Crest Jewel, North Dome 5.10a

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

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SuperTopo Rating:   
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Average Customer Rating:   
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Rating Distribution
9 Total Ratings
5 star: 78%  (7)
4 star: 11%  (1)
3 star: 11%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
climberweenie

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Jun 20, 2005 - 09:28am
 
Just did it Saturday June 18, 2005. Summary version: be prepared for all-feet slab climbing, a couple pitches are link-able with 60m ropes. It's only 9 pitches, really 7 if you link first 2 and last 2. All belays 3 good bolts, 2 with rap chains. Rap is possible with 2 ropes but difficult because of long traverses. Orange parts are mostly more slippery. Bolt spacing is surprisingly close in places, and in worst parts are not that bad (not more than 20-30 feet, which is considered close on some pant-loader routes). DO NORTHDOME GULLEY HOMEWORK OR BE PREPARED TO BIVY.

Started 5:40am on Royal arches, reached rap chains @ 9:40am (I led all pitches & belayed, no simul-climbing; that would have cut time in half). Beware of 3rd-class top-out. Our path climbed a short slippery crux covered in water and algae that I found harder than any part of the route (we roped again for this). Re-filled water above the waterfall to left of Royal Arches (didn't use iodine, we'll see if I get awful stomach probs in a few days or weeks). Hiked over to Crest Jewel, ate lunch at base, enjoyed magnificent view.

Started climbing CJ @ 11:15. Linked pitches 1+2 (we have double 60m ropes - 9mm). I took 3 falls ~20+ft on pitch 2, second half of first ropelength (lost chunk of skin on pinky during first fall). Considered bailing, pressed on anyways. Didn't fall on the rest of the route, but I did grab bolt anchors and step on them as the need arose (quite often). I find solace in thought that I still had to get between the bolt anchors.

The whole route was really tough for me because I like crack more than slabby face, there is well nigh nothing for your hands on a lot of the route, and I really don't like my new shoes (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it). I felt almost same amount of challenge from 5.8 pitches to the 5.9 and 10a pitches (I led every pitch). My partner really noticed the difference- he damn near ran up the 5.8 parts he followed (which pissed me off after my struggle), and he was more obviously in the same boat as me on the upper 5.9 and 10a pitches.

ROUTE CORRECTION:
We forgot the supertopo at work, so had to photocopy the route from 1994 guidebook (copy machine @ Rite Aid in Oakdale). That guide shows the last 2 pitches as 5.7 to a dike, passing double bolts in middle of dike and coming to another set of double bolts, where route continues straight up 5.4 to another set of double bolts. In actuality, the dike passes double bolts, then you turn up at a SINGLE bolt, reach top of 5.4 and there are NO BOLTS (and we ran out of 60m rope). I belayed from top by sitting on a huge detached flake with feet wedged in (no gear). Better strategy would be to belay from first set of double bolts, then shoot for the top to a safe sitting spot far from the edge (or sling a big boulder, etc.).

DESCENT:
We were boobs. We were on Glacier apron weekend before, and weren't sure which major gulley system was North Dome Gulley (immediately to right of Washington Column when looking from Glacier Apron area, or the next system over to the right, past the next big projecting ridge). Furthermore, we weren't sure if raps were required or not (didn't bring page 184 from the 1994 guidebook, which we assessed as basically worthless). So we had a lot of uncertainty and opportunity for debate when scouting out which gulley to use, after the climb, with an hour of daylight left. Immediately downhill east of Washington Column is a clear trail system leading to the sucker gulley. if you look all the way across the major gulley system, you'll see a white rock cairn atop a dark rock (on the opposite ridge, about 1/8 mile away). You basically should descend immediately below this. The trails really suck when going east of Washington Column (after the sucker gulley), and in places are quite sketchy near drop-offs. We ended up going cross-country 100 yards up hill, and picked up another trail system that seemed better. I thought we should keep going after the white rock cairn, so we bushwacked a quarter mile farther east to next major gulley system, often on hands and knees tunneling through manzanita and other shrubbery.

When it really got dark, and our scouting showed precipitous drop-offs, we hugged a tree. It was a surprisingly cold night. We brought those emergency space blankets (sort of like plastic wrap but aluminum colored), which filled with condensation inside but basically kept me in tolerable shape. I only shivered massively with teeth chatter when my partner adjusted his stuff and my back lost contact with his. Morning came quickly, we looped back to white rock cairn, saw a FIXED 8MM ROPE IN GULLEY BELOW WHITE CAIRN, and made it back to Awahnee Buffet by 9 something. This descent is more tricky than NEB Higher Cathedral or EB Middle Cathedral (though no raps needed).

