Crest Jewel 5.10a

 
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North Dome


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
Royal Arches + Crest Jewel link up (photo TR)

by pell
Monday May 13, 2013 1:29am
We camped outside the park not far from the south (CA-41) entrance. Woke up at 4am, drove to Church Bowl parking lot and had a breakfast. We were slow that morning and started our approach around 6am.

A misty morning start.
A misty morning start.
Credit: pell

After the first pitch we simul-climbed Royal Arches. It took 2 and half hours to make it to the top.

The first blood (this is an athletic tape ad).
The first blood (this is an athletic tape ad).
Credit: pell

Running up somewhere on Royal Arches.
Running up somewhere on Royal Arches.
Credit: pell

The Royal Arches pendulum.
The Royal Arches pendulum.
Credit: pell

Then we had a fun time hiking up slabs to North Dome base.

Hiking up slabs to North Dome base. A perfect scenery and fine pavemen...
Hiking up slabs to North Dome base. A perfect scenery and fine pavement.
Credit: pell

Crest Jewel is one the best routes I have ever done. It's fun, a bit challenging and very scenery.

At some Crest Jewel belay.
At some Crest Jewel belay.
Credit: pell

Me at some Crest Jewel belay.
Me at some Crest Jewel belay.
Credit: pell

Puzzle: try to find Vitaliy M at some Half Dome ledge.
Puzzle: try to find Vitaliy M at some Half Dome ledge.
Credit: pell

At the 7'th Crest Jewel belay we decided to wait for an approaching fast party and let them pass us. Some shots of them:

A fast party running the Crest Jewel pitch #7.
A fast party running the Crest Jewel pitch #7.
Credit: pell

Credit: pell

Credit: pell

Leading the 8'th Crest Jewel pitch.
Leading the 8'th Crest Jewel pitch.
Credit: pell

Credit: pell

Credit: pell

We were a bit tired at that moment and asked them to fix a line on the #8 pitch. We much appreciate for that help.

BTW, the pitch was fun and not as hard. So we did not get any physical use of that rope (most likely the fact we had the fixed line was a great psychological aid).

Crest Jewel summit photo (this is a sunscreen ad).
Crest Jewel summit photo (this is a sunscreen ad).
Credit: pell

A perfect scenery.
A perfect scenery.
Credit: pell

Credit: pell

It took about 6 hours to climb Crest Jewel (we spent slightly more than one hour waiting for the fast party to pass us).

And then the most interesting part of our yesterday's climb began. We began our descend around 6:30pm. Did some route finding mistakes and missed the trail. Then we tried to reach the top of Washington Column off-trail but there were a lot of bushes. Spent the rest of daytime in them and missed WC in the dark. At some point we decided just traverse to Ahwanhee Hotel lights and down following the easiest terrain. Around 10:30pm we were at the Royal Arches rim. Then we had a mega fun slab 5.easy downclimbing to the first rappel rings in the dark. Then we had a long fun rappel. A cold sixpack in my car was waiting for us. Thus we had to descend, there was no bivy option.

  Trip Report Views: 1,587
pell
About the Author
pell is a trad climber from Sunnyvale.

Comments
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Cole

Trad climber
los angeles
  May 13, 2013 - 01:50am PT
Sweet! I wanna do this, tfpu.
rwedgee

Ice climber
canyon country,CA
  May 13, 2013 - 01:52am PT
As stated.....bivy was not an option !! That's the spirit ! Well done men and thank you for taking the time to share your adventure.
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
  May 13, 2013 - 03:19am PT
A cold sixpack in my car was waiting for us. Thus we had to descend, there was no bivy option.

I know that feeling. A night out is no big deal, but beer and food waiting for you, well that's not optional.
pell

Trad climber
Sunnyvale
Author's Reply  May 13, 2013 - 03:23am PT
BTW rappelling thru waterfalls is not all bad. I have never had my rope so clean after climbing trip.
Gunkie

Trad climber
East Coast US
  May 13, 2013 - 07:52am PT
Great trip report. Nice way to start a Monday morning.
Leggs

Sport climber
Made in California
  May 13, 2013 - 09:26am PT
I'm with Gunkie... a GREAT way to start a Monday!

Thanks for sharing ....
AWESOME photos and smiles... great summit shots!


