We Must Respect Land Closures

Eagle nest in Boulder CanyonClosure Update – April 17, 2015

The raptor closure updates for the season have come in, the raptors have chosen their nests. See below for the latest details and background on the closures.

2014 closures on Boulder OSMP land helped to produce six peregrine falcons, nine prairie falcons and three golden eagles.

ADDITIONAL LOCAL CLIMBING AREA CLOSURES

  • TEMPORARY: Royal Arch Trail will be closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from April 21 through May 6 so our FRCS can help finish repairing the flood-damaged trail. Check out a video of their work last year.
  • Der Zerkle is closed April 1 through September 1 for bat roosting (full details here)
  • East face of The Hand, standard route on Finger Flatiron, and all of Shark’s Fin are closed April 1 through October 1 for bat roosting (full details here)
  • Boulder Falls, which includes access to the Plotinus Wall and the Wall of Winter Warmth, remains closed until flood damage is repaired.

ANNUAL RAPTOR CLOSURES ARE IN EFFECT FEBRUARY 1ST THROUGH JULY 31ST

All Boulder Canyon climbing areas EXCEPT Eagle Rock are now OPEN!

Climbing areas on City of Boulder OSMP land that are closed until July 31 (full details here):

  • Lefthand Canyon Palisades, at the intersection of Lefthand Canyon Drive and Olde Stage Road (Buckingham Picnic area remains open)
  • Mount Sanitas Summit, south of the Mt. Sanitas East Ridge Trail, east of Mt. Sanitas Trail (both trails remain open)
  • Flagstaff Mountain, the north side of Flagstaff Mountain will be closed (the Boy Scout Trail will remain open)
  • Third Flatiron, including the Queen Anne’s Head, W.C Fields Pinnacle, 1911 Gully and the Ghetto, the East Bench & West Bench, the East & West Ironing Boards, The Fin, Green Thumb and Jaws
  • Skunk Canyon, including Ridges 2, 3 and 4, the Aechean Pronouncement, the Dreadnaught, the North Ridge and the entirety of Sacred Cliffs
  • The Back Porch and The Box
  • Bear Creek Spire, north of Bear Canyon Trail
  • Fern Canyon, north of the Fern Canyon Trail, including the Nebel Horn Ridge, East Ridge, the Goose and the Goose Eggs (the designated Fern Canyon hiking trail will remain open)
  • The Sphinx and The Wings
  • Shadow Canyon and the Matron (the Maiden will remain open and accessible from the east; Shadow Canyon Trail will remain open)
  • The entire Mickey Mouse wall, including South Tower, North Tower, Central Tower, Ship’s Prow, Wall of Shiva’s Dance, The Gargoyle, the East Face and Cryptic Crag

Climbing areas on US Forest Service land that are closed until July 31 (full details here):

  • Eagle Rock

Climbing areas in Eldorado Canyon State Park that are closed until July 15 (full details here):

  • Millennium Crag
  • Rattlesnake Gulch Trail upper loop

Climbing areas in Clear Creek Canyon on Jefferson County land that are closed until July 31 (full details here):

  • Stumbling Block
  • Bumbling Stock
  • Skinny Legs/Blonde Formation

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Each year from February 1 to July 31 some climbing crags are closed to protect nesting raptors. We will post the most current closure information for Eldorado Canyon, the Flatirons, and Boulder Canyon as it becomes available.

The closures help protect long-established raptor nesting territory, including vital alternate nest sites. Undisturbed access to multiple nest sites is important for birds of prey, especially early in the nesting season, to give them a chance to visit multiple nests during courtship and to select a site for the season, free of human influence.

“As part of a small team of volunteer climber-biologists, we install trail cameras on the cliffs before the nesting season and make observations to determine when and where the eagles choose to nest. Once nesting is confirmed by observations of incubation behavior and/or an egg, the USFS opens the other areas. Ongoing observations are used to keep track of the number of eagles fledged and sources of mortality. Once fledging is confirmed, the nest cliff is opened again to climbing. This is a collaborative effort built on trust and shared interest between the climbing community, biologists, and USFS, so please get the word out. (Knuckleheads who violate the closures to climb anyway, selfishly violate that trust, put the eagles at risk of nest failure, and face a hefty fine.)

Climbers played essential roles in the research and recovery of peregrine falcons and Sierra bighorn sheep, and brought the California condor back from the brink of extinction. It is our time to do our part again, and respect the closures when they are in effect, as golden eagles face an uncertain future because of threats from wind turbines, lead contamination, electrocutions, and habitat loss.”

Rob Roy Ramey II, Ph.D.
climber-biologist

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