Snake Dike 5.7 R

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
First multi pitch over 4 pitches.
Thursday May 5, 2016 1:46pm
We camped at Lower Pines - which is a beautiful site if you ever want to reserve and not hope for Camp 4 to open up.

How's that for a campsite??
How's that for a campsite??
Credit: tang0nathan

This site give you a majestic view of the North Face of Half Dome. A great preview of what you're about to summit. We took the Mist Trail to Nevada Falls and followed the JMT to the approach line, which is just to the left when you hit this clearing. If you get to the backpacker's camp, you've gone too far. It's a little trail that is decently routed in. When you get to the base scramble, it's a little more difficult to find, but rock stacks are the best way to find it. Use your approach shoes. If you have none, it's okay. I used Brooks Cascadia 9s and they were fine, just a little scarier. Go early. We took our time with the approach, as it took us 5 hours to get to the start of Snake Dike. But, it took some climbers behind us only two hours or so from Camp 4. So, it depends on your trail finding / hiking abilities.
First bridge you have to cross at Happy Isles.
First bridge you have to cross at Happy Isles.
Credit: tang0nathan
Mist Trail along Vernal Falls.
Mist Trail along Vernal Falls.
Credit: tang0nathan
Top of Vernal Falls
Top of Vernal Falls
Credit: tang0nathan

Nevada Falls
Nevada Falls
Credit: tang0nathan


The climb itself is beautiful. It's not a super steep slab, but keep in mind it's pretty slabby the first few pitches.

Base of Snake Dike
Base of Snake Dike
Credit: tang0nathan
Waiting at the first belay station
Waiting at the first belay station
Credit: tang0nathan
Pretty much what you'll see and climb on this route
Pretty much what you'll see and climb on this route
Credit: tang0nathan


It doesn't get knobby until pitch 5 or so, if I remember correctly. Wear really comfortable flat shoes. I had a brand new pair of Defy Laces, so my heels hurt around pitch 4. You are on your toes for two hours or so, so keep that in mind. Go early so you don't have to wait. We had to wait an hour and a half for a previous group to get far enough to start. Don't be scared. It's worth the pain.

The approach hike is also really f*#king beautiful. One of the most beautiful trails I've hiked. Also, one of the toughest to Nevada Falls. But after that initial 2.5mi steep hike, it's a breeze the rest of the way.

The final approach after the 8th pitch is just walking up this steep slab. Don't look down. Just kidding. It wasn't that scary. It takes about 40 minutes to get up to the actual summit of Half Dome. Take a bunch of pictures and go down the cables!
Final ascent to the summit of Half Dome after the 8th pitch. All slab ...
Final ascent to the summit of Half Dome after the 8th pitch. All slab walking from here!
Credit: tang0nathan
The crew!
The crew!
Credit: tang0nathan
We did it!!
We did it!!
Credit: tang0nathan

After the cable descent looking directly at the North Face from the si...
After the cable descent looking directly at the North Face from the side.
Credit: tang0nathan
The first photo I took the next morning looking from the inside of my ...
The first photo I took the next morning looking from the inside of my tent.
Credit: tang0nathan

  Trip Report Views: 2,605
tang0nathan
About the Author
tang0nathan is a boulder climber from Hayward, Ca.

Climbing hard for two years or so. Not a whole lot of experience in climbing outdoors.

Comments
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Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
  May 5, 2016 - 02:22pm PT
Cool, thanks for the TR. How do you like that rope? I can't believe how well mine has held up for 4 years now...looks 6 months old.
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
  May 5, 2016 - 03:15pm PT
Congrats on your first multipitch! And was this your first trip report? Congrats on that too!

A good start!

But can I give you some tough love? It's good that the TR has some details. Always good to know your footwear. However...

The approach hike is also really f*#king beautiful
...
Take a bunch of pictures
Yet, the only photo posted is of your Defy Laces???

rock stacks
Aka cairns.

Well, still, I feel your excitement. Thanks for sharing!

tang0nathan

Boulder climber
Hayward, Ca
Author's Reply  May 5, 2016 - 02:40pm PT
How do you like that rope?

That Petzl rope was actually my leader's rope. I really like using it. Super smooth on belay and rappel! I believe this rope is about two years old. Still working perfect!
tang0nathan

Boulder climber
Hayward, Ca
Author's Reply  May 5, 2016 - 02:40pm PT
Congrats on your first multipitch!

Haha thanks, Mei! I will post more pictures, as I took only 297 pictures on my phone! I'm just at a cafe right now, so I will be uploading when I get home. The internet is not that great!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  May 5, 2016 - 02:44pm PT
Good times!!
Mei

Trad climber
mxi2000.net
  May 5, 2016 - 02:48pm PT
Thanks for bringing back memories. Found some old photos from a decade ago. We robbed a bank and took Snake Dike as an escape route. They never caught us.

