A few years ago, Jon Crefeld wrote the first edition of the Powerlinez guidebook. Not long after, access issues arose and climbing was put on hold. The Torne Valley Climbers Coalition, led by Jon, lobbied to have the ban lifted and in May, 2013, climbing finally became a legal activity.
The Powerlinez is an interesting area. The main approach trail is literally underneath Power Lines and you can hear them buzzing and snapping overhead. The Tower Wall, the area’s largest wall, is one of the first things you’ll see walking up and it’s definitely an impressive piece of rock. Scattered throughout are boulder-like walls, 10-30+’ high, that offer either high-ball bouldering or short top-rope climbs. For the most part, I saw the landings were very flat and ideal for crash pads and spotters. However, I’ve never been comfortable bouldering more than 10 feet, even with a diligent spotter and cushioned fall.
|Power Lines, litearlly.|
There are also several walls for roped climbing, and there’s even a sport climbing wall that was grandfathered in (bolting is not permitted). We set up on what I believe was the Three Bears Wall (far left of Tower wall), on a high-ball slab called the Free Fall Boulder, and the Basilisk Wall. Unfortunately, steady rain from the day before combined with lichen covered rock (due to the area being still relatively new to climbers) made the rock very spongey and slippery. The Basilisk Wall would have been a great area to explore had the rock been dryer. Another issue, again from the rock not being climbed, cleaned, and worn down, is the sharpness of holds and features. The rock is nearly razor sharp. Over time, these factors will become less of an issue but it’s definitely something to be considered.
|Chopper Noise, 5.9 on the Basilisk Wall. Very wet!|
|Free Fall Boulder, about 20-25'. Sharp and gritty. Climbed on Top-Rope.|
|What might be the "God Jam Crack". Stemming up to the ceiling, to a hand-jam crack, then face climbing traverse to top out. Good route!|