Snake Dike*** 5.7
[Snake Dike, 5.7, Half Dome, 3 kb]300m, 7 pitches. 5.7R (run out). Recently voted 'the best 5.7 in the world' by an American climbing magazine (or for us Brits, VS). "A 7 pitch route up the slabs of Half Dome, Only two difficult moves on it, very little gear"... says dave657. Others will disagree, several tricky moves can be found on the first traverse alone. But memory will always be drawn to those long yet technically steady quartz dikes snaking up towards the clear blue sky... ROUTE. PITCH 1: Begin on a ledge by stunted trees 35m below an overhang which has a #4 Friend-size letterbox in it. Head up steadily until a traverse left beneath the overhang leads up to an obvious belay. This traverse is the crux, the famous 5.7 'glass traverse' and Contender for shiniest rock in the world -(yes, more polished than Chudleigh). 'Piss on your shoes' is the advice from Speedos-wearing/banana hammock Valley Vet at Camp 4. Wet shoes or dry, a high line is a challenge, place high runners before commiting. PITCH 2: 5.5 wanders wildly rightwards above the overhang and runs out a tad to the bolts, up through a small awkward rise to a two bolt belay. PITCH 3: The Supertopo crux. A 5.7 slab traverse leftwards, this at least has friction and joins the first dike commencing the cream of the route - the 25m run out mania. Ignore the double bolt belay to help with rope drag. One bolt on way eases tension to a two bolt belay (45m pitch). PITCH 4: Up (50m) of more 25m run out madness up the famous snaking quartz dike (or dikes as it happens), all at roughly HVD. Despite assertions otherwise, the holds are not always positive on the Dikes and many require pinches etc. While the climbing is steady, the exposure, vulnerability to cross winds and the run outs demand care. Gear initiative will get you nowhere on the first 5.4 runout pitch, but can prove very handy for those seeking protection higher up on apparently run out sections. PITCH 5 Look to join a rightwards branching dike taking a traverse across via a bolt. Climb the left side of an overlap (gear) to a two bolt belay above a hole (40m). PITCH 6 up dike to 2 bolt belay 5.4r (37m). PITCH 7 Head up the '5.2' slabs above, trickier than you'd expect, aiming to connect with an overlap and ample gear. Belay on ledge, gear. PITCH 8 Heads steadily through a series of roofs and wide cracks at 5.2, has ample gear. The post route 'scrambling' equals a lot of friction trudging up the vaunted moonscape to the famous summit. NOTES: Treat Supertopo's rack description with scepticism, this moderator managed to place a #4 friend 4 times on the route despite big gear being supposedly defunct on Snake Dike. Also, consider a late afternoon ascent to beat the crowds. It is said that a moonlight ascent with torches is apparently a great pick-me-up for the jaded Valley veteran... photos here please of any nutters doing that. WARNING: Despite the glass traverse and 25m run-outs on the 50m pitches, most climbers will find the crux to actually be the chaotic descent down the cables from the summit of Half Dome with all the other visitors... you'll see.

Photo: Snake Dike, 5.7, Half Dome © Andy Fielding
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This climb is in 145 logbooks, and on 57 wishlists.

Massive day and crash course in granite friction on P1 and P2. If you aren't climbing by 12:00 and people are in front you are coming back in the dark. Superb hike up.
druss - AltLd O/S - 30/May/15 with Peter Ocampo

poeter210 - AltLd O/S - 30/May/15 with adrian voss

Sweet route, must do.
Richard Goodey - AltLd - 2015

Lead 1,3,5 and 7ish. Excellent route. The first pitch would probably be quite hard for VS.
RyanOsborne - AltLd - 29/Oct/14 with Matt Beals

Ryan led the hardest pitches. I thought it was going to be plain sailing for me until I came up against the '5.2' traverse on pitch 6! The whole day was great; the walk-in, the climb, having the summit to ourselves, descending the cables and the walk-out. Best climbing adventure I've had so far.
Matt77 - AltLd O/S - 29/Oct/14 with Ryan Osborne

9 hours trailhead to trailhead, fast and fun day.
mrteale - AltLd O/S - 05/Oct/14 with alook

alooker - AltLd O/S - 05/Oct/14 with Ed

Lead all but second pitch
Ahab - Lead O/S - Oct/14

matt_read - AltLd O/S - 20/Sep/14

steveprice.exmouth - 2nd - 17/Sep/14 with Pete Callaghan

Pretty scared
Jamiet297 - Lead O/S - 17/Sep/14 with Silvia Candia

Wow! I lead all but the last pitch.
petecallaghan - Lead O/S - 17/Sep/14 with Stephen Price

silviac - 2nd O/S - 17/Sep/14 with Jamie Trump

Started late afternoon. Arrived on top just as the sun was setting.
Andy Fielding - AltLd - 14/Jun/14 with Antoine Bard

mjeffery - AltLd rpt - 05/Jun/14

Hidden - Lead O/S - 04/Jun/14

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 04/Jun/14

Epic 15 hour day. Huge runouts, took the sketchy higher traverse. Cables not too crowded, perhaps as a result of the permit system. Climbers don't need permits to descend and there didn't seem to be anyone checking anyway
Theeni - Lead O/S - 29/May/14 with Jo

Stickle Tarn - AltLd - 16/Apr/14

Matt1234 - AltLd O/S - 15/Apr/14 with Ben

Neil - AltLd O/S - 2014

Ace. 6Hours curry village and back the afternoon before being thrown out of the park.
Ollie B - Solo O/S - 02/Oct/13

Beautiful day, wicked line!
Murilo Lessa - Lead O/S - 09/Sep/13 with Andrew Cook

Hard walk in but well worth it. Super long scary run outs cheers George for an unforgettable day!
scott mayled - AltLd - 05/Sep/13 with George best

herman0055 - AltLd - 05/Sep/13 with scott mayled, Glen bloomer

AndyCook - 2nd O/S - Sep/13

Little AndyH - AltLd O/S - Sep/13

Absolutely brilliant adventure, loved every minute of it! Well the walk back was a bit of a killer on the knees, descending the cables is the crux!
Matt17 - AltLd O/S - Sep/13 with Andy, Ali

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 29/Aug/13

Let Howie take the first few pitches, then had a go at the run out VDiff pitches. Scary stuff. The cables down were surprisingly sketchy!
Laurence Cowton - AltLd - 29/Aug/13 with Howie, Donald

jonnyboy - AltLd O/S - 14/Aug/13 with Duncan Robinson

Hidden - AltLd - Aug/13

Hidden - 2nd - 31/Jul/13

Good solid climb, but be weary of the rest of the day surrounding this climb. The approach is long and we had trouble finding the climbers trail leading us to a random slab we had to scramble off of. There are a lot of cairns to take you the wrong way. On the first pitch on the glassy traverse, my partner placed high gear, then down climbed quite a ways under the roof and found the less polished rock. Half way up the climb we ran out of water in 40c weather after bringing 2L each. While flashing our gear and dancing for water on the summit from hikers made it a unique experience, if its hot bring more water than you think.
alex_paisley - AltLd β - 09/Jun/13

A big day. Slightly challenging to actually get to the start of the route - from the point where you break from the john muir trail there isn't really a path. The climbing is fun, the crux being the 3rd pitch traverse in my opinion, although there is actually a bolt half way across which helps. The runout sections are easy. Take 3l of water.
mattking_109 - Lead - 09/Jun/13 with Alex Paisley

Left the campsite at 5am, got back to the campsite at 7.30pm. Took our time, though were one of the first parties on the route, and had about 8 parties arriving within 10 minutes of us, at about 9am. Super run out, but easy climbing, stopping to take photos with a 20m+ runout while waiting for the anchor above to become free. On the last pitch I lead, the only gear was the anchor! A pretty easy climb overall, but you've got to trust your feet. A good way to end a Yosemite trip as my legs got ruined from the 15 or so mile hike.
Martin Bagshaw - AltLd - 12/Oct/12 with Christine Belk

Hidden - Oct/12

tuukka - AltLd O/S - 29/Sep/12 with Maija

tim newton - AltLd O/S - 29/Sep/12 with lee leatherbarrow

climbed on a quick stop over whilst driving across country. fantastic fun route with two great friends!. masons 1st multi-pitch and 3rd ever route
Ginger McGrath - AltLd O/S - 07/Sep/12 with mason, brian fencil

Giles Eperon - AltLd O/S - 30/Aug/12 with eddie, jena meinecke

alan1234 - Lead O/S - Jul/12

15.5 hours car to car with a 0315 wake up call. Long walk in, brilliant climbing, long walk out. The cables were down (i.e. flat on the rock) so we had to hand over hand down them to get off the top. Didn't really believe my feet would stick on the glassy traverse of pitch one but somehow they did. Pitch two has a tricky move out of sight of your belayer. Pitch three was delicate and run out. The rest was like climbing up a dragons back with a bolt every 25m! After the endless slabs to the top we virtually had the place to ourselves. Definately worth the effort (it was Claire's third time) but it's not called Snake "Hike" for nothing.
Andy Fielding - AltLd - 06/May/12 with Claire Poppett

A phenomenal day after bivvying at Little Yosemite Valley Camp. Much easier to head straight to the left of the roof on P1 rather than head right and traverse. Found the mini-roof on P2 the crux of the route after climbing into trouble. Belaying just after the traverse on P3 is a good idea if you need to coach your second through the moves. All in an awesome experience.
EddieG - Lead β - 17/Oct/11 with Zoe Gapper

maria85 - AltLd O/S - Oct/11 with Gareth

stuart34 - Solo - 23/Sep/11

Chris P1-5, Gary P6-10.
Chris Sansum - AltLd O/S - 19/Sep/11 with Gary Lewin

Hidden - AltLd - 16/Sep/11

13 hours car to car, plenty of waiting around at bottom of route even with a 5.45am start. Stuck behind other parties until pitch 4/5. Lead P1,3,5,7(?)
andrew sandercock - AltLd O/S - Sep/11 with Fraser

Great climb on a great day. Only 2 parties in front of us.
atolan - AltLd - 19/Aug/11

peppermill - 2nd O/S - Aug/11 with Simon Bennett

All done in a day. Left Upper Pines campground at 5am and returned to Curry Village for pizza and beer at 8:30pm. 17 miles round-trip all-in, with 4hrs 20 mins to do the route. Tremendous day. Led all but the first half of pitch 2, as Hol wasn't feeling too good. Found the route pretty mentally exhausting, and a tad harrowing, even though it's not desperately hard! Having said that, the traverse on pitch 1 is utterly desperate for the grade, and I found part of the alleged 5.2 friction climbing on pitch 7 very scary. Message - do NOT underestimate this climb!
DavidR - Lead O/S - 14/Jul/11 with Holly Adamthwaite

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 14/Jul/11

At full moon, as recommended by Pete. Topped out at sunrise. Brilliant!
sparkass - AltLd O/S - 18/Jun/11 with Ry McHenry

Alt leads me on first and third etc. Great.
andymcbill - AltLd O/S - 16/Jun/11 with Ben warrick

roped, in the full moon, solitude!!
pete87abs - Solo O/S - 14/Jun/11

Hidden - 2nd - Jun/11

Hidden - 2011

Hidden - 2011

Hidden - 2011

Ed Booth - AltLd O/S - 09/Oct/10 with Roel Driesen

Adam Booth - AltLd O/S - 09/Oct/10 with Roel, Ed Booth

Graeme Gilchrist - AltLd O/S - 01/Oct/10 with craig, Mark

Utterly fantastic big day out, from the 6 mile walk in before dawn to the 9 mile run back to make it in time for a beer. A very striking line once the first 3 pitches get you established - the dike has such a variety and profusion of holds it feels like it was expressly designed for climbing. Avoid the worst polish on P1 by moving back down after placing gear and staying low, and enjoy the excellent friction of the bold traverse on P3. Stunning view from the top. Led P3 then it all merged into one long glorious run out!
Andy Clarke - AltLd O/S - 22/Sep/10 with Chris, Dale

Brilliant climb but very weird. Very easy 5.7 by Yosemite standards but staggeringley run out. UK grade VS/HVS 4a. Easy climbing bar the two crux's but one bolt in a 50m pitch certainly adds to the spice. Tops out (eventually) on the summit of Half Dome which is a must for anyone visiting Yosemite.
Zoomer - AltLd O/S - 15/Sep/10 with George Best

gingergeorge - AltLd - 15/Sep/10 with Glen Bloomer

Traversed very high on the 'glass' of pitch 1 and am still having nightmares about it, how I did not fall, I do not know. Very run out, obviously world class.
jimorothy - AltLd - 13/Sep/10 with Rachel Crolla

Very run out.
Barry Kerslake - AltLd O/S - 08/Sep/10 with Luke F

Great fun climb and good day out.
Byronius Maximus - AltLd O/S - Sep/10 with Guy Wilson

Hidden - Sep/10

Hidden - AltLd - Sep/10

What a day? 6 mile walk in super climbing andy had some bad enchalotas the day b4 the smells coming out of him was so bad could smell it half way up first pitch. It was a cold on the route ended up having to hump the dike to keep warm. When we got to the top I had tears in my eyes so good. amazing views. We then had to run down 9 miles to make to make the all you can eat buffet.
Dale - AltLd O/S - Sep/10 with Chris

Nearly didn't climb it because we couldn't find it! It was about 6-700m further left than we thought it was. Fantastic day out, the friction traverses are terrifying and the run outs keep you concentrating!
ablackett - Lead O/S - 24/Aug/10 with Kyle

Great route, do it with doubles if you want to protect your second on the friction traverse.
yarbles - Lead - 22/Aug/10 with Jo

Only a fool would try to traverse that shiny granite work surface, right? Although with good gear if you slip you do get to run down the slab towards your belayer!
Jimmy O - AltLd - 18/Jun/10

clairepoppett - AltLd O/S - 18/Jun/10 with Jimmy O

Hidden - AltLd - 03/Jun/10

colkurtz - 2nd - 03/Jun/10 with Robb

Great day out.
HIGHTOWER - AltLd O/S - 15/Oct/09 with Patch

topped out in time to watch the sunset, lovely
simon kimber - Solo O/S - Oct/09

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Oct/09

Took a wrong turn on the approach.Spent hours trudging down through an overgrown gorge only to find ourselves back on the Mist Trail about 4 hours after setting off. Still we persevered (having already gone through all our water) and eventually found the route. Enjoyed the route and suffered a dehydrated hike back to Camp 4. Happy Days!
Julesthe1st - Lead O/S - 27/Sep/09 with shino

8/10 Lovely runnouts, VERY crowded, make sure that you get there as early as possible or you might end up waiting for 5 teams above you to get off each belay station. Maybe take a small book in case this happens!
hlegge - AltLd O/S - 24/Sep/09 with Thomas Codrington

tcn_2002 - AltLd - 24/Sep/09 with Hamish Legge

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 08/Sep/09

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Sep/09

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Sep/09

Rob84 - AltLd O/S - Sep/09 with Andy F

Hidden - 2nd O/S - Jul/09

Gus - Lead O/S - 07/May/09 with isaac hunt

johno072 - AltLd - 2009

Dougie Harvey - AltLd O/S - 07/Oct/08 with Finlay Wild

david morse - AltLd - Oct/08 with rampant and general

dj_brigham05 - Lead O/S - 09/Sep/08 with John Jones

chris2451 - Lead O/S - Sep/08 with Manny Dhaliwal

cat22 - 2nd O/S - Sep/08 with Mike

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Sep/08

markalmack - AltLd O/S - Aug/08 with katie garrett

Long long day, but worth every minute (once we were sitting on the top with the runouts behind us!)
kitkat78 - AltLd O/S - 28/Jul/08 with SteveM

A bad head day, but a stunning route.
SteveM - AltLd O/S - 28/Jul/08 with Kat

Hidden - AltLd - 05/May/08

fritz_in_aotearoa - 2008

Awesome Route , nothing else needs to be said!.. :)
Christian Beck - AltLd O/S - Sep/07

MikeLeeds - AltLd - 11/Aug/07 with Andy Asaam

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 11/Aug/07

Hidden - Lead O/S - 2007

PenJD - Lead O/S - 09/Oct/06 with Lianna Scholes

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 11/Sep/06

Tip for pitch 1. Place the pro high in the crack then cross the slab low - no one crosses it high - it's like glass!
mikelaing - AltLd O/S - May/06 with Pete Harrison

zero six - AltLd O/S - 2006

datoon - AltLd O/S - 02/Oct/05 with RT

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Oct/05

keith leonard - Oct/05 with mum

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Oct/05

Hard to imagine a better experience on rock
chrishedgehog - AltLd O/S - 20/May/05 with Joe Thompson

Hidden - AltLd - 16/Sep/04

Pedro50 - AltLd - Sep/04 with Stuart Campbell

rlrs - AltLd - Sep/04

Rich Kirby - AltLd - Aug/04 with Hugh

steveP - AltLd O/S - 28/Jun/04 with Chris Wynn

Hidden - Lead O/S - 28/Jul/03

Hidden - Lead O/S - Jul/03

Bern - 2003

Will Homoky - Lead O/S - 12/Sep/02 with Dave Foster

Hidden - Mar/02

Derek Furze - Oct/01

K1 - AltLd - 29/Sep/01 with Rachel Lavery

Hidden - AltLd - 2001

A great route but very sparsely bolted!
rockcat - Lead O/S - 08/Oct/00 with Wendy Whitby

sadams - AltLd - Oct/99 with John Boyle

dan gibson - Lead O/S - Sep/99 with anthony prior, helen gibson

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Jul/99

Awesome route
Simonfarfaraway - AltLd O/S - Jul/99 with Steve Hastings

Hidden - 2nd O/S - 1999

Hidden - AltLd O/S - Sep/98

Led Every pitch, solo'd the first trailing the rope just to get ahead of the masses following us up to base. Marks First multi pitch route. Bit of an Eye opener for him. Good Day.
mux - Lead O/S - Sep/97 with Kiwi Mark

WB - AltLd O/S - May/97 with Stu

shark - AltLd - Apr/97 with Bruce Woodley

Hidden - Solo - 27/Sep/95

Nick Rundall - AltLd O/S - 1995

Chris Ellis - AltLd O/S - 26/Sep/94 with Louise Pellett

Andy Hyslop - 1994

Hidden - AltLd O/S - 26/May/93

John HW - Sep/90 with Julie

keefe - 21/Jul/85

Users with this climb on their wishlist are:
keith_duncan, lkfitzgerald, druss, silviac, Ian Archer, DBoothroyd, leeboy1985, jamie ward, waldenmatt, misterb, B4tgirl, Zumoid, jonnybull, PeteH, Dino Dave, tommytuffa, Adam_42, NeilOMalley, Irn Bruce, zchael6, sneaks, Bobling, southernclimber, Shonkhor, peter myers, Dan Lane, Brendan, misskebab, RockaJo, Will Hunt, Danhan, Ropeboy, Simon Caldwell, climbingronnie

Total votes cast 46
hard 5.80 of 22
5.80 of 22
easy 5.81 of 22
hard 5.76 of 22
5.711 of 22
easy 5.74 of 22
hard 5.60 of 22
5.60 of 22
easy 5.60 of 22
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