Sirens of the Stanislaus

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Technical Rock Climb
Time Required:
One to two days
V 5.10 C2

Route Quality: 5 Votes

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Sirens of the Stanislaus
Created On: Oct 1, 2005
Last Edited On: Oct 3, 2006


Travel east on Highway 108 from the town of Strawberry for about 4 miles. Turn left (south) onto Beardsley Road. Follow this for about 1 mile to the second dirt road on the right. Turn right here (USFS 5N06) and follow this road for about 2.1 miles to a large flat area where the road forks. Follow the right hand road, USFS road 5N09X. Drive this deteriorating, high-clearance adventure for about 8.5 miles to where it ends at a locked gate. This is where the fun starts.

Unload your canoe and gear, and pass them through the gate. From here, transport these loads of equipment for about 0.3 miles to a second high steel gate. Hoist the boat over the gate, pass the gear through, and walk out onto the dam.

If the reservoir is spilling, it is possible to launch the canoe directly into the water from the top of the dam. Otherwise, use your ropes to lower the boat and your gear approximately 30-45 feet to the spillway, and launch from here. Atlantis is the huge wall rising directly out of the water on the north side of the reservoir.

Paddle across Donnell Reservoir from the dam. the route follows a huge right-facing dihedral up the highest section of the wall. Start about 400 feet left of Moonshadows.

Route Description

See topo.

The first pitch varies in length from 15 feet to 200+ feet depending on water level. Aim for a brushy ledge about 15-20 feet above the bathtub ring. 5.6 to 5.8 depending on the route chosen. Belay at a camoflaged bolted chain rap anchor.

Pitch 2 (5.7) ascends the right-facing dihedral for 100 feet to a dirty ledge marked by several trees. Stealth chain rap is down and to the right from the ledge.

Pitch 3: follow the dihedral for another 100 feet to chains below and to the right of "Tree Ledge, " the best bivy site on the wall. Some 5.8 crack climbing is found early on in this pitch. Belay at chains.

Pitch 4: Climb through a steep chimney-ish section using converging cracks then up along lower angle rock until it is possible to traverse to the right to the base of a steep left-facing dihedral. This section was originally climbed on aid (C1) but now that it has been scrubbed will probably go free at 5,8 or 5.9. 130 feet. Belay at chains.

P5: Ascend the left-facing dihedral and the bolted face to the right above. 100 feet. Belay on a small ledge, at chains.

P6: climb up an enjoyable offwidth crack to a belay ledge. 100 feet, 5.8. Chains.

P7: Follow a thin crack and face climbing passing several brushy sections and a chain rap anchor to a stance at a gear belay, just above thick brush. 5.8, ~160 feet.

P8: Follow the right hand dihedral. When it steepens, a short section of face climbing to the right bypasses a mungy section. Surmount a steep, slick thin finger crack with smeary feet, to finish up an easy chimney that ends at a cramped stance below a white chockstone/overhang. Belay at chains, ~170 feet.

P9: Struggle up awkward wide crack (9-11") and follow thin finger crack in the right hand option above the belay, until easier and lower angle climbing continues up the dihedral to just below an overhanging layback/handcrack. Belat here, at chains. 185 feet.

P10: pull through the overhang (5.9) into a fun offwidth section. Above, lots of easier broken gully (occasional short sections from 5.7 to a final, 5.9 boulder bottleneck) lead up and left above a large dead pine tree to the final belay. 205 rope-stretching feet if you arrange protection to minimize zig-zags.

Now you're done. Scramble up to the summit through 3-4th class brush and slabs, or work down and climbers' left to a big sugar pine, whence you can rap to the penultimate belay. Rappel to the boat, thanking the FA party for all the chain rap stations they so thoughtfully installed.

Essential Gear

Canoe, paddles, PFDs, river bags, helmets, technical rock gear from Ball Nuts to a 12-inch SLCD. Two 60m ropes are mandatory at this time for rappelling the route.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Sirens of the Stanislaus

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