It was time to get out and see for myself. Alex and I went up into Franconia Notch to have a look at Cannon and Lafayette. There was only a dusting of snow to be found and conditions on the Cannon face are very dry. The Black Dike looked doable from the road as we could see a thin vein of ice from top to bottom.

Conditions were good on the first and third pitches – the second pitch had very little ice and it was unbonded and very brittle. What made it go was good rock protection in the cracks. Care needs to be taken as there is quite a bit of loose unbonded rock on the route due to the lack on snow and ice.

Dike looking ready to go from this talus spot.

Getting prepped at the base area.

Awesome ice conditions on the first pitch.

Alex topping out on the runnel pitch.

The rock traverse into the ice – loaded 3 pieces of fixed gear plus a hanging rope.

Photos from afar were taken by Peter Doucette who was climbing Fafnir. Thanks to Peter for sending my way.

All said Alex and I had a great first day on the ice. The season has begun.

Art Mooney