This granite wall is one of the best crags in this section of the Ironclads. It's a little harder to get to than the more familiar Ironclads crags, but definitely worth the 20 minute hike. The rock is a solid granite wall that has a moderate slab lower half leading to harder routes above. All routes except two short cracks are bolted, and all routes have bolted rappel anchors. The elevation yields breezy climbing with great views of the valley below, and offers morning shade in the summer. The routes range in difficulty from 5.6 - 5.11.

Getting There

To find Ironsides, drive up CO 7 to Allenspark from Lyons. 0.6 miles after the Peak to Peak (CO Hwy. 72), turn left at FR 115 right before the Bunce School (this is the turn off for all of the Ironclads climbing areas.) Drive up FR 115 (FR105?) for 1.2 miles to a pullout on the left with a tree in the center and a large boulder behind it. This road is hard on a 2WD car after the first 0.5 mile where you can park your buddies who don't own a 4WD vehicle. From the pullout, walk up the strenuous hill for 20 minutes from the other side of the road to a saddle between two domes. The dome on the left is "The Nose." Stay just right of the Nose and follow a trail that gradually goes left just below the saddle. Look for a good-sized bolted wall on your left with a stand of pine trees 10 feet from the base.


A. Left of Left of PortSide, 6, 1p, 45', bolts or TR.
B. Unknown Left of Port Side, 7, 1p, bolts, 90'.
C. Port Side, 6, 1p, gear, 85'.
D. Fire Widow aka Gypsies in the Palace, 8 or 10, 1-2p, bolts + gear?, 85' or 140'.
E. Welcome to Dystopia, 10+, 1p, bolts, 120'.
F. High Seas, 11+, 1p, bolts, 110'.
G. Alloy Madness, 10+, 1p, bolts, 130'.
HG. Life Raft, 11-, 1p, bolts, 130'.
I. Slab-a-Dab-a-Doo, 10-, 1p, bolts, 80'.
J. Nuts, Not Bolts, 11- R, 1p, gear, 75'.
K. Double Hung, 9+, 1p, bolts, 80'.

On a separate pinnacle to the south:
L. Void Where Prohibited, 11- PG13, 1p, bolts & gear, 45'.
M. Repeat Offender?, 8, 1p, bolts, ~70'.
N. Unknown?, 9, 1p, bolts, ~80'.

Across the valley to the west:


The Professionals, 11, gear + bolts.
Sump, 10+, gear + bolt.
unknown, 8, bolts.
unknown, 8, 2 bolts + gear, 90'.
unknown, 10, 1-2p, bolts + gear, 190'.
unknown, 9, 1p, bolts + gear, 85'.
unknown, 8+, 1p, bolts, 85'.
Arete across the minivalley. , 10, 1p, bolts.
unknown, 10+, 1p, bolts.
unknown, 8?, 1p.

Lump, 11, 1p, bolts.
Pump, 12, 1p, bolts.
Chump, 11, 1p, bolts, 30'.
Forrest Gump, 11-, 1p, bolts.

This is just a start, since more development has occurred since Gillett's guidebook.

11 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ironsides

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Double Hung
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Fire Widow aka Gypsies in the Pa…
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Alloy Madness
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
High Seas
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Double Hung
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Fire Widow aka Gypsies in t…
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Alloy Madness
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
High Seas
5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Ironsides »

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Ironsides is a crag that a lot of people don't go to and they are missing out. The drive up wall is great, but the 20 min hike Mike is talking about is well worth it. Ironsides is such a cool crag because you can a good long 80' pitch, bolted of course, or you can decide to go the full value with some 150' pitches. Feb 12, 2003
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
Nate...shhhh!! Feb 13, 2003
Last Saturday (6/7/03) we were up at Ironsides between noon and 2pm. No other climbers in the area.

We did Gypsies in the Palace (lower half only) and Port Side. Weather was cool, rock was cold until the sun started to hit it around 1:30pm. It was breezy also. On the way down we finally found the real approach "trail" which made life much easier than scrambling over fallen logs.

Some seepage in Port Side area. Rock was cold. Jun 9, 2003
Boulder, CO
Lyn   Boulder, CO
There is a route right of the gully (and right of the climb listed as unknown 5.9 right of Slab-a-dab-adoo)- we didn't know the grade but climbed it anyway. The climb is 5 bolts and a consistent overhang with generally good holds. DANGER-PLease take note: the bolt hanger on the 4th bolt came off while the second was removing the draw from the 3rd bolt. This is also one of the crux moves; FORTUNATELY for us the leader did not fall on this bolt. After inspection, the other bolts look suspect as well. We did not have any tools to safely re-attach, so choose to leave it off to prevent someone from thinking it was good and taking a fall on it. The bolt is still visible sans hanger. May 27, 2006
John W
Estes Park
John W   Estes Park
Warning: Life Raft 11- just right of Alloy Madness has no anchors! Perhaps someone more familiar with the area can enlighten me on why this is. I ended up going straight up from the last bolt through the crack above (with no gear) to top out, which was at least a 30 ft run-out. I then had to do a sketchy traverse across to Alloy's anchors. Clearly this is a mixed gear route, but the placements are in sketchy rock. In my humble opinion, a few more bolts and an anchor need to be added before someone gets hurt. I left a bail-biner at the last bolt so the next person doesn't epic like I did. Otherwise it's actually a cool route. Aug 31, 2012
Fehim Hasecic
Boulder, CO
Fehim Hasecic   Boulder, CO
There's no road FR115, you turn left into Bunce School, pass it, and follow the road, it's FR 105. Stay on it for about a mile, you'll hit two Y, take second one on right, FR 216 and it will take you directly to the Punk Rock and Boner My. It's doable with 2WD, better if you have 4WD or AWD. Generally nice area, too many people driving ATVs and shooting guns. Next time we'll go to Ironclad. Jul 19, 2015