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Daff Dome, Main Area
Routes Sorted
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Bearded Clam T 
Blown Away T 
Bombs over Tokyo (1st pitch) T 
Chvchichaschtli S 
Cooke Book T 
Crescent Arch T 
El Condor T 
Grey Ghost T 
Plagiarism T 
R.C.A. T 
R.C.A. (1st pitch) T 
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West of the Witch S 
Witch of the West S 
Unsorted Routes:

Crescent Arch 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 6 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Laton Kor, Fred Beckey, 6/65. FFA: Bob Kamps, TM Herbert, 1960s.
Page Views: 9,482
Submitted By: caughtinside on Sep 16, 2006

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Ginger starting out on Crescent Arch, Tuolumne Mea...

Description 

This route follows the obvious right-curving corner which lies in the center of the West Face.

P1: easy 5th to a big ledge below a bulge that pulls into a short squeeze chimney. Belay at the ledge, not at the fixed pins 12 feet up recommended by supertopo.

P2: go up the squeeze at .7, clip the pins with a long runner, traverse out the roof into the slick corner. Awkward fingers and hip scumming up, then out another roof. 100', lots of sustained .9.

P3: off the ledge with the hangarless bolt, up and out the roof, then up another slick corner with very awkward hands. Up to a huge ledge. sustained awkward .9, 60 feet.

I combined 2 and 3 no problem with a 60m rope and a double cam rack with a single #3. ledge is huge and comfy.

P4: guidebook crux. mostly .7 and .8 slab. Hard part is getting gear in the seam on the corner/roof. It's there, but it's thin and placing it can be strenuous. The crux move felt like .10a slab, and is well protected on both sides. Then fun knob climbing past a pin to the belay.

P5: easy 5th to the top.

Descent: follow cairns to the east side of the dome. Big ledge with a tree. Chains on top of a huge block. 2 raps with a 60m to the ground. maybe 1 rap with a 70?

Agreed that the sustained .9 is harder than the single crux move.

Protection 

A selection of cams and stoppers.


Photos of Crescent Arch Slideshow Add Photo
Zach leading the crux pitch.
Zach leading the crux pitch.
Pitch 2 of Crescent Arch
Pitch 2 of Crescent Arch
Pitch 4 of Crescent Arch
Pitch 4 of Crescent Arch
Hillary on p.2 of crescent arch
Hillary on p.2 of crescent arch
Reaching for the great jug after sustained laybacking on pitch 2.
Reaching for the great jug after sustained layback...
Set up the first belay below the orange lichen, below the overhang alcove where you see the climber. You can see the 2nd belay ledge in upper right corner.
BETA PHOTO: Set up the first belay below the orange lichen, be...
Eric Collins following p2 on Crescent Arch
Eric Collins following p2 on Crescent Arch
"Crescent Arch". <br />Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: "Crescent Arch".
Photo by Blitzo.
Eric Collins topping out on Crescent Arch
Eric Collins topping out on Crescent Arch
Michy cranking out the end of the "crux" pitch.
Michy cranking out the end of the "crux" pitch.
Crescent Arch is the obvious corner on DAFF dome
Crescent Arch is the obvious corner on DAFF dome
looking up from P2 to the sustained P3 arch roof section
BETA PHOTO: looking up from P2 to the sustained P3 arch roof s...
Approaching clouds...yikes!
Approaching clouds...yikes!
Engaging the so called crux. The move goes down from there.
BETA PHOTO: Engaging the so called crux. The move goes down fr...
Ginger follows on the Crescent Arch, Tuolumne Meadows
Ginger follows on the Crescent Arch, Tuolumne Mead...
Engaging the exciting 5.8 move
BETA PHOTO: Engaging the exciting 5.8 move

Comments on Crescent Arch Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 6, 2014
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Jun 29, 2007
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Crescent Arch is fantastic! The Supertopo guide bumps up the rating to 5.10b to reflect a single, well-protected move on the 4th pitch. Both my partner and I felt that the real crux of the route is the sustained 5.9 climbing throughout, rather than any single move.

As for rack, bring lots of wires. We carried a #4 camalot and never placed it.
By Jason Halladay
Administrator
From: Los Alamos, NM
Oct 1, 2007
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Agreed, Mike. I didn't find the move on pitch four to be 5.10b. Seemed easier and it was, indeed, well-protected. The sustained laybacking at 5.9 on the whole route really is the crux of this route. It's fabulous.
Near the top of the second pitch is a great belay ledge about 20 below the fixed pins and "recommended" belay. If I did this route again, I'd take two BD #3s for the belay on that fine ledge rather than continuing up to that miserable hanging belay on two crappy-looking pitons and gear. I'd highly recommend the same thing for anyone else. I hated that belay stance!
By Ol' Toby
From: WA
Aug 31, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

One of my favorite cragging routes. Aesthetic, sustained and a little burly.
By caughtinside
From: Oakland CA
Sep 12, 2008
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

P1: easy 5th to a big ledge below a bulge that pulls into a short squeeze chimney. Belay at the ledge, not at the fixed pins 12 feet up recommended by supertopo.

P2: go up the squeeze at .7, clip the pins with a long runner, traverse out the roof into the slick corner. Awkward fingers and hip scumming up, then out another roof. 100', lots of sustained .9.

P3: off the ledge with the hangarless bolt, up and out the roof, then up another slick corner with very awkward hands. Up to a huge ledge. sustained awkward .9, 60 feet.

I combined 2 and 3 no problem with a 60m rope and a double cam rack with a single #3. ledge is huge and comfy.

p4: guidebook crux. mostly .7 and .8 slab. Hard part is getting gear in the seam on the corner/roof. It's there, but it's thin and placing it can be strenuous. The crux move felt like .10a slab, and is well protected on both sides. Then fun knob climbing past a pin to the belay.

p5: easy 5th to the top.

