Snake Dike 5.7 R

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
How many times can I get away with "Just 1 more trip" before January?
Thursday November 20, 2014 4:01pm
My cousin and I were planning on zipping up to Cathedral Peak to climb it in late-season solitude this past Sunday, but a small storm came through Thursday and this happened:
Booo!
Booo!
Credit: looks easy from here
Unfortunately we live in the climbing wasteland that is California, so our alternative's were limited, and we were forced to settle for finally getting on Snake Dike after 3 years of talking about it.

We decided to make it a one day grinder, left home just a smidge after midnight, and were at the trailhead parking by 4:45.
Credit: looks easy from here
Daylight's coming. Hopefully some warmth with it.
Liberty Cap
Liberty Cap
Credit: looks easy from here
We took the alternate approach around the base of Liberty Cap. It was gorgeous and much easier than it sounded in the guide, though the saddle was the coldest part of the day-the water in my Camel Pak tube froze.
Saddle between Mt. Broderick and Liberty Cap.
Saddle between Mt. Broderick and Liberty Cap.
Credit: looks easy from here
Woohoo! First peek of Half Dome and first peek of sun!
Credit: looks easy from here
I can't decide if that's actually Mt. Clark's shadow, or just coincidentally looks like it. I know the sun came up about the right place. Any astronomy buffs able to calculate that?
Credit: looks easy from here
Almost there! Snake Dike is the dike that lightening bolts down from the highest point in this picture, and the p1 roof is just left of centerframe.
Credit: looks easy from here
Contemplating the plethora of cruiser options at the start.
Credit: looks easy from here
"Ya know it's easier to walk on the dike."
"Oh, yeah."
Looking down on p2 of Snake Dike.
Looking down on p2 of Snake Dike.
Credit: looks easy from here
At the first (and only) bolt on p4: means I'm halfway to the belay!
Looking up at p4 of Snake Dike.
Looking up at p4 of Snake Dike.
Credit: looks easy from here
Wild clouds overhead and all around the whole day, but never anything threatening.
Looking up at p5 of Snake Dike.
Looking up at p5 of Snake Dike.
Credit: looks easy from here
Lots of elevation gain, but the exposure's pretty casual.
Relaxing at the top of p6 on Snake Dike
Relaxing at the top of p6 on Snake Dike
Credit: looks easy from here
Scenery's not too bad.
If you ignore the rock troll.
If you ignore the rock troll.
Credit: looks easy from here
Slabs for lightyears (we climbed this Sunday, it's now Thursday, and my calves still hurt).
Credit: looks easy from here
Summit's in sight.
Credit: looks easy from here
Thanks for the summit shot, Stanford peeps.
Credit: looks easy from here

No pics from the way down; we chugged on out. Final times: car-to-car-11:50, doorstep-to-doorstep: 21:25 (including undoing any of this trip's cardio benefit with a stop at Happy Burger-philly cheese steak on fried cheesy garlic bread, add bacon, and a banana milkshake).

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looks easy from here
About the Author
looks easy from here is a climber from Ben Lomond, CA.

Comments
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whitemeat

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  Nov 20, 2014 - 04:36pm PT
Way cool! Way to go! What a great climb ea?!!

Nice pictures!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Nov 20, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
Killer pics! I've kept Snake Dike in the back pocket for near 10 years, hoping my wife will do it with me one of these days. Surely she'll come through!

doorstep-to-doorstep: 21:25

As a dad and a person with a job who lives 3h25m from Fern Spring, doorknob to doorknob is one of my favorite and most important metrics to track.

looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 20, 2014 - 06:43pm PT
Thanks guys.

hoping my wife will do it with me one of these days

My wife loves herself some slab, and I've pestered her about this climb for a while, but after doing it I'm letting it go be she would not be amused by the 3rd class slabs to the top. But good luck in your cause.
MisterE

Gym climber
Small Town with a Big Back Yard
  Nov 20, 2014 - 06:49pm PT
Nice alternate!

This bit is very important and relevant to me, as well - and I thank you for the chewing-out I will now not get:

My wife loves herself some slab, and I've pestered her about this climb for a while, but after doing it I'm letting it go be she would not be amused by the 3rd class slabs to the top.

Cheers, Erik
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Nov 20, 2014 - 06:49pm PT
Nicely done.
LuckyPink

climber
the last bivy
  Nov 20, 2014 - 06:52pm PT
thanks for door to door one day encouragement! good climbing to ya
T H

Boulder climber
ne'erdowell
  Nov 20, 2014 - 09:14pm PT
Micronut did it in January a couple years ago.
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 20, 2014 - 09:22pm PT
Glad I could save you the trouble, Erik. :D

Micronut did it in January a couple years ago

Sorry for any confusion, but the season itself is unimportant. I just have a deadline for my unfettered freedom coming up:

l.e.f.h. jr. #1
l.e.f.h. jr. #1
Credit: looks easy from here
mtnyoung

Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
  Nov 20, 2014 - 09:36pm PT
I was going to comment about the amount of rain coming down up here now. You know, good thing you got it in when you did because that's probably it now until after January and all that.

And then I saw the ultra-sound. Wow. It sounds like it will be your first? Big, big congratulations. Fatherhood will be the greatest adventure you've ever had. You'll love it.
SeaToSky

Mountain climber
Fresno, CA
  Nov 20, 2014 - 10:25pm PT
What a great day! Well done, boys!
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
Author's Reply  Nov 21, 2014 - 01:25pm PT
Yep, the big First. I'm super excited. I already have an Osprey hiking pack to load him into as soon as he can hold his head up well enough-should be around June. Perfect timing!

As far as "1 last trip" goes, my tally's at
-Temple Crag
-Shuteye
-SLO
-Snake Dike

Heehee. Don't think I can push it much further, though. Hopefully the weather's okay in the Valley over Thanksgiving weekend so I can get Mom on something bigish, too.
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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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The first part of the route is hidden.
Half Dome - Direct Northwest Face 5.14a or 5.10 C2+ - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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Blondike is the red line and Two Hoofers is the Blue Line.
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