Friday, May 10, 2013

Climbing and Peregrine Falcons:
Upper Washbowl Reopens, Shelving Rock Routes Close

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARock climbers will have a few more routes to climb this weekend, according to Joe Racette, a biologist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation who monitors the nesting of peregrine falcons on cliffs.

Racette said the Upper Washbowl cliffs near Chapel Pond are now open to climbers. DEC closes Upper Washbowl and Lower Washbowl each spring at the start of the falcons’ breeding season. DEC has ascertained that that this year the falcons are nesting on Lower Washbowl.

Upper Washbowl has twenty-one climbing routes, including one established by Fritz Weissner, one of the top climbers of his era, in 1938. There will be a story about the historic Wiessner Route in the next issue of the Adirondack Explorer. Meantime, you can read more about the route here at  Adirondack Almanack.

Lower Washbowl will remain closed to climbers until the falcons fledge.

DEC hopes to pinpoint soon the location of a falcons’ next on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain, one of the largest climbing areas in the Adirondack Park. For the time being, most of the routes on the Main Face will remain closed.

RockSport, a climbing gym in Queensbury, recently informed DEC that falcons were nesting on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock, a climbing destination near Lake George. As a result, DEC has closed the routes between Snake Charmer and Wake and Bake.

Click here for updates on climbing-route closures.

Photo: The cliffs of Upper Washbowl seen from Chapel Pond by Phil Brown.

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Phil Brown is the former Editor of Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues, the same topics he writes about here at Adirondack Almanack. Phil is also an energetic outdoorsman whose job and personal interests often find him hiking, canoeing, rock climbing, trail running, and backcountry skiing. He is the author of Adirondack Paddling: 60 Great Flatwater Adventures, which he co-published with the Adirondack Mountain Club, and the editor of Bob Marshall in the Adirondacks, an anthology of Marshall’s writings.Visit Lost Pond Press for more information.

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