FYI- we've done the Royal Arches rappel in past, and this seems like a much more desirable descent than north dome gulley. It's closer from walk-off of north dome, much easier when you're tired, can still proceed safely in the dark, etc. Only difficulty is finding it (and reversing the "3rd class" from top to the bivy spot near top of Royal Arches route), but shouldn't be a problem if you ascend via Royal Arches (which is highly recommended- can't imagine going up North Dome Gulley in less time than climbing Royal Arches).

And if you should happen to have an epic, the Awahnee Buffet on Sunday morning is a surreal experience upon your return. After suffering from thirst, shivering all night, wiping your butt with leaves, etc. it's nice to select from a delectable assortment of brunch finery whilst the live piano serenade and attentive servers appease your gastronomical and musical desires. Just don't sit too close to anyone else and mess up their meals with your odor.
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Larry

Trad climber
Bisbee
Apr 29, 2003 - 06:23am
 
NB,

The entire route can be rappelled (by way of approach). See my post above for beta on how to find the top of the route.

But is the road plowed right now as far as Porcupine Flat? It's been pretty bad weather recently. Maybe you are thinking of going later in the year though.
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NB

climber
Portland
Apr 28, 2003 - 07:24pm
 
I am looking for beta on the Porcupine Flat approach. Does the trail lead to the top of the dome? What is the best way to get from the top down to the start of the route.

Thanks

NB
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Rich the Brit

Trad climber
San Ramon, CA
Apr 28, 2003 - 10:38pm
 
The super topo description is spot on. Follow the PF trail to Indian Ridge. Follow it to the end of the ridge, where a steep trail cuts down to a saddle between the ridge and the back of north dome. Now turn right (if facing the south towards the valley) and follow a faint trail through woods beside the dome.

You will break out in brush following a creek bed. The trick is judge when to cross back under the dome. Don't cut across too early into trees - you will end up on a ledge at about half way height but way short of the route. Descend a little further, then cut across open slabs, down and then up (I remember climbling up a fallen tree) to get to the large scoop the contains the start of SW face. There is a tree at far end of the scoop from which you can see the first bolts.

Don't back off (like I did from the traverse on SW face). The hike back up is horrible. Finally, I assume you are doing this much later in season because the Tioga will be shut for some time to come (check out ploughing update pics on Yosemite nps site).
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Bruce Maples

Advanced climber
San Ramon, CA
Jun 14, 2001 - 11:59pm
 
I did this fabulous climb about six years ago so I don't remember exactly where the crux is but if you are comfortable with 5.10 sport climbing (face/slab) you should have no problem completing this climb. The climb is well bolted but sometimes seems a little runout. That is, just about the time your thinking its runout a bolt will appear. THE DIFFICULTY in the route strangely enough is the color of the rock looking up is such that the bolts are often difficult to see and you can easily pass them up on lead. Looking down the rock has a distinctly different color and the bolts jump out at you like a sore thumb but by then you've passed them up. It makes for some uniquely different climbing but VERY FUN. Its not a bad idea to take along a few nuts or a TCU or two just in case but as I recall we only used quickdraws. The crux is roughly 2/3 of the way up the climb (kinda traverse on some thin stuff) but it was no big deal. Also, the belays are sometimes at odd stances where an extra 10 feet of climbing would have afforded a nice scooped out area of the rock to stand in. Maybe it was originaly bolted based on 50m rope length.

We did not take the North Dome gully decent to get back to the valley. Reason being, we did NOT start on Royal Arches and then do Crest Jewel. We only did Crest Jewel that morning so we drove out of the valley to a pulloff, hiked in the several miles through the woods and headed down to the base of the climb (careful not to decend too far). As such, when we topped out we simply hiked back to our parked car. This is an alternative but your likely looking at a combination hike/hitchhike if you start on RA (long haul). Best to check with some locals. Hope this helps.
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Mike

