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Boulder Raptor Closures


Original Post
Tommy Copeland · · Motueka, New Zealand · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 145

I have climbed for a few seasons in the Denver Area, but am pretty new to climbing in Boulder. I was really sad to see that nearly all the best crags are closed for Raptor closures. I was wondering if this is respected? I once went with a guide to Eldo in Feburary(during the closures), and it was as busy as ever. It’s hard for me to believe that all that great Climbing sits unused for half the year. So, is there tight restrictions on Climbing during the closures, or do people climb through them? 

Long Ranger · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 136

Yes, they are respected. Please respect them, yourself. 

Paul Deger · · Colorado · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 35

Interesting post - your judgment based upon "it's OK for me to exercise poor judgment if everyone else has bad judgment?"

plantmandan · · Brighton, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 40
Tommy Copeland wrote:

 I was really sad to see that nearly all the best crags are closed for Raptor closures. 

A quick search of this website reveals a total of 1154 routes in Eldo alone. The closures amount to a tiny fraction of this. Gambit is not the only route in the canyon.  

Alan Coon · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

That’s how Climbing areas get closed down buddy. From everyone on this website and everyone that has ever touched rock... please respect the rules and closures. 

Eliot Augusto · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 60

Not its not cool if you break the rules. Since you're questioning posted and legal bans I'll inform you about another type of self imposed ban. In some places we don't climb because its just not cool to do so, like Devil's Tower. We climbers don't climb there while the native people do their thing in that area. Its not legal, you won't get a ticket. I'm sure the worst you'll get are dirty looks, but we still don't climb there. FYI.

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Tommy, Eldo during raptor closures still has a lot of rock available to climb. Not everything is closed. Did you actually observe all this activity on closed crags? I would doubt that. From what I have seen there is an extremely high rate of climber compliance to raptor closures, perhaps near 100%???

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

This is why we can't have nice things. 

Tommy Copeland · · Motueka, New Zealand · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 145

Ok I’d like to make clear that I was not planning on breaking these closures myself, I just wanted to clarify with the community what was excpetable. My confusion came after I was told by a Colorado Mountain School guide that people climb through the closures. Thank you for the responses and I will be sure to steer clear of the closed crags! 

Sam Dahm · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks for asking Tommy, good to see people asking questions- even if they are dumb questions.

T G · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 6
My confusion came after I was told by a Colorado Mountain School guide that people climb through the closures.

A CMS guide told you specifically that people climb within closure areas? Or were they telling you that people manage to climb in other areas while there are closures (because it's not like there aren't many, many other places to climb)? Because if it's the former I think the community would like to know who the guide is who told you that.

These closures are *absolutely* respected, and in fact many of us have gone out of our way to educate people who are climbing within closure areas - I know someone who will hike uphill to tell people as much if he sees anyone climbing in a closure area in Boulder Canyon.

Please don't ruin access for everyone else by being selfish.

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Perhaps the guide was referring to climbs very close to but not actually in the closure areas??? Just hoping it was a communications/understanding issue. 

physnchips · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

1) As far as I know, there are no active closures.

2) Best crag is pretty subjective. Beyond that, there's tons of Boulder Canyon areas to still climb even when closures are active.

I think you are maybe a bit confused on what areas actually close during raptor and eagle nesting, you're making it seem like the whole canyon closes down when only a small fraction closes. Check each area individually as sometimes Boulder Canyon gets a general MP warning of closures, but the actual areas vary year to year (e.g. if I recall correctly, Blob didn't close this year and has in past years). Additionally, I want to reiterate that you should never climb on the closed routes.

Tommy Copeland · · Motueka, New Zealand · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 145

The Guide was a great guide and I will not realrase the name. He had not specifically said that HE climbs through the closures, but as a new climber I was unknowably climbing through the closures. It was a nice Feburary day and lots of Parties were out, apparently disrespecting the closure. I would like to say again that I fully don’t intend to disrespect these.

Daniel Joder · · Barcelona, Spain · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Out of curiosity, do you remember the crag and/or routes these people were on? Was it this past February? 

Eliot Augusto · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 60

Perhaps he was saying it was possible to climb despite the closures, just in different areas. I find hard-ish to believe that CMS folk would says it is cool to climb on closed formations.

pfwein · · Boulder, CO · Joined May 2006 · Points: 35

I agree with everyone who says don't climb in closed areas. 

 A separate issues is whether all of the closed areas reasonably should be closed.  It strains credulity to believe that the extent of closures in the Flatirons (for example) can be justified by any reasonable protection.  Other local areas seem much more responsibly managed (as in balancing reasonable wildlife protection with reasonable recreational access).  

Not that it relates to birds, but since someone brought up Devils Tower--if you have an interest in climbing there in June, I'd recommend taking a little time to read the various threads on this site and on Supertopo, and make your own decision.  

There is a lot of knee-jerk "the land managers are always right" mentality--I don't see it that way any more than I'd say "the land managers are always wrong."  But in any event, it's basically their decision, and if you don't like it, the responsible thing to do is to try to change it.

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 569
Tommy Copeland wrote:

It was a nice Feburary day and lots of Parties were out, apparently disrespecting the closure.

I call BS on this.

No way lots of parties in Eldo were disrespecting raptor closures.

Perhaps Tommy is simply mistaken about the extent of the closures.

But you just couldn't get away with it in Eldo even if you wanted to do so. 

Too many witnesses. Too high a fine.

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

The Eldo closures were pretty limited this year, and from what you are saying the climbers you saw were not climbing in closed areas (Bastille, Redgarden...). Shirt Tail Peak and only a small section of the Redgarden were closed in Eldo (as well as Mickey Mouse Wall) this year. 

The vast majority of climbers are highly respectful of the raptor closures in Colorado. It is not helpful to make a post that makes broad statements about CMS guides claiming climbers disregard closures, or that you observed people climbing in closed areas when you really aren't even sure what formations are included. I have a really hard time believing a CMS guide would say that, and think you may have misinterpreted it. 

Be aware that many of us work closely with land managers, and also that land managers read these forums. These relationships are important as climbing advocates have worked to make sure that the closures are reasonable, not excessive and lifted when no longer necessary - and the land managers have been responsive to these efforts by and large. You can find pretty comprehensive information about closures on the OSMP website https://bouldercolorado.gov/osmp/cliff-nesting-raptor-closures and at the BCC Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/boulderclimbers/posts/981135068632498. 

Happy climbing.

Eliot Augusto · · Boulder, CO · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 60
ErikaNW wrote:

The Eldo closures were pretty limited this year, and from what you are saying the climbers you saw were not climbing in closed areas (Bastille, Redgarden...). Shirt Tail Peak and only a small section of the Redgarden were closed in Eldo (as well as Mickey Mouse Wall) this year. 

If I recall correctly, Shirt Tail Peak closed late this year as well. In March(maybe?) I think.

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145
Eliot Augusto wrote:

If I recall correctly, Shirt Tail Peak closed late this year as well. In March(maybe?) I think.

Yes - OP deleted the post I was referring to where he said climbers were on Bastille and Redgarden and implied those were closed. In my post I listed the closures - which included Shirt Tail, parts of Redgarden and Mickey Mouse. Reading what you quoted without the OP’s post (I should have quoted it) looks like I was saying Bastille was closed. 

TL/DR - yes Shirt Tail closed in March last year. :)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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