Friday was a rainy day, a very rainy day. Someone informed me that we received an inch of the stuff between 4pm and 5pm! I believe it because as I was in my kitchen cooking dinner on a camp stove in candlelight due to a power outage, I was amazed and appalled by the thunderous impact it had on the roof. “This is supposed to be Winter! What Gives?” Worried about the condition of The Black Dike on Cannon for the next day’s climb, I packed some extra rock gear in case we opted to make a Winter ascent of the Whitney Gilman Ridge instead.

Paul and I arrived at the base of the route before anybody else had. We heard the sound of moving water. In fact the rain had washed out good sized sections of ice. We decided to give it a shot and found it to be safe enough, though it was very drippy and candled. We moved fast on the route to prevent from getting too wet. All in all it was a fun day, but I was praying for colder temps to lock it up for more enjoyable climbing.

Saturday night dipped below freezing up in the hills and I new the previously flowing Black Dike would be in stellar condition. Based on the fact that the ice in the area has been rather lean, Paul and I chose to make another ascent of this magnificent route. True to our predictions, the climb was in awesome shape on that chilly Sunday morning. The snow that had been washed away was replaced but a fresh dusting. We weren’t the first ones there this time so we layered up and waited in the sun.

Thanks Paul for another great weekend together! Have fun in Ouray!

Matt Ritter – Mooney Mountain Guides