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Crown Jewels

5.9, Trad, 100 ft, 2 pitches,  Avg: 2.1 from 29 votes
FA: John Wolfe and others, 1979
California > Joshua Tree NP > Indian Cove > Indian Cove Cam… > Feudal Wall > Feudal Wall (Left Side)


Fun, two pitch climb. Third class scramble to the right of The Castrum to reach the base. Climb straight up past the obvious bolt. The moves above the bolt are greasy and harder than the 5.7 given in guidebooks, although they can be easily avoided with a 5.6 chute 10-20 feet to the right. Above that, the climbing eases up a bit, but is consistently fun. Most parties set a belay on the intermediate ledge to relieve rope drag. Run out the second pitch on fun 5.5-5.6 terrain. Popular.


4 bolts (all 3/8"), standard rack and some shoulder-length slings. Best climbed in two pitches to avoid rope drag.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

"Crown Jewels".<br>
Photo by Blitzo.
[Hide Photo] "Crown Jewels". Photo by Blitzo.
Parker Fagrelius seconding. Photo by Scott Nomi.
[Hide Photo] Parker Fagrelius seconding. Photo by Scott Nomi.
Lluis higher up. Photo by Scott Nomi.
[Hide Photo] Lluis higher up. Photo by Scott Nomi.
Lluis Penalver-Aguila at the crux. Photo by Scott Nomi.
[Hide Photo] Lluis Penalver-Aguila at the crux. Photo by Scott Nomi.
Shana Lauer at the crux.  Photo: Mike Morley
[Hide Photo] Shana Lauer at the crux. Photo: Mike Morley

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment] I used a #4 nut to protect myself from decking before clipping the bolt (3/8"). The moves past the bolt are harder than 5.7, although I didn't move to the right as suggested. Jan 3, 2003
Josh Beck
[Hide Comment] This is a pretty decent route. You definitely shouldn't go over to the gully to the right as you'd miss the business of the route.

It's my understanding, however, that something has broken off of this route, which is why it seems very hard for 5.7 :)

Felt like 5.9 to me and I've heard the same from a couple of others... like I said apparently the route has changed. Jan 4, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
[Hide Comment]

I agree! Jan 5, 2003
[Hide Comment] I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this is a total sandbag at 5.7 -- I tried it as one of my first leads a couple of years ago, and got totally spanked trying to get past the first bolt (of course, right after I finally gave up, some 12-year-old kid flew right up it, but that's JT for ya'). 5.9 sounds about right. Jan 8, 2003
[Hide Comment] We did this route yesterday as a warm-up! It's definitely a nine going by the bolt. Nov 24, 2003
Brian Alleyne
[Hide Comment] Getting past the first bolt is NOT 5.7 by any stretch of the imagination. Good thing that it is well protected at that point. The rest of the route is 5.7 or easier. And very varied.

The route goes all the way to the top, and can be done as a single long route. Just go past the ledge, up the following double crack, over the dyke, and up the face past 3 more bolts. The walkdown is not too bad. Nov 30, 2004
[Hide Comment] A key hold has broken. It hasn't been 5.7 for several years Nov 30, 2004
C Miller
[Hide Comment] A fun two-pitch outing that is worth doing if in the area. The FA of this was John Wolfe, which was discovered when replacing the original bolts on this route - the home-made hangers were stamped JCW. Jan 27, 2006
Brian in SLC
Sandy, Utah
[Hide Comment] Concur on it not being a 5.7! Its there, but, thin.
Got a great DMM peanut stopper prior to the bolt. Seemed bomber. Jan 2, 2007
Lluis Penalver-Aguila
Cambridge, Massachusetts
[Hide Comment] Glad to see this listed as a 5.9 here; the crux definitely felt harder than the 5.7 in the old Vogel guidebook. The crux is definitely the moves around the bolt. The crimps are solid but small and sharp and smearing is the way to go. The move from the undercling to the upper seam is a fun little section! Mar 16, 2009
[Hide Comment] Any beta on the descent? We ended up walking off the back (north/northeast) side. Jan 25, 2010
Lassitude 33
[Hide Comment] While it is certainly possible that John Wolfe did the FA, it is odd that he did not include this route in his 1979 guidebook. Oct 21, 2010
C Miller
[Hide Comment] Randy - not odd if it was done after the info for the guide was sent to the printers. Oct 21, 2010
Tim Maas
Santa Barbara, CA
[Hide Comment] Josh-esque anchor on top, bring slings. Got lost on the descent twice and tried rapping off of Castles Burning but there were two bolt holes on top and no anchors. Found a mellow descent towards the north. Dec 23, 2017
Tyson Waldron
Reno, NV
[Hide Comment] Surprised to see all the upgrades here. It’s listed at 5.8 in the 3rd ed miramontes, and I’d call that right on for my experience. I thought the 2nd pitch had a few moves at the dike band that were just as hard as down low. YMMV fun route though, super cool slung knob belay in a natural bathtub at the topout. Mar 7, 2019