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Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Alloy Madness S 
Double Hung S 
Fire Widow aka Gypsies in the Palace S 
High Seas S 
Left of Left of PortSide S,TR 
Port Side T 
Repeat Offender S 
Slab-a-dab-a-doo T,S 
Unknown Left of Port Side S 
Void Where Prohibited S 
Welcome to Dystopia S 

Ironsides Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 9,000'
Location: 40.16281, -105.48709 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 11,055
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Foy on Jul 1, 2002  with updates from Ken Duncan
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BETA PHOTO: Ironsides at the Ironclads.


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'.
unknown arete, 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.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.6 miles from here

11 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Ironsides

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Ironsides:
Double Hung   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Fire Widow aka Gypsies in the Palace   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   
Alloy Madness   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   
High Seas   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Ironsides

Featured Route For Ironsides
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke reaching for, presumably, a jam below the cru...

Slab-a-dab-a-doo 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : Ironsides
Not a bomb... but not a star....To the right of the main section of the Ironsides exists a moderate route with some weird slab moves. The route can be climbed with just the bolts, but a few placements make it safe, and make the crux more comfy.Climb the slab past 2 roofs with a couple moves of 9 around the first roof, and move of 10- past the second. I remember placing a good piece at the second crux. Clip one last bolt, and veer right to the anchor.80' rap....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Ironsides Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Arete across the minivalley.
Arete across the minivalley.
Rock Climbing Photo: Deb on the unknown 5.9 mini-dihedral route across ...
Deb on the unknown 5.9 mini-dihedral route across ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Iridescent clouds passing overhead.
Iridescent clouds passing overhead.

Comments on Ironsides Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nate Christiansen
Feb 12, 2003
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.
By Charles Vernon
From: Tucson, AZ
Feb 13, 2003
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 9, 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.
By Lyn
From: Boulder, CO
May 27, 2006
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.
By John Dubya
Aug 31, 2012
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.
By Fehim Hasecic
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 19, 2015
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.

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