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Peregrine Closures, 2024

2024 USFS Closures (Jan 15- Aug 15): 

  • Pickens Nose (East Face) All climbing routes on the East Face are closed. USFS, Nantahala Ranger District (828) 524-6441

  • Whiteside Mountain All climbing routes between and including Southwest Arete and Mainline are closed. USFS, Nantahala Ranger District (828) 524-6441

 

  • Looking Glass Rock (North Face) All climbing routes to the right (as seen from the base of the rock) of Glass Menagerie and to the left of and including Twisted Laurel on the North Face of Looking Glass Rock are closed. No camping or foot traffic below the cliff in this section. USFS, Pisgah Ranger District (828) 877-3380

 

  • North Cedar Rock (Wall of Northern Aggression) All climbing routes between and including Groove Thang and Baynes Corner on the Wall of Northern Aggression are closed. No camping or foot traffic below the cliff in this section. USFS, Pisgah Ranger District (828) 877-3380

     

  • Buzzard’s Roost All climbing routes are closed. No camping or foot traffic above the cliff. USFS, Appalachian Ranger District (828) 698-8716

     

  • Whiterock Cliff All climbing routes are closed. USFS, Appalachian Ranger District (828) 698- 8716

 

  • Shortoff Mountain North (Linville Gorge) This is the unclimbed cliff that lies north of False Paradise. All climbing routes, cliff rim, and campsites within the marked area on the map (see USFS website) are closed to entry. No camping or foot traffic above or below the cliff in this section. Climbers; this is not the main climbing area at Short Off. USFS, Grandfather Ranger District (828) 652- 2144

 

  • NC Wall – Apricot Buttress- The Camel (Linville Gorge) On NC Wall, all climbing routes between and including Tightrope and Bumblebee Buttress are closed. Apricot Buttress and The Camel are closed. USFS, Grandfather Ranger District (828) 652-2144

     

  • Big Lost Cove Cliff All climbing routes are closed USFS, Grandfather Ranger District (828) 652-2144

 

For the USFS link to these closures, including maps, click here

Closures outside of USFS lands:

  • Table Rock State Park Feb 1- Aug 14: Climbing right (east) of the Walker Buttress, including the Water Groove Wall, are closed to climbing during this period. Table Rock's Main Wall is now open to climbing year-round! 
  • Laurel Knob Jan 15- July 1: All routes in the Dillard Canyon are closed to climbing during this period.
  • Rocky Fork State Park's Whitehouse Cliffs: this closure has been lifted. No eyrie is present and has not been for three years in a row.

 

 


The Carolina Climbers Coalition work closely with USFS and NC Wildlife Resource Commission biologists each year to ensure that peregrine falcon closures are accurate per eyrie sites, and help balance conservation of the species with reasonable access to climbing destinations. Thank you, climbers, for respecting these USFS closure zones and for helping protect this amazing species. How has this collaboration been beneficial to both climbers and peregrines? Here are a few examples:

  • Biologists and CCC volunteers monitor eyrie sites to see if they are in use or if chicks have hatched. If they are not in use or if chicks have fledged, closures are lifted earlier than Aug 15. In the case of areas like Short Off South last year, the closure was lifted in February. 
  • Since 2020, CCC has worked with NC Wildlife Resource Commission biologists to collect specimens from the Big Lost Cove eyrie and Looking Glass Rock eyrie to help biologists predict reasons for nest failure or success. 
  • The CCC-owned Laurel Knob has an active eyrie. We have worked to identify proper closures, with biologist input. In 2023, the eyrie in Dillard Canyon produced two fledglings- the most ever recorded on our Laurel Knob! Way to go peregrines and way to go climbers! 
  • The entire North Face of Cedar was slated to be closed, CCC worked with biologists to narrow down the zone. 20 routes are seasonally closed now as opposed to 100. CCC works with biologists to decipher a closure boundary that protects both the species and climbing in the vicinity.
  • CCC and NC Wildlife collaboration has lead to reciprocity and trust that has helped other areas outside of NC/ USFS lands. Recreational climbers following the closures has also lead to reciprocity and trust. Thank you climbers! In 2021, we were able to share our expertise in peregrine falcon climbing management with SC Department of Natural Resources. We worked with their biologists to take Table Rock State Park, SC's Main Wall out of the seasonal closure order for South Carolina. This is South Carolina's most revered wall, and it is now open to climbers year-round instead of season closures. Without our work with NC Wildlife and USFS, the closure zone would surely have remained for Table Rock's Main Wall.
  • We were able to open Rocky Fork State Park's Whitehouse Cliffs to climbing in 2019, and have since then worked with the TN State Park system to monitor the cliff for potential peregrine falcon activity. There is a peregrine falcon seen in the region, and we have monitored the cliff from 2020-2023, which has meant 4-5 visits per year during the peregrine falcon closure observation time of February to March. The observation period's goal has been to see if there is an eyrie site on the cliff.  Peregrines are seen in the area but an eyrie has not been viewed at Whitehouse. This is typical for the species, as they likley use the cliff as a hunting zone but not for their eyrie. After monitoring for 3 years and not finding an eyrie, a closure is no longer enforced. This could change if a mating pair sets up an eyrie.
  • Ongoing work with Mountain Project and guide book authors to ensure closures are listed accurately in beta sites.
  • "In 2021 across western North Carolina, 15 sites were occupied by peregrine falcon pairs and seven successfully reproduced with a total of 12 offspring."- USFS

 

Image below taken from the game cams we installed on our Laurel Knob eyrie. This pair produced two fledglings this year, the most ever recorded at the CCC-owned Laurel Knob! 

Laurel Knob Eyrie, 2023