Some climbing routes in Rocky Mountain National Park are being closed for the next few months to give nesting raptors a little peace.
The closures are in the park's Lumpy Ridge and Sheep Mountain areas. All closures take effect today, March 1, and remain in place through July 31, if appropriate. These closures may be extended longer or rescinded at an earlier date depending on nesting activity.
Closures include Checkerboard Rock, Lightning Rock, Batman Rock, Batman Pinnacle, Thunder Buttress, The Parish, Alligator Rock, Sheep Mountain, and Twin Owls, Rock One. These closures include the named formations as well as areas extending 100 yards surrounding the base of the formation, park officials note.
The perimeter around Alligator Rock extends for 200 yards in all directions. Closures include all climbing routes, outcroppings, cliffs, faces, ascent and descent routes and climber access trails to named rock formations. Check the park's website -- www.nps.gov/romo -- for updated information on raptor closures.
The National Park Service is committed to preserving birds of prey. The same cliffs that are critical for raptors also appeal to climbers. The cooperation of climbing organizations and individuals continues to be essential to the successful nesting of raptors in the park.