Snake Dike, Half Dome 5.7 R

   
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 5.0/5
Avg time to climb route: 3-4 hours
Approach time: 3-4 hours
Descent time: 3-4 hours
Number of pitches: 8
Height of route: 800'
Overview
Snake Dike is the easiest technical climbing route to the top of Half Dome, the most recognized rock feature in the United States. Half Dome boasts an unreal summit, 5,000' of rise from the Yosemite Valley floor and amazing views of the Yosemite and the High Sierra. This dramatic setting, combined with clean and exposed climbing, makes Snake Dike one of the most glorious moderate climbs on the planet. The long and aesthetic approach will take you past two beautiful waterfalls, through the backcountry and past an isolated lake to the southwest toe of Half Dome. The route climbs an 800' salmon-colored dike that wanders up the dramatic southwest face of Half Dome. The combination of a six-mile hike to the base, eight pitches of climbing, and a nine-mile descent back to the Valley makes a full-day adventure and may require more than one day. However, the intense effort to complete the climb makes this route wonderfully rewarding.
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History
Climbers who make the long trek up to the base of the massive Southwest Face of Half Dome before 1965 went there for one reason only: to do the classic Salathe-Nelson route. This demanding aid line went up unconnected crack systems, but it was the only way to the top since everyone knew the rest of the wide face was crackless, and obviously impossible. When Camp 4 inhabitants heard in July 1965 that a second route had been put up nearby, the sense of disbelief was audible. When the first ascensionists--Eric Beck, Jim Bridwell, and Chris Fredericks--bragged that they had placed only two pitons and about six hurried bolts, disdain evolved to thoughts that the three men should be committed. A far easier route than Salathe's? But it was true, Beck had been the instigator of the route soon named Snake Dike; he had spotted the...   [full history for SuperTopo members only!]

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Approach
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Descent
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Source: SuperTopo Guidebook Staff Last update: June 13, 2014
Half Dome - Snake Dike 5.7 R - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Snake Dike follows an amazing feature to one of the most incredible summits in Yosemite.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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Half Dome - Regular Northwest Face 5.12 or 5.9 C1 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Regular Northwest Face, 5.12 or 5.9 C1
Half Dome
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The Regular Northwest Face.
Half Dome - Tis-sa-ack A3 5.9 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Tis-sa-ack, A3 5.9
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Half Dome - Zenith A4 5.8 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Zenith, A4 5.8
Half Dome
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The first part of the route is hidden.
Half Dome - Blondike 5.11b R - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Blondike, 5.11b R
Half Dome
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Blondike is the red line and Two Hoofers is the Blue Line.
Half Dome - Two Hoofers 5.12 or 5.10b A0 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Two Hoofers, 5.12 or 5.10b A0
Half Dome
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Two Hoofers follows the blue line.
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