DEC reopens climbing routes where peregrines aren’t nesting

A peregrine falcon perches on a cliff. (Photo provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

The state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced the opening of numerous rock climbing routes now that it’s been determined where peregrine falcons are nesting.

In an email, DEC wildlife staff said that all routes on the Upper Washbowl at Chapel Pond, the main wall at Shelving Rock Mountain and all the routes on Poke-O-Moonshine Mountain are now open.

Regarding the Poke-o-Moonshine cliffs near Keeseville, popular among climbers, the email said, “Although we have made observations of peregrines in the area, we are confident they are not nesting on the main face. Please be alert and report any sightings of peregrine falcons.”

At Chapel Pond south of Keene Valley, all routes on the Lower Washbowl remain closed. The Carhartt Wall at Shelving Rock Mountain, on the east short of Lake George, is also closed.

Many routes also remain closed at Crane Mountain, south of Johnsburg.

“The Amphitheater section of the Black Arches Wall and routes 98-101 (Torcher, Eating Tripe and Lichen It, Hang Time, and Black Arch Arete) remain closed,” the email said. “The remaining routes on the Main Face section of the Black Arches Wall are now open.”

Each spring, the DEC closes most rock climbing routes in the Adirondacks to prevent disturbance of nesting peregrine falcons. Once the nesting sites have been established, the DEC reopens routes that are not near nesting sites. The department and climbers have forged a partnership where climbers help monitor and report on falcon activities.