Elevation: 341 ft
GPS: 41.144, -74.162 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 173,817 total · 2,549/month
Shared By: kenr on Jun 14, 2013
Admins: SMarsh
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The largest rock climbing area within an hour's drive from New York City -- in the southwest corner of Harriman State Park. The rock of Powerlinez can easily be seen when driving north on the New York Thruway, just a couple miles north from the big interchange of routes 87 + 287 + 17 at the southern border of NY state with New Jersey.

It's big but it's not tall. It has many interesting rocks for bouldering, but for rope-protected climbing the highest wall is about 80 feet. There are a couple of sectors higher than 50 feet, but most of the roped climbing cliffs are less than 50 feet tall -- good mostly for top-roping, but also some trad leading, and five short routes with bolts.

Waiver of Liability form must be submitted elsewhere before arriving, but there is no fee for climbing.

Rock is mainly granitic gneiss (hard metamorphic rock) or granite (or perhaps some different metamorphic rock up higher in the Books tier). But while the rock is fundamentally hard, there had to be weaker parts to erode in order to form steep cliffs and positive holds for us to enjoy climbing -- so of course now some of the climbable rock is loose or breakable, especially as it's only starting to get climbed much - (If you don't want to deal with that, better wait a few years).

This gneiss rock tends to have lots of interesting holds aimed in different directions -- and mostly high-friction (some would say "abrasive", or sometimes even "sharp") -- which together make for a high "density" of interesting climbing sequences. So ...

Climbing ... it's easy to find sectors with lots of good Bouldering problems close together. And also ...

Top-Roping several interesting lines close together works for many of the sectors (using a top anchor with a static line cleverly arranged so it can be quickly moved from one climbing line to the next alongside). From the work of setting up one route, you get to climb several short interesting lines - (which helps compensate for Powerlinez being not tall).

Leading: There are some nice single-pitch routes which can be protected with Trad equipment on the Tower Wall, also some shorter Trad-protectable routes in other sectors.

Bolts? There are five routes with some bolts at Powerlinez -- but these bolts and hangers (zinc-plated steel) were there already before the area was officially opened, and they are not inspected or maintained by the TVCC or the Park - (Concern that Powerlinez might be in high-corrosion region for steel: with acid rain from the west, and salt water 40 miles to south and east) - see more detail and discussion on The Good Book sector page.

Placement of new bolts or other permanent fixtures for protection or anchors is not permitted (as of 2017). See Comments below.

Required Waiver form: Before arriving at Powerlinez to climb, you need to obtain and submit a completed + signed Waiver of Liability form. As of 2017, this requires signing a paper form, which is available only by visiting an organization which is not located by the parking or trail access for Powerlinez. As of 2017, these organizations include Gravity Vault indoor climbing (at Upper Saddle River NJ, Chatham NJ, and several other locations), The Cliffs indoor climbing (at Long Island City NY and Valhalla NY), and Rock & Snow climbing shop in New Paltz NY.

. . (This paper form and signing process seems cumbersome, not only for visiting climbers, but also for TVCC who need to handle the paperwork behind the scenes. But back when TVCC worked out the understanding to get climbing permitted, it seemed like the best way that could be acceptable to Harriman State Park -- see Commments below).

No fee to be paid for climbing at Powerlinez (as of 2017).

Administration by the Torne Valley Climbers Coalition (TVCC) [ on Facebook ]. It was thanks to the work of some present and former members of the TVCC that Powerlinez was officially opened for climbing in 2013. The TVCC administers climbing usage of the Powerlinez area under terms of use agreed with Harriman State Park.

. . . While TVCC has the title of "coalition", as of 2017 it has no general members or annual dues or elections ... Only some sort of governing "Board". Let's be grateful they found an organizational approach that works for them, to keep climbing legal (and getting better) in one corner of Harriman State Park. Though you cannot "join" the TVCC on order to help and support Powerlinez climbing, at least you can "follow" on their Facebook page and join events and support actions that the TVCC Board announces.

