Fafnir is the sister ice flow to the Black Dike. It shares the first few feet of the first pitch of the dike and then breaks right to climb through a blocky mixed headwall on Pitch 3. A Bouchard classic first climbed in the 70's with characteristic Cannon mixed climbing and gnarly ice formations.
For the experienced Cannon climber, Fafnir offers a way to avoid the queue that forms on the Black Dike and a step up in difficulty. Conditions vary a lot on this route from extensive drytooling to awkward ice so be prepared for anything.
Approach is as for the Black Dike and the Whitney Gilman.
P1 : If formed up, climb directly up thin ice immediately right of the first pitch of the Dike to an independent belay stance right of the first belay on the Dike. If the pitch is not formed, you can climb the first pitch of the Black dike and move right to the belay. 180' WI3-/WI3 (Can be thin).
Fafnir Pitch 1 belay. The Black Dike is visible in the background
P2 : trend right following ice smears in some blocky corners finding gear when available and tackle a short but steep headwall up to a wide belay ledge below the final headwall (fixed pins). WI4 160'
P3 : Move right and climb weaknesses in the headwall. In fat conditions, you will be moving up and over a number of ice umbrellas. In thin conditions, there are a lot of thin cracks for dry hooking, but the gear is marginal. WI5- in good conditions, WI4+/M4 R in marginal conditions 160'.
An ice rack heavy on the stubbies, small TCU's, nuts and tricams, and 1 or 2 larger hand sized pieces for the exit moves.
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