Stienfell's Dome, also known as Chinaman's Head, is the largest rock formation in the City with an estimated 800 feet of vertical rise. Stienfell's is known for route finding problems on its "strange precambrian granite."
For decades, locals hiked or made good use of 4x4's to short cut the cross country approach. In 1999, a renewed intrest on Jackson's Thumb, A Theater of Shadows (V.7) helped to promote punching in the new access road to the Dome. Now, simply take the first right hand turn as you are entering from Almo on the east side of the reserve and park at the culdasac. Here, you merely have a 10-15 minute plod to your choice formation.
The classic route on the Southeast face begins on the lower right hand third of Stienfell's Dome in a rampy area about 30-40 feet wide and before one goes to far to the right reaching the smoothe east face. The first pitch includes four bolts that move up and to the left following the big slabby features of the dome. The ramp gradually narrows to five feet at the first belay station, 150+ feet up.
This is a great place for beginners to feel a bit airy on a big chunk of rock. The view of the Inner City bowl is fantastic, and so is the first move into the second pitch. Too square for an off width, this funky face move over the lip here, offers plenty of exposure to sketch out most gym nerds. Keep an eye out for groveling and predictable frustration for a minutes worth of hesitation before these guys continue on!
Above the lip, the route veers farther out on to the south face for 80 feet or so of easy 45 degree scrambling through a tall and narrow flake-like gully. This opens up again to a slabby slope of crumbling granite, so don't slip on loose rock or look out for your whipper snapper.
The second belay station sits just beneath your last climbing moves on the face. After surmounting a couple more lippy ledge moves, the run out begins up to the third (and optional) belay station. Once you bring your partner up, it is optional, depending upon weather conditions, whether the party will stay on rope for the conclusion of the V.3 summit scramble.
Head north on ridge towards Castle Rocks. Jump down into the gulley on the right or east side of the Dome to a bolted chain on the right. Enjoy two rapps down to the scree, the second of which sits in an enclosure on the north or rapper's right.
A small rack is all you will need. A few stoppers, cams, and chalks in smaller to mid range size is good enough. A 50 meter rope is standard and a helmet is a wise option but not vital out here.