Half Dome Climber's Log

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Romain - Oct 7, 2003 1:51 pm

Route Climbed: Snake Dike Date Climbed: October 6, 2003  Sucess!

Very nice day in the mountains. Climbed with Rene' Renteria, alternating leads. It is a pretty awesome route on a pretty awesome piece of granite. But it is also an easier route than the rating would lead to believe - there are basically just a couple of moves of 5.7. The rest is easy 5th/4th class. I suspect the rating might be there to keep crowds away, but if that's the goal it's not a big success. 8 parties on there on an October weekday, who would have thought... Fortunately we got to the base of the route first and stayed first till the end.

Here are the pics:

Snake Dike


Diggler - Oct 6, 2003 11:55 am

Route Climbed: The cables Date Climbed: 5 October, 2003

Another semi-epic. Lara and I had a reasonable starting time of 7.49, from the TH parking lot. Adopted a rather leisurely pace, also making sure to check out Nevada Fall on the way (spectacular! Was able to actually go up to the wall & touch the water coming down, something that would be impossible during the spring).

Finally reaching the base of the cables, despite menacing-looking clouds overhead, we went for it anyway (it's the Sierra Nevada, not the Rockies!), feeling great about our decision when the clouds moved over towards Mt. Clark. Got up to the summit ~15.30. Hung out up top for awhile, enjoying the summit after a lot of work. Took off @ 16.44.

On the way down, encountered a clueless tourist from Israel (went up in sandals, didn't appear to have any extra clothes, had run out of water, & didn't have a light source), and a (little bit less) clueless couple, who also didn't have any light (they'd left at 10.00 in Oct for a 17-mile hike!)- as we encountered them first, we let them borrow our extra 1-LED mini light. They got down all right. Don't know about the other guy- probably made his first unplanned bivy. Saw a full-grown rattlesnake on the way down, too! Got back to the car at 21.09, taking 3:20 to get back to Oakland. Long hike, great company, beautiful day, & amazing surroundings!

Snake Dike, 11 June, 2005:

Climbed w/ Gordon. Started @ 7.40. Great weather, & awesome to walk past raging Vernal & Nevada Falls in the spring!

W/ 3-4 parties ahead of us upon arrival at the base, had to wait ~ 1 hr to even start. Then once on the route, the pace of the group 2 or 3 parties ahead slowed to a snail's, & we ended up waiting another hour or 2 at a hanging belay- not fun!!!

Aside from that, though, the climb was amazing!!! Run out, exposed, & stimulating!! Perfect rock & amazing views (also don't have to worry about fiddling w/ gear!). I would definitely advise those desiring to lead this climb to be comfortable soloing 5.3-5.4 before attempting this route. G-man & I soloed the last (5.2) pitch, 'finishing' the route @ 18.35(!!).

Got our stuff together & started hiking up the endless slabs @ 18.50. Summited @ 19.25. Hung out, took some photos, were the last to leave, @ 19.51. W/ our weak headlamps it took seemingly forever to get back to the car (esp. after not being able to find the parking lot) shortly before 2.00. Long day but amazing climb!

25 May, 2013
Snake Dike
Walked up with John-O, Steve, and Marek from the trailhead, starting at 18.26. Arrived at the base?? I started up first; first pitch-and-a-half went fine; got stymied when I couldn't find the bolt shortly above the roof. Waited for Steve to go past with rope to show where was (didn't want to have to do any sketchy downclimbing if I didn't have to). A short pause at the crux, although it was fine once I pulled it. Rest of route sublime, esp. when I turned the headlamp off. Topped out at 2.36. Shivered until the amazing sunrise. Great experience!

Brett A - Oct 4, 2003 10:54 pm

Route Climbed: Cables Date Climbed: October 4, 2003  Sucess!

My friend and I left the Bay Area at 4:15 AM and arrived at the trailhead parking lot at 7:15. Not too many people on the way up but the cables were beginning to become jammed when we got there. Reached the summit at 11:30 AM and ate lunch. By the time we descended the cables they were quite crowded and soon went into gridlock as usual. Made it back at 3:00.


Romain - Oct 3, 2003 1:35 am

Route Climbed: Cables Date Climbed: June 1999

From Tenaya Lake, over Clouds Rest, and back, with Sven Rady. Very crowded, but very nice. Trip report


madclimber - Sep 26, 2003 12:29 pm

Route Climbed: The Cables Date Climbed: September 20, 2002  Sucess!

Bring leather work gloves. The cotton gloves are no good and that's why people leave them there. Also, wear shoes with good traction!


bennovak - Sep 6, 2003 9:24 pm

Route Climbed: Cables Date Climbed: September 5 2003  Sucess!

