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Alasdair

Exit 38 Deception wall voluntary bird closure

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I just spoke with a WDFW person who confirmed a nesting peregrine falcon near the top of Deception wall at exit 38. State parks and WDFW would like a voluntary closure of this wall until the end of June. The birds are currently sitting on eggs.

 

There will be signs posted in the next week or as soon as wdfw can get back to the area to post the signs.

 

It is in the best interest of climbers and the birds to avoid this wall while nesting is taking place.

 

Thanks everyone.

 

 

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http://www.king5.com/news/Peregrin-falcon-nest--148616405.html

 

Darn it! I'm assuming this will only grow from here. First come the porta poties, then rules and regulations, then there's "not enough money in the budget" followed by closures. Damn birds are just going to speed up the process.

 

I was a rock crawler/dirt biker and went to all the ORV parks for years. Then one day a porta pottie showed up at our favorite offroad destination, followed by environmental impact studies, then rules. It was closed to everyone within the year. Do-gooders volunteered their time, restored trails, donated money and followed the rules. All of which made no difference despite their optomistic approach.

 

I knew that trail counter installed on the tree at the trail head was a bad sign. I'm not a do-gooder and don't really feel like doing what they want me to. We willing go along with this one and then they know that we'll just roll over and take the next closure they have lined up for us.

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The image I saw seemed to show the nest more directly above Write Off. Is it just D Wall that's closed, or does the closure affect that entire area (Nevermind to Hull)?

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FF,

 

Climbers are a big fraction of the Olallie Park users. Perhaps it's time to engage with the rangers in a meaningful way so they can serve our interests too.

 

Disregarding voluntary closures is not likely to help the situation.

 

BTW, the trail counter has been there for a number of years

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The closure is of Deception wall. The closure does not include Nevermind wall. I have not been able to head out there myself so I am only relaying info gained over the phone. There will be signs up in the next week or so. The biologist will be putting them up so if the nest is infact on the write off wall then it will be posted on the signs. Please respect the closure.

 

FF-Its not like write off or deception are really classic crags so im not sure how this is really that big of a deal.

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FF-Its not like write off or deception are really classic crags so im not sure how this is really that big of a deal.

 

They might not be classic, but they are heavily used because they are moderate with a short, easy approach.

 

Agree, respecting the closure is important, and let's not disregard the popularity of this area.

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The popularity of the area is lost on the nesting Peregrines and it's pretty remarkable WDFW is making this a voluntary closure for now (which I suspect means it will be monitored for the open which is very good). If this nest isn't successful and the WDFW suspects it's due to climber disturbance then you can bet it will be an involuntary and unmonitored closure next year. Best if WDFW gets the signs up sooner than later and that climbers keep getting the word out.

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How long have they known about the nesting falcons? And why haven't they posted warnings earlier?

 

I came across the nest a couple of weeks ago. It is located just above the top chains of The Overture an 11a on the Upper Right part of Deception Wall. This route barely gets any traffic despite its four star rating because of the difficult approach, and tricky moves at the start. Its not a big loss to have this route off limits for a couple of months.

 

However I don't think it is necessary to prohibit climbing at the whole of deception wall. Most other routes on the wall are far away enough to be out of sight of the nesting site. Except for the adjacent routes The Underture and Won't Get Fooled Again which start from the same ledge, you would get much closer to the nest by walking along the main Iron Horse Trail than by climbing any other route on Deception Wall.

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FF,

 

The "do gooders" you decry have been working with land managers out there for over 20 years. Here is a shot from an Access Fund work party that I believe took place in the early 1990's. The rock shown here is on the slope just below the approach trail that today leads to the trestle.

 

work.jpg

 

In my experience the land managers at climbing areas around the state generally work hard NOT to close climbing areas and I believe they will be more likely to continue to do so if we work with them.

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I came across the nest a couple of weeks ago. It is located just above the top chains of The Overture an 11a on the Upper Right part of Deception Wall. This route barely gets any traffic despite its four star rating because of the difficult approach, and tricky moves at the start. Its not a big loss to have this route off limits for a couple of months.

 

IMHO Overture deserves the four stars it gets. One can start from the trestle, lead to the top, and lower back to the trestle with a single 60. Unlike many other routes in the area, it's not soft for the grade and is intimidating to see and climb. The reward for pulling over the final roof is memorable, or was for me.

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http://www.king5.com/news/Peregrin-falcon-nest--148616405.html

 

Darn it! I'm assuming this will only grow from here. First come the porta poties, then rules and regulations, then there's "not enough money in the budget" followed by closures. Damn birds are just going to speed up the process.

 

I was a rock crawler/dirt biker and went to all the ORV parks for years. Then one day a porta pottie showed up at our favorite offroad destination, followed by environmental impact studies, then rules. It was closed to everyone within the year. Do-gooders volunteered their time, restored trails, donated money and followed the rules. All of which made no difference despite their optomistic approach.

 

I knew that trail counter installed on the tree at the trail head was a bad sign. I'm not a do-gooder and don't really feel like doing what they want me to. We willing go along with this one and then they know that we'll just roll over and take the next closure they have lined up for us.

 

Wow.

 

IMO a voluntary closure seems like a reasonable approach to take. Rather than bitch about do-gooders and the man ruining your fun, you could take a take a bit less narrow-minded view of the situation. I would assume as a climber you have at least some appreciation for the natural world. Those Falcons are pretty remarkable creatures. Here, go ahead and enlighten yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peregrine_Falcon

 

It can't nest just anywhere. It chose a protected spot on a cliff that happens to be above one of MANY crags in the area. In the interest of the birds being able to hatch their young, they have asked climbers to show some restraint and climb elsewhere for a few months. Big fucking deal. With all the places in our area where one could climb, you really feel like being a whiny bitch and interfering with big bird's ability to nest to prove you're "not a do-gooder and don't really feel like doing what they want [you] to?" Yup, screw with some birds and possibly risk future access problems for other people, sounds like a winning strategery you have there. I'm guessing "How to win friends and influence people" isn't on your Amazon.com top picks list, eh hoss?

 

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Is nevermind included in the closure? The closure line in the pic looks arbitrary

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I talked to the federal wildlife officer yesterday and I also talked with Alasdair. They both indicated that the intended closure area is Deception Wall. The graphic is not as good as it could be because they were rushed to release something after hearing reports of climber encounters with birds that are actually sitting on eggs right now.

 

In another thread I asked if anybody had a good overview shot of Deception Wall I can use while trying to clarify this before I speculate about it in this public forum and possibly add to the confusion. It is raining today and tomorrow so we can probably hold off on asking for more public statement on this today.

 

I've been criticized for saying so but, in the past, arguments but also simple speculation and even well meaning discussion on cc.com has sometimes caused officials to worry that climbers will try to avoid compliance or reinterpret things to their own ends. In some cases this has led to consideration of broader closures or other more restrictive action rather than narrower ones.

 

The guy I talked with was interested in working with us and I don't think they are being arbitrary.

 

More calls today and we'll put more information here and on the Washington Climbers Coalition website. If you are on the Access Fund e-mail list you may also get something by direct e-mail.

 

Matt Perkins

Washington Climbers Coalition

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I'm not looking for a back and forth rant with anyone, was just stating how I felt about it. I think falcons are cool too and like them just fine. I also want nothing to do with giving climbers a bad name or affecting access. I will totaly and completely follow any closures, voluntary or mandatory. My belief is that these rules are silly and it's just another bird doing it's thing, but I will follow them.

 

JoshK, not too stoked you called me a whiny bitch

Edited by FFSummers

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Well, I don't know you, I was simply reacting to the attitude you took in your reply, which seemed to be quite whiny and that you would rather rant and prove a point, without regard for the birds or other people. The "rules" aren't silly; of course it's just a bird doing its thing, but they have only limited nesting areas and I think giving them space to do their thing is important. There are many other areas to climb and people can go back when the birds no longer need that cliff.

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JoshK, I WAS stoked when you called me a whiny bitch! :)

Respect the birds......go climb one of the many other options we have in the area. :rolleyes:

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JoshK, I WAS stoked when you called me a whiny bitch! :)

Respect the birds......go climb one of the many other options we have in the area. :rolleyes:

 

:lmao:

 

Climb elsewhere, then grab some binoculars or a telephoto lens, burn one down, chill out and go bird watching for a bit. Win win.

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I visited Deception Wall with a wildlife biologist from the Mount Baker Snoqualmie Ranger Station in North Bend today. There was a Peregrine Falcon, he thought the male, flying back and forth and occasionally perching on the cliff and on trees at the top. We did not see where the nest may be but it appears to be on the (main) Deception Wall cliff, based on the behavior of the bird that we did see - patrolling that cliff rather steadily.

 

A raven came along, and the biologist speculated that it was watching to see if maybe momma Falcon had left the eggs unattended and available for lunch.

 

The ranger was very friendly to the notion that the closure should be narrowly tailored to the specific need to protect this nest, but he also said that they would have to monitor the situation and that they would err on the side of protecting the birds if there was some indication that climbers were not complying with the closure and at one point he even indicated they might need to close the hiking trail on the old railroad bed if it looked as if hikers on the trail below might be a threat. He initially thought they should maybe add "we did rock" to the closure area but agreed when I pointed out that it was around the corner a bit, and separated by forest from the main cliff where we think the nest is located.

 

We are going to try to help him get a better graphic but, pending further development, the closure area is the Deception Wall. I'll put more information on the WCC website this weekend (I hope), and we'll try to keep everyone updated.

 

The closure affects maybe a dozen routes out of over 200 in the area. It is expected to end June 30th. Please do not climb on Deception Wall pending further notice. (And yes, Lucky, I think Nevermind is OK for now but I would probably head to Amazonia or the Far Side or Little Si pending further clarification - the ranger I met today still has to check with the State biologists and further observation may indicate that they impose a broader closure area.)

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Matt, good for you for managing to arrange a cooperative monitoring session! Establishing working relationships with federal and state biologists charge with raptor monitoring is the best thing we can do in this issue. You can also offer to check and document the nests immediately before or after the closure is lifted if they are interested in that data. Maybe even try to get them out climbing where possible.

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Thanks Alasdair for getting the word out. Thanks Matt for your continued efforts! And thanks FF for reigning in the negative reaction and clarifying your position respectfully.

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Thanks everyone, and especially Matt for his continued work to help out the climbing community of WA.

 

These guys appreciate your cooperation.

 

DSC_4780small.jpgDSC_9260small.jpg

P.S.- No peregrines or eagles were harmed shooting these photo, and no laws were broken (I have been called on this before).

Edited by Alasdair

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There is an improved graphic and some information available on our web page at www.washingtonclimbers.org.

 

These Peregrine Falcon closure programs have been successful throughout Washington for many years and, as we continiue to cooperate with the land managers, the Federal and State biologists are increasingly willing to work with climbers on these issues.

 

Peregrines have nested on Snow Creek Wall for many years with a closure only imposed in one season when they nested on a popular belay ledge, the closure area at Exit 38 allows climbing on other nearby crags, the land manager at Erie redrew the closure boundaries specifically so as to allow use of the historic classic, Zig Zag, etc.

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Thanks for the update/boundary pic and a special thanks for your time and work Matt

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