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climbing ban at ramapo powerlines
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By T.L. Kushner
Feb 1, 2012

www.emsexploration.com/wordpress/power-struggle-over-the-pow>>>

I really hope this gets resolved soon. i'd learned about this area about a year and a half before the guidebook got released and almost overnight i saw the place go from totally empty, to there being 3-6 parties on a sunny afternoon. i hope people can band together and re-open access to the nicest local crag the NYC area has to offer


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Feb 1, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun

link not working anymore. Unfortunately that's what happens especially back there. I grew up in NYC and started climbing at the Gunks in '91. Moved to Colorado in 2001, by that time the climbing scene at the Gunks had become like that of a gym. Unfortunately. Good Luck!


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By cms829
Feb 2, 2012
high e

Try this link. This is bullshit!

www.emsexploration.com/wordpress/power-struggle-over-the-pow>>>


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By Erboutitman
From farmingdale ny
Feb 10, 2012

I blame the guidebook


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 10, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

The guidebook could not have helped. The PIPC is about as anti-climbing as government organizations can get. It took the personal intervention of Arthur Sulzberger with Bernadette Castro to open Peterskill.

If there was any doubt at all, the geniuses who went in and bolted PIPC land would have to be the primary culprits. When an organization that is already averse to climbing finds climbers are drilling whenever and wherever they please on land managed by the PIPC, the ban became a foregone conclusion---it was only a matter of time.

People have been climbing there quietly since Fritz Wiessner's visits (in the late thirties, I think). That's a good seventy years of discrete use, before the power drills showed up.


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By cms829
Feb 10, 2012
high e

I agree with rgold 100%. I dont see the reason why everyone feels the damn need to bolt stuff that doesnt need bolts!


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By al piner
Feb 10, 2012
Lk Minnewaska

I dont usually get involved in this stuff but this one hits me hard . I've been climbing here with my kids and friends for years without issue.

I have not climbed much in the last 2 years due to injury and a divorce. I did however hike to the Upper Torne last March and noticed that many trees had been cut away from the cliff face of the Lower Torne. I figured the power company cut them down, but it seemed odd that they cleared the rocks but nothing near the the power lines themselves.

I remember thinking , wow they opened up a few new lines . Now that I know the turds who are responsible for this , I wish I could have made it to that meeting . They should have been arrested on the spot .

Cutting trees down in a state park .
Bolting in an area where climbing is not permitted.
Putting a 'Guidebook' out in local gyms.
Here's some RADICAL tidbits from their blog :

" If you haven't seen the new 'bridge' crossing, take a look and you'll see the fine work that a couple of come-alongs, a chainsaw, and a sledge can do. And right next to it is a new rock-hop stream crossing that was tested with a 2 1/2 year old in tow!"

Next time just bulldoze and pave a path . ( Maybe put a Starbuck's at the base of the hill)

"Climbing is currently prohibited in 95% of the Powerlinez. We are pursuing legal access and any unauthorized climbing will impact that effort in a negative way. We are definitely soliciting the support of the entire climbing community and welcome any contributions and suggestions you have. Finally, remember that many park officials will visit this site, and what is said will be read by them, and unfair characterizations may hurt our cause."

You guys ever think of practicing what you print .

Grab a RedBull and read their blog if you think your EXTREME enough. powerlinez.blogspot.com/

here are some before and after pictures

'09 before
'09 before

'10 after
'10 after

'07 before
'07 before

'10 after
'10 after



These clowns are literally criminals and they dont even know it .


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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Feb 10, 2012
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.

Holy shit! That is some serious landscaping.


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By PosiDave
Feb 10, 2012

I mean they do have a drinking team and they love boltings areas and bragging about it on facebook. I am all about climbing new areas. But I thought it was stupid they were supporting open bolting online.


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Feb 10, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun

Al Piner----- That is insane. WTF? Maybe Access Fund would get involved?


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By Tyson Anderson
From Las Vegas, NV
Feb 10, 2012
Rapping from the top of Cat in the hat

Al do you by chance have comparison photos of the area that were taken in the same season? I don't doubt that a lot of vegetation removal has taken place (which is disgusting) but I think a comparison would be more credible if seasonal differences were removed from the picture.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 10, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

Jeez, I didn't know about the deforestration. These guys have already violated every principle the Access Fund promotes.

Al, I get your outrage, but let's not tar all gym climbers with the same brush. A small group of people who are either stupid (sorry, it had to be said) or more likely extremely naive (let's give them the benefit of the doubt) brought this on. The climbers I know in the gym I go to would have known a lot better.

