Director Jud's Blog

SMA Shuts down Donation Rocks! Read about the reason and Opening date.

Posted by Jud Millar on Wed, Feb 22, 2023

This is Camp Director Jud Millar and I'm posting to let you know that a pair of ravens have built a nest in the rock face of Damnation Wall (the wall above the upper parking lot).


Our Donation Rock Access Fund Ambassador, Ken Hull  recently met with a bird expert from Penn State's Shaver's Creek Nature Center at the wall to determine what, if anything to do about it. Collaboratively we have made the decision to close off the Damnation Wall area until we at least see if the pair lays eggs.  Damnation Wall is the wall furthest up the hollow that makes up Donation Rock Climbing Area.

Picture of a Raven's nest


Ravens are not endangered, but they are a state and federally protected bird, and according to the PA Game Commission "Their numbers declined so much that by the late 19th century, some considered [them] to be possibly [wiped out] from Pennsylvania. Today, the raven population is recovering". 


Our team at Donation Rocks is directly tied to Access Fund. Their Mission includes "conservation of the climbing environment". That includes the wildlife neighbors and users of our crags. The closing of a climbing area is a bummer for everyone. It is important, however that we all be responsible climbers climbers who care about the environment, not just our climbing. Also, this nest and hopefully chicks to come will be a rare and wonderful educational opportunity for Shaver's Creek and birding clubs who will have a rare chance to observe these beautiful and highly intelligent birds. We'll also be participating in Cornell University's Nestwatch, a nationwide nest-monitoring program designed to track status and trends in the reproductive biology of birds.


If eggs are laid and chicks hatch, the closure will last till the young fledge aka leave the nest - approximately end of May to early June. I will keep you posted. The Main Wall and Lower Walls will stay open. PLEASE be respectful and do not go up the trail or anywhere near the Damnation (upper) Wall. Limit your activity and voice when parking at the upper lot to access the Main Wall trail.


Donation climbers, All of at Stone Mountain Adventures Thank You, Our Donation Rock Access Fund Ambassador, Ken Hull our LCO and Access Fund Thanks You, and the ravens Thank You for your understanding and cooperation.




Topics: Donation Rocks, Rock Climbing Summer Camp

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This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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