Aka it was really windy.

Jeremy Ross

Gym climber
  May 5, 2016 - 02:50pm PT
Oh sh#t that's a petzl? Ha I thought it was an Eidelweiss. I take back everything I said about it ;)
micronut

Trad climber
Fresno/Clovis, ca
  May 5, 2016 - 02:53pm PT
Thanks for posting up a report. Now go back and upload a few more photos!!!

All kidding aside thanks for the stoke. Snake Dike is The Boss of Slab moderates in America if you ask me!

Macronut on Pitch 2.
Macronut on Pitch 2.
Credit: micronut
tang0nathan

Boulder climber
Hayward, Ca
Author's Reply  May 5, 2016 - 07:42pm PT
Updated with a bunch of photos!! Enjoy!
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  May 5, 2016 - 08:07pm PT
Way to bite off a big mouthful!
Congrats!
MtnMax

Big Wall climber
Monterey, CA
  May 5, 2016 - 11:10pm PT
Awesome man!!! I'll be heading up there later this month! Can't wait!!!!!
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  May 5, 2016 - 11:45pm PT
Nice TR. Thanks man.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  May 6, 2016 - 08:38am PT
Well done, that was one of my first long routes too! Great way to summit HD!
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
  May 6, 2016 - 10:21am PT
that Lower Pines site will never be available again...
tang0nathan

Boulder climber
Hayward, Ca
Author's Reply  May 6, 2016 - 09:17am PT
Lower Pines site ** will never be available again...

Haha I just realized my mistake in posting the exact site..


Also, here's a 360 of the view from the top of HD!
https://photosynth.net/view.aspx?cid=50404042-7a2b-4b35-88e3-7ff00576ae2f
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  May 6, 2016 - 09:32am PT
Looks like a lot of fun. Sure enjoyed reading your report.
Thanks for sharing!
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
  May 6, 2016 - 10:58am PT
our friends saw some of that snow fall off the shoulder last weekend

HD Avi
HD Avi
Credit: Ed H
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 7, 2016 - 05:25am PT
Nice job!!
Osprey

climber
  May 7, 2016 - 10:19am PT
Well done. I hope you have many more adventures like this.
briham89

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  May 7, 2016 - 10:54am PT
Great first TR. TFPU!
Mark Force

Trad climber
Ashland, Oregon
  May 7, 2016 - 11:14am PT
Nicely done. That is the way to get it done and get the most out of it!
overwatch

climber
Arizona
  May 7, 2016 - 11:26am PT
good job, Onathangutan
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  May 7, 2016 - 03:35pm PT
Looks like you have graduated from the boulders.

Cheers!
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
  May 7, 2016 - 04:23pm PT
Great TR. As to multi-pitch climbs, they used to be no big thing. Everyone knew how. Why it frightens some people baffles me. I guess it is a result of single pitch sport routes and gym training, and I'm not knocking either of those. They have led to an explosion of what is possible.
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  May 7, 2016 - 05:02pm PT
Agreed base104. BITD multi pitch routes were status quo. Different times.
tang0nathan

Boulder climber
Hayward, Ca
Author's Reply  May 9, 2016 - 12:28am PT
Why it frightens some people baffles me.

It's definitely related to gym climbing. Many people are starting in gym and there is no such thing as multipitch in gym. Also, exposure is what gets me. I was surprisingly not scared of the height and the exposure on this route. I may just be getting more comfortable with multipitch!

BITD multi pitch routes were status quo.

What is BITD?
johntp

Trad climber
socal
  May 9, 2016 - 01:46am PT
BITD = Back in the day

A lot of us grew up climbing in the 70s and 80s. We just climbed. It was a time before gyms and sport routes. There were bolts, but mostly we had stoppers and hexes for pro.

When cams came on the scene it was a revelation.
kaholatingtong

Trad climber
The real McCoy from the inside of my van.
  May 18, 2016 - 06:45pm PT
nice pictures dude it was a great day!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  May 18, 2016 - 06:03pm PT
Congrats for getting up a fine climb!

Last time I did it was the day I proposed to my wife. We had the entire summit plain to ourselves, during an orange and pink silver swirly sunset mist rising up around us. She was hustling to get off, about 50 meters ahead of me, and I'm down fumbling in my pack for the ring. She was annoyed when I was calling her back, but only for a few seconds :)

We enjoyed a slow walk back under the moonlight and squeezed into the only small sleeping bag that we brought for a bivy somewhere in Little Yosemite.

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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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