Peregrine Closures Update

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JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 22, 2013 - 08:02am PT
Hey Folks,

I am in New River Gorge for a detail until mid-June, but still wanted to get the message out to the Supertopo forum about the recent updates to this year's closures. Here is the text from the April 19th signed update:

Note: This notice is revised since March 1, 2013 based on the current status of Peregrine Falcon nests.

The Peregrine Falcon is a fully protected species in California and a special status species in Yosemite due to its sensitivity to disturbance during the nesting season. To protect this species, the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park is designating peregrine nesting cliffs as areas closed to visitor use, including climbing and slack-lining activities, until peregrine chicks have fledged and dispersed from those areas in 2013. By order of the Superintendent of Yosemite National Park and under authority of Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1.5(a) and Section (a)(1): The following areas are identified as cliffs closed to visitor use, including climbing activities, beginning March 1, 2013 and remaining in effect until July 15, 2013, or until further notice:

• B.O.L.T. Wall – Immediately southwest of Leaning Tower. Closure includes all routes on the B.O.L.T. Wall.
• Medlicott Dome – East of Tenaya Lake. Closure includes all routes between and including “Shambles” to “Bogey Meets Mr. Porcupine”.
• Rhombus Wall – Above Ahwahnee Meadow. Closure includes all routes west of “Super Slide” to the Ahwahnee Ramps, including all routes on the Rhombus Wall.
• The Rostrum – Lower Merced Canyon. The entire rostrum formation is closed to all visitor use. “Super Nova” and the “Jungle Gym” area remain open.

Effective as of April 19, 2013:

• Arch Rock Area – Lower Merced Canyon. All routes above the main wall at Arch Rock, including Arch Rock Pinnacle and the top pitches of “Gripper” and “Nerf Test” above the walk off ledge are closed. The main wall, which includes all routes from “Dirty Little Secret” east to “Grokin”, plus “Juliette’s Flake”, “Extra Credit”, “Now”, “Omakara” and “Later” are open.
• El Capitan, Southwest Face – Closure includes all big wall routes between and including "Aquarian Wall" east to "Cosmos". The closure also includes the portion of the "Thanksgiving Ledge" between "Aquarian Wall" to "Cosmos". All other portions of the "Thanksgiving Ledge" and the first 10 pitches from the base of the closed routes remain open. The Salathe Wall remains open.
• El Capitan, Southeast Face – Closure includes all big wall routes between and including “Sea of Dreams” east to “Iron Hawk”. At the base, the first 4 pitches of all routes within this area remain open.
• Hetch Hetchy – Closed area includes Wapama Cliff (immediately west of Wapama Falls).
• Closures are lifted at Yosemite Point, Middle Cathedral, and Kolana Rock.

Nest sites will be monitored to provide current information on nesting status and to ensure prompt re-opening of these areas. Closures are subject to change based on current nesting status. Your cooperation in complying with these temporary restrictions is greatly appreciated.

The designation will remain in place until rescinded.

If you have any climbing related questions or concerns in my absence, please contact Climbing Ranger Ben Doyle 209.372.0360. He will be leading all of our climbing programs until I get back.
Plaidman

Trad climber
South Slope of Mt. Tabor, Portland, Oregon, USA
Apr 22, 2013 - 08:22am PT
Go Ben Go!

Plaid
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2013 - 08:31am PT

I also want to point out some climber friendly aspects about our Yosemite pergrine nesting closures this year, and in the last couple years.

To begin with it is relatively early in the closure period, and we are already lifting many of the closures. We do this because we actively monitor the historic nesting sites. No nesting activity or nesting activity in a different location (like at Arch Rock or the SW face of El Cap), and we modify the closure.

Note that the overall period has been shortened by 17 days from March 1st -August 1st to March 1st - July 15th.

Based on recent history, we will most likely update the closures at least once more before the end of the nesting period. No guarantees, of course.

Once again, thank you for your cooperation. Last year we had a nest fail on Medlicott Dome, it is highly likely that it was due to two climbers willfully ignoring the closure. Within 1-2 days after the violation the nest was abandoned and one of the chicks was found dead on the B.Y. ledge. The adult peregrines were observed by YOSAR site members screeching and repeatedly dive bombing the climbers.

These two climbers were given mandatory court appearance citations, and were both fined by the Magistrate. Please help climbers maintain our very reasonable closure policy by adhering to the parameters.

Regards,

Jesse
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:43am PT
Thanks for the info and for the good work, Jesse.

