Snake Dike 5.7 R

  • Currently 5.0/5

Half Dome

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
Yosemite season opener!

by dkny
Saturday May 17, 2014 9:52pm
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!

The line:


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:

Our gear:
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)
40L pack
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:

Cable descent:

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?

Largo lunge:

All in all a fantastic trip with a great partner. Can't wait to go back!

  Trip Report Views: 4,976
About the Author
dkny is a trad climber from Irvine, CA.

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Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
  May 17, 2014 - 10:01pm PT
Nice! lots of climbing packed in there.

  May 17, 2014 - 10:13pm PT
Why did I get a flashback of the taste of Rosarita refried beans while looking at this?


Trad climber
Orange, CA
  May 17, 2014 - 10:13pm PT
Thanks for putting this together Dennis! Sweet trip and can't wait to go back and tick off Crest Jewel!

Social climber
Truckee, CA
  May 17, 2014 - 11:41pm PT
Good stuff!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
  May 17, 2014 - 11:55pm PT
good work. and nice documentation.
Category Theory

Trad climber
  May 18, 2014 - 12:12am PT
Nice dood! Looks like you had a great trip! Let me know when you want to come up again and meet up!
John M

  May 18, 2014 - 12:26am PT
So So good! It would be Hard to get any better then that.

Boulder climber
  May 18, 2014 - 12:57am PT
nice pics - thanks

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
  May 18, 2014 - 10:42am PT
that was an awsome report! thanks, makes me want to get up there!!!

Trad climber
Boston, MA
Author's Reply  May 18, 2014 - 10:55am PT
@Category Theory, Jimmy?

Trad climber
The fake McCoy from nevernever land.
  May 18, 2014 - 11:04am PT
holy climbing content, i love it.
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
  May 18, 2014 - 11:04am PT
Sweet Report!
Nice pics.

Trad climber
The Circuit, Tonasket WA
  May 18, 2014 - 11:44am PT
Excellent trip report.
Looks like a wonderful time, makes me wish I was there!

  May 18, 2014 - 12:00pm PT
photo not found
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Trad climber
Boston, MA
Author's Reply  May 18, 2014 - 12:04pm PT
Somewhat embarrassed to admit that I had to look up "TFPU" just now.

Thanks for the positive comments. Stay psyched!

  May 18, 2014 - 12:07pm PT

I came up with that little ditty a while back when people were gettin' pissy about taking the time to write TRs when nobody posted up replies. . . so I came up with that . . . it's just enough letters to make a post. . . and BAM. . . it caught on.

It's even in GOOG, now.



Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
  May 18, 2014 - 06:55pm PT

Big Wall climber
Newbury Park
  May 18, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
congrats on the great time. Looks like y'all had fun!

Trad climber
dancin on the tip of god's middle finger
  May 18, 2014 - 09:11pm PT
on the 3rd day,
yosemite made god.
Ed H

Trad climber
Santa Rosa, CA
  May 19, 2014 - 12:23am PT
Great pics! TFPU!

Oakland, CA
  May 19, 2014 - 12:30pm PT
Yeaaaaahhhhhh man!

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  May 19, 2014 - 02:58pm PT
Way to get the most out of a trip to the Valley. Great pics and TR. Thank you much.


Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  May 19, 2014 - 03:07pm PT
Efficient sampling of classics! Happy to see the early morning on Snake Dike pics, and everything brings to mind good memories for me. Except I need to find my way around the boulder problems and see what's up with those. It's just that I can never prioritize a boulder when the tall stuff beckons from every direction.
Rockin' Gal

Trad climber
  May 19, 2014 - 09:31pm PT
Thanks for the trip report. Geez, it's hard to believe I did Snakedike 33 years ago and I still remember the approach as the hardest part. Next on your list: Royal Arches to Crest Jewel. That's a proud day!

Trad climber
Hustle City
  May 20, 2014 - 11:15am PT
Awesome week. Miss you dk!

Mountain View, CA
  Jun 10, 2014 - 01:11pm PT
good trip, thanks for the stoke!
(the visor is on top of half dome, though, not the diving board.)

  Jun 10, 2014 - 01:21pm PT
^ ^ ^ Dood. . . the Diving Board is on Half Dome. . . trust me!


The top of Half Dome is a large, flat area where climbers can relax and enjoy their accomplishment. The summit offers views of the surrounding areas, including Little Yosemite Valley and the Valley Floor. A notable location to one side of Half Dome is the "Diving Board," where Ansel Adams took his photograph, "Monolith, The Face of Half Dome" on April 10, 1927. Often confused with "The Visor," a small overhanging ledge at the summit, the Diving Board is on the shoulder of Half Dome.

From "Amusing Planet"
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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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The first part of the route is hidden.
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Blondike is the red line and Two Hoofers is the Blue Line.
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