Crest Jewel 5.10a

  • Currently 5.0/5

North Dome

Yosemite Valley, California USA

Trip Report
Crest Jewel TR 8/20/06
Saturday August 26, 2006 6:44pm
Trip Report: August 20, 2006
Ed Hartouni & Gary Carpenter

North Dome

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
From: Carpenter
Reply-To: carpente1@ccccc.ddd
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.

  Trip Report Views: 4,040
Ed Hartouni
About the Author
Ed Hartouni is a trad climber from Livermore, CA.

'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Ontario, Canada, eh?
  Aug 26, 2006 - 06:52pm PT
Dang, yous guys are fast. I spent the night on top of North Dome this spring. There was still a bit of snow around to chill the beer. We were up there the first day the road to Tuolomne opened. The view of Half Dome, when the sun is shining on it, is quite breathtaking. But of course you guys are so fast, you probably missed it, and were back at the Pizza Deck by then.

Nice report and pix!

Mudcat Spire
  Aug 27, 2006 - 12:16am PT
a petronaut rock-walking attached to the mother ship by his orange umbilicus

That's what I'm talking about.


Ed is the mothership?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 27, 2006 - 12:20am PT
mothership connection

Well, all right!
Starchild, Citizens of the Universe, Recording Angels.
We have returned to claim the Pyramids.
Partying on the Mothership.
I am the Mothership Connection.
Gettin' down in 3-D
Light year groovin'
Well all right, if you hear any noise, it ain't nobody but me and the boys
Gettin' down. Hit it fellas!

If you hear any noise
It's just me and the boys
Hit me (groovin')
You gotta hit the band

All right, all right, Starchild here
Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip
And come on up to the Mothership.
Loose Booty, doin' the bump. Hustle on over here.

If you hear any noise,
It's just me and the boys hittin' it.
You gotta hit the band.
Ain't nothing but a party, y'all.
Face it, even your memory banks have forgotten this funk.
Mothership Connection, home of the P.Funk, the Bomb.
If you hear any noise,
It's just me and the boys, hit me
You gotta hit the band.
Doin' it in 3-D.
Let me put on my sunglasses here so I can see what I'm doing.
When you hear seats rumble you will hear your conscience grumble
Hit me
You gotta hit the band
You have overcome, for I am here.

Swing down, sweet chariot
Stop, and let me ride

Doin' it up on the Chocolate Milky Way
What's up CC? Have you forgot me?
Are you hip to Easter Island? The Bermuda Triangle?
Heh heh! Well, all right. Ain't nothing but a party!
Starchild here, Citizens of the Universe
I bring forth to you the Good Time
On the Mothership.
Are you hip?
Sing, fellas!

If you hear any noise
It's just me and the boys
Hit me
You gotta hit the band

Starchild here, doin' it in 3-D.
So good, it's good to me.
Hit the band!

If you hear any noise
It's just me and the boys
Hit me
You gotta hit the band

Swing low, sweet chariot, coming for to carry you home!

If you hear any noise
It's just me and the boys
Hit me
You gotta hit the band

I don't think they hear you!
If you hear any noise
It's just me and the boys
Hit me
You gotta hit the band

Starchild here, citizens of the universe
Gettin' it on, partying on the Mothership.
When Gabriel's horn blows, you'd better be ready to go.

Swing low
Time to move on
Light years in time
Ahead of our time
Free your mind, and come fly
With me
It's hip
On the Mothership

Swing down, sweet chariot
Stop, and let me ride
(x 7)

  Aug 27, 2006 - 12:38am PT
Gary looks kinda serious there. Is he thinking?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 27, 2006 - 12:40am PT
he's thinking how good his feet feel out of his shoes...

Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Aug 27, 2006 - 01:29am PT
Yeah, who'd wanna do Crest Jewel anyway? All that ugly bulletproof gold rock, which only a half a dome to look at, and no blocky sections to run up?

What makes a great slab line anyway? Maybe you just have to like em.


  Aug 27, 2006 - 01:35am PT
The photo above is phenomenal.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
  Aug 27, 2006 - 02:15am PT
Thanks, it's from this gallery



Trad climber
off coarsegold
  Aug 28, 2006 - 01:08am PT
cool TR ED... back in the day (was 86?), climbed CJ via the Royal Arches... I can just remember being swarmed by mosquitos on the approach to the start - feelin lucky we found that ramp.. We were delirious at the top of the climb - North Dome wow.. July with no water.. We somehow found our way via the trail to Yosemite Falls - gorgin ourselves in the streams. That was before we even thought about giardia.. LOL.. all we could think of was hell, we're gonna have to walk through the village (parked at the Ahwahnee) without $'s for a couple of oil cans.. Amazingly enough, this seeminggly richey princess nymph bribed us with a $20 behind the Yos Falls trail sign - she somehow though we were rangers - go figure. So, we were much ablidged, found a 20 spot behing the sign, and she had her wilderness experience.. Damn long day on a hot Summer day!


  Aug 30, 2006 - 09:15pm PT
Thanks for the TR. I just missed doing the climb a couple of weeks ago. My prospective partner from the gym could only climb on a week day. By the time I figured out a way to get off work he'd found someone new. Heartbreak. Your pictures make me want to go even more.
See ya,

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 30, 2006 - 09:25pm PT
Nice, thanks, I have to do that one some day. i've never done RA, either, hhmmm?

In honor of Starchild, did you wear diapers?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Author's Reply  Aug 30, 2006 - 10:37pm PT
No diapers, Gary eschews naked ascents too, so doing CJ in our "birthday suits" wouldn't have been in the agenda either.

Now that I've done CJ I can see how you could do the RA-CJ link up, but it would be a pretty good day of moving, and if you were going ot drop back down into the Valley afterwards it would be even longer. Many on the Forum have done this and can state their times.


right here, right now
  Aug 31, 2006 - 04:12pm PT
These TR's are well worth the effort and much appreciated!

Social climber
kennewick, wa
  Sep 1, 2006 - 12:55am PT
nice TR, thanks.

karl, great pic, those clouds...

Trad climber
Golden, Co
  Dec 16, 2012 - 01:29pm PT
Sunday morning raining bump
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Dec 16, 2012 - 02:14pm PT
Great pics and TR Ed!
sonic, thanks for the bump!!!

Trad climber
the Box
  Dec 17, 2012 - 05:21am PT
I wanna do this climb... someday. :]

Thanks for the TR, Ed! (Whoa.. it's an old one XD )

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Dec 17, 2012 - 10:29am PT
ed Bump!

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  Dec 17, 2012 - 06:34pm PT
Heh, I did the RA + CJ linkup in 2005, my first slab climb. Didn't exactly know where North Dome Gulley was, but we were on top of Washington Column with 2+ hours of daylight in late June. We had started RA around 8am I think. Ended up bivying somewhere east of North Dome Gulley after the ol' crawling on hands and knees in manazanita next to a big drop-off.

If you nail the approach and descent, it's a great mid-summer linkup for the average working dudes and dudettes.

Awesome portraits of Ed and Gary! Gary looks like a smooth talker, an alternate Mr Bond from the Sean Connery era.

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
  Dec 17, 2012 - 06:53pm PT
Hey Scott!

I got a couple pics of you (and Gary) from your party! That was fun.

I thoroughly enjoyed Crest Jewel. It felt like a great adventure in a wonderful location. It must be because of my shattered ankle I am a partially contrived human (or re-engineered).

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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The South Face stays in the corner
North Dome - Crest Jewel Direct 5.10d - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
Crest Jewel Direct, 5.10d
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