The HistorySnake Dike has been a far off dream of mine for years. Growing up as a kid, I'd alway dream of climbs in Yosemite Valley, and most importantly on Half Dome and El Cap. (hence my email: climb.hd = meaning climb.halfdome)
Being that my college graduation was right around the corner, and I already had my career lined up to start, my climbing partner and I decided it was time to finally head to Yosemite do climb the Dike. We decided neither of us were excited about the extremely long runouts on the dike, AKA 100ft between bolts, and since neither of us knew the route, we decided to hire a guide from Yosemite Mountaineering School, BEST DECISION WE EVER MADE. IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE OR DO NOT KNOW A ROUTE, BE SAFE AND GET A GUIDE WHO'S DONE IT A MILLION TIMES
May 31, 2007Jeff just got off a shift (he's a sherrif and worked nights a the time) and we met at 8am at his casa in Chino, CA. We were on the road by 8:30am. He was asleep by 8:31am. (haha)
We drove straight to Fresno and stopped there for a quick bite. Then hit the road again. We arrived in the valley around 3ish. We lucked out and scored a camp site right by Happy Iles (someone didn't show up). We made our way to the general store to grab some necessities: bread, meat, and budlight. We got back, set up camp in the bed of the truck, and started sorting gear.
After pounding a 6pack, and geting packed we were in bed by 7pm. It didnt' help that it was completly loud outside and noone else wanted to go to sleep, so I used my J-Tree bouldering shirt as eye cover to sleep.
June 1, 2007: THE CLIMBWe arose at 3:30am the morning of the climb, split a cliff bar, stretched and tried to wake up. We gathered the rest of the belongings and head for the mountaineering school. We met with Kevin, our guide, around 4:15am. After going through our packs, drinking a ton of water and refilling up, we were on the trail at about 4:45am. It was very dark still and headlamps helped only so much. We followed the river up the Mist Trail and light slowly started to shead on the trail.
We made our way up the 800+ stairs that soaked us as we passed the first waterfall. It was real cold still as the sun was not hitting us yet. It was only 5:30ish at the time. We made our way further down the trail and veared off to the shortcut to Lost Lake. Basically, for those who know, you vear off up the canyon before taking the stairs or switchbacks up the Nevada Falls trail. Follow the canyon until it spits you out right below Lost Lake. We made it through the canyon and to lost lake and finally to the little tree where we took a well deserved break. It was almost 9am now!
Fortunately we were the first climbers and no one had bivied there. We rested for a few, then becan the climb. The first couple pitches are supposed to be the most difficult, but really aren't if you're a good 5.7 climber. Once we got up to pitch three, the neverending dike starts, and it's jugs for as long as you can see. It took us about 2 1/2 hours to reach the top of the Dome. Once you're done with the climbing portion of it, it's about 800+ feet of 4th class walking up the side of the dome! It's definitely a calf burner. We reached the summit a little after 11ish, called the ladies and family to let the know we arrived safe. We spent about an hour on top, taking pictures, eating, relaxing. It's always a good feeling when you pop up from a rock and people are like, "did you climb this thing?"
We made our way back on the long 9mile trail back to the valley floor. We arrived back at the truck around 4:45, a SOLID, LONG, EXHAUSTING 12 HOUR DAY! We then drove to Groveland, where my fiance's family has a cabin. We got some local pizza and margaritas, and consumed them on the deck. Best tasting margarita! We conked out by 8:30pm. Physically,we just couldn't keep the eyes open any longer! The next morning we woke up and drove back home to a suprise party for his sister inlaw. We unfortunately were in the spot light a majority of the night due to the recent trip and telling stories! ALL IN ALL, A GREAT CLIMB AND HIGHLY RECOMMENDED FOR ALL! HAPPY CLIMBING!