STANISLAUS PEAK (11,220') CLASS 2
Location: 4 miles NW of Sonora Pass
Drive: Take Highway 108 to the signed "St. Mary's Trailhead" on the north side of the highway, which is 0.8 mile west from Sonora Pass or 16.8 miles east from the Clark Fork Road junction. Drive north up the short, rough, dirt road and park at the dirt circle. If one wishes, instead park several yards east off Highway 108 at a large shoulder on the south side of the highway.
Climb: Take the trail north past the signs "St. Mary's Trailhead" and "Carson-Iceberg Wilderness." Climb steadily up to St. Mary's Pass, marked by a "wilderness" sign. A use trail diverges up and right to Sonora Peak. Take the lower, left trail straight ahead and contour along north about 2 miles, crossing a few small creeks. Shortly near the last saddle before the sharp, large rock mass that forms the peak, come to a fork. Either way will go, but the lower, left trail seems more direct. The trail soon fades. Head cross-country up the southeast slopes of the peak. Several scree trails lead up to the final, class 2, 150 foot broken cliff. The chute toward the right (northeast) side seems easiest. The rock here is loose. The highpoint is a few yards beyond the top of this chute.
WINTER SKI ASCENT: Highway 108 is not plowed generally past Pickel Meadow, so one would have to ski about 11 miles from the locked gate to reach Sonora Pass.
TRIP STATS: Route A, 2,000 feet gain with an additional 200 feet gain on the return, 4 miles one way.
Notes: There is a fine view of the East Fork of the Carson River Canyon from the summit. Some interesting volcanic needles protrude from the eastern side of the summit mass. At the last saddle before the peak, there are spectacular, vertical granite chutes dropping into the canyon below to the east.