Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures

Pergrine Falcon

Peregrine falcons, an endangered species in New York State, nest on cliffs in the Adirondack Mountains. The population of peregrine falcons has steadily grown since the DEC undertook hacking programs in the Adirondacks in the late 1970s.

Cliffs with known peregrine falcon nesting sites are monitored annually throughout the Adirondacks. Rock climbing routes with active nest sites are temporarily closed to prevent any disturbances that might interfere with the successful raising of the young peregrine falcons.

The closure of climbing routes is based on a number of factors, primarily the route's proximity and visibility to a nesting site. Each situation is unique and a specific distance from the nest site can not be used to make a closure determination. DEC's priority is protecting an endangered species; however, attempts are made to maximize the opportunities for climbing at the same time.

At the beginning of the season DEC closes whole or large portions of cliffs where peregrine falcons have regularly nested. This allows them to choose a nesting site without any being troubled by climbing activity. They often choose a site quickly and begin nesting earlier, than when the cliff's were subject to climbing activities. Climbers benefit because an earlier nesting start results in an earlier fledging of the young and therefore the closed routes are re-opened sooner.

Rock Climbing Route Closures - May 24, 2018

The following rock climbing cliffs and routes are closed to allow peregrine falcons to mate and select nesting sites. Once nest sites are identified DEC will reopen routes that will not interfere with nesting activities.

Chapel Pond

  • All routes on Upper Washbowl Cliffs are OPEN.
  • All routes on Upper and Lower Washbowl Cliffs remain CLOSED.

Potash Mountain

  • Routes 18 (Haley's Nose) and 19 (Goes Both Ways) on Potash Cliff as described on page 86 of Adirondack Rock Volume 2, A Rock Climbers Guide, Second Edition, are now CLOSED.
  • In addition, the 4th class scramble to access the Pitch 1 ledge of most routes, is CLOSED.
  • All open routes must be led ground-up.

Shelving Rock Mountain

  • Travel along the base of the cliff between the Main Wall and the Carhartt Wall is prohibited. Please use the lower Main Path and Carhartt Path to travel between the two walls.
  • All climbing routes on the Main Wall and the Carhartt Wall are OPEN.

Crane Mountain

  • The Amphitheater section and the Main Wall of the Black Arches Wall are CLOSED.
  • All other routes are OPEN.

Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain

  • Rock climbing routes located left and right of the nose on the Main Face of Poke-o-Moonshine Mountain are CLOSED. These are described as routes 33 (Garter) through 91 (Son of) on Pages 45 - 69 in Adirondack Rock Volume 1, A Rock Climbers Guide, Second Edition.
  • All other routes are OPEN.

Sleeping Beauty Mountain

All rock climbing routes are CLOSED.

Climbers are urged to be cautious and observant while climbing in Wilmington Notch or all other climbing locations and report any aggressive or agitated peregrine falcon behavior to the DEC Wildlife Office at 518-897-1291 or info.R5@dec.ny.gov.

DEC appreciates the cooperation of the climbing community for avoiding closed routes, volunteering to observe nest sites, and reporting peregrine falcon activity.


More about Adirondack Rock Climbing Route Closures:

  • Important Links
  • Links Leaving DEC's Website
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC Region 5 Wildlife
    1115 State Route 86
    P.O. Box 296
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
    518-897-1291
    Send us an email
  • This Page Covers
  • Page applies to Adirondacks region