As the months went by I seconded on a fair number of multipitch climbs and finally even lead my first pitches of climbing on the Royal Arches route. By the time the summer had set in Anil and I had become regular climbing partners having tackled Traveler’s Buttress, The Line, Regular Route on Fairview, On The Lamb and some single pitch sport and trad at the Grotto. This long winding story has finally gotten to the point - Snake Dike. Anil had been up Snake Dike before but had not led the crux pitches, and he was as psyched as me to get on this climb. We drove down to the Valley and got some sleep along the side of Aspen Valley road. Three o’clock and my alarm goes off, we were up and ready to drive to the Happy Isles trailhead. On the trail by 4:45am, we zoomed by some early bird Half Dome hikers. Once we got to the restrooms near Nevada Falls we stashed some water for our return trip and to make our onward hike a little easier (thanks a lot for this beta Shino). As much as I cussed on the way up about carrying all the extra water, I was grateful to have it on my way down.
Passerby Climber: Which climb are you on?
Doug: SNAKE DIKE
Passerby Climber: That is NOT Snake Dike!
Oops...that wasn’t the best start but I seem to have the luck of the Irish, anytime I’m in position to epic there’s some sort of intervention. No wonder we were the first ones on “Snake Dike” on a Saturday morning...fat chance! Now, glad that we weren’t the first to the base of that climb we scurried away and found the correct start to the climb...two fifths of Snake Hike was done.
By this time there were already two groups of climbers waiting and one group on the climb. We got in line and waited for what felt like a short time. But maybe that was a result of good company and being around climbers who were generally just happy to be there. The first three slab pitches were fun slabs but quick.
Pessimist in me: If you fall you will learn what it feels like to be a block of Parmesan.
Optimist in me: If you make it to the top, babes in bikinis!