To the south of the Hidden Falls area climbs
lies several east and south facing walls that make up the Nadia’s Nine area routes of Willow Springs in Red Rocks
. The most popular by far is the name sake for the area, Nadia’s Nine
, which is a fantastic 5.9 two pitch route to earn ones trad wings on for the grade. As one rockclimbing.com poster put it, "This is an absolute Red Rocks classic that requires proficiency in almost every type of climbing to get up- including some wide crack skills." I found that statement to be valid. Joe Herbst and Matt Moore put this short classic in way back in 1977.
Fun and Games. 5.8 Nadia's Nine, 5.9+
The rest of the routes are rather obscure with none over two pitches in length.
Fun and Games, which is next to Naida’s Nine did not look like fun and games to me. It was quite chossy
and thus we chose to ignore it. Eleven routes in all make up this section of Willow Springs, which is mostly comprised of east facing walls located between Willow Springs and Icebox Canyon. Jerry Handren has this area even divided up further calling the routes immediately to the north of Nadia’s Nine the N’Plus Ultra area. In my opinion, that is kind of micro managing these crags. Basically there are eleven published
(2009) routes between Lost Creek Canyon and Icebox Canyon, with the most infamous and by far most popular being known as Nadia’s Nine.
Exit the Red Rocks loop road for Willow Springs at 7.3 miles. Pull out at the first parking area, Lost Creek. A trail cuts straight west for Hidden Falls. Turn left at a trail junction at about 100 yards. Continue left on a trail until you gain a saddle half way between Icebox Canyon and the parking area. When you can spot an obvious south facing wall with a huge roof at the top, that is Nadia’s Nine. Ascend the hill up to several small caves. A Buddhist temple (2009) is in the one to the right. Enter the left one which takes you to the base of the route without having to bushwhack. Nadia’s Nine is the most southern
of the eleven routes. You can retrace the trail for the rest of the bunch ending at the Sleeper which will be the last route before entering Lost Creek Canyon.
Routes Listed Left to Right as you Face the Cliff
- Nadia’s Nine- 2 Pitches- 5.9+/ The first pitch is the crux by far. After a fun start and switching from a chimney to a stemming position, one has a crux reach move that is quite hard. From there you have yet to turn the small roof above which presents another hard thought out stem move. The ground is easier above to a large ledge. The 2nd pitch is called 5.9 on rockclimbing.com but only 5.8 in Jerry’s guide book. The only 5.9 move would be the finish which requires a 4” or 5” roof crack placement and then a tricky no feet traverse left to pull from out and under the huge roof above. Both pitches protect fairly well and a fixed nut is directly under the second crux move of the first pitch. Dow (Photos)
- Fun and Games- 2 Pitches- 5.8/ Start is quite chossy.
- Dark Star- 80’- 5.11d/
- Wheat Thick- 80’- 5.11b/
- Abdominizer- 120’- 5.11b/
- N’ Plus Ultra- 30’- 5.10b/
- Senior Moment- 160’- 5.5/
- Little Black Book- 160’- 5.4/
- Pillar Talk- 2 Pitches- 5.7/
- Big Iron- 150’- 5.11c/
- Sleeper- 150’- 5.9/
These are all trad lines requiring an assortment of gear as spelled out in Jerry’s book. Jerry’s Handren’s “Red Rocks, A Climbers Guide", is the best guide book for Red Rocks. The routes are mostly east facing
and thus warmer in the mornings.
External LinksRed Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, BLM
Red Rock Canyon Interpretive Association