An incredible hike. Over the past ten years I have done this hike many times and have the following bits of advice for those new to it. Start early and go slow, but steady, on the way up. You want to be coming down before the most intense heat of the day. Second, the best photo opportunity on the top is to have someone stand on the more eastern part of the summit ledge and photograph the subjects on the overhanging portion of the ledge a little ways to the west. This way you get the entire Yosemite Valley below and beyond as a backdrop. And probably most important, wear something you can swim in. On the way down stop by the Merced River in the Little Yosemite Valley. Nothing recharges the batteries better and makes the last few miles down more pleasurable


pdeangeli - Sep 3, 2003 2:38 pm

Route Climbed: Cables Date Climbed: Aug 5, 2003  Sucess!

Beautiful hike, leaving Happy Isles at 6 and saw few others until we joined the JMT. Cables not too crowded going up, summit at 10:45. Hordes of people on the return. Carried too much water/weather/first aid stuff, can't wait to get back in the fall to see more of the park.

agorokhov - Sep 2, 2003 1:21 pm

Route Climbed: The Cables Date Climbed: August, 31 2003  Sucess!

Climb it with my 10 yers old son, Lenard.


csundra - Aug 14, 2003 11:17 pm

Route Climbed: Snake Dike Date Climbed: Memorial Day, 2002  Sucess!

Awesome route! I was with my friends Ben Ver Steeg, Ryan McCourt, and Amy Noss. We intended to make a 3-day backpacking affair out of the whole thing, hiking out on Saturday, doing the route on Sunday, then hiking out on Monday. Everything was going wonderfully. On Saturday we hiked up and camped by Lost Lake with plenty of time to spare. We were camping by Lost Lake because we were kind of guerilla backpacking -- we decided on the trip last-minute and didn't have wilderness permits.

We also didn't have bear canisters, which didn't bother us until the bears visited us at dinner. We yelled and threw stones and "scared" them off.....a few hundred feet. Both were tagged and clearly unafraid of humans. So we counterbalanced our 4 stuff sacks full of food, as high as we couch reach by standing on each other's shoulders. Then we went peacefully to sleep.

We awoke a few hours later to the sound of tree branches breaking and slurping. I stayed in my warm sleeping bag, thinking, "Maybe they havne't gotten our food yet...." when I heard the characteristic sound of nylon ripping. Ben and I got out of our tents and tried "scaring" them off again, but the bears weren't about to leave their booty. I saw two more dark blobs still hanging from the tree and hoped they only got half of our food. My headlamp was an LED one and didn't penetrate all the way to the tree. But two little beady eyes reflected from about the level of the branch with our food. I watched as the bear shook the branch until the counter-balanced stuff sacks slipped. It then shimmied down the tree, reached up, and swiped the rest of our food. Suddenly $75 bear canisters seemed cheap.

The next day, not ones to be deterred by having no food, we cleaned up the remaining mess, had a gut-wrenching breakfast of stewed dried mushrooms and tomatoes, and climbed Snake Dike. Two lovely people from San Diego left us some salami and tortillas on the top. We went down the cables (by far the scariest part of the whole day!), and death-marched back down to the Valley. Unfortunately, we got there around 11:30 PM and everything was closed. So we raided some vending machines and had Chex Mix and Oreos for dinner before crashing at the backpacker's camp.

The next day, we treated ourselves to the all-you-can-eat breakfast at Curry Village, showers at Housekeeping, pizza and beer at Curry Village, and the El Cap Lieback.


EatSleepandClimb - Aug 9, 2003 3:09 pm

Route Climbed: The Cables Date Climbed: June 2000  Sucess!

I had a great trip. Some friends and I hiked to Little Yosemite Valley and camped there for the night. The next morning we went up to Half Dome and back down to our camp. The third day we packed out.

We went up the cables with the crowds. It took about an hour just going up and another hour down because there were so many people. The weather was great though and we could fully take in the spectacular views.

We gave ourselves the three days so we wouldn't have to worry about speed and so we could take our time on the summit. Next time I want to do the Dome in a day!


madmountaineer - Aug 5, 2003 8:26 am

Route Climbed: The Cables Date Climbed: July 03  Sucess!

An excellent 'hike'. It was well worth all the sweating. I dont think the walk was that bad though, the heat was the worst thing. Get up there early and get down quick before thunderstorms arrive in the afternoon!

Amazing Marmots!


Sharon - Jul 22, 2003 9:30 pm

Route Climbed: Snake Dike II, 5.7 Date Climbed: September 22, 1993; September 15, 1994  Sucess!

