Camped at Ironsides

Doug on Fire WidowIt’s threatening to break 100°F this weekend, yet I’m feeling more interested in sport climbing than high peaks. Doug and Liz want to test their backpacking gear, so I suggest we haul packs up to the Ironsides formation of the Ironclads. There we can camp and climb at a cool 8,800 feet of elevation in the shade of the north face of Ironsides.

The plan works out pretty well. The main parking area is swarmed with ATVs as usual, but we escape them completely when we hike over the saddle on the way there. Even the usual shooting is inaudible except for one exceptionally loud firearm. Ironsides really faces a bit northwest, so it is sunny when we arrive on Saturday afternoon, but tolerable. A little sweat while climbing feels good, and the base has plenty of trees for shade. The camping is a little slopey – it might have been better to tent up on the saddle. How glorious it is, though, to wake up, wander over to our crag, eat breakfast, and climb away on the cool morning stone. The morning passes quickly.

Routes:
Gypsies in the Palace 5.8 / Fire Widow 5.10c Doug nails the lower 5.8 pitch on lead, and Liz makes it her first lead after a toprope! Kudos to the young’uns. I manage not to fall on Fire Widow, feeling solid. Lovely climbs.

Alloy Madness Pitch 1 5.9 Doug has fun with the monkey start to this fun little pitch.

Unknown 5.9+ I love this puzzling route, and felt proud of Doug for flashing it.

Welcome to Dystopia 5.10d Some exciting smearing at the bottom, and interesting stances at the top. I felt good for flashing this one – good enough to call it a day as the sun crept over the face.

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