Today Neil and I woke up at 4am to do Snake Dike! The easiest climb up Half Dome.
Snake Dike is also known as Snake Hike… Cause its a 4 hour walk to the SW face of Half Dome… Time to climb 8 pitches… Slog up the endless 3rd class slabs… Walk down the cables and slog back down to the Valley which is a 4 hour walk! It was epic.. I’m shagged… And my knees feel like they belong to someone from a nursing home… Nevertheless I’m glad we did it and I’ll never do it again.
Like I mentioned it was a 4hr uphill.. Up steps slog to thr base of Half Dome.. We started walking at 5am and by the time we got near… We were greeted with amazing views of the Valley… Getting to the base was scary at times… Traversing slabs with death lurking below.
The photo shows the SW face which we did… Snake Dike is a 5.7R.. R for run out… R for skull and crossbones… The run outs are like 20m…I know… 20m. In Perth its basically the whole climb… And 5.7 which is supposed to be a 15…was not a 15… We decided to go lightweight and being a half rope… 7.8mm…it felt like a g-string it was that thin… I guess falling was not an option… Even on toprope. The first pitch had a sketchy traverse on slabs which set the heart racing…
Neil kept a copy of the topo in his pocket which was invaluable! We whipped it out before starting every pitch… It was my turn to lead the second pitch and the climbing wasnt too hard but the run out was like 15m…so scared… I ran out of chalk and my finger tips couldn’t stop sweating… I kept seeing the slow motion of me slipping off a slab… Fall and the g-string rope snap.. 3rd pitch… That was definitely the scariest! Really thin slabs… Super delicate with epic run-outs if you do the maths it’ll be like a factor 10 fall or something ridiculous … At the end of the pitch Neil basically said he thought he was going to die and is going to cancel the rest of his trip and fly home =P
Pitch 4 – 8 was pretty straight forward… And then there was the endless 3rd class slabs… It was equivalent steepness and height of Frenchman’s Peak in Esperance… I was so shagged! Eventually made it to the top and got a photo off the diving board at the top of Half Dome!
By the time we got up there it was 4pm…we started the slog down the cables and back to the car… Took us till 7:30pm…I’m so shagged I’m going to bed now… X(