Crest Jewel 5.10a

 
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North Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Not in the Meadows
Wednesday August 17, 2011 11:18am
I have wanted to climb Crest Jewel for at least 5 years. I never got around to it. As time goes by, my goals and dreams seem to march farther and farther out of reach. Maybe I could actually get one of them done!

It seemed like everyone I talked to had done it already, (and probably thought I would stick then with the hard leads)

I sent out a request last week to a bunch of local climbers for climbing in the Meadows, with Crest Jewel on my list, and Linda replied 'Crest Jewel isnt in the Meadows'. Well, technically its not, but I was planning on approaching from the top, so it *kind of* counts.

David replied he was interested, and I offered up that I would take the crux pitches. Heck, I wasnt even 100% that I could lead them.

Off we go!
Credit: spyork

Why do people build these large cairns?
Large Cairn on the trail down to north dome
Large Cairn on the trail down to north dome
Credit: spyork

Taking a shot of half dome...
Credit: spyork

The cathedrals, look at all the smoke in the valley.
Credit: spyork

Finally the top of North Dome in sight. Notice the smoke in the background.
Top of North Dome
Top of North Dome
Credit: spyork

We drop extra stuff at the top of the dome, and head down. I made a mistake that morning, I should have brought an extra liter of water and dropped it at the top. I ran out late in the climb, and begged water from some hikers halfway back to the trailhead. "How are you? I am thirsty, that water looks awful good"

We ended up bushwhacking a bit. I made a mental note to go farther right and lower next time. Finally above the start.
Far tree is the start of route.
Far tree is the start of route.
Credit: spyork

There was smoke over on half dome now.
Half dome wreathed in smoke from fires.
Half dome wreathed in smoke from fires.
Credit: spyork

The valley was looking very smokey.
View from north dome, smoke in the valley.
View from north dome, smoke in the valley.
Credit: spyork

I linked P1 and 2 together. The climbing was well protected, but the 5.10a on the second pitch did feel hard. The view from the 2nd belay...
2nd belay of crest jewel, looking at start tree
2nd belay of crest jewel, looking at start tree
Credit: spyork

David following Pitch 1 and 2:
Pitch 2 of Crest Jewel
Pitch 2 of Crest Jewel
Credit: spyork

David led off P3. Here he is after doing the traverse.
Pitch 3 traverse, going up now
Pitch 3 traverse, going up now
Credit: spyork

These are possibly from Pitch 4 or 6. The cam placement shown in the topo on Pitch 4 has either blown out or I totally missed it. My 0.5 " camalot was dead weight. I just climbed past the roof to the next bolt.
David Following
David Following
Credit: spyork
David at one of the roofs...
David at one of the roofs...
Credit: spyork

David leading pitch 5 (or 7)
David leading
David leading
Credit: spyork

Looking back on the crux traverse. This pitch was very fun and kind of heady to lead.
Looking back on crux
Looking back on crux
Credit: spyork
David following 2nd crux
David following 2nd crux
Credit: spyork

Summit shot with Half Dome.
North Dome summit. We made it!
North Dome summit. We made it!
Credit: spyork

The smoke shown in an earlier picture was a portent for helicopter water drops later in the day:
Heli dumps water on fire.
Heli dumps water on fire.
Credit: spyork

Clouds rest shot, for no good reason.
Clouds rest from north dome.
Clouds rest from north dome.
Credit: spyork

Then we hiked out. Dinner was at Lembert Dome parking lot. I tried to catch the Alpenglow with this shot.
Lembert dome at sunset
Lembert dome at sunset
Credit: spyork

Steve

Pictures taken with a Nikon Coolpix P100. Too big for climbing really, but its the only good camera I have right now, I wear it on a waist pouch. The telephoto on the camera does pretty well with the chopper shot I think.

  Trip Report Views: 2,285
spyork
About the Author
spyork is a social climber from A prison of my own creation.

Comments
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neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Aug 17, 2011 - 11:31am PT
cool...more pics !
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Aug 17, 2011 - 11:33am PT
so far so good, Steve
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Aug 17, 2011 - 11:33am PT

A really enjoyable report. Are there many fires outside of the park
now? There haven't been any reports in the news (at least in Colorado),
about them.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 17, 2011 - 12:38pm PT
Nice Steve. looking forward to more.

I'm going to be the only climber who has never done this route.... I've wanted to do it since it was in Green, ring top Meyers...

Edit; there's a bunch of fires here in Wyo. saw one south of Newcastle and one south of the needles south Dakota, Monday.
Captain...or Skully

climber
  Aug 17, 2011 - 12:42pm PT
Crest Jewel!!!3!!
Dig it.
spyork

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
Author's Reply  Aug 17, 2011 - 12:58pm PT
Thanks! I got more pics to put up, plus David started sending me some of his. I will complete this tall tale tonight.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Aug 17, 2011 - 01:12pm PT
Awesome Spyork, way to get one goal done!!!
Zander

climber
  Aug 22, 2011 - 05:56pm PT
Allright! And nice hat.
Z
okie

Trad climber
  Aug 17, 2011 - 03:23pm PT
Cool. I've never done it. Looks beautiful.
davidji

Social climber
CA
  Aug 17, 2011 - 10:12pm PT
It was my 1st time on Crest Jewel, but I had climbed the South Face of North Dome. Shown below, from the start of Crest Jewel. Several times I'd read people claiming Crest Jewel was easier, despite being 5.10 vs 5.8 (or stout 5.7, depending on who you read).

