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2011 Climbing Closures Update

Hey All -

As we approach the beginning of 2011, I wanted to give you all a heads-up about initial raptor advisories at Pinnacles beginning in January. There will be a couple of changes for 2011 that should be good news for folks.

First off, I have lobbied to start up advisories on the day after MLK Day. In past years we have traditionally had advisories go into effect on the Thursday before MLK Day, but this then prevents climbers from being able to use cliff routes on the extended weekend. So this year the advisories will go into effect on Tuesday, January 18th instead. Keep in mind that falcons are just starting to set up nesting territories at this time of year, so please be respectful if you're climbing and any raptors start alarm-calling or stooping at you... Too much disturbance at the beginning of the season can lead to falcon pairs abandoning areas.

The other good news has to do with what areas will initially be under advisory. Generally broad raptor advisories will still be in effect as you might expect, but there are a few areas that will be open to start with - Frog, Hand, Gargoyle, Piedras Bonitas, Knuckle Ridge, etc. Prairie falcons have not tried to nest at these areas in the last 5 years, and our protocol is to open them up to use at the beginning of the year if this is the case. Of course, if falcons do try to occupy and nest at one of these formations, I will have to put an advisory into effect accordingly. But at least initially, this should give folks a chance to get out climbing at these areas early in the year.

Gavin Emmons
Raptor / Condor Biologist

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