September 15, 1994

Partner: Steve Reynolds

Met Jochem & Beate Becker (Germany) on this route & became fast friends.

Saw 1 snake on hike in. Avoided the worst of the steep slabs on the approach by keeping to the far right, following many cairns. Beautiful pink quartzite dike...like crawling up the back of a Stegosaurous. Cables descent.


September 22, 1993

Partner: Richard Brown (St. Albans-London- met at Camp 4)

Incredible pink quartzite dike. Upper easiest pitches have only 1 bolt in the middle of the pitch, between belay bolts. Manky old bolts replaced June 1992. 3.5 hour approach via Little Yos Valley. Unrope at dead tree & exfoliating arches; walk 1,000 ft. to top. Cables descent.

Martin Cash

Martin Cash - Jul 9, 2003 10:15 am

Route Climbed: Slabs and outside of Cables going up, outside of Cables and Mist Trail coming down Date Climbed: July 5, 2003  Sucess!

Joel and I scrambled up the Slabs below Halfdome's big wall routes then finished by climbing the 5.4 friction moves outside of the cables. The Slabs is a really nice approach with lots of fun scrambling. We free soloed some easy 5th class rock as well. Met some big wall dudes preparing for an ascent of the Regular NW Face route.

The Cables were packed so we did the 5.4 section outside the Cables unroped. I felt a little iffy on the central section that is the steepest, so I climbed right next to the Cable, so I could grab it if I needed to. Lots of people on the summit. Descended outside the Cables with my hand ready to grab the Cable on the steep section. Received about 25 "You guys are f'ing crazy" comments. Glad I brought my rock shoes along.

We descended via the Mist Trail, and really enjoyed the views of the Waterfalls on the way down. I see why that is such a popular hike. We did it car to car in just under 8 hours, though the descent seemed to take forever after we started walking. We ran most of the descent until my achilles and Joel's knee started bothering us. Fun day.


winzeler - Jul 8, 2003 12:15 pm

Route Climbed: The Cables Date Climbed: May 31, 2003  Sucess!

The cables were very crowded and very slow going. Next time I will go earlier to attempt to avoid this.

If you don't want to bring as much water, bring a filter system and get water the fast moving water off the meadow above Nevada Falls (Little Yosemite Valley).


big_g - Jun 30, 2003 10:46 pm Date Climbed: Jun 13, 2003

Route Climbed: Cables  Sucess!

Day 1 of a 18 day JMT thruhike. It was hard humping my gear to the spur trail but at last, I dropped the pack and hit the Half Dome trail. Awesome. Had the summit almost to myself because I was there so late.


kullaberg - Jun 29, 2003 6:02 pm

Route Climbed: NW face, robbins route Date Climbed: may, 89  Sucess!

fine trip. bivy'ed on ledge at pitch 11 and on summit. second multi day bigwall after the collumn. cool temps.


dkantola - Jun 29, 2003 1:29 am

Route Climbed: Mist Trail/Cables/John Muir Trail Date Climbed: August 10, 2002  Sucess!

A very crowded hike, but it's understandable why. Amazing views along the trail of waterfalls, Yosemite Valley, Tenaya Canyon, and the Sierra. Light traffic on the cables going up, but a traffic jam going down.


tonybell1 - Jun 22, 2003 3:32 pm

Route Climbed: Snake Dike Date Climbed: June 16, 2003  Sucess!

Beautiful moderate route though very runout. Climbed it with my 17 yo son.

Brian Jenkins

Brian Jenkins - Jun 19, 2003 6:52 pm

Route Climbed: Cables Route Date Climbed: June 17, 2003  Sucess!

Steeper on the cables than I had imagined. Fun hike. Great views. Did the Mist Trail there and the JMT back.


rpc - Jun 19, 2003 10:06 am

Route Climbed: Snake Dike Date Climbed: June 18, 2003  Sucess!

My wife and I climbed the Snake Dike route to the top. Perfect weather (though a dark cloud did form/dissipate over us at one point). The approach was long and more of a bushwhack than we expected (the 3rd/4th class stuff was exposed). Arrived expecting crowds but saw no one (on route or during approach!!) - just two of us and a the huge chunk of granite. On pitch two, got passed by two Australians moving quite fast. Pitch three traverse was very exciting (the second bolt on the traverse seems OK, the first bolt is crap). Ran into a free soloer (Al) atop pitch 8. Real nice guy - took some pictures of us. The summit (~6pm) was empty. The cables rotue descent was more than we expected (slippery & steep rock!). The hike out was painful. Whole thing took much longer than we thought it would (mostly due to unpleasant approach). Overall, a beautiful climb we've been wanting to do for a year now!!

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