Chance wanted to climb a classic Yosemite line, so I picked Snake Dike (5.7). The climb is a great Valley experience and entails 16 miles of hiking and 800 ft of technical climbing. It's a big day.
Snake Dike ascends the low angle rock to the right of the vertical face.
After a 4 a.m. wakeup, we finally reached the back side of Half Dome and I found perfect reflections in this lake.
Meanwhile, Chance was feeling terrible. He tried to beat the lightheadedness and shakes with frequent naps in the pine needles, on a rock, or in the sand. He also ate all our food, which seemed to help.
At pitch 3, the route follows an intrusion (dike). At times, there's no protection for 75 feet, but the climbing is easy and the views are awesome.
Views from the summit
In the high season, the cables are up and wooden planks create stairs up the dome. But in the off season, we descended the slabs by picking up the cables and bat-manning down.
The Mist Trail - more than just a clever name.
This fountain is 7 miles from the top of Half Dome. Our bottles had been empty for quite a while when we finally got here. You can see how psyched Chance is to drink some cold water.