Buzzed (Again) By Condors at Pinnacles


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Trad climber
Twain Harte, California
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 12, 2014 - 01:10am PT
We were working on a first ascent at Pinns today when this big bird flew by below us. Our partner on the ground happened to get the photo.

This isn't an unusual encounter for climbers there at all. Condors often buzz climbers and/or perch close by, totallly unconcerned by the presence of humans. When they fly by, they remind me of passengers on an airline - looking out the window with great curiosity.

Uncropped version:

Cropped version:


Social climber
Oakland, CA
Jan 12, 2014 - 01:36am PT
Nice photo! Thanks for posting. I would love to see a condor some time. Maybe a visit to the pins is in order.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jan 12, 2014 - 01:46am PT
Be the Condor carrion!

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 12, 2014 - 05:25am PT
Wow, that's fabulous! Must have been very exciting. I think they're just very curious - we have a large colony of Griffons living near us - and they're pretty big, though 30cm smaller than your Condors - but it seems they like to come and check people out:

Griffon vulture at Remuzat, Provence.
Griffon vulture at Remuzat, Provence.
Credit: jaaan

Credit: jaaan


Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jan 12, 2014 - 08:41am PT
Is a condor a big vulture?

Trad climber
Chamonix, France
Jan 12, 2014 - 09:01am PT

Seems a really successful reintroduction. Interesting that one of the release sites is the Pinnacles. You guys really are lucky to see these birds on a regular basis.

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Jan 12, 2014 - 10:56am PT
Beautiful shot!!

talk about something to inspire the name of a route

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Jan 12, 2014 - 11:00am PT


Trad climber
San Diego, CA
Jan 12, 2014 - 11:01am PT
Great shot! TFPU

Looks like a pretty mature bird based on the coloration.

Wing tag#?

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2014 - 11:27am PT
Cool brad looks amazing.
this just in

north fork
Jan 12, 2014 - 11:43am PT
Yeah, really good shot. That bird has got some balls to fly under climbers on that stone. ROCK! Thanks for the pic.

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:02pm PT
Due to the poor quality of rock at most of Pinns, the condors and buzzards regard climbers with an optimistic point of view.

Great photo.

California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:13pm PT
Awesome photo! And how cool is it that they fly beneath you while you're climbing?!?!

I was in Big Sur for the holidays and had several sightings of condors along the PCH. One of them flew next to the window of our moving car for about 10 yards...I wasn't fast enough to get a pic, but got a natural high from the encounter that lasted the rest of the day. ;-)

Thanks for sharing the wonder.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:28pm PT
cool! great photo

Social climber
Ridgway, CO
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:31pm PT
Nice photo! Looks like a fun route.

4 Corners Area
Jan 12, 2014 - 12:36pm PT
Yep, nice shot.

I think they are trying to tell you something . . .

"Find someplace else to climb!"
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Jan 12, 2014 - 02:04pm PT
Great pictures, thanks

I have spent three days at the Pinns and have not seen one yet, still hoping. I am spending some time hiking in the Grand Canyon this winter and learned that there are Condors in the Canyon. Would love to see one. The top of the South Kaibab trail is supposed t to be a good place to watch for them.

A very successful program to save the Condors. They actually removed all Condors from the wild to jump start the breeding program. There big enemy is now lead shot. Unfortunately the 2nd Amendment trumps the birds rights (that was for Ron :)


Trad climber
Fresno CA
Jan 13, 2014 - 03:08pm PT
Nice pictures. In the 46 years I've been climbing at Pinnacles, I've seen lots of turkey vultures, but rarely have I seen condors, and never for long enough to photograph them. In the last 10-15 years, though, I've generally stayed away from the Monument (now Park!) when raptor closures were in place.

Thanks for all the great shots.


Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Jan 13, 2014 - 03:42pm PT
Another reason Pinnacles is Badass.

Thanks for posting one of the best shots of the chickenhawks I have seen from a master of mud!


Trad climber
Hustle City
Jan 13, 2014 - 05:05pm PT
Great shot. Great post
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