Advanced climber
San Ramon, CA
Sep 10, 2001 - 01:13pm
 
The crux of CJ is on the second pitch traverse 40 feet or so into the pitch, so don't get spooked about harder climbing above as noted in some guides (the 5.10 "crux" marked as such up high is no harder than 5.8+). Eleven quickdraws (trick-tripled shoulder-length runners) plus belay setups (cordolette, etc.) make a good rack. Routefinding may be the real crux; as of 8/01, bolts are rusty and hard to spot in the middle/upper section. Off the belay at end of P6, don't veer left to the obvious gray, square plate near a shiny bolt - trend right. On P8, head above the dike to steep-looking ground where bolts will appear (don't continue right out the dike/past bolts). On P9, belay at the first set of double bolts (the second set have hangers hammered flat), from there you can reach summit blocks (50' past a rickety 2-boly belay). Prepare to run out easier ground between widely spaced bolts. If you're a gym "climber" you will be terrified on this route, as there are about fifteen handholds in 900' of climbing.
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Larry

Advanced climber
San Ramon, CA
Nov 10, 2001 - 08:10am
 
>Author: Mike
>
>The crux of CJ is on the second pitch traverse 40 feet or so into
>the pitch, so don't get spooked about harder climbing above as noted
>in some guides (the 5.10 "crux" marked as such up high is no harder
>than 5.8+).

It's true that the two "cruxes" are about the same difficulty.

>Eleven quickdraws (trick-tripled shoulder-length
>runners) plus belay setups (cordolette, etc.) make a good rack.

Right, no cams nor nuts are needed.

>Routefinding may be the real crux; as of 8/01, bolts are rusty and
>hard to spot in the middle/upper section.

Fifty bolts have been replaced by me and the ASCA. All belays are
new. Seventeen 1/4" rusty bolts remain on pitches 1 - 6. (There are
only two protection bolts on P1, contrary to the Reid topo.)

The new stainless steel hangers may be even HARDER to spot than the
old rusty ones.

>On P9, belay at the first set of double bolts
>(the second set have hangers hammered flat), from there you can

There is only one (new) bolt at the spot where the two flattened
bolts used to be, where you leave the dike and head straight up.

>reach summit blocks (50' past a rickety 2-boly belay). Prepare to
>run out easier ground between widely spaced bolts. If you're a gym
>"climber" you will be terrified on this route, as there are about
>fifteen handholds in 900' of climbing.

I agree with the "terrified gym climber" part. There is lots of
potential for long falls. Pretty low-velocity falls, but at times
the rock has features to possibly hit.

>Author: Bruce Maples
>
>...if you are comfortable with 5.10 sport
>climbing (face/slab) you should have no problem completing this
>climb.

If you're used to Owens River Gorge, you may find this climb
disconcerting.

>The climb is well bolted but sometimes seems a little runout.

Sometimes a LOT runout.

>It makes for some uniquely different climbing but VERY FUN.

If you have a positive attitude toward slabs.

>Also, the belays are sometimes at odd stances where an extra 10 feet
>of climbing would have afforded a nice scooped out area of the rock
>to stand in. Maybe it was originaly bolted based on 50m rope length.

This is true.

>We did not take the North Dome gully decent to get back to the
>valley. Reason being, we did NOT start on Royal Arches and then do
>Crest Jewel. We only did Crest Jewel that morning so we drove out of
>the valley to a pulloff, hiked in the several miles through the

The trailhead is Porcupine Creek.

>woods and headed down to the base of the climb (careful not to
>decend too far).

It's also very important not to head over to the left (facing
downhill) too early. If you're still above the top of the Column,
you're not too low.
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Matt

Intermediate climber
San Ramon, CA
Apr 2, 2002 - 05:17pm
 
Great climb-
We soloed RA to get there- that was a really good day!
You'd better be in some comfortable shoes- RA + a slabby approach + 9 pitches of slab + the walkoff = a long day on your feet!!!

re: other posted beta-
1) The 5.10 pitch might be harder climbing, but the bolts are (all of a sudden) everywhere- the 1st 2 pitches seemed the hardest to us, as we were maybe getting accustomed to the slope-y climbing style you need up there.

2) Route finding is an issue up there. When in doubt, tend to the right, as the climb gently wanders toward the right most of the time. It is not uncommon to go 30'-40' (just a guess) across sections of 5.6 slab, but there seems to be a bolt every time there is a 5.8-ish move.
If you have done some climbs in TM "you'll probably be fine" (that's a great bit of encouragement I once got from my friend Rob).

3) Don't bother w/ the nuts unless they're for eating, as you'll never touch them otherwise...

