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Important Closure Update (Discovery Wall) - New Raptor Activity

FOP Board Introduction:

For those of you reading this request for closures on Discovery Wall, we here at FOP wanted to add a little perspective. Since FOP was started in 1990 the Park has NEVER asked for unnecessary closes. Nor have they ever closed any part of Discovery Wall. While this is definitely an inconvenience for many climbers we strongly support the Park's actions in no small part due to the history of cooperation and sensitivity the Park has demonstrated to the climbing community as evidenced by the limitation of this proposed closure to only 6 routes. FOP has every assurance from the Park that this situation will be closely monitored and we (the climbing community) will be kept informed.

Summary of Requested Closures

(numbers refer to route numbers in Young guide)

Pillbox Area

  • Pillbox Crack (49)
  • Nailbox Crack (50)
  • Coffin Nail (51)
  • Mustache (52)

Discovery Wall

  • Racing Stripes (53)
  • Melvin (54)

From the Park Service

We have confirmed a territorial prairie falcon pair that is occupying the Discovery Wall area. We believe this is the first time that a prairie falcon pair has ever been documented in the area. From what we can tell, the pair is preparing a cliff cavity site used in past years by ravens and barn owls. The site is about halfway between Mustache and Melvin.

We know that it is not practical or desirable to try to close most of Discovery Wall to climbers, and are not even considering that. What we hope to do is to set up a partial advisory area starting at Melvin and extending south to Pillbox Crack, and including all the climbs in between, as well as the section of climber access trail at the cliff base inclusive of just these climbs. We know that folks enjoy climbing Racing Stripes and Melvin, but this is the smallest closure we can establish and still give the birds a chance to nest in the area. All other climbs - Between A Rock and A Hard Place and north, and Moses Spring Wall and south - will still be open.

The Park is grateful for all climber support in observing these closures in hopes of minimizing use and disturbance to the birds. We are very excited to have a falcon pair nesting there, if they can tolerate hikers and climbers in the general area.

Additional revised closure updates will be posted as soon as the falcons start incubating eggs (i.e. nesting), which looks like it will be in early April or so. However, there are a few locations we should be able to open up in the next couple of weeks, barring any very late arrivals of raptor pairs.

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