Pinnacles Bird Nesting Closures - January 2008

2/21/08: The nesting closures were revised to close several climbs on the upper part of Machete Ridge, were a pair of birds is checking nesting sites. The closed routes are: The West Face, Bill's Bad Bolts, Bill's Bad Bolts Direct Finish, Rock Around the Clock, Pigeon Crack, Crackophobia, Son of Dawn Wall (2nd pitch and above), and Icarus.

1/17/08: The nesting closures for 2008 began.
The closed areas include the same areas as in 2007.

A map of the closed areas should be available soon on the NPS web page.

new single map of all closed areas (same as on NPS page)
For additional details on closed areas, please see the text descriptions further below.

The closures are usually in effect from mid-January until July or August, depending on exactly when the birds leave. During the closure season, check the bulletin board at the Bear Gulch and West Side trailheads for updates, as sometimes areas are closed or opened during this period. Usually in late April, some areas will be reopened if no nesting is observed.

The closures are technically voluntary, but are normally followed by everyone. They apply not only to climbing, but to off-trail hiking in these areas. If rangers observe people in these areas, they will be asked to leave, and if they do not comply, they will be cited for failing to obey a ranger. If birds were present, there would be an additional citation for disturbing wildlife. Climbers have always been very cooperative, so there have been no citations to my knowledge.

The main result of the closures has been that climbers have used the October-December (and sometimes days in January) season to climb at the High Peaks, Balconies, Yaks Wall, and other normally closed areas.

Nesting Closures in 2008

  1. Frog, Hand, Gargoyle
  2. Yaks (a.k.a. "Little Pinnacles")
  3. Balconies
  4. Juniper Canyon
  5. Scout Peak Area and High Peaks South
  6. High Peaks
In case you are wondering, the following areas are Open: