Crest Jewel 5.10a

 
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North Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Crest Jewel, Shining Brightly
Tuesday August 1, 2017 11:35am
Spectacular runout dike walk
Spectacular runout dike walk
Credit: Ney Grant
Truly a gem – a 10 pitch face climb up the side of North Dome. Since Betsy and I were staying on the east side we choose to hike in from Hwy 120 at Porcupine Flats, a well signed and heavily traveled 5 mile trail to North Dome. Well, not heavily traveled before dawn. We know Crest Jewel is now typically done with a linkup with Royal Arches but perhaps not mid-summer - not us anyway.
Sunrise near the top of North Dome
Sunrise near the top of North Dome
Credit: Ney Grant

We ate a breakfast croissant near the top of North Dome, then dropped down the gully on the unfortunate start of a 1.5 hour bushwack. The trail down is OK, but we veered off toward the dome too soon – twice. Now we know – you really drop down to what is perceived as far below the dome before you cut over. Now after that hot brutal start and with most of our water cached at the top, it was time to ration water to small sips for the climb.
Pretty nice views from the climb!
Pretty nice views from the climb!
Credit: Ney Grant

The climb is awesome and morning is key as the rock just started to feel hot as we got off the top. The views are tremendous and the rock is near perfect. We did after a while realize that it is best to view the bolts as somewhere in the vicinity of the route and not necessarily right on route (or at least the route we wanted to take..) It wasn’t uncommon to step over to clip, then climb or even downclimb back to your line.

As noted elsewhere it is bolted per the grade: pretty well bolted on the 5.10 bits, kind of runout on the 5.8 sections and the relatively easy 5.6/5.7 dike pitch had but one bolt.
Route goes left up a 5.10 bit, but we went straight onto another route...
Route goes left up a 5.10 bit, but we went straight onto another route, then came back onto correct route. All the rope is to keep us both on at least two bolts since we both were not at a belay while we figured out which way.
Credit: Ney Grant

Lunch and three liters of water waited for us at the top and how sweet it was, then a relatively easy but mainly uphill walk out to hwy 120.
..later that week.  Cool morning, hot coffee, no one up yet.  Nice.
..later that week. Cool morning, hot coffee, no one up yet. Nice.
Credit: Ney Grant

  Trip Report Views: 855
Ney Grant
About the Author
Ney is a trad climber from Pollock Pines.

Comments
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Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
  Aug 1, 2017 - 11:41am PT
Oh, how I love this climb. I think the best way to climb it as you did it--hike in from Tioga Rd. I've done it seven times, which should tell you something.

Thanks!

BAd
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
  Aug 1, 2017 - 11:50am PT
Love the CJ and that hot spring, good living there Ney....hope to see you two sooner than later. TM the weekend after this one?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Aug 1, 2017 - 12:01pm PT
Thx for the reminder to get back on this.
skcreidc

Social climber
SD, CA
  Aug 1, 2017 - 12:07pm PT
That route looks just amazing! A route with a view
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
  Aug 1, 2017 - 01:00pm PT
Looks amazing....

Thanks for posting.
Mike.

climber
  Aug 1, 2017 - 01:14pm PT
Great stuff – TFPU!
moosedrool

climber
Andrzej Citkowicz far away from Poland
  Aug 1, 2017 - 01:56pm PT
Very cool, Ney.

Your bushwhacking reminds me of my approach to Slick Rock Dome. Crawling over manzanita for an hour!

Moose
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
  Aug 1, 2017 - 02:13pm PT
Thanks for the report! I have good memories of that climb on a June day about 12 years ago: a fast simul up RA, a hot wander across slabs to reach the start of CJ, a few big sliders at the end of P1-2 linkup, a lot more great climbing taking it one step at a time when I had no slab experience, getting back down to the top of Washington Column a few hours before dark, then hopelessly screwing up the NDG descent, a teeth-chattering shiver bivy somewhere to the east up high, and wandering into the Awahnee for a brunch buffet the next day in a surreal shift of reality from hot starving thirst to gluttonous sensory overload.
L

climber
Just Livin' the Dream...
  Aug 1, 2017 - 03:10pm PT
Beautiful!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 1, 2017 - 04:34pm PT
Really nice photos, thanks!
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
  Aug 1, 2017 - 04:34pm PT
. The trail down is OK, but we veered off toward the dome too soon – twice. Now we know – you really drop down to what is perceived as far below the dome before you cut over. Now after that hot brutal start

Yea, that is exactly what I did the first time back in the early 90's or so. I guess the false trails that veer off too soon are still there.

Now if, instead of coming in from 120, you climb Royal Arches first, it is a straight clean shot to the start, just saying...

Nice trip report.
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  Aug 2, 2017 - 01:05am PT
Hey, Nay, (hint, you don't gn me) . . thanks for sharing.

And I tell my kids; keep your head down, nose to the grind-stone and maybe if you're luck is gud you'll end up Nay!
Granite I'd doubt there'll ever be Two

Twixt No-sun & sunrise, they stretch, and set out for thier target.
As the bone searing orb arrives on high
the heroes path breaks
, and they head off slightly higher than the best chosen route.
Still in steam haze,
they climb, and are rewarded with a gaze
That is a favorite of the choices
Of this choir -
(boiye) this was great.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Sacramento, CA
  Aug 2, 2017 - 05:38am PT
I've never inhabited that particular pool at Buckeye, for some reason.

CJ is a winner for sure. I want to do the direct sometime. RA to CJ really is the full platter, it is so fun to blast up RA. But skipping the NDG would be nice. Shuttle time.
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
  Aug 2, 2017 - 08:31am PT
You two seem to be living the good life - thanks for sharing.

I'm the most basic, one-dimensional climber in that I love cracks above everything else to a fanatic unhealthy degree, but I don't remember missing them on the CJ. The views, position, movement, quiet - and the quality of that granite, oh my.

We had the Dome to ourselves, and toward the top I was feeing a body-and-mind high, pleasant drunken giddy feeling. Kind of crept up on me like a tide as we moved up the pitches.

A few quiet + uninterrupted hours on that clean plane of granite, w fingertips and eyes just drinking in the perfection on every breath... Definitely a route that puts you in a unique zone.
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Aug 2, 2017 - 09:56pm PT
hey there say, ney... really neat share!! thanks so very much!!!
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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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