Snake Dike 5.7 R
Trip ReportSnake Dike Meets the Grack: The Moderate Diaries
Old one I wanted to post in the TR forum.
Hot n' Smokey but when your a workin' man, you take your chances when you get 'em, right? Right.
Friday 8/28 and this was no joke. Fire was in full effect and the choppers were a part of the close up scenery in El Portal:
Saturday 8/29 5am departure for Snake Dike from Curry, home of the crazy squirrels. Thanks to Chris Mac and some awesome approach beta, and despite having barely one working light between the three of us, we made it to the base of the route right after 8am and found, to our happiness, NOBODY! Right-O..we're off to good start. Uh oh, here come some euro-serious looking guys and dolls so it was time to high tail it out of there. One 60m rope, 3 climbers, 75ft runouts and Lenny hands me the rope and says: go have fun Mikey. So...up I went.
P1 optional left start. Slung the tree and frictioned for the roof. Runout? Might as well get used to it.
I was so happy to get this nut in, I practically fixed it. Almost the entire route visible. Suhweeetness!
Belayed at the optional P1.5 belay and then made a beeline for the top of P3. Definitely the most thought provoking part of the route but what pro there was in really good shapeand well placed. Ok, I was a little gripped but at the same time, having so much fun that I thought way more about climbing than the possibility of falling and scraping my hands and knees up. Top of P3 belay:
From there, simuled the rest of the way with 2 stops to collect draws. There are some off route bolts but they're manky so you wouldn't want to clip them anyway. I wound up slinging a knob Hayden Kennedy style in one particularly runout section which made me happy. Top of P7 and we're three stoked boys but the air was getting nasty so we beat it to the top somehow adding a spicy variation or two before completely unroping and dragging ourselves to Disney in the Sky aka Half Dome Summitville.
Rejoice, I AM ALIVE!
And after spending an hour on the summit answering question after question (ok, we loved it), and begging as much water as we could, we started by far the sketchiest portion of the adventure and took off down the human powered escalator. We stayed inside as long as we could and then ducked under and went down the outside which was safer by a long shot. It's really amazing the NPS encourages this but let's be glad they do for all the lucky people that get to stand upon one of the great natural features of the world.
Looking back up from about a third of the way down. Exit stage right!
A quick dip in the river and a run down the trail and we were back at Curry with a cold Lagunitas in hand at 4:10.
Sunday 8/30 12pm slooow departure from Curry but luckily it was just a short hike over to have a little crackalicious fun on The Grack. And guess wht? NOT A SOUL IN SIGHT!
Lenny on the alternate P1 friction start and, once again, we're in runoutland. For those unfamiliar, the route goes up the crack visible halfway up the left side of the photo:
Oh wait, that wasn't runout, THIS is runout. Luckily theres plenty of pro options to protect the bulge but it sure looked like fun from where I was sitting (under the tree in the shade):
And one I'll send to mom as I approach the few feet of friction to the top of P3 and the end of the line.
Decided to try a new rap technique. Why wont the rope pull?
Now I know what it feels like to batman up a full rap length back to the anchors to re-rig. Good lesson with pretty easy consequences.
That was the end of the line and, unfortunately, the scene heading out was much the same as the scene coming in.
It might have been hot, might have been smokey, but it sure was empty and we all went back home with smiles ear to ear.
Thanks for checking out another installment of The Moderate Diaries and best wishes to all those affected by or battling the horrible fire.
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