FACT: CREST JEWEL IS HARDER THAN THE SOUTH FACE!!!!

Well it's 5.10a slab vs 5.8 (or stout 5.7), what would you expect? Not sure why people prefer to link Crest Jewel with Royal Arches. Maybe they think a bolted route is faster? I understand linking RA with Crest Jewel direct start, since the approach is simpler. If you want to climb 5.10d slab...



looking up at the south face from the start of crest jewel
looking up at the south face from the start of crest jewel
Credit: davidji
davidji

Social climber
CA
  Aug 17, 2011 - 10:13pm PT
Steve, I'm glad we got to climb together again, and I'm glad that alternating pitches gave you both cruxes!

It was nice being up there mostly above the valley smoke.
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Aug 18, 2011 - 09:32am PT
Nice TR!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Aug 18, 2011 - 09:41am PT
Jaybro, I've never gotten around to doing it either! I was at the base once with two friends - we we're planning on doing the RA/Crest Jewel link up, but some clouds were forming so I volunteered to hike back down to the Valley and get the car up to Porcupine Flat to pick them up. So close!
Let's make a date to do it together sometime within the next 10-20 years. P.
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Aug 18, 2011 - 09:46am PT
Very nice report. Hope the fires don't get too bad.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Aug 18, 2011 - 09:46am PT
You're on, Phyl!

Nice adventure, Spy y Tex-Em!
survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Aug 18, 2011 - 12:39pm PT
Sweet Ride!!
kev

climber
A pile of dirt.
  Aug 18, 2011 - 02:31pm PT
bump
Wonderso

climber
SF Bay Area
  Aug 18, 2011 - 03:43pm PT
Hey Steve! Great photo's from your camera! I love the sense of height! Not all cams can do that. Plus they look all old timey; I like that. Beautiful finish too with that gorgeous golden sunset light! What a day! It makes me feel even more trapped in this dang cubicle right now, haha! Congratulations on going after and getting one of your goals! Next time bring more water! It's not Disneyland out there ya know, hahaha! ;)

:)
Daphne

Trad climber
Northern California
  Aug 18, 2011 - 04:43pm PT
Sweet! Looks like so much fun, thanks for documenting it and posting it up. Glad those hikers were there for you with the water :-)
spyork

Trad climber
Tunneling out of prison
Author's Reply  Aug 18, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
Thanks all. David sent me some cool pics so I will add those as well.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Aug 18, 2011 - 05:23pm PT
Jaybro I've been wanting to do the route again... (hint hint)

DMT

ps. Oops I see you're already taken. On well....
Bad Climber

climber
  Aug 18, 2011 - 05:33pm PT
Great good fun. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I've done it, I think, seven times. Different partners, stretched out over the years. It's so cool to have nothing but some draws and slings and pad up the wonderful slab of stone. And the views! Yeah, hiking in from Tioga Rd. is the way to go. I nice all day thing with some great hiking, too.

Thanks.

BAd
Trad

Trad climber
northern CA
  Aug 21, 2011 - 05:51pm PT
Nice report, Steve! (I almost missed it 'cause I was out of town.) Looking forward to more pics...
Russ S.

climber
was Seattle, now Spokane
  Aug 21, 2011 - 07:32pm PT
Only done CJ once. My most vivid memory is from one of the middle pitches where I was significantly out over the last bolt and mantling on a chicken head when the rope came taut as I was powering up into the mantle, almost pulling me off. Just about messed my pants before my buddy got the belay straighened out...
Weld_it

Trad climber
Chatsworth
  Aug 21, 2011 - 10:12pm PT
FACT: YEAH!!!!!!!!!!! GET SOME!
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
  Aug 22, 2011 - 03:23pm PT
How was the weather? Thinking of doing the CJ this coming weekend. How much water did you guys bring on the route?

 Luke
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Aug 22, 2011 - 03:45pm PT
DINGUS!!!!

Me too.
fattrad

Mountain climber
GOP Convention
  Aug 22, 2011 - 04:51pm PT
Spyork,

Thanks for the great TR, did I miss where the OW was on the route :)



The evil one
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Aug 22, 2011 - 05:09pm PT
hey there, say, spyork....

thanks for the neat trip report... wow, been able to see a few the last few days... :)


say, as to the large cairn...

say, (hahahahaaa) perhaps it is not:

perhaps it is just an artistic rock sculpture of
a small dinosaur, critter on it's haunches, ;))


:))




awwww, shucks, just looking at the artistic side of it...
:)


thanks so much for sharing...
:)
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Aug 22, 2011 - 06:52pm PT
Nice. Thanks. I've only talked about doing this. Once Ed H and I were going to do it, but it was BAKING out so we opted for something else. Really cool!

mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Aug 22, 2011 - 10:53pm PT
Nice Spyork!

Looks like you were smoking the whole way :)

Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
  Aug 23, 2011 - 05:48pm PT
Love that walk down to Watkins. In the middle of High County the BLAM ... big reveal... its Yosemite Valley. I always debate which is better, approach from Tuolumne and have a mellow descent or nab Royal Arches and Crest Jewel Direct on the way up from the Valley Floor. Both sooo good.
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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
Other Routes on North Dome
North Dome - South Face 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click for details.
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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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