John
Snowmassguy

Trad climber
Calirado
Apr 22, 2013 - 11:49am PT
Credit: Snowmassguy

Sorry...had to repost this one
Alexey

climber
San Jose, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:33pm PT
thanks for update.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
Apr 22, 2013 - 12:35pm PT
Thanks for the update, Jesse.
coz

Gym climber
Belmont
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:01pm PT
Thanks Jesse,

One of the most prized Valley denizens besides Werner of course.

We disturb a nest on the FFA of SW face of Yosemite Falls. It was an unknown nest and I feel bad still, don't do it.

I have also worked high up on steel structure and the birds didn't care.

All nesting pairs are different, some like people some don't.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:30pm PT
Thanks for this very helpful update, Jesse.

Here's my understanding of what's currently open and closed at the Arch Rock area, based on the text description:
Arch Rock bird nesting closures 4/19/2013
Arch Rock bird nesting closures 4/19/2013
Credit: Don Reid / Clint Cummins
[Confirmed by Jesse - thanks]
le_bruce

climber
Oakland, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 01:32pm PT
Last year we had a nest fail on Medlicott Dome, it is highly likely that it was due to two climbers willfully ignoring the closure. Within 1-2 days after the violation the nest was abandoned and one of the chicks was found dead on the B.Y. ledge. The adult peregrines were observed by YOSAR site members screeching and repeatedly dive bombing the climbers.

These two climbers were given mandatory court appearance citations, and were both fined by the Magistrate. Please help climbers maintain our very reasonable closure policy by adhering to the parameters.

Willfully? Damn. If true, that pisses me off. A fine should only be the start for anyone willfully climbing through. Jail might not be right, but biiiiig blocks of restoration, cleanup, and maintenance service would be.
Impaler

Social climber
Berkeley
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:00pm PT
Jesse, thanks for the update. I'm also a bit confused about the arch rock closure. Can New D be climbed or is the top closed? Would it even be a good route to do for April/May? Anyone know when it's in the shade?
Andy Fielding

Trad climber
UK
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:32pm PT
It's the same nesting season here in the UK right now. I went up to the Peak District on Sunday and got asked by the park rangers not to climb at the Roaches due to a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons. Wasn't really a problem, there's plenty of other rock to go at.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 03:35pm PT
> Can New D be climbed or is the top closed?

It's open. You can descend by traversing left on the ledge (which is open for the traverse; you just can't climb above the ledge).
[Edit:]
Or rappel the route with a 70m rope (see description by "mctwisted") below.

> Would it even be a good route to do for April/May?

Yes.

> Anyone know when it's in the shade?

After 1pm, but a little earlier for the upper pitches.
Walking up the talus approach in the sun can be hot, though.
ericb

climber
CA
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:02pm PT
Thanks Jesse!



Matt Thomsen

Big Wall climber
Places
Apr 22, 2013 - 04:26pm PT
The SE face of El Cap openings are a little weird... They moved it from SS/PO to the Sea, and moved it from Native Son, to Iron Hawk... How picky are these birds??. You did not open very much cliff...

But thanks for the update, Jesse! Hope you are enjoying some of the best rock the southeast has to offer!
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:18pm PT
Big thanks for the updates!

Does the lifting of certain areas mean that birds chose other areas to nest, or that some areas do not have "Pairs"?

The birds come first, always.
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Apr 22, 2013 - 06:28pm PT
Thanks Jesse, and thanks Clint for the visual.

So does this mean there is going to be a line at the base of Yosemite Point Buttress every day from here on out?
JesseM

Social climber
Yosemite
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 22, 2013 - 06:50pm PT
Clint,

That is my understanding as well. Thanks a bunch for the visual depiction.

Have fun out there. Can't wait to get back, but the New River Gorge is pretty sweet too!

Cheers,

Jesse
tarallo

Trad climber
italy
Apr 23, 2013 - 02:34am PT
on new d now you can rapell down the route without traversing on the ledge
sling anchor on the last pitch ,bolts anchor on the dihedral on the left watching down the wall
ciao
mctwisted

Trad climber
e.p.
Apr 23, 2013 - 08:15am PT
from ledge at top of new dimensions,(no need to 3rd class any higher or walk off) rap 33m off good slings around good horn. rap to klemmins escape anchor (off slightly to the east, or right) this anchor has been repaired, but is hard to see on way up, unless your looking for it. another 33m rap gets you to dirt, landing just east of top of first pitch. easy walk to base of route
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