Descent: follow cairns to the east side of the dome. Big ledge with a tree. Chains on top of a huge block. 2 raps with a 60m to the ground. maybe 1 rap with a 70?

Agreed that the sustained .9 is harder than the single crux move.
By vanishing spy
Jun 12, 2009

This is a HARD 5.9, long and sustained. The feet look (?) ok but don't feel it. Getting out of the chimney was taxing. The nice thing is you can put in enough gear. I continually thought I would run out of options but a standard rack seemed to work out fine. Thank god I convinced my partner to do the final roof thing move...I took a hanging belay in the corner before the traverse out right.

  • my palms are sweating onto the keyboard thinking about this route*
By Pat C
From: Honolulu
Jul 16, 2009

My first tuolumne climb. I was seething fear.
By ccmski
From: Prescott, AZ
Oct 17, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Belay at the ledges as suggested in this description- the first time I did it years back, I rigged an aweful hanging belay under a roof. Rating of 9+ is acurate. I don't think that a single 70m will reach the ground from the top chains (haven't tested it though). Climbing is awkward but fun. No #4 needed.
By Craig Randleman
From: Phoenix, AZ
Jan 1, 2010

"i was seething fear" that's f'in' awesome! just awesome!!!
By TylerW
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 11, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

The crux is definitely the awkward corner. The "10b" move felt like one of the easier moves on the climb. On a dome of great routes this is one of my favorites.
By Laine
From: Reno, NV
Jul 20, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I agree with TylerW the 10b move felt easy, the crux is probably one of the enduro lower pitches or the gear placements on the fourth pitch. We belayed on the outside of the first roof just past the piton belay, then belayed at the ledges for pitch 2 and 3. The fourth belay was set just after the 10b move so there was no rope drag for the 5.8 face above. Then the fifth pitch went up the 5.8 face and 5.5 slab to the top. Micro cams were helpful. Enjoy.
By Aerili
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Jul 22, 2010
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Super enduro! I would recommend climbers to be solid at 5.10 before leading this stuff (at least--you might enjoy it more!). Everything from the so-called 5.7 sections to the 5.9 sections seemed stout for their grades. Supertopo and Falcon occasionally have one letter grade difference wrt ratings on specific sections of this route, and at times I disagreed with them all! Some sections felt harder or easier than rated in the topos.

Other pro notes: we carried a #4 and placed it twice on lead + used it in a belay anchor once. One set of small wires is good enough; a set of microcams will be more useful and easier to place and clean imo.
By trying hard
From: Sierra East Side
Aug 6, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

The 5.8 and 5.9 lie backs were way harder than the supposedly 10B arch pitch. The arch was a breeze after the lower climbing. Slick feet, great position, beautiful arch, epic finish on Daff, doesn't get much better. I would want to be a solid 5.9 leader before tackling.
By Sasquach
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 16, 2010

Definitely the best route on DAFF dome. Especially when people are waiting in line to do West Crack and no one's Crescent!!
By Dave Alden
From: San Diego, CA
Feb 28, 2011
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

Fantastic route! The guidebook is wrong by calling P4 the crux, it's actually on P2 but with good protection the whole way. Did the route in 6 pitches, but you can scramble up the last one to make it a 5 pitch route. Great exposure the whole way, lotsa fun.
By BrianWS
Jan 28, 2013
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Heady, especially if your polished slab technique isn't up to par. The crux had strenuous placements, and seemed more intimidating than difficult.
By Rude Boy
From: San Francisco, CA
Jul 3, 2013
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Pitch 1 - some 5.7 laybacking. Belay at the large comfy ledge not the hanging belay at the pins. That suggestion is just plain stupid.

Pitch 2 - the first move looks intimidating but was actually not that bad. You can kinda chimney up the overhanging arch until you round the corner. Again that part looks intimidating but is really not that bad. Up sustained 5.9 laybacking (or you can do it with straight in jamming) but with good gear all the way. Again belay at the obvious ledge.

Pitch 3 - more sustained laybacking (or jamming) with good gear to another nice big ledge.

Pitch 4 - lots of underclinging with smearing to hold your feet on. Use micro cams for the last section. Don't traverse too far right before going up the knobs or it will be harder than 5.8 and slightly run out. You can unrope at the end of pitch 4 and go up the easy ramp system to the left and up an easy crack to the summit.

The pitches are all sustained but not too bad. Just don't start out tired.
By Phil Esra
Jul 8, 2013

The route description and most of the comments here are spot on.

Belay at the ledges near the end of p1 and p2, not at the higher pins.

Bring extra tiny cams for p4. I brought a single #3 and didn't use it much--I would leave it behind next time.

The "10b" move is a joke--if it feels harder than the rest of p4 [which feels plenty hard] you are doing it wrong. p4 roof was wet but doable on 7/7/13.

Left side in is much less awkward for p2 (vs Supertopo right side in recommendation).

A 70m rope rap gets you to a giant boulder with maybe 2 meters to spare (be careful to line up with the boulder when you go over the lip--the last 15 feet are free hanging and you can't move laterally). From there it's an easy 15-foot scramble to the slab.

GREAT climb.
By Jordan Collins
From: South Lake Tahoe
Aug 6, 2014

Aight, Awesome climb and we enjoyed it a lot more than west crack. Awesome enduro 5.9 climbing. All the beta on here is legit I just wanna add on something stupid that me and my friend did that you should not do. On the pitch where you traverse under the largest roof on the climb and come out near the summit (I guess pitch 4.) make sure you continue traversing right until easier ground. My buddy went straight up following mungy SKETCHY slab. and it was no fun no fun. Continue going right once you get to the highest roof on the climb until you get to easier ground. Makes it way mellower. Yall probably already know.