-Matt
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Matt M

Intermediate climber
San Ramon, CA
May 22, 2002 - 11:29am
 
Did the RA approach (5:45 am!) and linked with CJ (Car to Car in 9:55). Amazing route - A smooth sea of granite that gives some wicked views not to mention great climbing. Gear beta is right on - 12 draws or slings (better) is all you really need - I'd bring some screamers next time for the 1/4" bolts on the first few pitches. The anchors are ridiculously bomber (thanks ASCA) 3 3/8" bolts at most..

Route Beta - Pitches 2 and 8 are the cruxes with 8 being slightly harder. I think 2 SEEMS harder because it's pretty smooth and you're just getting used to the slab climbing after RA cracks etc. Route finding CAN be challenging here and there - The most obvious way isn't usually the right way - When in doubt, pause and take the time to LOOK for bolts higher up - they can be spotted. Also, the route tends to just go straight up, so if you find yourself wandering left or right (out on a dike say) stop and look up again. P6 and 8 have hard to spot anchors (hidden above small roof and bulge respectively) - Again, just keep going up. Never made it to the 2nd belay bolts on P9 so I have no idea on their condition. The first 2 bomber bolts looked good and couldn't even see the next anchors so I just went straight up again (a little run out) onto the 3rd class stuff at the top to finish.

Bring good approach shoes as well...

Overall - a fantastic day with 24+ pitches of climbing!
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Mr Lucky

Novice climber
San Ramon, CA
May 28, 2002 - 09:50am
 
we pulled up & parked just after 7:30am sunday 5/26/02 @ the awhanee parking lot. 5 minutes later, when we'd racked up our dozen quickdraws & debated the windbreakers vs. polypropylene, we headed off to scurry up the RA.

after our brutal & sketchy 100 yd approach (includes TWO potentially treacherous river crossings- both somewhat height dependent in difficulty).

we encountered one party on the initial chimney pitch- the leader trying desperately to place a cam to protect the move from the (4' high) initial foot to the 1st (10' high) chalkstone. they graciously let us pass...


that was the last sign of life we saw for some 24 pitches of 3 star climbing (so sayith the guide book, so sayith us all).

and so, off the 3rd class ledges:
"we started climbing in the sun on our own private cliff right in the middle of yosemite valley at ~8:30am on a beautiful sunday (at the end of) may!"

this is getting to be a wonderfully familiar sensation!
i'd like to thank each & every one of you for staying home on memorial day weekend!


"just goes to show- you never know until you go!"


-Mr Lucky


Additional notes:
We were psyched to have the windbreakers!
Some dummy has cut the rope @ the pendulum on RA so the it has no extra length- pbly (i can only guess) because some other dummy stuck it in the crack on the other side, thinking it was funny, & the rope was then (maybe?) cut to prevent that? who knows. either way, the dummy who cut the rope did it right below the last knot & didn't burn the ends, so they are going to fray & erode that knot. the knot 1' above is fine to clip above, but is somewhat high to grab for the swing.
as this route sees frequent unroped traffic, that is now a scarier than necessary section for the soloist.

it is likely that this will be somehow fixed in short order, but be aware if you up there anytime soon w/ out a rope.
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Novice climber
San Ramon, CA
May 28, 2002 - 10:26am
 
forgot one thing-
you can link the last 2 pitches w/ a 60m rope if you sling the 1st & 3rd(last) bolts w/ 4' slings. you will have to keep the end of the rope free from the anchors as this just barely makes it (be prepared to unclip from the anchor & simul 2-3', the leader will be on very easy ground.

if this doesn't seem like a big deal now- believe me, you will be psyched to get your shoes off after 9 pitches of slab!!
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Greg Barnes

climber
Jun 23, 2002 - 09:48pm
 
Larry Scritchfield just finished replacing all the bolts on Crest Jewel yesterday! 67 bolts replaced over 10 days of effort over a year - he deserves a big thanks for a huge undertaking, doing nearly all the work by himself (I helped on a couple days last year).

Crest Jewel now has entirely good bolts.


