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#4736 - 06/03/02 08:46 PM Yosemite/Half Dome
buzzardboy Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 105
Loc: Pennsylvania
I will be in The Valley later this month, and I was wondering if anyone out there has climbed Snake Dike on Half Dome. I am thinking of attempting the route, and I would appreciate any good beta, advice, stories, comments, etc.

Thanks,
LL
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LL

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#4737 - 06/03/02 09:45 PM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: buzzardboy]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Chas may get back to you regarding Snake Dike -- he's Gunks.com resident Yosemite expert (you may want to send him a PM). Also, if you haven't done so already, log on to supertopos.com and get their free download of Snake Dike. Good luck -- I really enjoyed my recent trip to the Valley!!

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#4738 - 06/04/02 03:23 AM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: buzzardboy]
tokyo bill Offline
old hand

Registered: 08/24/00
Posts: 793
Loc: Tokyo
I did Snake Dike last summer. The recommendation to check out SuperTopo is a good one - I ended up buying both their Tuolumne and Yosemite e-books (you buy; they send in pdf format), and they were more than worth the price.

As for beta - the approach walk is long, but absolutely beautiful - think several hours minimum and possibly a good deal more, depending on how fast and efficient you are. Walk in and stay in one of the closer campgrounds the night before to cut it a bit, or start EARLY. (Of course, I can't advocate an illegal bivy at the base, but there are some spots up there.)

The first two pitches are a bit spooky - 5.7 friction with not the best pro (the first placement under the overhang on pitch one takes either the green or yellow alien, if I remember correctly - maybe bracket them with the blue and red when you put your rack together, to be sure). Then you're on a 5.4 staircase that runs up through an ocean of granite slab.

It's a dike full of knobs and chicken heads running in a curve up the wall. Awesome. From a gear perspective, the dike itself is seriously runout (like - leave the anchor, climb 70 feet, clip a bolt, climb to the next anchor), but it's dead easy. After the first two pitches, you won't need anything but a couple of draws for each pitch.

Our rack for the route was three small cams and four draws, plus four shoulder length spectra slings and a handfull of biners for building anchors at the bolts. (And I don't think we needed all the draws!)

The walk off is also pretty long (over the top of the Dome and down the cableway on the far side - fun!). The route and the walkoff get sun pretty much all day - bring plenty of water!

There are a couple of pictures (not so great) of the route on my pages from that trip:

www.tokyo_bill.homestead.com/yosemite2001.html

and

www.tokyo_bill.homestead.com/yosemite2001page2.html

and there are some more cool ones on the Super Topo site.

Overall, it's a lot of walking for the climbing payoff you get, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat!

Have a blast.

P.S. Okay GOclimb gave me advice on getting my page links to go live - let's see if it works.


Edited by tokyo bill (06/06/02 01:49 AM)

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#4739 - 06/05/02 11:17 AM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: tokyo bill]
Anonymous
Unregistered


I'm also interested in this route(heading out in September). I've heard about rockfall in this area and that climbing the dike isn't recommended. Any info?

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#4740 - 06/05/02 02:36 PM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
Haven't heard of rockfall on the dike, the aeas I would not suggest in heading now a days due to ongoing rockfall, is the Apron (Glacier Point Apron), the Brothers, and now the descent from Middle Cathedral. I'll check with a friend who was suppose to guide a client on Snake Dike two weeks ago.

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#4741 - 06/05/02 08:20 PM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: buzzardboy]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Long approach, start early - not so much to finish before dark or stormy weather but to get in front of other parties. The climbing is very fun and aesthetic, positive on good rock with sparse gear, long run-outs on easy ground. This is one of the most popular long 5.7s in the Valley and can be VERY crowded. I can't stress that enough. I remember being hot and sweaty, running out of water early and grubbing off of tourists on top. The route is not on a section of the Dome that receives more than normal amounts of rockfall (unless something of geologic proportions has happened recently), the biggest concern would be gear droped by parties above. People do get pre-dawn starts for this route because it's so popular. If you climb fast and are in the mood for a little adventure, start up in mid-afternoon (weather permitting, of course) and bring a headlamp or two for the decent.

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#4742 - 06/05/02 09:05 PM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: buzzardboy]
MarcC Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/10/00
Posts: 3532
What everyone else said. About the long day though....if you aren't camping in Little Yosemite Valley and starting from the Valley floor, remember that you have a 5 mile approach with a 2500' elevation gain, about 1500' of climbing, and an 8 mile 4000' descent, the first 1000' being really steep.

(elevations are rough estimates from memory but are in that general ballpark)
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#4743 - 06/05/02 09:48 PM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: MarcC]
Chas Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/01
Posts: 1754
Loc: Flagstaff
You should be able to do it later if you are climbing moderately fast; a friend Andrew did Snakedike after completing Royal Arches and Crest Jewel (on North Dome) in the morning and still had time to do the Moratorium before dark. Andrew is a fairly good climber but still in the realm of being mortal.

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#4744 - 06/06/02 02:12 AM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: Chas]
BobbyS Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 367
Loc: None
Here's one to shoot for. I have not met anyone who has continuously run from top of the last pitch to the top of HD without stopping. (this is assuming that you moderately booked up to the start of the climb and moderately booked up the route as well).

The routes has been done car to car in 3hrs.

I have done it many times and love the route

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#4745 - 06/06/02 12:35 PM Re: Yosemite/Half Dome [Re: BobbyS]
buzzardboy Offline
member

Registered: 04/24/02
Posts: 105
Loc: Pennsylvania
How far is the top of the last pitch from the summit?? Is it runnable terrain??

Car to Car in three hours!! Is this Dean Potter's record? I can not imagine he had a partner or gear with him. That being said, I wonder how fast the route has been done by two people using trad gear
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