~peace
slabbo

Trad climber
colo south
  May 13, 2013 - 09:57am PT
Great memories.. I did this link up in '82 and it was awesome.
Jebus H Bomz

climber
Old West Crackramento
  May 13, 2013 - 10:00am PT
Nice report! I've wanted to do this link-up for a while.

I've been pondering doing the link-up, bivvying at the top of RA after and then doing the South Face route on North Dome the next day.
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
  May 13, 2013 - 11:31am PT
Really nice! Hope to do this link up too.

Even though I can't find that Vitaliy M guy... :)
slabbo

Trad climber
colo south
  May 13, 2013 - 07:45pm PT
Hike in, set your beers atop the dome. Then do crest jewel, reg route, CJdirect etc... easy,, sleep at the summit,, great.

DO NOT do the walk in from the meadows.. rap in instead
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  May 13, 2013 - 08:44pm PT
The good reports are starting to roll in now......Thanx for sharing your climb.....

Stevo
RyanD

climber
Squamish
  May 13, 2013 - 08:13pm PT
Nice!
hillrat

climber
f*#kedville
  May 14, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
good stuff!
Texplorer

Trad climber
Sacramento
  May 14, 2013 - 03:10pm PT
Nice TR guys. I was one of the guys in the party that passed you. Thanks for posting the pics of us!

I wasn't sure why you guys let us pass as you seemed to be moving pretty well. We got off a little on the descent too coming around the dome but ultimately made it down to the Valley right at dark.

We started on Royal Arches around 8:30 and were surprised to see no one on the route. A few pitches up we found them. Everyone was really cool to let us simul through and I think we passed 4-5 parties. This a cool link-up that I have been wanting to do for a long time. Now inspired to go back and do the cool looking south face route.
slabbo

Trad climber
colo south
  May 14, 2013 - 07:34pm PT
Sweet simuclimb in 1:03... where's the penjy ?? So good a route CJ. that got so much sh#t BITD I remeber " Quere jewel "
pell

Trad climber
Sunnyvale
Author's Reply  May 14, 2013 - 09:01pm PT
Texplorer, most likely we were waiting for you because of lack of what I call "mental endurance". We were doing OK and moving fast on easy pitches but were a bit frightened and unsure about that .10 pitch #8 after Miika took a fall on pitch #2. That long moderate routes provide a lot of slow growing stress. That's another thing to learn - how to convert this stress to comfort.

Surprisingly pitch #8 was not bad at all. Moreover it was really fun and fluent. Probably, the most fun (#6 is the close competitor). I enjoyed a natural "flow" state of mind on that pitch - you just make you moves one by one, and every move is interesting and a bit challenging, you breath, stay calm and move in "slow is smooth, smooth is fast" pace. Fun!
10b4me

climber
  May 14, 2013 - 09:19pm PT
tfpu
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
  May 14, 2013 - 10:35pm PT
nice :)

I know that feeling of "lost in the bushes on the way down" well! For me it ended up in a bivy after cruising by the top of Washington Column with plenty of daylight left, then manzanita tunnel scrambling east of North Dome Gully after completely missing it.

Must have been exciting coming down to the RA rap anchors from the rim, figuring out exactly where it is!
Climber Joe

Trad climber
  May 15, 2013 - 12:22am PT
Thanks for the trip report. Attempted the link up about a month ago, but we had to bail after pitch 5 because I got started getting some tricep cramps and my climbing partner didn't want to lead the rest. On hindsight, it would have been better to force a finish (left a shitload of biners on our scary traversing retreat). Yeah, that pitch 2 is a slippery mofo. For us too, the real adventure started at the descent. Thought we found the North Dome Gully trail, but we got lost and the sun was setting. I finally decided to just rap down trees, when we finally found the trail. Swore never to do NDG again. Back to the pizza deck by 8. We'll be back for revenge.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  May 16, 2013 - 03:34pm PT
Very cool, looks like a great day.
Good pics!!!!
Some Random Guy

climber
  May 16, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
way to get it
so it looks like RA is dry?
how bad is the water coming down the RA rap route?
i'm gonna attempt this linkup but with south face this weekend. i hope it's not a cluster f*#k on RA. gonna have to be climbing over people....
pell

Trad climber
Sunnyvale
Author's Reply  May 16, 2013 - 06:43pm PT
Not too much water on the rap route. Our ropes were almost dry when we started the last rappel.

There was a river with a nice waterfall at the base. So we got our ropes washed.

Climbing route is (almost) dry (inc. pitch #10).
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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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