royal arches crest jewel linkup 5/09 with the wife


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Topic Author's Original Post - May 11, 2009 - 11:28pm PT
Here goes my first supertopo trip report. Enjoy. My wife Jessy and I awake at 5am on saturday and drive to the parking area for royal arches. We decided to do the alternate start under the light of our headlamps and I arrived on the ledge after the first pitch at 6am. So far it seemed like we were the first ones on the route. We stayed roped up and simul climbed up to the start of the fifth pitch passing a party of three euros and did not see anyone else for the rest of the day. Just like the boys who did snake dike We DID NOT SEE ANYONE ELSE. We pitched out some short sections but mostly simul climbed up to the penji. We don't have many pictures because we were trying to move fast but here are the ones we took. I just finished the penji and took my shoes off which worked well walking through the waterfall while linking pitches 9 and 10.

Here is a shot looking down the valley towards the cathedrals.

This is right after the penji and I am placing gear before the step down to the 4th class ledge

Jessy just at the end of the 4th class traverse loving the cold water.

The traversing pitches were wet but no big deal. We simuled up to the rap stations and then did the last wet slab pitch with shoes on. I was able to avoid most of the water by stepping over it and staying low by the old bolt. We were in the forest by 10:30am. The crux of the route came while trying to get to the rim where we had to cross this wet slime slab. Once on top we refilled our water bottles. Jessy still looks happy after 15 pitches and ready for the hike up to north dome.

We found the trail easily and soon we were on the slabs working our way up to north dome

It took us about an hour to get to the base of the climb where we had lunch and began crest jewel at 12pm.

I combined the first two pitches and moved quickly on the perfect rock with great friction. This route is great with awesome views of halfdome.

I think this is the 3rd pitch on supertopo which was the 2nd pitch for us where you traverse the dike and then head straight up.

It got pretty windy right before the 2nd crux pitch but we pushed to the top and we linked the last two pitches with about 10ft of simulclimbing to topout at 4:20pm. So about 9 hours of climbing. Here are some summit shots.

Looking back if we could have jumped in the car at the top of north dome it would have been a great day. But instead it was a good day because the descent worked us both. We tried to find the trail that leads to upper yosemite falls but failed to do so. We began walking down what looked like a climbers trail that turned into a deer trail and then no trail. We were in down mode so we finally made it to the approach slabs and worked our way to the north dome gully trail. We had no problem staying on the trail during the day and we were lucky to be experiencing the north dome gully with the sun still out. If it was night time it could have been a whole different story. We made it back to the car at 8pm. So approx. 14 hours car to car. My wife says she will still climb with me but never do anything that long again. As of today we are still married. She is an awesome partner who does not complain and climbs fast and hard. I am lucky to have her.

San Francisco, CA
May 11, 2009 - 11:31pm PT
You guys rock! Congrats. Fast and furious is my new nickname for you two. Way to go and see you soon. :)

San Fran Cisco
May 11, 2009 - 11:42pm PT

Topic Author's Reply - May 12, 2009 - 12:04am PT
sorry for the delay we had to resize the pictures. It is now complete. Yosguns how was the concert?

May 12, 2009 - 12:10am PT
Good show, a two-fer! With the sweetums, no less. Bravo.

Trad climber
May 12, 2009 - 12:16am PT
Great job on a long day!
hungry man

Trad climber
May 12, 2009 - 12:46am PT
Wow, that's great!

I like the picture of the barefoot guy doing yoga on the traverse.
haa, good job.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
May 12, 2009 - 12:55am PT
Nice report! Nice linkup! I love the part about going barefoot through the waterslide. thanks
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 12, 2009 - 12:55am PT
Nice - thanks for sharing.
The easiest descent is to wait until sometime in June, when Tioga Road is open - stash a car at Porcupine Creek trailhead, which is about 4 miles from the top of North Dome (with a slight uphill grade).
susan peplow

May 12, 2009 - 01:06am PT
Now, that's more like it.

Nice pics, short report, great results!


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 12, 2009 - 01:55am PT
But it's such a short approach? How can that be any fun?


Trad climber
Lee, NH
May 12, 2009 - 07:51am PT
This photo in particular was inspiring, I could just about feel the air:

Good story, good climb. And congratulations on still being married!

She is an awesome partner who does not complain and climbs fast and hard. I am lucky to have her.

Social climber
wuz real!
May 12, 2009 - 07:54am PT
now, how cool is that?

I'd get married again, for days of that sort!

Trad climber
May 12, 2009 - 09:37am PT

Thanks for posting!

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
May 12, 2009 - 09:50am PT
Neat! Ed Hartouni and I were going to do that same climb during the facelift in September. No water on the route then...just 107 degree day! (Maybe a slight exaggeration - ha). You TR makes me want to try it all over again!

May 12, 2009 - 10:09am PT
very cool -- thanks for sharing the report!

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
May 12, 2009 - 11:02am PT
Well done and kick-a$$ TR!!!!

May 12, 2009 - 11:09am PT
Nice work !!