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JB

Intermediate climber
Jul 3, 2002 - 11:03am
 
Did this route June 29 - what fun!
Haven't done a lot of slab but didn't have much trouble with this. Getting used to slab climbing on the first few pitches is definately the cruz! The middle pitches are a little run out on moderate climbing. The "sustained 5.10a" and previous pitch are well protected and pretty easy by the time you get there. No problem finding the route or the bolts using the topo. This was only the 2nd 5.10 I've led :-)
In the middle of the climb we were met by a group rapping down to do the South Face - commented to the guy how great it was that someone had rebolted the route. Turned out that it was Larry, and he had done the rebolting! Thanks again Larry! Great job!
Next time we'll use the rap routes for the descent ..
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Vinny

climber
Solana Beach, CA
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   Jul 22, 2002 - 11:09pm
Did the Jewel in 94 when it was bolted entirely with quarter inch buttonheads. If one of those mank bolts pulled the fall would suck. Thanks Chris and Larry for rebolting this route. It is truly the best moderate face climb in North America, and you guys deserve plenty of free beers in the Mountain Room Bar.
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Rob B.

Intermediate climber
Solana Beach, CA
Jul 24, 2002 - 01:31pm
 
Where is this "rap route" on Crest Jewel?
Thx,
RB
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Larry

Novice climber
Solana Beach, CA
Jul 25, 2002 - 05:30am
 
If you climb the route first, you should have no problem finding the rap :-)

If approaching from above, it's a bit trickier:

"Lunch Rock" is a landmark maybe halfway from the summit to the top of Crest Jewel. It's a flat cantilevered boulder about a foot thick just east of a tree, located along the spine of the dome, on a line between the summit and Illiloute Falls.

From Lunch Rock, you can almost see the toe of the Apron. As you look down in that direction, you'll notice two small dead trees maybe 50' apart. The raps begin to the left (east) of the leftmost small dead tree, and below it. As you descend below the level of the tree, it will become clear that below lies fifth class terrain. At this point you can finally see the top of the Column.

From this point, the rap bolts are 50' down, near a prominent 1 inch dike, in the direction of the Diving Board. You still can't see them from there, but as you move down to a couple of sandy ledges (formed by exfoliation flakes just sorta clinging to the slab) you'll see them to the east.

The top two pitches go as one rap, IF you have 60m ropes. So do pitches one and two. Many of the raps are very diagonal.

Good luck!
Larry
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Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
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   Jul 28, 2002 - 09:25pm
Dan Dingle (who did Crest Jewel's first ascent with Mike Lucero) and Steve Swann just put up a Direct Start to Crest Jewel on June 27,2002. Mark Albosta and I did the second ascent a couple weeks later. Five new pitches 5.8, 10a,10d,5.9 and 10a

You can see a topo and route beta at
http://member.newsguy.com/~climbing/CrestJewelDirectbeta_Topo.html

You can read our trip report and see pictures at
http://member.newsguy.com/~climbing/Crest_Jewel_Direct.html
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Tom and Daryl

Intermediate climber
Yosemite, Ca
Sep 3, 2002 - 09:42am
 
Loved the new bolts, would like to donate some cash to Larry for future projects - any way to get intouch with him?
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Larry

Novice climber
Yosemite, Ca
Sep 3, 2002 - 11:51am
 
Thanks! Donations should go to the American Safe Climbing Association. Check the website at http://www.safeclimbing.org/

Larry
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billygoat

climber
Pees on beard to seek mates.
Jul 25, 2003 - 11:08pm
 
Hello All, here's a horror story that happened to us on 7/15/03:

Me and a VERY VERY VERY VERY famous climber hiked out the evening before and camped on top of North Dome. Early the next morning we got up to approach. While the start of the trail is easy, as you make your way down it gets progressively harder to find your way. Needless to say, we ended up bushwaking through bad prickly bushes. When we finally got to the base (here's the juicy part), it was past a good start time. SO. My partner was up to lead the first two pitches (maybe link them). Of course, we didn't bring any extra gear. So w/ quickdraws in tow, he lit up the first fifteen feet. But, I guess the exposure is pretty bad up there (it didn't bother me...). 'Cause within ten feet of the first bolt he freaked out and climbed back down. I decided not to take on the sharp end. Of course, if we had the gear supertopos told us about, we would have been fine.

So we booked it out of there (found a much better way to get out), and went to some hot springs. On the way, saw Kauk at the Meadows store. He mentioned how all the frogs in the meadows are dying from a fungus they're getting around their mouths. (Please hug a tree at this point.)

