Crest Jewel : LUSENET : Mountaineering : One Thread

What's the crux pitch here? We will have a small rack from doing Royal Arches. Is there any placements on CJ? I've heard it's run-out bolts. What's the alternate way back to sunnyside after completing this climb, besides north dome gully? thanky,

-- Wayne (, October 05, 2000


I did this fabulous climb about six years ago so I don't remember exactly where the crux is but if you are comfortable with 5.10 sport climbing (face/slab) you should have no problem completing this climb. The climb is well bolted but sometimes seems a little runout. That is, just about the time your thinking its runout a bolt will appear. THE DIFFICULTY in the route strangely enough is the color of the rock looking up is such that the bolts are often difficult to see and you can easily pass them up on lead. Looking down the rock has a distinctly different color and the bolts jump out at you like a sore thumb but by then you've passed them up. It makes for some uniquely different climbing but VERY FUN. Its not a bad idea to take along a few nuts or a TCU or two just in case but as I recall we only used quickdraws. The crux is roughly 2/3 of the way up the climb (kinda traverse on some thin stuff) but it was no big deal. Also, the belays are sometimes at odd stances where an extra 10 feet of climbing would have afforded a nice scooped out area of the rock to stand in. Maybe it was originaly bolted based on 50m rope length.

We did not take the North Dome gully decent to get back to the valley. Reason being, we did NOT start on Royal Arches and then do Crest Jewel. We only did Crest Jewel that morning so we drove out of the valley to a pulloff, hiked in the several miles through the woods and headed down to the base of the climb (careful not to decend too far). As such, when we topped out we simply hiked back to our parked car. This is an alternative but your likely looking at a combination hike/hitchhike if you start on RA (long haul). Best to check with some locals. Hope this helps.


-- Bruce Maples (, October 06, 2000.

Great climb!

There are NO gear placements. All you will need are draws. The climb goes fast...maybe 3-4 hours; it does not take long to re-rack at the belays! No real crux. The 10a 'sustained' is cake. I actually thought there were some harder moves on the lower pitches. Have fun!


-- david hill (, October 19, 2000.

It's true, there are NO gear placements. We had a few RP's with us, but there was no where to place them.

The crux pitches are pitches two and eight. Pitch two is 5.9 on rather polished orange rock. Pitch eight is technically harder at 10a, but seemed easier and is better bolted (although it was really difficult to see the bolts on this pitch even though the were relatively close together).

The only problem we had was getting off route temporarily on pitch seven. We couldn't see any bolts from the anchors at the start of the pitch and eventually, up and slightly left, I saw what looked like a bolt and sent my partner up towards it. This seemed odd because I was expecting (from the drawing on the topo) to see something up and right. After she had climbed to the bolt I spotted the on-route bolts and my partner had to downclimb a ways and traverse over to get back on-route. I think the off-route bolts belonged to the "Priceless Friends" route next door.

The only other thing to note is that we found the bolt hangers at the end of pitch 9 hammered flat. All of the belay anchors have been upgraded to 3/8" bolts and I think the intention is now that you'll belay at the set of bolts half-way across the dike on pitch nine and you'll still make it to the top in the next pitch.

Great route.


-- John Laughlin (, October 31, 2000.

Wayne I've done the Royal Arches/Crest Jewel link-up several times (~6hrs moving fast). No placements on CJ. Concour with Laughlin on cruxes. It's not run-out...the bolts are frequent...and hard to see. The pitches are full 50M stretches, however. Have used the gully descent and hiked out to Porcupine flat on different trips. Iced beer and Oreos in a car at Porcupine is a great way to end the beautiful hike out.

-- Brian (, April 12, 2001.

I have to disagree with the comment concerning runouts - while the cruxes are well protected, there are some long stretches that are void of bolts. Certainly, if you can climb the cruxes without difficulties you will be okay - as long as the rock is dry. I'm pretty solid on slab but I would not want to do this route if there was a chance of rain. Beer and Oreos sounds like sound advice.

-- Eric James (, May 22, 2001.

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