Snake Dike 5.7 R

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Snake Dike, July 2014
Sunday August 3, 2014 3:48pm
SNAKE DIKE 2014
Reed and a beautiful view on Pitch 2
Reed and a beautiful view on Pitch 2
Credit: Reed101

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,
Vernal Fall had a decent flow of water
Vernal Fall had a decent flow of water
Credit: Reed101
we made it to Little Yosemite Valley in 1.5 hours . The use trail to Lost Lake was fast,
Lost Lake (more of a swamp) the and the back side of Half Dome
Lost Lake (more of a swamp) the and the back side of Half Dome
Credit: Reed101
but after that we continued downhill following cairns, which we apparently shouldn't have done. We had to backtrack, do some bushwacking,
Bushwacking on the approach
Bushwacking on the approach
Credit: Reed101
Reed is in the bushes there somewhere
Reed is in the bushes there somewhere
Credit: Reed101
and eventually reached the start after 4.25 sweaty, dirty hours.
Wrong route on the approach, right at the base of the dome. This ledge...
Wrong route on the approach, right at the base of the dome. This ledge got too narrow and we had to backtrack.
Credit: Reed & Kirt Williams

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.
This French climber went straight to the left side of the overhand on ...
This French climber went straight to the left side of the overhand on Pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
Reed placed four pieces of pro by that point.
Placing lots of protection on pitch 1
Placing lots of protection on pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
Pitch 1
Pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
Pitch 1
Pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
The sharp turns caused horrendous rope drag, so Reed climbed down and removed the pro below the overhang.
Climbing back down to remove anchors causing rope drag on Pitch 1
Climbing back down to remove anchors causing rope drag on Pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
The top of pitch 1 is above the overhang.
Top of pitch 1
Top of pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
Kirt followed and cleaned.
Anchor at top of pitch 1
Anchor at top of pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
Kirt at top of pitch 1
Kirt at top of pitch 1
Credit: Reed101
There is a good pair of bolts at the top of pitch 1.
Bolts at top of pitch 1
Bolts at top of pitch 1
Credit: Reed101

Pitch 2 starts by heading to the right of the anchor.
Pitch 2
Pitch 2
Credit: Reed101
The granite here is polished and is the only place that Kirt slipped.
Reed and a beautiful view on Pitch 2
Reed and a beautiful view on Pitch 2
Credit: Reed101
On pitch 2 we picked up Snake Dike itself.
Top of pitch 2, showing the dike
Top of pitch 2, showing the dike
Credit: Reed101

Pitch 2 had decent grip on the dike
Pitch 2
Pitch 2
Credit: Reed101
and some runout.
Runout on pitch 2
Runout on pitch 2
Credit: Reed101
There were good bolts at the top of pitch 2.
Bolts at top of pitch 2
Bolts at top of pitch 2
Credit: Reed101
Looking down.
Looking down from the top of pitch 3
Looking down from the top of pitch 3
Credit: Reed101

Pitch 4 followed the dike, with good grip and long runout
Pitch 3 has long runout
Pitch 3 has long runout
Credit: Reed101
and good bolts.
Bolts at top of pitch 3
Bolts at top of pitch 3
Credit: Reed101

Pitch 5 had more runout
Pitch 5
Pitch 5
Credit: Reed101
Pitch 5
Pitch 5
Credit: Reed101
and good bolts.
Bolts at the top of pitch 5
Bolts at the top of pitch 5
Credit: Reed101
The bolts were good
Pitch 5 bolts
Pitch 5 bolts
Credit: Reed101
. There is a big hole at the top of pitch 5
Hole at the top of pitch 5
Hole at the top of pitch 5
Credit: Reed101
.