Great adventure, though. Better luck next time!
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goosey

Trad climber
nottingham.U.K.
Apr 28, 2004 - 08:03am
 
My friend and I are considering climbing Royal Arches, taking an ultra-light bivvy at the bottom of Crest Jewel and then continuing up that the next day. What we need to know is: Is there a reliable source of water and somewhere logical to bivvy at the foot of Crest Jewel? Cheers, C
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Skinner

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Apr 28, 2004 - 12:37pm
 
My buddy and I are considering the same routes but we're not bivying, not sure about a reliable water source, I've heard you'll find some but it would be better just to bang em both out and go to Degnan's
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climber

climber
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   Apr 29, 2004 - 12:00am
Great bivy at top of arches near some big boulders. Get water from stream at top of route 5 minutes away.
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clustiere

Trad climber
running springs, ca
May 2, 2004 - 02:30pm
 
The spring at the top of the arches runs really nice and was even flowing nicely in August.
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clustiere

Trad climber
running springs, ca
May 2, 2004 - 02:30pm
 
The spring at the top of the arches runs really nice and was even flowing nicely in August.
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goosey

Trad climber
nottingham.U.K.
May 3, 2004 - 10:41am
 
Thanks for info on Royal Arches bivvy. We aren't confident of getting all 25+ pitches into one day! That's exactly what we needed to know. C
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Bilbo

Trad climber
Truckee
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   Jun 16, 2004 - 02:26pm
This route is SWEEEEEET!!
Climbed it late May 04', approached with Royal Arches. Easily done in a day with 12+ hours of light.
Linked first two piches with the crux being that pitch. Polished orange rock is slick! After making that pitch the rest is fairly easy and we found no crux higher up probably due to being in the "zone". Getting off the dome was somewhat tricky and was wishing I had my shoes on for the friction.
North Dome Gulley is super easy if you have some light left. It seems it was well worn in the right direction.
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Chris Strode

Trad climber
Korea
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   Jun 27, 2004 - 10:38pm
Notes for Royal Arches and Crest Jewel (completed both in 12 hours on June 23rd 2004
-Spring year round (mostly) at top of RA.
-Should be able to do RA in 6 hours to do CJ in another 6 (to include the approach)
-The supertopo is right on for approach and climb.
-Last 2 pitches of CJ can be linked with a 60m rope and rope stretch (alot of stretch).
-The last 2 pitches get a rating of 5.8 but should only have a rating of 5.0 (it is the exposure that gave it the 5.8 I think).
-Don't bring any trad gear. The one spot to do trad has an expandible flake - plus, all the bolts are shiny brand new ASCA type.
-CJ is an oven at 90 degrees to the sun. Bring at least 2 liters per person just to start with. There is no water within 1 mile of the dome.
-Personally, I brought slings but never had to use them.
-Most of the belays are hanging and kill the feet.
-The 10 pitches can be done comfortably in 4 hours unless you have difficulty finding the next bolt.
-Run-outs are common but when it is hard, bolts are no farther away than 12 feet from the previous bolt.
-Be prepared for Tuolumne type weather.
-Whoever replaced the bolts.....A thousand thanks! chris

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Sascha

climber
Oakland, CA
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   Aug 10, 2004 - 01:45pm
A really fun and relaxed way to do the Crest Jewel is to climb the Royal Arches in the afternoon, carry light bivy gear to spend the night on a huge and gorgeous ledge, and climb CJ the next morning. We did this with a party of three, and had the great fortune of being dropped off at the Ahwahnee and picked up at the Porcupine trailhead. A fantastic weekend! Leading slab with a pack on wasn't that bad; it doesn't need to be all that heavy. Just be sure to fill up with plenty of water at the spring.

The hike from the top of RA seemed quite a bit longer than the Supertopo had suggested. The bivy spot is obvious, next to a prominent pine, and almost at the bottom of the CJ (regular) start.
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ThomasKeefer

Trad climber
Oakland, CA
Aug 23, 2004 - 01:43pm
 
The link of this route and RA is pretty straight forward. The friction on the route is really really good and predictable... some of the orange stuff is a bit more slippery but for the most part it is really solid.

I would definintly not reccomend bivvying as there is no real reason since most considering this route would probably decide to simul RA which makes that route go in about 2-2.5hrs.

Finding bolts could be a problem.. One thing that was handy was to have the leader looking for the first bolt on the route as he was bringing the second up. The run out sections are really not that run out. The one spot we nearly missed a bolt was on the topo third pitch but that was totally our fault and the topo is right on.

The first and second pitch link very easily and it is nice to have the first pitch (about 3mins worth of climbing) done to warm you up for the first crux. Linking that and the last pitch, which for us required about 10ft of simul on 5.4 or so ground, is also a good way to go.

