Crest Jewel 5.10a
Trip ReportCrest Jewel TR 8/20/06
Trip Report: August 20, 2006
Ed Hartouni & Gary Carpenter
Crest Jewel 5.10a, 10 pitches
I've been avoiding this one for a while because I didn't get rave reviews from various climbers I'd asked, "too contrived" was a typical comment. Hey, life's too short and the climb list too long to do uninteresting climbs, no? Well, Gary's been running the list lately, getting us into great adventures, I get an email earlier in the week:
Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 09:30:11 -0700
X-Accept-Language: en-us, en
To: Ed Hartouni
Subject: Crest Jewel?
Crest Jewel from Porcupine this weekend?
PS: How's your van?
How's my van? well coming back the weekend before I apparently blew a hose and had a "loss of coolant accident" fortunately we made it to Oakdale where we took advantage of "Willey's Towing" to get the beast back to Livermore. I'm writing this now because my mechanic didn't get it back together in time for a much planned trip to Bishop for Sasha's birthday weekend... happy B-day Sasha, and howdy to the Bishop crew!
Well we blast off earlier from Livermore, get to T-19 trail head, not many cars, and start the rather pleasant, mostly down hill walk out to North Dome, which is closer than I believe the NPS signs indicate.
At some point you start to get great views into the Valley, and Half Dome looms up out of the forest:
From our last approach to do South Face we knew to avoid any vegitation, so instead of heading for the notch, we split west with the trail to Yosemite Point and walked down the slab. We dropped off a little earlier than we should, but it was only a little scrambling to get to the slab, and then walk down looking at Glacier Point across the Valley:
Gary had his altimeter so we knew when take the east off-ramp to the start of the climb. There is still a bit of bush wacking to do, but it is minimized, not that we still didn't quite do it in the least veged way. About 2 hours from the car to the start, not bad for a couple of old farts.
We used my 9.4 mm 65 m cord, which I still love... though it is getting close to retirement, well earned. I did the first two pitches as one, jumping right onto the same type of features we would be climbing all days. The initial hard moves seemed hard! but not too bad, just need patience to swim up this climb in a sea of granite. Here is Gary approaching the p2 belay anchors. The tree to his left on the vegitated ledge is the start, the triangular feature with trees on it is the top of Washington Column and there is the base of Glacier Point and the Valley floor below.
Pitch 3 is the first of many route features on this climb, walk the dike out right, then go straight up to the next dike. Here Gary spots the next set of "up" bolts
Pitch 4 was cool, actually put a small cam (hey, we brought it, might as well use it). All you need is 10 slings, 20 'biners and whatever you use to attach to the anchors. Starting off on Pitch 5, Gary gives his best "scrute" searching for the bolts as the sun climbs overhead killing the contrast. I think we found all the bolts, though:
At the p5 anchors Gary thought he would shoot a picture of me, since I'm usually the one doing the shooting... ok, here it is, the thing this route does have is fantastic position with great views. It was warm in the sun, but there was a wonderful westerly breeze blowing us cool on the high up face.
Pitches 6 and 7 go down pretty smooth. But that point you've got the character of the climb pretty much down pat, and you are just climbing, feels great, mostly, our feet weren't too happy but it is a slab climb, a long one... The second 10a crux on the p8 comes and goes without much effort, all the moves are wired at this point. Here Gary extends his foot out at the crux:
Now pitches 9 and 10 can be combined, p9 follows a dike right to the anchor bolts, then the route goes up from there to the final p10 anchors... no problem, get the G-man to take us home, a petronaut rock-walking attached to the mother ship by his orange umbilicus:
Four hours from the start, we are chillin' at the p10 anchors, taking in the views. Gary is relaxing as the sun starts across Half Dome's face:
I liked the climb. It is a lot of slab, and goes quick. I don't think it is a great line, more a great setting, and I'd do it again.
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