Type: Trad, 2000 ft (606 m), 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: Eric Beck, Jim Bridwell, & Chris Fredericks - July, 1965
Page Views: 387,656 total · 1,787/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jun 25, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Mike Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer Ski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Description Suggest change

Snake Dike (along with Royal Arches) is one of the classic long moderate routes of Yosemite. For many climbers, this is number one on the Yosemite tick list when they first come to the Valley. For others it is known as "Snake Hike," but the bottom line is it is a great climb up an amazing natural feature to the top of one of the most spectacular formations in Yosemite - second only to El Cap itself.

Get to the SW shoulder of Half Dome by following the Muir Trail to the Mist Trail past Nevada Falls, then back on the Muir Trail. From the top of Nevada Falls, continue for 0.75 mile to an obvious climber's trail that heads off to the left, contouring around behind the back of Liberty Cap to Half Dome. Pass a swampy area (Lost Lake) on a trail to the left, and then wander up a weakness in the lower slabs to a ledge system below the south face of Half Dome. Head left across ledges underneath a steep buttress, then hook back right and up to the base of the route. The approach is six miles and takes 2.5 to 4 hours.

P1 (5.7): The route starts up a slab below a prominent upside-down L-shaped roof formation. A big tree is up in this roof area on the right. Climb up into the roof, then traverse out the left end and up onto a nice belay ledge. Alternatively climb directly up the the left edge of this roof from low angle ground off to the left. This path will allow you to more easily run the 200 feet to the bolted anchor.

P2 (5.7): If you chose the optional belay, continue up the left-facing, right-leaning corner system above and past a pair of bolts (the belay at 200 feet). Head right and pull a small overhang (0.75" piece), clip a bolt shortly after, then run it out about 40 feet to the next bolted anchor.

P3 (5.7): Climb up and left past a bolt and crux friction to reach the dike itself. Do not climb right to the right dike, it is off-route leading to Snake Dance. Skip another bolted belay, climbing up the dike past a bolt and easier climbing, and up to a bolted belay. I prefer using a bolted belay out right here on a nice ledge, but there is one higher on the dike itself.

P4, P5, P6: Follow the dike for a couple more long pitches, all about 5.4, all very run out, stopping at bolted anchors.

P7: Climb off to the right to access a right-facing flake/corner with a crack behind it. Belay from gear on a ledge formed by flakes.

P8: Move way left to gain a right-leaning easy ramp, then continue up through or around roofs to belay on low angle ground off of gear.

Once you feel comfortable unroping, do so, and continue scrambling up 1000' of calf-burning slabs to the summit. Descent is down the Half Dome Cables route. You can't miss it.  This should go without saying but it's better to not leave anything at the base.

Protection Suggest change

6 draws/slings, three or four small-medium sized cams. That's it!