Sean pulls himself out of bed at an unspeakable hour to make a 7:30 (make that 7:45) am meeting with Doug and myself. Liz is attending a wedding in New Hampshire, but has left us men a giant carrot cake packed with goodies that helps to fortify lonesome souls for a day of climbing. Clare and Dennis join us in Lyons, and we head up to brave the ATVs and gunfire that swarm around the Ironclads. As usual, we head up to the more isolated Ironsides to find some peace, and hop on some of the fine routes there.
- Port Side 5.6
- I hear Clare swearing about wet placements, mud, and cold fingers as she leads the one trad route here.
- Alloy Madness 10d
- Doug agrees to join me for his first two pitch climb. He leads the fun 5.9 first pitch, clips into the anchor, and belays me for my first attempt at the upper pitch. The first moves prod me into a pretty good headspace. I’m fortunate that there’s a rest just before the crux, because I have to start a few times and retreat before I find a workable move. After that the climbing stays pretty hard, and I lose my resolve and hang a couple of clips later. Too much time spent unwilling to move on small holds, I get pumped. After a rest, though, I manage to finish the 90-foot pitch feeling quite good about it. I really wish I had a camera as I watch Doug follow the pitch, surprising himself with what he can accomplish with his feet on the small holds. It’s a great experience for both of us.
- Fire Widow 10c
- There’s something irascible about this route. Clare backs off not wanting to do the traverse from Port Side anchor, then Doug goes up and makes the first clip, but is foiled by the tricky move onto the headwall. I go up next, make it onto the headwall okay, but lose it and hang once on the crux moves. Like a grumpy friend, I like this route partially for its reliable gruffness.
- Unknown right of Slab-a-dab-a-doo 5.9+
- I get a true surprise lead fall when I pull an undercling off of this route. I think Sean is more shocked than me, but he provides a perfect catch and all is well. It makes me pay more attention to the rest of the route! It was a fluke, I think, the rock is good. Clare follows and has a ball on this.
Other perspectives: Sean