The Powerlinez: A Valley no longer Torne

The Tower Wall at The Powerlinez in NY
The Tower Wall at The Powerlinez in NY (PC: Matt Lucas)

The Torne Valley of Harriman State Park is a land that has had significant historical value to the area of Southern NY.

A primary source for iron during the revolutionary war, Torne Valley played a pivotal role in supplying resources during the creation of the United States of America. As we have developed as a nation so has the land that helped shape it.

Climbers heading toward the Rock Dojo to do some bouldering
Climbers heading toward the Rock Dojo to do some bouldering

The Powerlinez is one of the first parcels of NY state public land to be given legal access to climbing, the other being Minnewaska state park also known as the “Peter’s Kill” section of the Gunks.

Nick Arocha reaching for the finish while bouldering at the Powerlinez
Nick Arocha reaching for the finish while bouldering at the Powerlinez

As thousands of climbers have made their way up to the Gunks over the years The Powerlinez sitting on the NY/NJ border became the local hidden gem for the harden climbers of the area looking for a place to get outside after work or a morning send session on the weekend.

Sam bouldering the Swath section of The Powerlinez
Sam Dixon bouldering the Swath section of The Powerlinez

As climbing has blown up in the last 10 years, more and more people wanted to climb and found the area would make a good sport climbing area.

Unfortunately, in The Powerlinez early years the land transferred into the care of Harriman State Park, which had a no climbing policy. This policy resulted in the shutdown of climbing in the area. Luckily through the dedication of concerned climbers stepping up, these stewards of the land began the process of learning about the state parks rules and regulations. They worked along-side with the state & park officials in forming the Torne Valley Climbers Coalition (TVCC). Through 2 long years of this dedication and ability to network with the State, TVCC was able to propose and issue a free permit system to re-open access to climbers in the Torne Valley!

Torne Valley Climbers Coalition on Clean-up Day
Torne Valley Climbers Coalition on Clean-up Day (PC: Matt Lucas)

Two years later, the TVCC continues its work for The Powerlinez working with the Access Fund and NY State park system in getting more areas throughout Harriman & Sterling Forest areas accessible to climbing. One of the board members of TVCC also serves on the board for Thatcher Climbing Coalition for Thatcher State Park, an area just outside of Albany about 125 miles north of the Powerlinez,  working with them in their efforts with getting Thatcher state park to be accessible to climbing!

Climbers helping out with trail maintenance
Climbers helping out with trail maintenance (PC: Matt Lucas)

With all the work that the TVCC does they are also keeping up with the changes in technology! The new guidebook for The Powerlinez is now out via the mobile app Rakkup. This has made it possible for climbers to have an interactive map of the climbs accessible via their smart phone. This also has given the TVCC the ability to make updates to the guidebook and issue out important notices regarding the area seamlessly to the climbing community! Learning from the sins of the past this tech capability offers the means for the climbing community to stay better connected in working together to keep the area open and obtaining feedback to better serve one another!

A climber rappelling down Three bears wall
A climber rappelling down Three bears wall (PC:Matt Lucas)

Want to go climbing at or learn more about The Powerlinez?

Download – The Powerlinez Guidebook

Join: The Powerlinez Facebook

Join: Torne Valley Climbers’ Coalition Facebook

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