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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

Author
Peregrine Falcon nesting on Angels at Mt Buffalo
Nicho
6/11/2006
9:17:52 PM
On a recent (Sunday 5 Nov 2006) trip up Where Angels Fear To Tread (Angels) myself and my 2 climbing partners were set upon by a couple of Peregrine Falcons about half way up the second pitch. Not knowing where the Peregrines had their nest and also not being in a position where we could easily have retreated, we decided to continue. At the top of the third pitch we discovered their nest was some 4-5m away from the stance we were belaying on. One very cute but anxious looking Peregrine was seen. We disturbed the chick as little as possible by keeping very quiet and out of the way as much as possible.

I think it would be prudent to say that climbing on Angels for the rest of this year is not an option. There are huge expanses of rock to climb at Mt Buffalo so I'm sure that anyone wanting to climb Angels would be able to find something similar.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the Peregrine which is an endangered species could start at the following website;

http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/peregrine-fact.html

Hope that this info gets out to everyone before too much stress is caused to the lovely family and their little chick. They are amazing animals and it would be a terrible sahme to see any harm come to them.

Namaste Nicho

Garrath
6/11/2006
10:20:20 PM
That would have to be a bit of a climbing highlight in my book. Any chance you guys had a camera so we can all share this experience?

Paulie
6/11/2006
11:32:27 PM
I would've thought the rangers would have ID'd this nesting site already and banned climbing on Angels until the wee one fledges, maybe 'someone' ought to send them an email...

mousey
6/11/2006
11:44:13 PM
yah awesome, the little blightas better have moved out before new years though!!
john s
7/11/2006
11:13:25 AM
I've sent a note to PV. I'll post their reply when I get it.

Does anyone know if the peregrines have been here before?

John
Cam McKenzie
8/11/2006
9:19:26 AM
hey Nicho,
The birds were actually at the top of the second pitch, not the third. We belayed just after the slabby ramp crack change on the second pitch, and the nest was about 3 or 4 metres to the left (looking in) of this. I think that Neets took a photo of the baby bird, not sure how it came out. Was a bit disconcerting being swooped for an hour while sitting on the belay though.

Pearly gates will probably be off limits too.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8/11/2006
12:38:33 PM
>(snip) were set upon by a couple of Peregrine Falcons about half way up the second pitch. >Not knowing where the Peregrines had their nest and also not being in a position where we could easily have retreated, we decided to continue (snip).
?
I retreated from this position once due to my partners inability to follow, and our slow rate of progress after me wasting myself leading till this point using poor technique.
Left a number 10 or 11 hex behind as the retreat piece if I recall correctly, and found that at that height it was still only a 50m abseil to the deck. We were using double ropes so the 'get-off' was quite straight forward IMO.
WM
8/11/2006
1:47:12 PM
>I retreated from this position once ....Left a number 10 or 11 hex behind

Hey M9 was that in December 2001? And did two guys start up it as you pulled your ropes? Because the day we did it in Dec 01 we started at 3pm as two blokes were just retreating...and we scored their big hex (on orangy-red cord). I told them to come and get it that night in the campground but never saw them...the offer still holds if you want it back (and if it was you!).

From memory the hex was before the traverse left, so I don't think it was quite as high as the Peregrines currently are, so retreat from the peregrine site might be > 50m.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
8/11/2006
2:08:30 PM
>I retreated from this position once

>>about half way up the second pitch.

>From memory the hex was before the traverse left, so I don't think it was quite as high as the Peregrines currently are, so retreat from the peregrine site might be > 50m.

Yes, our retreat piece was before the traverse.
According to Nicho the peregrines apparently were obvious before completing the 2nd pitch. I agree if you complete the second pitch that it would be >50m.

>we started at 3pm as two blokes were just retreating
Ahh, ... it's a small world WM. Pleased to meet you in cyberclimbchockstoneland after the inauspicious* real deal !
(*Not knowing who you were at the time).
Can't remember the date as I only note/tick ascents in my guide, not retreats! ... but it would have been about then (Dec 2001).
We were blown away by your late start as Angels has a reputation, given the all day epics some have been known to have on that route
Yes two blokes started up it as we pulled our ropes. One older gentleman had a very zen, white goatee beard and the other strong young fellow I assume was you.
We watched for a while and were very impressed with the zen masters crack style. He simply flowed up the crux of the first pitch.

We chuckled when we realised that whoever (of you) scored the booty of our retreat piece would get a thumping great huge-hex; with a tiny, blue coloured, crappy condition, bodyweight-only-accessory-type krab (rated to only 600 kg) on its sling ...
Clipping those two items together was an oxymoron if ever there was one! ... but although insane if used as pro in a fall, were quite sufficient for retreat on the day.
Mind you this krab (& hex) was backed up when my partner abbed, and I removed the backups when I abbed since he had effectively tested the placement.


>I told them to come and get it that night in the campground but never saw them...the offer still holds if you want it back (and if it was you!).

I remember the invitation but we became distracted with other things.
We figured it was fair booty to the next ascent party.
john s
14/11/2006
6:03:36 PM
PV say that the peregrine ban on Angels should finish on 8 december. So Tokyobill's holiday might be saved - even if his feet will protest!

Here is the message from PV:

Parks Victoria was recently notified of a nesting pair of Peregrine Falcons, with chick, on the climb known as Where Angels Fear to Tread in the Gorge, Mt Buffalo National Park. To our knowledge Peregrine Falcons have not nested at this site before and it is exciting that the survival of this chick will increase the population in the local area.

As many of you will be aware the presence of humans near a nest site can aggravate the parent birds and there is potential for the chick to be startled and fall to itsí death if it has not yet learnt to fly.

The danger period for the chick ends at the beginning of December. Therefore Parks Victoria is implementing a voluntary ban on climbing Where Angels Fear to Tread and the immediate surrounding area. The ban will remain in place through to Friday the 8th of December 2006.

Parks Victoria was originally notified by members of the climbing community, and we are grateful that climbers have taken it upon themselves to spread the word to ensure that the chick has the best possible chance of survival.

Should you require further information in relation to this, or any other matter with regard to Mt Buffalo please contact me on 03 5755 1466.

Thank you and have a great season.

Darin Lynch
Ranger
Mt Buffalo National Park


WM
14/11/2006
8:09:42 PM
>Parks Victoria was originally notified by members of the climbing community,
>and we are grateful that climbers have taken it upon themselves to spread
>the word to ensure that the chick has the best possible chance of survival.

now thats what I call good PR for climbers.

On 6/11/2006 Garrath wrote:
>Any chance you guys had a camera so we can all share this experience?

In the absence of a photo from Angels, here's the peregrine chicks we stumbled across on Pearls Before Swine at Araps on 21/11/04. They don't look like they're within 3 weeks of leaving their nest to me - I wonder how the Buffalo rangers decided 8 Dec would be ok for the Angels chick.

citationx
22/11/2006
9:02:46 PM
while at araps recently, i read an article posted on the dunny noticeboard about peres. it seems that chicks are born at aroudn 40g. their weight doubles on average, every two days. that's impressive.
it mentions something about (correct me if you read and remembered it better) that males start to get a feel for their flying wings at around 700g, and females at around 1300g.
other important things it mentions are that peregrine falcon parents start getting aggro when predators are within 100m of the nest. the response is an elevated heart rate and i guess they get flustered, cause their body temp changes. within 50m of the nest they take flight and try warding off the potential predator. the problem with this all is that it affects the temperature of the chick/egg, which can actual cause the chick to die, and that's the real problem with us near their nests, let alone the chick trying to escape and falling to its death.

-s-

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