INPA bans climbers from site after boulder hits path

By MELANIE LIDMAN
February 6, 2013 03:46

 
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The winter’s rainy weather forced the Israel National Parks Authority to close the popular Ein Fara nature reserve on the outskirts of Jerusalem after a giant boulder fell on the hiking path.

However, the INPA decided to close the site only to rock climbers and continue to allow hikers in the area, despite the fact that the INPA is still conducting surveys to determine if the site is safe from additional rock fall.

Members of the Israel Climbing Club claim that the move to bar climbers from the site is part of the INPA’s long-standing distrust of the climbing community. Climbers flock to Ein Fara year-round as it is one of the best places close to Jerusalem for outdoor rock climbing.

“It doesn’t make any sense – what fell is much closer to the [hiking] path than where we climb,” said Yair Cohen, a committee member of the Israel Climbing Club. “There is no connection with the climbers... it’s simply easier to close it to us than to hikers because we’re a smaller group.”

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