Reed and Kirt had attempted Snake Dike in 2013, but followed two other climbers up the wrong route 100 feet to the left (probably Blondike), took a fall, and retreated. On the way down we saw a group with a guide go up the correct route, and remembered it for this year.
We tried again on July 12, 2014. Hiking rapidly and passing a lot of hikers,
A pair of French climbers who had climbed Snake Dike before arrived with us. We told them to go first so we could watch the route they took. Their lead climber was very sure-footed and went straight for the left side of the overhang, placing his first piece of protection there.
Pitch 2 starts by heading to the right of the anchor.
Pitch 2 had decent grip on the dike
Pitch 4 followed the dike, with good grip and long runout
Pitch 5 had more runout
Pitch 6 had the longest runout--one bolt higher up and no cracks along the way.
On pitch 7 it was not immediately clear where to head, so Reed consulted the SuperTopo again.
By pitch 7 we were off of the dike and onto cracks.
For pitch 8 we just found a route and went for it. It took us 5 hours hours of climbing to reach this point (the SuperTopo says 3-4 hours). We probably placed a lot more pro than more-experienced climbers and took our time climbing. The oddest thing Kirt saw: a frog in the chute above pitch 8. Sorry I couldn't get a photo before it slipped into a crack.
After that we put on our approach shoes and scrambled (hands and feet) up class 4 granite. After awhile the dome levels off to class 3 and we could walk.
The views from the top of Half Dome were grand as always.
On the hike down we stopped at a spring that some hikers had found about two miles above LYV (GPS coordinates N 37.74821 W 119.51400). It is where some 4-foot-diameter trees fell and have been cut for the trail to go through. The water was cold and refreshing.We chugged down full bottles, as we had run out on the class 4 section.
The total round trip time was 15.5 hours from our campsite in the valley. Good thing we started at 5:45 am!