Pitch 6 had the longest runout--one bolt higher up and no cracks along the way.
Pitch 6 runout
Pitch 6 runout
Credit: Reed101
We called this section Jug-O-Licious.
Pitch 6 Jug-O-Licious
Pitch 6 Jug-O-Licious
Credit: Reed101
The views were good
Pitch 6 views
Pitch 6 views
Credit: Reed101
. Looking down from pitch 6, you can see the entire route.
Looking down from the top of pitch 6
Looking down from the top of pitch 6
Credit: Reed101
The top of pitch 6 had a place to sit.
Top of pitch 6
Top of pitch 6
Credit: Reed101

On pitch 7 it was not immediately clear where to head, so Reed consulted the SuperTopo again.
Reed consults the SuperTopo before starting pitch 7
Reed consults the SuperTopo before starting pitch 7
Credit: Reed101
This pitch had yet more runout, but lots of horns along the dike.
Pitch 7 handles
Pitch 7 handles
Credit: Reed101


By pitch 7 we were off of the dike and onto cracks.
Pitch 7 cracks
Pitch 7 cracks
Credit: Reed101
Climbing was to the right of the bolts.
Pitch 6, climbing cracks that are to the right of the anchor
Pitch 6, climbing cracks that are to the right of the anchor
Credit: Reed101
At the top of pitch 7 was the first time we had to build an anchor.
Building an anchor at the top of pitch 7
Building an anchor at the top of pitch 7
Credit: Reed101

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.
Reed and Kirt atop Half Dome
Reed and Kirt atop Half Dome
Credit: Reed101
Kirt and Reed atop Half Dome
Kirt and Reed atop Half Dome
Credit: Reed101

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.
A cold spring on the way down
A cold spring on the way down
Credit: Reed101


The total round trip time was 15.5 hours from our campsite in the valley. Good thing we started at 5:45 am!









  Trip Report Views: 1,312
Reed101
About the Author
Reed101 is a gym and outdoor climber from the San Francisco Bay Area in California.

Comments
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moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Aug 3, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
A true classic.........Thanx for sharing....

Stevo
this just in

climber
north fork
  Aug 3, 2014 - 06:08pm PT
Have never been to the top of HD. When I do, this will be the route. Great pics of the Dike, thanks a lot.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 3, 2014 - 06:25pm PT
Nice job boys!!!!
HighTraverse

Trad climber
Bay Area
  Aug 3, 2014 - 07:01pm PT
Xcellent!
Your first trip up Snake Dike is unforgettable.
Now it's time for me to get up there again.
And yes, it's easy enough to get lost in the woods around Lost Lake. Perhaps that's how it got it's name?
looks easy from here

climber
Ben Lomond, CA
  Aug 4, 2014 - 11:27am PT
Good times! Snake Dike is near the top of my list for when Mrs. l.e.f.h. is back up for multipitch next year. I'll be taking full advantage of your photos for keeping on route. Thanks in advance.
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Aug 4, 2014 - 12:20pm PT
Nice job!

There are two places on the route where I would be sketched out with no gear- that little smooth slab at the end of the first pitch before gaining the undercling/left edge to easier ground, and that spot a pitch higher where you head up and left to gain the dyke.

A person who goes up to that end of the first pitch before placing gear can basically solo the thing.
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
  Aug 4, 2014 - 12:23pm PT
Great photo report Reed! - Thanks for posting!

I've got this on the tic list and your photos will help us find the way! (got a permit to camp instead of doing the 15+ hour day...)
Yogi

Sport climber
Houston, TX
  Oct 14, 2014 - 08:19am PT
I 'hiked' Half dome on May 26, 2014 and met few climbers on the top who 'climbed' Half dome. Spent few minutes with them and that's it!! I am now addicted to climbing :-)
Not sure when? but I shall climb Half dome soon! All your stories on this website are so very inspiring. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Climb on!!
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  Oct 14, 2014 - 10:37am PT
Thanks for the TR, and to those who bumped this (it came up when I was on vacation). My daughters want to do Snake Dike, and I had no pictures for them, because the only route I've done on the SW Face is the Salathe-Nelson, back when it was still primarily an aid climb.

Excellent pictures and description. I think I'll try to join my daughters . . .

John
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
  Oct 14, 2014 - 10:51am PT
Sweet!
Larry Nelson

Social climber
  Oct 15, 2014 - 10:35pm PT
Thanks for posting. Good job on the climb, one of my favorites.
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
  Oct 15, 2014 - 10:44pm PT
Wonderful TR. Looks like a great day out. Thanks for sharing.
Bill Mc Kirgan

Trad climber
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  Oct 16, 2014 - 03:51am PT
Thanks for your report and all the pictures. Looks like you had a great adventure. I hope I can try climbing that route someday. Cheers!
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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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