Snake Dike 5.7 R
Trip ReportYosemite season opener!
Had an amazing trip back to the Valley after a long 6 year hiatus. It was also my partner Kyle's first climbing trip to the Valley, so we were both pumped to hit up some classics.
Day 1: Nutcracker and Serenity crack/Sons of yesterday
That's me turning the awkward corner on the first pitch. We linked the first two pitches with a 70m rope, if starting at the ledge from where this pic is taken, no simul climbing necessary. Highly recommend.
Kyle on pitch 3:
Kyle at the P3 belay:
Mike and Tristan from Wyoming pulling through the mantle crux of the route:
We finished the Nutcracker, had lunch and decided to check out Serenity/Sons. Luckily there were only 2 parties on the route and both were high up.
Kyle following P1:
Kyle following P3:
Kyle following P2 of Sons. This always seems way more physical than 10a:
Milking those sweet, sweet jams on the final 200 feet of Sons:
Kyle walking the left leaning offset crack:
Two classics with daylight to spare!
Day 2: Harry Daley and Grack Center
Pretty beat from the the long drive and awesome climbing the day before, we decided to check out some easier classics on Glacier Apron. In the sun from early morning to early afternoon, it got hot fast. Good thing I had my sweet hat.
From the base of Harry Daley you get a pretty awesome view of the eastern side of the Valley.
Turning the roof on P2. Another fantastic handcrack with bolted anchors at the top:
A 70m rope just makes it to the next rap station:
Returned to find our packs swarming with ants:
Next up, the Grack. This follows a pretty amazing, low angle, right leaning crack system for several hundred feet. There was a party of 3 ahead of us, but they let us pass! Thanks April, Tom and other! We ended up simuling the first 2 pitches, a super fun way to do it.
Here's Tom leading the second pitch:
April et al reaching the P2 belay:
Spent the rest of the afternoon chilling by the Merced and plotting our next route, Snake Dike!
Day 3: Snake dike.
Snake dike ascends an amazing vein-like protrusion of extruded lava up the west face of Half Dome. The 6 mile, 2500 foot approach hike and 9 mile descent hike is no joke. I think my selective memory of my prior ascent allowed me to forget the pain that was involved. But it was still worth it!
We got up at 4am and after some strong coffee we were at the trailhead by 4:45. Doesn't look like it, but we were all packed and ready to go:
1 60m rope
4 cams: 0.5, 0.6, 2 red link cams
6 single length slings
2 double length slings
1 each double length sling set for bolted anchors (see photo)
3L camelback pack
0.5L 'reserve' water bottle
personal gear (harness, shoes, etc)
leather gloves for cable descent
We decided to pre-fabricate our anchor systems knowing that all belays would be at bolted anchors. This worked out quite well. Using a double length sling and 3 lockers, the system is solid, redundant, equalized, with little potential for extension. We found it to be quite efficient, although time wasn't a real factor on this route. :
And it packs up quite well:
Hiking past Vernal falls:
There were multiple cutoff points to access the climber's trail off of the Muir Trail. We chose this one. Look for the cairn on top of the dark boulder:
Hiking the well worn climber's trail towards lost lake:
Lost lake with the south face of Half dome in the morning sunlight:
3rd class moves to skirt the base of the dome:
Starting up the first pitch! Approach time 3hr 15min:
Kyle following P1:
Kyle leading P2:
Kyle at P2 anchors:
Look at that dike:
End of the technical climbing:
Endless 3rd class slabs...:
Summit time! Pretty special to be the first ones on the summit that day, with no one around for a good hour:
Obligatory diving board shot:
Vernal falls on the way back:
We got back to the car at 5pm pretty worked and psyched that the day went without a hitch.
Day 4: Camp 4 bouldering....hit some more classics. Sent bachar cracker on my first try since sending it in 2007. Pumped about that and like to think of it as a statement against aging. :) Perhaps Midnight lightning for my 40th bday?
All in all a fantastic trip with a great partner. Can't wait to go back!
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