This past non-winter was not so good news for skiing, but the low snow-pack means we can escape into the high country way earlier in the season that usual. In mid-April, we took advantage of fantastic weather and rapidly melting (or already gone) snow to do the Snake Hike. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the Snake Hike involves a 6 mile approach, Snake Dike, a 6-8 pitch 5.7 up a fantastic juggy dike on the side of Half Dome, hiking up 3rd class slabs forever to get to the top of Half Dome, descending the cables, and another 8 miles of hiking back down to the Valley.
We got up at 4:30am and were hiking by 5 in the light of our headlamps. We redpointed the approach (successfully avoiding the 5.0 dirt chimney I remember from the first time Luke and I did Snake Dike) and were the first at the route. Chris and I were the first party, starting up not much after 8:30am and topping out the route at ~12:30pm. I think we were all at the top of Half Dome around 2pm, then headed down the cables (which were down, making it a little more exciting) and made the long trudge back down, including the hoards that had descended upon the Mist Trail.
All in all, it was a fantastic day. Snake Dike is a really fun route, the weather was amazing, and the hike was only miserable on the way down (wet feet, approach shoes that weren’t the smartest choice for 14 miles in a day). But enough with words, here are some photos of our day:
Ben, Jonathan, Manit, Lizzy, Chris and Luke