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Ice Area Index / Franconia Notch / Black Dike (WI 5 M3 IV)
Black Dike
The Dike in early season "fat" conditions.
Directions:  Hike up as for Whitney-Gilman on the left side of the cliff. Keep right at the ridge to the start of the ice.
Description: A true classic of the genera. While it's lost a bit of its mystique, it can still be a very serious undertaking. As with all alpine routes in a good year it can be fat and moderate grade 4, but in lean and cold conditions it deserves every bit of the Grade 5 M3 grade. There have been several instances of climbers being avalanched and injured on the approach so be aware of the snow conditions.
    Pitch 1: Climb easy ice bulges to a fixed belay on the right at a good stance.

    Pitch 2: Step left, sometimes making rock moves, to the runnel and climb it to a fixed belay on wall on the left.

    Pitch 3: Continue up left to the top, or right (generally easier) to the trees.

Gear: standard ice rack with some rock gear
Descent: Walk off left and down the normal decent trail to the bike/snowmobile path or rappel the route.
History:  December 18, 1971 - John Bouchard - solo. Second ascent John Bouchard, Henry Barber, Rick Wilcox, John Bragg - 1972.
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