avalanche Lake/Pass
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Avalanche Mountain Gully (AVG) 
Trap Dike, The 

The Trap Dike 

WI2 Easy Snow

Type:  Ice, Snow, 2 pitches, 2000', Grade II
Consensus: WI2+ [details]
Page Views: 5,758
Submitted By: Simon Thompson on May 5, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (23)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Looking up Trap Dike from the middle of Avalanche ...


The Trap Dike and the North face of Gothics are THE classic winter mountaineering ascents in the Adirondacks. Though most parties will only rope up for a couple for a couple of pitches, the Trap Dike provides a fun, exposed, and fairly continuous line directly to the summit of Mt Colden.

From the base of the dike, climb one pitch of stepped ice(usually). The belay used to be just above the ice on some fixed tat from bushes/trees. I am not sure if the belay is still there since Irene*. After the first pitch, hike some low-angled snow to the next obvious steep step. This pitch is shorter than the first but is usually the crux of the route.

  • -If anybody has information on this please comment.

Photos of The Trap Dike Slideshow Add Photo
One of the lower ice bulges.
One of the lower ice bulges.
trapdike, dec 20 2014
trapdike, dec 20 2014
Huge crown line - be careful and consider the aval...
Huge crown line - be careful and consider the aval...
trapdike, on the slab
trapdike, on the slab
Skiing back down to the first rappel.
Skiing back down to the first rappel.
trapdike, december 20 2014
trapdike, december 20 2014
Trekking up the dome
Trekking up the dome
trapdike, heading towards the slab
trapdike, heading towards the slab
trapdike from avalanche lake
trapdike from avalanche lake
Trap Dyke in March 2015, Heavy snow in the dyke an...
Trap Dyke in March 2015, Heavy snow in the dyke an...

Comments on The Trap Dike Add Comment
Show which comments
By Auto-X Fil
From: NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
May 25, 2011

In early season, the ice climbing can be long and fun. But later in the year, the Dike will fill in and it'll be mostly a snow climb - but bring a second tool just in case.

The Dike itself is great, with some steep front-pointing cruxes. The slabs are a long, brutal hike with serious exposure (bring protection if the slabs are hard/icy!) but well worth the summit.

And, to top it all off, the ski tour into Avalanche Lake is second to none. If you've got the skills to descend Colden on planks, this might be the best moderate ski mountaineering objective in the Daks. Even with a hike/glissade/rap down the dike, the ski tour+solo up was probably my finest day in the mountains. The approach and route are five-star, and fun in nearly any conditions except avy danger.
By Matt Glue
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 6, 2011

Irene took out all vegetation in the dike. Don't expect any tree anchors.
By apeman e
Dec 14, 2011

The belay is gone.
By Dave Schultz
From: Saratoga Springs, New York
Apr 19, 2012

Skied the route from the summit in early March, there were no fixed anchors, we made v-threads for every rappel.
By NolanH
Jun 21, 2015

Emergency avalanche equipment appears to have been left by the DEC in the Pass- several new fixed length metal avalanche poles with slings can be found shortly after the sign which warns not to climb the Avalanche Pass Slide in the winter (the one as you enter the pass from the Loj). Soon after we found a heavy looking snow shovel hung up on a tree, not sure of this goes along or if it is there for the benefit of the caretaker or something like that. We spotted this in June, so it was probably a new caution after the avalanche which occurred on the Trap Dike this past winter. Good to know in case of an emergency!
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!