Many posts talk of the uncomfortable stations but with the exception of 1 or 2 most you can just rig an autolocker and then sit on a feature to bring the second up. The second station (topo second station but first if you are linking) is probably the worst.

There is a huge terrace beneath the ramp leading to the first pitch which has great views and could be a good place to cache trad gear if you brought some for RA.

The spring was still flowing pretty good this weekend. I did not purify and still feel ok so for what that is worth.

As someone said prior, the last two pitches are 5.0.. that is accurate with the exception of maybe one or two moves and that is probably just footwork.

All in out the link is an incredible outing.. the walk out~ Well that is another story!
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Sascha

climber
Oakland, CA
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   Oct 5, 2004 - 09:57am
Simulclimbing all of RA is a great idea -- IF there's no traffic! On a typical weekend, expect the route to be PACKED and don't count on being able to pass all the folks ahead of you. On a lovely Saturday, we were behind several slow parties, along with a rather anxious party of fast climbers foolish enough not to have brought water or warm clothing, but stuck with too many people ahead...
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luca

Trad climber
milano italy
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   Oct 23, 2005 - 12:20am
I did the route in august with my two daughters 10 and 12 years old. we start from porcupine and we spent two hours to get the start. some bad bush...it is possible and better to rappel the entire route without any problem.
the route is perfectly bolted, good slab climbing, very safe and enjoiable if you like slabs. supertopo sketch is ok. don't bring gear, only 10 quikdraws. great wiews. from the top to porcupine 1 hour and half /two hours of gentle walk. nobody around.
very nice day.
thanks for excellent rebolting
luca
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Aug 20, 2006 - 10:52pm
 
Gary and I did this route today, quite a nice day.

We approached from Porcupine Flats pullout (T-19) and did not go to the notch but walked the slabs above the notch. We dropped down prematurely, could have continued easy walking rather than the scramble. Descended on slab as far as possible picking up an obvious climber's trail low down. Left the parking lot at 8:30 am and was at the base by 10:30 am.

With a 65m rope, linked pitches 1&2 and 9&10 making it an 8 pitch climb. We topped out at 2:30 pm.

It may have been us, but the bolt count on pitches 6 and 8 seemed off, one more bolt then shown on each of these... but maybe we were blissed out with the views and just miscounted (I don't think so though).

I was happy to have a small cam for the step on pitch 4 since the face just under the step is slick.

Got to the top, rehydrated and ate, then wondered back out to Tioga Pass Road.

Very nice route inspite of some slander I've heard directed its way. Certainly an enjoyable 8 pitch slab climb in a fantastic setting.
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punjab

Gym climber
oregon
May 31, 2007 - 11:28pm
 
never thought i would enjoy slab climbing so much. the climb is absolutly amazing. we opted to do royal arches one day, bivy at the top then crest jewel the next and come down via the arches rap.
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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Oct 19, 2008 - 09:27pm
 
the TR to the comments below...
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=244082
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
May 11, 2009 - 09:45pm
 
great trip report
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=856455
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ares

Trad climber
Bozeman, MT
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   Oct 27, 2012 - 09:34am
Just completed the Crest Jewel Direct, be prepared for aching heels and toes and a tricky hike out (esp. if doing it by moonlight!)

As a heads up: on the 3rd CJ pitch (5.8) there is a pretty loose flake where there is beta for a .5-.6'' cam placement. It is tempting to pull on it (my partner, who was leading, initially grabbed it for a wtf moment) as it forms the lip of the roof, but solid rock is out to the left.
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pell

Trad climber
Sunnyvale
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   May 12, 2013 - 04:58pm
So you are at the #7 pitch start. Just spot a shiny bolt to the left. There is a holy jug right below the bolt and relaxed 5.easy climbing to it. You chalk up and begin to traverse left. DON'T DO IT! Climb up/right. There is no mistake in the SuperTopo book.

Mega fun route with an exceptional scenery.
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TW#T

Gym climber
Sunnyvale
Apr 28, 2004 - 10:44pm
 
easy breezy, dont come back to curry village in a 5 pc tupperware set. other than that i got no beta, over and out.....you might be able to catch some of my buddys drool as a source of water, but thats kinda pushin it.

over and out
rub a dub dub
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North Dome - Crest Jewel 5.10a - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
Crest Jewel follows a series of unique but hard to see features.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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