Rock climbers will have a few more routes to climb this weekend, according to Joe Racette, a biologist for the state Department of Environmental Conservation who monitors the nesting of peregrine falcons on cliffs.
Racette said the Upper Washbowl cliffs near Chapel Pond are now open to climbers. DEC closes Upper Washbowl and Lower Washbowl each spring at the start of the falcons’ breeding season. DEC has ascertained that that this year the falcons are nesting on Lower Washbowl.
Upper Washbowl has twenty-one climbing routes, including one established by Fritz Weissner, one of the top climbers of his era, in 1938. There will be a story about the historic Wiessner Route in the next issue of the Adirondack Explorer. Meantime, you can read more about the route on Adirondack Almanack.
Lower Washbowl will remain closed to climbers until the falcons fledge.
DEC hopes to pinpoint soon the location of a falcons’ next on Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain, one of the largest climbing areas in the Adirondack Park. For the time being, most of the routes on the Main Face will remain closed.
RockSport, a climbing gym in Queensbury, recently informed DEC that falcons were nesting on the Main Wall of Shelving Rock, a climbing destination near Lake George. As a result, DEC has closed the routes between Snake Charmer and Wake and Bake.
Click here for updates on climbing-route closures.