Trad climber
May 12, 2009 - 11:14am PT
Thats a burly day for two fit dudes. That wife is a keeper! Good job.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
May 12, 2009 - 11:15am PT
great report, nice accomplishment!
I've yet to do the linkup, though the one attempt with Crimpergirl was a great outing even if we didn't do the second part...
scuffy b

Bad Brothers' Bait and Switch Shop
May 12, 2009 - 11:38am PT
Way to go, Sean and Jessy.
How are the hands?
How did your recovery day go?

Topic Author's Reply - May 12, 2009 - 12:06pm PT
On sunday we did the el cap lieback and just relaxed and watched other people climb. The hands felt fine the next day but my legs are still sore. Chiloe that picture is my favorite. Thanks for all the replies.

San Francisco, CA
May 12, 2009 - 01:14pm PT
Concert was stellar. Thanks for asking, and thanks for more pics!! We're heading back to the Valley now. See you guys soon.
the Fet

Supercaliyosemistic climber
May 12, 2009 - 01:21pm PT
Best line in the TR:

"As of today we are still married."

Berkeley, CA
May 12, 2009 - 01:23pm PT
Now whenever you start to get cranky or whiney about something, remember how lucky you are! Tend that garden well.

Awesome job!

Trad climber
May 12, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
great tr-- congrats on beating the crowds. saturday was gorgeous-- perfect day to be up there

Trad climber
Sac, CA
May 12, 2009 - 01:28pm PT
Awesome TR! Thank you so much!! Congrtats!!
Ottawa Doug

Social climber
Ottawa, Canada
May 12, 2009 - 01:42pm PT
Awesome report. Pic with tree and Half Dome is also my fave!



Trad climber
fresno, ca
May 12, 2009 - 02:54pm PT
Good on ya. I took my wife up a one pitch 5.7 in Courtright 10 years ago. She freaked. We rapped. We are still happily married after 14 years. She's the ultimate campground/ basecampstress these days, burgers on the fire, happy hour brewing, kids tucked in by the time I straggle back to camp..... but no climbey for wifey.

May 12, 2009 - 06:17pm PT
Right on you two!

I've been wondering since we didn't see you at the sandpit sat night.


Trad climber
berkeley ca
May 12, 2009 - 06:46pm PT

Next time ad in the direct for an additional 400 feet of climbing.

Trad climber
May 12, 2009 - 07:49pm PT
This TR makes me happy. Saweeeet!!

May 12, 2009 - 08:32pm PT
You da man Sean! What a proud day. Royal Arches to the South Face of North Dome is also a good day...I would like to do this version you have done. HOLD ONTO THAT WOMAN!
mark miller

Social climber
May 12, 2009 - 09:13pm PT
My feet hurt just reading it. Knott finding the trail over to the falls and coming down NDG probably saved your feet and Knees. Great link up, I've wanted to do it for 3 decades but even after getting up the arches in sub 3 hours(15+ times) the thought of more slab climbing on my feet never kept the fire burning...Good job. You folks are ready for the Mortals link up of Half Dome and El cap in a day.......

Trad climber
Sacramento, CA
May 12, 2009 - 10:01pm PT
Love it!!!!
Thanks for posting!
NDG... sucks dosen't it.

Trad climber
So Cal urban sprawl Hell
May 12, 2009 - 10:14pm PT
Great TR and how fortunate you two are to share such an awesome experience/adventure!!!!

Social climber
Berkeley, CA
May 13, 2009 - 11:27am PT
Fun! I'd love to do Crest Jewel!

Oh, and that trail back to Yosemite Falls? It is faaaaarrrrr... it took us hours to bushwhack up to it from the top of Royal Arches. Fun once, probably will never do it again.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
May 13, 2009 - 12:12pm PT

For whatever reason, this photo actually made me smell the Valley. Thanks! Six days.

May 18, 2009 - 03:29am PT
nice job guys! I sincerely don't remember it being difficult at all to catch the trail back to Yosemite Falls/Camp Four. Sorry for the bad beta. Oh, and post a Shasta TR and have Jess post her "SF run" as a TR...

Trad climber
Between Tuscano and Liguria, Italia
May 18, 2009 - 03:55am PT
Another idea is to bring a 7 or 8 mil line on the RA and stash it near the spring somewhere. Then after Crest Jewel, rap the arches descent. People say it is so much longer than the NDG but I disagree and it is more straight forward. The only problem is that if you have to do it in the dark, perhaps it has a high epic potential (I would say that NDG is higher though in the dark).
I have done RA to CJ once and then RA to CJD and both times we rapped it. The second time, we were walking down from CJ with a party that knew the NDG and so we planned to wait for eachother in the parking lot of the Awahnee to see which way was faster. We were out about half an hour ahead and not really rushing. That being said, I had rapped the route at least 3 times before so I am somewhat familiar with it and it was light out.

Gym climber
above the play park
May 18, 2009 - 02:03pm PT
Good job y'all! A day to which many aspire, but few actually pull off.

I like how the guy is climbing with a t-shirt and 6 draws and wifey has that big ol' pack...a keeper indeed!

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jun 26, 2009 - 01:06am PT
Nice TR! Good meeting you for the second time! Ha! Bitchin pix and a a big takedown of 2 classics.


Jun 26, 2009 - 03:46am PT
See you two tomorrow. Get ready for adventure!

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