View Full Version : Trap Dike on Colden

05-31-2004, 12:05 PM
I just completed my second ascent of the Trap Dike this weekend, but managed to stay in the Dike too long and ended up with a 3 hour body eating bushwhack to the summit. The first time we did the route (almost 4 years ago) - we got the route right and ended up on the slide like you're supposed to. On this trip, we followed a herd path off a smaller slide above the main slide and found boot prints, a broken crampon, and a shredded jacket along the way.

Can anyone refresh my memory on how you know when to leave the Dike so that I get it right next time? Thanks!


p.s. - if anyone wants to see pics of the Dike, click here (http://community.webshots.com/album/148007479rqrgww) . There are also pics of the NL Induestries mine near Tahawus. Soon to be added are pics of the Ghost Town at the Upper Works and the old MacIntyre Furnace.

Rob S
05-31-2004, 04:36 PM
Wow! Awesome shots! I haven't done this yet, but after seeing your photos, I have got to add it to my "to-do" list. Thanks for sharing!


05-31-2004, 05:11 PM
Anytime - just don't stay in the Dike too long - it's not worth it - trust me.


05-31-2004, 08:40 PM
Otsterhead-- The first time I was up there I had the same problem. Too long in the dike. We got to the top all scratched up, and a lady up there looked at us, shook her head and asked--"where did you guys come from?" We replied-- "The Trap Dike". All she could say was "WHY?". We still laugh at that whole conversation. Because all we could say was, "Because it was there".

05-31-2004, 09:41 PM
I wish I had it your way - I kinda feel silly getting it right the first time and not the second...


05-31-2004, 10:50 PM
I have the exact answer -- in text, but stored on my other computer!

If I remember correctly, there is a relatively high rock wall that you don't negotiate... rather, take a small ramp off the dike to the right, and onto the slide.

The beauty of the Trap Dike: exit too low and you expose yourself to a slide you could fall off of... too high and, well, read above and weep!

Spence: the rest of the story... it was there and HAD to be done! I hope she was appreciative that you took to the task and relieved her of any feeling of obligation to do it...

06-01-2004, 08:36 AM
this might help you oh Oysterhead


06-01-2004, 11:02 AM
You must have missed the exit cairn:
Photo of the exit cairn in the trap dike (http://www.davidkennedy.com/Hiking/Trips/2003-08-24-ColdenTrapDike/images/IM003259.jpg)

06-01-2004, 12:05 PM
wow, Great Pics hardrain!!!!!!

06-03-2004, 02:59 AM
Yes, thanks for the photos, guys. Now I can see what I'd be up against if I should ever lose my senses.

Actually, the Trap Dike doesn't look as bad to me, somehow, as the long stretch up the slide does. Is it possible to take the dike all the way up to the col between the summits and pick up the trail on the Lake Arnold side? I remember the first time I was in that col I accidentally left the trail and started to follow a trail down that way, what I now recognize as being toward the dike. It petered out pretty quickly, but maybe there is a route there. (There was a faint trail down the other side of the col, too. The true trail, of course, led straight ahead and up to the secondary summit then down to Lake Arnold. Eventually.)

06-03-2004, 05:57 AM
Raymond - since I left the dike too late I cannot vouch for it the whole way up to the col, but if it is anything like the face was (very very thick cripplebrush) then just avoid it. the slide is a good climb.


06-03-2004, 06:12 AM
Originally posted by Raymond
(There was a faint trail down the other side of the col, too. The true trail, of course, led straight ahead and up to the secondary summit then down to Lake Arnold. Eventually.)

The faint trail going the other way is what is left of the old trail. The trail from Lake Arnold is a re-route which was done quite some time ago.

Another note: With respect to the slide being nice and easy. Remember that all people do not have the same perspective. There is a lot of exposure on the slide. You look back, and see a long fall down into Avalanche Lake. Some people find this very unnerving.

When someone says a slide is an easy climb, take it with a grain of salt. To some, it is easy, to others horrible. Better, would be to compare it with other slides. EG, teh Colden slide tougher and scarier than the Macomb slide, or the East Dix slide. On the plus side, the rock is very grippy. I did it in the rain one time, and didn't find it slippery at all, unlike some other slides.

06-03-2004, 11:21 AM
Pete - didn't mean to imply that the slide was easy. I don't think I've ever done an "easy" slide (but that of course is relative, as you pointed out). I merely meant that, as slides go, I think the exit slide off the dike is a good climb.

On that note, the reason I would never consider the exit slide "easy" is due to a story I heard from two DEC workers in the Noonmark Diner right before I climbed the slide in 2000. Apperently about a week before our climb, a female hiker mistook the exit slide for the trail off the summit and fell off the "headwall." She fell a LONG way (several 100') and ended up with a fracture to the skull, both arms, and both legs. Anything with a fall danger that high isn't easy.

Sorry for the misunderstanding - really didn't mean to imply that it was nice and easy.


06-04-2004, 03:23 PM
I have climbed the trap dike twice and I also ended up doing that flesh and clothing shredding bushwhack the first time I went up. Since then I have always remembered that you get out as soon as you climb the crux, as soon as you can climb up the right side of the dike's wall. The crux is the only section that involves any real exposure at all, with a short vertical climb of 12-15 feet, but with really good holds.

Anyone for a winter attempt? Lets talk-:cool: