Devo's Climbs

Friday, September 16, 2005

Rock Climb: Yosemite Redux

Kurt and I went to Yosemite with the primary objective of climbing the Southwest face of Half Dome via the ever popular Snake Dike route (5.7). We left Friday evening, Sep. 9 and arrived in The Valley Saturday afternoon. No luck getting a campsite, so we bandit camped outside the park boundary. We awoke at 4 am Sunday morning and were on the trail to Half Dome by 6:00. By taking the alternate approach between Liberty Cap and Mt. Broderick (it's the most beautiful approach I've ever hiked to a climb!) we arrived at the base of Snake Dike by 9 am. One party was already ahead of us and there were others close behind us, so we started up forthwith.

The first pitch was straight ahead. Pitch two was the crux: an intimidating traverse over polished slab to the dike. Once on the dike, we climbed sections of rock with as much as 75 feet of runout between bolt anchors. (Let's just say it gets your attention!) On the fourth pitch I climbed to the end of the rope (the last bolt being about 50 feet below me) and couldn't locate an anchor! So I downclimbed back to the belay where we looked at the guidebook, discovering we had set our belay at the wrong anchor; we needed to be using anchors located about 20 feet above us. After we relocated the belay, I reclimbed pitch four and reached the anchors. The rest of the climb went smoothly. We finished in just over four hours and walked the remaining distance to the summit of Half Dome over 3rd class slabs.

On Monday we climbed After Seven (5.7) on Manure Pile Buttress. Tuesday we finished our trip by climbing The Grak (5.6) on Glacier Point Apron. This certainly was the best 5.6 handcrack I have ever climbed. I love Yosemite!

We took lots of pictures. They are posted in my Yosemite 2005 album.

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