Cresent Arch, Tuolumne Route Photo

Cresent Arch 5.9+

Includes Witch of the West (5.9), West of the Witch (5.8), and Bombs over Tokyo (5.10c)

Daff Dome

  • Cresent Arch Sun ExposureRoute quality:
  • Cresent Arch First AscentLayton Kor and Fred Beckey, June 1965
  • Cresent Arch Pitch InfoNumber of pitches: 5
  • Cresent Arch Approach TimeApproach Time: 20-25 minutes
  • Cresent Arch Climbing TimeClimbing Time: 3-4 hours
  • Cresent Arch Descent timeDescent Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Cresent Arch Sun ExposureSun exposure: Afternoon until sunset
  • About the Climb

    Crescent Arch is certainly one of the best routes in Tuolumne Meadows. It follows the gigantic right curving dihedral splitting Daff Dome’s West Face. Crescent Arch is a fairly sustained and awkward route featuring consistent 5.9 climbing throughout as well as a very airy finish.

    The climbing on Crescent Arch is incredibly good, though slightly awkward and pretty slick in sections. Although it has been rated as difficult as 5.10b in other guidebooks, the climbing never really feels harder than 5.9+, and it is very well protected. There is a wide and awkward section on the 2nd pitch and a traversing section up high with an exciting move on knobs over the Arch that will certainly get your attention. The "Arch" pitch near the top is simply spectacular. It climbs the dihedral until it gradually curves right and becomes horizontal. This pitch is stimulating to say the least, with physical laybacks, disapearing feet, and thin gear.

    Crescent Arch is a notch harder than West Crack (5.9) for sure, and the real crux of the route comes from the sustained and physical 5.9 climbing throughout, rather than from any single move. The route has a short awkward chimney, lots of underclings, laybacks, jamming and technical footwork. Use many slings and try to avoid rope drag.

    Note that this route is usually wet in early season.

    Cresent Arch (Tuolumne) GearLoopTopo {Cresent Arch (Tuolumne) GearLoopTopo

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    The GearLoopTopo

    Our GearLoopTopo for Crescent Arch contains all the information necessary to climb the route starting from the Tuolumne campground.

    Our topo for Crescent Arch also contains the information for the single-pitch routes Bombs Over Tokyo (5.10c), Witch of the West (5.9), and West of the Witch.

    Possible Combinations

    There are several single pitch routes at the base of the West Face of Daff Dome: Bombs Over Tokyo (5.10c) is one of the best 5.10c finger cracks in all of Yosemite. It's located just to the left and makes a perfect warm-up. Witch of the West (5.9), and West of the Witch (5.8) are two short bolted routes located on the approach ledge leading to West Crack (5.9), and are also great warm-ups if your route is busy.

    If you feel like getting on another multi-pitch, a great combination at a similar grade is to climb Cooke Book (5.10a), also located on Daff Dome. It features another great dihedral and gets perfect afternoon sunlight.

    If you're looking for an easier combination, get on the popular West Crack (5.9) or Blown Away (5.9), which might be free of traffic later in the day. Both are excellent and very fun.

    If you combine Crescent Arch with another route on Daff Dome, remember that the exposed walk-off will be faster than the regular rappel descent, and will allow you to go back more directly to the base of the West Face.

    Similar Climbs

    Cooke Book (5.10a) is another great route on Daff Dome that is somewhat similar to Crescent Arch. It also goes up a huge corner system and features lots of sustained finger crack climbing. For other routes at a similar grade, check out Crying Time Again (5.10a), Direct Northwest Face (5.10c), and the Regular Route( 5.10a) on the Third Pillar of Dana.

    Download the Cresent Arch PDF file or visit the PDF Center.

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