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Garden of the Gods Climbing Closures 2016


Original Post
GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Hello Mountain Project,

Based on observed nesting behavior, we have enacted climbing closures for North Gateway Rock/Tower of Babel and AKA Kindergarten Rock (AKA Gray Rock). We expect these closures to last until approximately August for the West Face of N. Gateway and Kindergarten Rock, and until approximately October for the Tower of Babel- we will update this thread when these closures are lifted based on observed behavior, which will ultimately determine the specific dates.

Please refer to the images below for closures:

Map of closure for Grey Rock at GoG.
Kindergarten Rock Closure Map

Photo of closure area of Grey Rock in GOG.
Kindergarten Rock Closure Reference Image

North Gateway closure map.
North gateway and Tower of Babel Closure Map

North Gateway closure reference image.
North gateway and Tower of Babel Closure Reference Image

We also want to remind the climbing community that white chalk is prohibited in the park. When placing closure signange/notifications, our park rangers noted chalk stains on several routes in the closure area (Anaconda and Grapefruit Dance), as well as the blowouts bouldering area (which were cleaned last year, meaning all the chalk here is new). We are again hoping that the community can come together and address this issue before it requires any action on our part. We'd also like to thank the PPCA for their efforts to remove chalk stains in these areas last year, and hope that local climbers might consider helping them remove chalk stains from the rock this season- check their website for more info on upcoming events- pikespeakclimbersalliance.o…

Finally, we want to remind everyone that you can fill out your permit online, any time! Visit parks.coloradosprings.gov/p… to register to climb. This should only take a few minutes, and is valid until the end of the year (New Year's).

Thanks, and climb on!
Steve Williams · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 235

Just curious, what raptors are the closures for?
Have you had successful nests in the past?
Thanks!

Andy Novak · · Golden, Co · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 355
Steve Williams wrote:Just curious, what raptors are the closures for? Have you had successful nests in the past? Thanks!
I believe the closures are due to white-throated swift nests, however I'm not certain.
GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Hi Steve and Andy,

Thanks for your interest.

The listed closures are for several species, including prairie falcons, red-tailed hawks, and white-throated swifts. Regarding the closures for the nesting raptors, both the prairie falcons and red-tailed hawks have had regular successful nests with fledglings in the past.

GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Hello MP,

Based on recent events, our park rangers have updated this year's closure. The closure for North Gateway will now include the route Grapefruit Dance as well as the Blowouts Bouldering Area. The original post has been updated to reflect this.

This change is for two reasons:
1. We've seen some behavior on the part of our falcons which makes us believe they may have been disturbed and could abandon their selected nesting site and perhaps move to another. This may be in part due to:
2. Since the posting of closures, several climbers have failed to obey these closures. There seems to be some confusion as to where exactly the closures are, so the closure is now posted at the access route and therefore also includes all routes on the face.

If our falcons do abandon their selected nesting site and are able to move to another, the existing closures are subject to change as a result. We will update this post if this happens.

Steve Williams · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 235

Thanks for the info!!!
Good luck, birdies!!!!

Arlo F Niederer · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Mar 2009 · Points: 460

I think posting the closure and maps showing the areas on the access gates is the best way. In Boulder, the seasonal closures including maps are posted on the trail signposts and access points. It's a great resource for climbers to make sure we comply with the closures.

Making it possible to get the climbing permit online was a thoughtful and convenient gesture to climbers - thank you!

I climb mainly at Red Rocks and the overwhelming majority of climbers follow the rules. However, I frequently see white chalk on routes. When I see climbers using chalk I politely tell them it is illegal and subject to fine.

To me it's clear that chalk is prohibited. However, since climbers are using chalk they are either not getting a permit, not reading it, or the wording is not clear to them. I suggest you add a line to the permit which explicitly states "white chalk is prohibited."

I would also suggest a Ranger spend a hour on Saturday or Sunday at the areas where climbers park as an outreach to climbers. (Easier at Red Rocks than Garden) The ranger could remind climbers of the rules and talk about the closures. It would be neat to hear about the kinds of birds nesting firsthand and the rangers could show pictues. Then climbers could help with sighting of birds since there are more of us than rangers.

Also, I suggest you post the closures at the local climbing gyms like City Rock.

With these efforts, word of mouth would spread quickly and climber's impact would be reduced.

Climbing here is a great privilege and we want to preserve the area and our access to it for climbing.

GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Arlo, thanks for your comments and ideas!

I'll pass along the ideas you presented regarding maps and climber outreach, and will also be communicating w/ city rock about our closures.

We have discussed maps at the access trailheads, and this is something we are exploring- it's good to know this idea is supported by the community (at least partially)!

GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Hello MP,

Two of the seasonal climbing closures for Garden of the Gods have been lifted. The West face of North Gateway Rock (including the summit ridge and East ledges)and the East Face of Grey Rock are now both open to climb. The closure for Tower of Babel remains in effect at this time. We will post an update when this changes. Please refer to the attached images for current closures.

Climb on!

Tower of Babel Closure 2016 MAP

Tower of Babel Closure 2016 IMAGE
GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Hello Mountain Project,

We wanted to let everyone know that ALL CLIMBING CLOSURES ARE LIFTED for 2016.

Climb on!

T-Bob · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 50

Has the nesting/closure season begun for 2017?
Thanks

GardenoftheGodsStaff Staff · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Hi T-Bob,

We have enacted a closure for Tower of Babel, and anticipate others in the weeks ahead- check out this thread for up-to-date closures for 2017: mountainproject.com/v/garde…

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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