Undeveloped: The current policy of the TVCC as of 2017 is that the climbing infrastructure remain undeveloped, except for some approved maintained trails to make it convenient to get access to potential climbing. No routes or bouldering problems have been designated as suitable for climbing by the TVCC. It is the responsibility of each climbing party to decide which areas or routes or problems might be suitable or safe for them to climb (perhaps getting advice from other sources). Also any rappel or top-rope anchor materials (slings or ropes or bolts, etc), or any bolts or other materials for protection partway up on a cliff, have not been approved by the TVCC, and are not maintained or inspected by the TVCC or by the Park - (and installation of new bolts is forbidden). It is the responsibility of each climbing party to decide whether or how to rely on any anchor or protection materials they find.

Please access the boulders and roped-climbing sectors by using the TVCC-approved trails (marked usually with white diamonds or sometimes yellow paint), or using already-well-trodden paths, rather than creating some new way. As of 2017 TVCC does maintenance of the few approved marked trails once a year or so, but (in keeping with TVCC not being a real coalition) not much of the unofficial "herd" paths needed to reach many of the sectors. So be prepared to handle overgrown (sometimes prickly) vegetation obstructing access to your desired climbing sector.

Boundaries: The area of Harriman State Park which has been opened for rock climbing is called the "Wrightman plateau" on the southwest side of Ramapo Torne. Key point is that this does not include the Ramapo Torne peak itself. Any cliffs or rocks higher than the "Books Tier" are closed to climbing as of 2017 - (so the biggest most visible climbable rock in the area, around the summit of Ramapo Torne peak, is closed to climbing).
. . (also there are some rocks below out west or south which are closed to climbing, because they are now outside Harriman Park).

Guiding + Instruction ... Alpine Endeavors has a permit from Harriman State Park for climbing instruction and guiding in the Powerlinez area. They have long experience with this in the Gunks and other northeastern rock, also Catskill ice, Red Rock Canyon NV, and North Cascades WA alpine climbing -- so now they are offering it close to New York City, and their staff knows the Powerlinez rock very well.

More info - other sources ...
* The Powerlinez Beta Shed group on Facebook -- Helpful place to ask questions, get info about problems and routes.
* Rakkup.com phone app -- Has more bouldering problems not yet easy to find elsewhere. For roped climbing, could be useful as a "second opinion" (and sometimes more helpful photos) for routes on MP, but as of 2017 has way fewer routes than here on MountainProject.
* Jon Crefeld's print guidebook 2013 edition -- Key breakthrough for showing the early possibilities for bouldering and roped climbing, but so much has been discovered and opened since. Still has some problems not found elsewhere, and could be useful as a "second opinion" on problems + routes on MP or Rakkup.

Areas + Sectors:
. * Powerlinez Bouldering * .
. - - > See the Bouldering section

Roped climbing ...
. . (sequence roughly low to high, left to right (E to W)
. . . . (aa. West End - CLOSED to climbing)
a. Rock Dojo top-rope (just below Boulder Road)
. . . includes God Jam, West Terrace
b. Swath (above right from the Boulder Road, below Tower Wall tier)
. . . includes Stockade, High Electricity
c. Boulder Rd crags - along the road which rises up NW toward Basilisk.
. . . includes Sunrise, Free-Fall.
d. Swamp (below Yankee Ramparts and Revolutionary Ramparts)
. . . includes Swamp King, Jumble n Tumble, Snake Hole
f. Yankee Ramparts (westward extension of Revolutionary Ramparts)
. . . Party Wall, Vulnerability, Northwest Territories, C U P,
. . . D J E A, Army Rampart, Smoke em if you Got em, Gut Truck.
h. Revolutionary Ramparts (westward extension of Tower Wall Tier)
. . . includes Immelman,
. . . Basilisk, and west Lenapehocking rocks
k. Tower Wall area
. . . Daves Wall, Three Bears, The Tower Wall, Happy Picnics, and
. . . east Lenapehocking rocks Ramapaugh, Munsee
m. Picatinny
. . . Manayunk, Tulpehocken, Scheyichbi, Nechtanc, Wichquawanck
n. Perched Ramparts (half-way up and east from Tower Wall)
. . . Enclosure, Baldy, Albion, Shadow Castle, Devonshire, Jumble Hotel,
. . . Puzzle Palace
p. East End
. . . El Cap, Giving Tree, Monkey Bar, Dragon, Nose, Beard, Ear,
. . . Kitty Doll, Kitty Corners, Jersey Volunteers.
q. Kittatinny (above Picatinny, below Books Tier, west from main trail to Good Book)
. . . includes Crazy Tree
r. High Northwest - (NW extension of Books Tier)
s. Books Tier
. . . Adventure Stories, Romance Novels, The Shelves, Top Shelf
. . . The Good Book wall, Fairy Tales
. . . Career Guides, Proving Grounds, Check Book, Radical Books
z. More -- areas which are Closed -- or stuff we don't know where it fits - (or even where it is?)

Getting There

The Powerlinez access path starts (GPS lat long N41.1423 W74.1622) on the north side of Torne Brook Rd in Ramapo, NY -- just west from its intersection with Torne Valley Rd (Rockland county rt 95). The recommended Parking is at (N41.1415 W74.1618) along the west side of Torne Valley Rd, a short ways south of that intersection.

Driving from New York City or New Jersey or PA: Go to the giant interchange of routes NY Thruway 87, 287, and 17 near Suffern NY. Exit onto rt 17 North, which immediately goes into a traffic light. Turn sharp Right on rt 59 South for about 0.5 mile. Just after curving left, up and over railroad tracks, turn sharp Left onto Torne Valley Rd (Rockland County rt 95) and go about 1 mile generally North with some curves, past the recreational center.

Driving from NY state coming from the North: NY Thruway (I-87) south to exit 15A for rt 17 North + rt 59, Sloatsburg + Suffern. Exit to the right, go 0.1 mile curving right to reach a T intersection. Turn Right (NorthEast) and go about 0.2 mile to another T intersection. Turn Right (South) and go about 0.4 mile. Just after curving left, up and over railroad tracks, turn sharp Left onto Torne Valley Rd (Rockland County rt 95) and go about 1 mile generally North with some curves, past the recreational center.

Park by some 10-15 ft wide wire fence enclosures (sometimes called "the vents") and a green manhole cover, on the left (west) side of the road -- GPS latitude longitude approx (N41.1415 W74.1618). This is about 100 yards before (south from) the left turn for Torne Brook Rd. If you reach the entrance for the waste management facility on the right, you've gone too far.

Walking - From the parking, walk North 100 yards on Torne Valley Rd. Turn left (West) on Torne Brook Rd and walk 50 yards across new bridge over creek. Turn right (North) onto dirt road uphill.

616 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

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Classic Climbing Routes at Powerlinez

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V2 5+
Oliphant Crack
V5+ 6C+
Operating Table
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Johnson Route
Trad, TR
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Rachel's Crack
Trad, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Back to the Wall
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Seven Pieces of Pro
Trad, TR
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Ruby Ray Mystery
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Harpoon Me
Trad, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
No Rest for the Wicked
Trad, TR
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
The Contortionist
Sport, TR
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
The Nephalim
Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Sport, TR
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
The Sins of the Son
Sport, TR
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Sport, TR
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Oliphant Crack Powerlinez Bou… > Welcome Boulders > Oliphant Boulder
V2 5+ Boulder
Operating Table Powerlinez Bou… > Swath Boulders > Tombstone Boulder
V5+ 6C+ Boulder
Johnson Route k. Tower Wall area > 6. The Tower Wall
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, TR
Rachel's Crack k. Tower Wall area > 6. The Tower Wall
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad, TR
Back to the Wall k. Tower Wall area > 6. The Tower Wall
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad, TR
Seven Pieces of Pro k. Tower Wall area > 4. Dave's Wall
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Ruby Ray Mystery s. Books Tier > 4. Adventure Stories
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad, TR
Whalehunter s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
Harpoon Me s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, TR
No Rest for the Wicked k. Tower Wall area > 6. The Tower Wall
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad, TR
The Contortionist s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport, TR
The Nephalim s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
Rachel s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
The Sins of the Son s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport, TR
Rebecca s. Books Tier > 6. The Good Book
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport, TR
More Classic Climbs in Powerlinez »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
Trad climbing. 4-5 bolted routes for sport. Ample anchors set up with new slings and wrap rings. Climb responsibly, check, and double check all equipment, anchor and belay stations. Jun 17, 2013
Is this the same area as this MP page ? If so, is it possible to merge the pages? Sep 15, 2013
David S  
Is someone able to direct me to this rough guidebook?
Thanks Sep 30, 2013
Norm Rasmussen
North Jersey
Norm Rasmussen   North Jersey
Hi everyone,

Guidebooks are available at The Gravity Vault in Upper Saddle River, NJ which is on the way to the powerlinez as you're coming up from the south.

Rock and Snow, NJ Rock Gym and some other outdoor retailers may carry them as well.

Many Gravity Vault employees are pretty well versed on the Powerlinez, so please call with any questions. We are all stewards of this new area and would love to see it open for many years to come! Oct 12, 2013
Asbury Park, NJ
Locke   Asbury Park, NJ
Any chance any of you USR Gravity Vault employees can send a few guidebooks down to the Middletown GV? Same goes for the waivers that we're supposed to sign? May 30, 2014
Kimberley Rothacker
Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey
Kimberley Rothacker   Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey
posted it in the forum but i want to make sure this gets out. My boyfriend found a pair of LaSportivas at the bottom of the three bears walls. If you can tell us the size/color/model we will figure out a way to get them back to their owner. Oct 12, 2014
David S  
Was climbing at Little Bear/Papa Bear this Sunday March 19th and found a mismatched (seems a half/whole size different) pair of climbing shoes. Two different brands/shoes. One of the lasts on one seem to be separating so not sure if they were left there intentionally. Let me know if you left them. Providing the type of each shoe will do and they're yours. PM me. Oct 20, 2014
Areas + Sectors
. . (List has been moved into the main Description above). Dec 25, 2016
Ken -- I like that structure and hierarchy. In addition to that, I think a crag map a la this Rumney map would be awesome. I started working on something like this on Google Drive and shared it with you in case you want to collaborate on it. If anyone else is interested in pitching in, contact me. Dec 27, 2016
Waiver of Liability:
There's a rumor now in 2017 that TVCC might be able to work out a new approach with Harriman State Park to replace the current paper-form-signature procedure with some modern-technology, more-convenient interface and process.

In the mean time, the old process really can be used effectively, just takes some advance planning before your first climbing day at Powerlinez. And really you are legally required to follow the current paper-form-signature procedure in order to climb at Powerlinez.

. . (also using the procedure helps the TVCC and the Park to get an estimate of how many people are using the benefits of keeping Powerlinez open for climbing). Jun 4, 2017
I've never seen the agreement document or heard about any non-written "understandings" between the TVCC and Harriman State Park which enable climbing to be legal at Powerlinez. But here's what I've understood (or misunderstood?) from conversations with some TVCC Board members (and not yet contradicted by others ...

Installing bolts or other permanent protection or anchor hardware is generally not permitted by Harriman State Park legal rules. The TVCC did not request or receive any exception to those legal rules for new installations when the agreement to make climbing legal was made in 2013 - (and TVCC has not requested any exceptions since then up to so far in 2017).

So the "no new bolts" rule is a Harriman Park rule.

The existing bolts are "just there". They were installed (in violation of Park rules) before the TVCC and before Powerlinez was opened for legal climbing. They were not "grandfathered" when Powerlinez was opened. They have not been approved (retrospetively) by the Harriman Park administation or the TVCC. It's not the role of the TVCC to figure out what to do with things that happened before they existed or made their agreement with the Park. So no decision has (so far) been made to remove them. Those bolts are "just there". It's your own risk and responsibility if you decide to use them.

. (just my hearsay understanding) .

Ken Jun 4, 2017