Snake Dike 5.7 R

 
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Half Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Snake Dike - May 13, 2013 - updated Aug 18, 2013
Saturday June 1, 2013 9:09pm
added 8/18/13:
: I dedicate this trip report and incredible experience to my son Matthew who
: inspired me to start climbing 5 years ago at the age of 54. He passed
: away on Tuesday, Aug. 13 at the age of 26 tragically in a light plane crash
: working for PG&E.
: Matthew worked at Touchstone Diablo in Concord for a while a few years
: ago and loved working with kids. Every time I set a personal best in
: the climbing gym, I would text Matt and tell him as I progressed from
: 5.10a to 5.11d. He was very excited for me. He will be deeply missed.//

After my first multi-pitch climb late last year on Cathedral Peak, decided to do the classic Snake Dike route early in the season with a buddy (Ian Fyfe) and help of Yosemite Guide, Josh Helling (had Josh lead as we're fairly new to outdoor multi-pitch climbs). We picked Monday May 13 as we'd likely have the entire route to ourselves (we were rewarded). Also decided to camp the night before in Little Yosemite Valley so as to avoid the long hike up from the valley in the early morning.

We hiked down to Little Yosemite Valley from Glacier Point (after snagging a back-country permit). The view of Half Dome Snake Dike route from Glacier Pt. is intimidating (from this angle)

Half Dome (Snake Dike route to mid-right side)
Half Dome (Snake Dike route to mid-right side)
Credit: mpmoody

Leaving Glacier Point at about 3:45pm on Sunday May 12. This is a 6.8 mi hike and has a total ascent of 918 ft (maximum elevation of 7,345.8 ft). We reached camp about sunset (7:45).

Met Josh at 7:30am the next morning where the approach branches off the main trail. After a about 1.5 hours of class 3 scrambling we reached the Snake Dike climb start.
Ian and Josh at Snake Dike Start
Ian and Josh at Snake Dike Start
Credit: mpmoody

Here's an un-edited (sorry) GoPro video of the first 2 pitches. Beautiful day and had the entire route to ourselves. Made good time with Josh leading.



and here's Go-Pro of Pitches 3 and 4.



We reached the top of the 8th pitch in about 2 hours 45 min. Here's Josh (pic below) with his foot resting on the large block at the top of pitch 8. Josh advised us that this block has been slowly moving down the slope about 2 - 3 feet over the course of 10+ years he has been doing this route. Look for a big rock-slide in a few years when it lets go.

Top of last pitch on Snake Dike
Top of last pitch on Snake Dike
Credit: mpmoody

We took the obligatory summit pics and rapped down the cables (still resting on the granite) as it was before memorial Weekend when they are re-mounted on the posts.

Mike on Half Dome
Mike on Half Dome
Credit: mpmoody

Descending the cables...

Mike descending Half Dome Cables
Mike descending Half Dome Cables
Credit: mpmoody

Once down the cables, hiked the 8+miles to the valley floor via the mist trail. Waterfalls (Nevada and Vernal) at peak flow.



Great day - awesome weather - great route. Highly recommended.

  Trip Report Views: 3,422
mpmoody
About the Author
mpmoody is a mountain climber from Alamo.

Comments
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Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Jun 2, 2013 - 03:41pm PT
Nice job!!!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Jun 2, 2013 - 11:30pm PT
Leaving Glacier Point at about 3:45pm on Sunday May 12. This is a 6.8 mi hike and has a total ascent of 918 ft (maximum elevation of 7,345.8 ft). We reached camp about sunset (7:45).


Interesting, only 900 ft gain. Is the hike from Glacier easier than the Mist approach?

Nice TR.
sullly

Gym climber
  Jun 3, 2013 - 12:33am PT
Really enjoyed this because I'll probably never do this route and appreciate that you did not edit. I love how smooth guides are. Josh makes it all look so easy. The rock looks fabulous. Like how the gopro catches your breathing, along with foot and hand placement decisions. What a great day for you guys.
mpmoody

Mountain climber
Alamo, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2013 - 12:46am PT
le_bruce: thx. from the valley floor it's 2100+ft to Little Yosemite Valley so 2x from Glacier Pt. I admit from Glacier pt. there is more up and down to Little Yosemite Valley, not sure the reported +900ft gain includes the up and down.

sullly: thx for feedback - I don't have the video editing skills so they are 'unedited' glad you liked them.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
  Jun 3, 2013 - 12:54am PT
nice job.

Camera guy...please see 'ring finger de-glove'. Scariest part of the climb. Surprised your guide didn't mention it.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
  Jun 3, 2013 - 01:02am PT
Right on guys. I was just telling my son about the route today. He may be coming with me to The Valley this fall. I just sent him the link of your TR. Super classic. Love that route!

Plaid
mpmoody

Mountain climber
Alamo, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2013 - 01:19am PT
Burch3y: I thought you were booted off all the climbing sites ;-) ha. Have to admit the route is easier than I expected, for me the crux was a 15-20 foot sideways friction traverse (in one of the videos).

Wade Icey: great point, I tried to take my ring off before climbing, would NOT come off (altitude?). Guide mentioned it to me as well, but also said we wouldn't be doing crack climbing so not too critical.

Plaidman: thx, highly recommend the route, with the right leader.

Chris Brent

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Jun 3, 2013 - 01:42pm PT
How to you rap down the cables?
mpmoody

Mountain climber
Alamo, CA
Author's Reply  Jun 3, 2013 - 02:28pm PT
Chris Brent: technically, you are right - used the term 'rap' loosely
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  Jun 4, 2013 - 12:49am PT
Brings back great memories! TYFP!
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