Well, between the Dust Storm and the closures for Raptor Nesting it was an eventful few days at the creek. Mikey tried Belly Full of Bad Berries, HA! I opted for the Critics Choice finger crack, way fun. And then on Dust storm day we went to the Second Meat Wall with the Brits, Will the thrill and Jon ‘papa bear’ Gleason…. I had a real nice time on ‘Family Home Night’ but the day was short on account of the dust.

Leaving Indian Creek in a full dust storm

Leaving Indian Creek in a full dust storm

The Cat Wall and the Reservoir wall are both closed this spring in an effort to encourage nesting Raptors. I asume that Peregrine Falcons which nest on cliffs are the ‘raptor’ that has been seen at those popular crags. Peregrines are an amazing bird, some claim they are the fastest creature on earth, reaching speeds up to 200 miles per hour when chasing prey. They primarily eat small/medium sized birds, and though they are the most wide spread bird of prey in the world, they are an endangered species. They are found on every continent except New Zealand, and only stay away from tropical jungle and extreem arctic. Peregrines were killed off in droves with the use of DDT in the 1960’s.

Since the 70’s when DDT was baned there has been a huge effort to bring the elegant hunters back. Part of that effort is to protect their nesting territory, which is where us climbers come in to the picture. Peregrines are extremely territorial and need about 1 kilometer of hunting grounds to feed a nesting pair. They defend their nest with fierce devotion and have even killed Golden Eagles in their efforts. As most of us have noticed they will dive-bomb and pester humans that are in the area as well, expending huge amounts of energy which they could be using to feed the family.

Yes it is sad that some of our favorite crags, the Cat and Reservoir Walls, as well as the Rostrom and parts of El Cap in Yosemite are closed for the spring. But fortunately the birds are responding to this special treatment and coming back from the brink of extinction. Plus, the climbs are open for the rest of the year, AND there are plenty of other good rocks out there. All in all it is “totally worth it” as climbers to help with the protection of these birds, as we grow as a community we need to commit to preserving the places we love to climb, which will come with restrictions as we impact a place, like Indina Creek, more and more.

Peregrine Falcon

Save the Peregrine Falcon! don't go to the Cat wall this spring...