Peregrine falcon nest prompts closure of Donner Summit climbing routes | SierraSun.com

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Peregrine falcon nest prompts closure of Donner Summit climbing routes

Closure signs are strategically placed at the approach trails as well as at the base of the routes.

Closed to climbers

The following routes are closed until further notice: Touch and Go, Hungover Hangover, Rat’s Tooth, Empty Sky, Rhythm Killer, Pinball Junkie, Inner Recess, Rambo Crack, Space Invaders and Bourbon Street.

Source: Truckee Donner Land Trust

TRUCKEE, Calif. — To protect nesting peregrine falcons, certain climbing routes on Donner Summit's Black Wall are closed until mid-summer, the Truckee Donner Land Trust announced last week.

Each year, volunteers with the Land Trust and Access Fund monitor Donner Summit's popular climbing areas for nesting raptors.

A peregrine falcon nest with chicks has been located at the recently conserved Black Wall climbing area, prompting officials to announced the closure.

"Raptors are well known to nest in the area, and this year's nest at Black Wall is in the grotto at the base of Rambo Crack in Cannibal Gully," officials said. "The Land Trust, Access Fund and the Save Donner Climbing group are asking climbers and hikers to please respect a seasonal closure."

The American peregrine falcon is listed under the California Department of Fish and Wildlife's Fully Protected Animals list, meaning they may not be taken or possessed at any time, and no licenses or permits may be issued for their take except for necessary scientific research.

According to a news release, volunteers will monitor the nest at Donner Summit and lift the closure when nesting activities have ceased for the year.

"The nest has two eggs, and the female was incubating, thus they may fledge by mid-July," officials said. "The female appeared more high-strung than birds in recent years, and is possibly a new individual, so we are asking climbers and hikers to stay out of that gully or line of sight.

"While hiking or climbing outside this closure buffer nearby, please avoid disturbance, keep noise to a minimum, and use best judgment to gauge and mitigate your impact."

The 10-acre Black Wall property features world-class climbing on finely textured granite. Its routes were established more than 50 years ago and range from deep chimneys and low-angle slabs for beginners, to overhanging test pieces for experts, and splitter cracks and sport routes for all skill levels.

Visit tdlandtrust.org to learn more about the Truckee Donner Land Trust; visit accessfund.org to learn more about the Access Fund.