Knowing the PIPC, getting that area opened again will be tough. Far worse, much better and far more extensive areas also under PIPC management, areas where climbing is now prohibited, have just become far harder to open. The repercussions of this clueless behavior will, I fear, be wide and substantial, because now climbers have to prove they can be responsible users of the land in the face of substantial evidence to the contrary.

Boulderers who are prepared to rip up huge carpets of delicate mosses (that didn't interfere with anything anyway) have already gotten some areas closed at the Mohonk Preserve. And other climbers have been installing bolts in sections of the Bayards cliff, either trespassing on private land to do so or else (depending on where these cliffs really lie) violating specific prohibitions of the Mohonk Preserve.

It is almost as if these folks are on a campaign to prove that climbers will follow a scorched-earth environmental policy in pursuit of goals that have no meaning to the rest of society, not to mention the owners and/or managers of the land these guys invade and violate. Their behavior puts climbing and climbers in the worst possible light and can only result, in the end, in reduced opportunities for all.


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By PosiDave
Feb 10, 2012

Tyson,

There is a lot of vegetation removal. most of it was briar bushes from what I noticed. but they did set-up sketchy log cross.(instead of a very east rock hop my buddy did with a crash pad and 3 year old.)

They talk about bolting on the facebook page. Even though there was never permission to do so. There is also loads of garbage left behind by the boulders and obvious climber impact.

Also, having people call the self the "Beer Boulderers" and take pictures of them chugging beers at an area they are obviously leaving doesn't seem to bright to me. NY/NJ laws could probably have a lawsuit if someone was to get a DUI or accident after leaving.

Bottom Line: They are stupid for half the stuff they pointed out on a public accessible web page. For an area that the access wasn't confirmed.


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By al piner
Feb 10, 2012
Lk Minnewaska

Tyson ,I understand exactly what your saying . There will obviously be more vegetation there in the spring . These were the only pics I had for comparison .
But we are taking about 30'-40' trees they whacked . You can see them in the foreground.

Palisade Interstate Park regulations : www.njpalisades.org/2012_regs_general.pdf

PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES
Swimming, cliff climbing, hunting, trapping, horseback riding, snowmobiling, gambling, advertising, soliciting, vending, and overnight parking are prohibited.

PROHIBITED ARTICLES
Possession or use of drugs, alcohol, fireworks, explosives, firearms, bows and arrows, axes, chain saws, and other weapons or cutting tools are prohibited.

FLORA & FAUNA
Destruction, damage, or removal of trees, shrubs, flowers, wildlife, and other living things is prohibited.

It's all there in black and white.

Read as they talk of a closure yet IT WAS NEVER LEGALLY OPEN !
www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1090704159#!/groups/11061080>>>

RG Your right . I deleted my indoor rant. I got heated and forgot about quite a few friends whom I was lucky enough to be with on their 1st climb on real rock . Many might not have come outside without that safe and secure feeling of a gym first.


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By "H"
From Manitou Springs
Feb 10, 2012
Axes glistening in the sun

AL Piner.... That is insane. However I think the AF would have been a little more discreet? Maybe. What a bunch of tools those guys are. Good Luck.


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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Feb 10, 2012

this is precisely the reason why a secret should remain a secret, because of a few jackasses that effed it up for everybody.


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By jon crefeld
Feb 10, 2012

Climbers -

I understand you're upset, but I think you're getting the wrong idea and it's important to the future of climbing in the Ramapo Torne Valley that we all understand the situation.

I've been climbing at the Ramapo Powerlinez since 2006, and as a whole the climbers there have been respectful of land owners, the environment and climbing ethics.

Let me make a case to correct the conclusions that you've made.

1. Climbing was Illegal in the Area. Not true. The land was purchased by a collection of government agencies in approximately 2008. They were the Town of Ramapo, Rockland County and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. After a discussion with the Ramapo Town Supervisor, and a visit to the Tax Assessor, I was under the impression that the land would be managed by the Town of Ramapo, who were overall climber friendly. As of this time, the land is still not marked. It was the pro-active efforts of the Torne Valley Climber Coalition in January that sought out to decipher the property lines and correlate how the climbing is impacted. When we discovered that management was to fall under the Palisades Interstate Park Commission (PIPC), we decided to alert other climbers that climbing there was no longer permitted as we opened a discussion to designate the Powerlinez as an allowed climbing area with the PIPC. (Like Peters Kill.)

2. ‎The PIPC 'shut the place down' Not True. The PIPC did not acquire the land until a land purchase in approximately 2008, and climb was only allowed because the previous owner was permissive (did not post 'no' trespassing), and the land was bought with funds from several agencies - the PIPC, Rockland County, and the Town of Ramapo. That sort of combined purchase takes a long time to sort out who is going to take responsibility. In that window, we all were able to climb. Now, that it has been decided that the land will be managed by the PIPC, they have a no climbing policy. No one messed it up for all of us, and if you've ever looked at the Palisade Cliffs by the Hudson or the climbing around Bear Mountain, it all falls under the same rule. So, actually, the Torne Valley Climbers Coalition is doing us all a great service by trying to change the rules that ban climbing all over the NY/NJ area. It's no small task and could move us all towards having many more places to climb.

3. No climbers were involved in cutting all the trees off the cliffs. The land belongs to a power company because of the power lines, and they cut the trees to make sure no trees are going to fall on their electrical lines. Everyone I know at the Powerlinez is also appalled that so many trees have to be cut down, and if we stick together maybe we can do something about it in the future. Furthermore - the pictures posted on this thread are from Trail Day 2011. You see us with a chainsaw and come alongs. We used the chain saw to score the tree that had already fallen down over the river, so no one would slip, and the come alongs to pull it so it was more secure. We were improving a climbers path that would take people away from land posted 'no trespassing.'

Please, feel free to email me, or I'll monitor this thread and answer the best I can. All of the climbers of the Torne Valley share a belief that it can become a great local crag, and we'll definitely need help to change the regulations of the PIPC. Your thoughts and contributions will definitely matter. Thanks.


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By jon crefeld
Feb 10, 2012

And - as the Guidebook author and a long-time resident of New Jersey, allow me to defend the decision to distribute a guidebook to a select bunch of very aware climbing gyms and owners. I have long hoped that more climbing spots would be opened up in our area, and that means that the regulations of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission have to be changed. In order to do that, you're going to need a large upstanding community of climbers, voter and activists. With the current growth of climbing gyms in the area, it is possible to have the political strength to get the attention of the PIPC. Several years ago, we tried to get more climbing opened up in Peters Kill, and the PIPC decided against it. Now, the Torne Valley Climbers Coalition is beginning discussions with the PIPC, and we have their attention, because the PIPC knows the potential constituency in the climbing gyms from Upper Saddlebrook all the way down to Brooklyn Boulders. If there is any chance for climbing to be legal there, a few climbers just can't spend the rest of time keeping it a secret and sneaking in. At some point, someone's going to have to make it a public campaign, and with the acquisition of the land by the PIPC, which I did not wish for or plan, the guidebook is a tool that shows people how great the climbing will be if we join together and change the PIPC. Thanks, Jon.


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By rgold
From Poughkeepsie, NY
Feb 10, 2012
The traverse out to the Yellow Ridge on the Dogstick Ridge link-up.  Photo by Myriam Bouchard

Well, I'm happy to stand corrected.

But I'm also still interested in which of the candidates for a governing entity gave its permission for drilling and placing bolts.


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By derek nabozny
From Mohawk Valley, NY
Feb 11, 2012

Correct me if I am wrong but any PIPC property is closed to climbing and has been for a long time..


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By gmiani
From Rockland Cty, NY
Feb 11, 2012

Welcome to “now, now” Derek…just bustin’. But seriously gents (and ladies if you’re listening), close-mindedness and negativity are not going to help anything at this point. The guidebook is out. People know about it. Trees are cut. Bolts are drilled. While I’ll defer my personal feelings with those regards, no matter what happens now, the cat is out of the bag. Whose was it to keep it secret? I can certainly appreciate the temptation, but how selfish is that? I’m not trying to water down anyone’s spirit…stupid people are everywhere (and they’re not going to disappear)…and should absolutely be held accountable. But we have to have the facts straight first.

Things being as they are, it’s become a choice between fight for access or rollover and lose it…and potentially more crags along the way. Your thoughts and fervor are exactly what we need to protect it as well as use it responsibly. And if you truly love to climb you can understand and appreciate that every crag you’ve ever climbed started wild at some point. The only thing we can do now is quit complaining and get involved. Take it anyway you’d like. Hopefully, I’ll see you around enjoying being outside.
-gabe


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By PosiDave
Feb 11, 2012

Climbing was never actually legal in the way you stated. We were accessing under a "Grey Area" because PIPC did own it.

I do admire your dedication to opening up the cliff to others. NJ and Lower NY need more areas. but I do see issues with alot of what you were doing and things that point it toward a inexperienced climbing community.

-Bolting- I have clipped bolts and would install bolts in areas permitting. You were encouraging people on the site to bolt routes. In this area the access was sensitive to begin with and doesn't promote good ethics. (Like the Gym kids retro bolting trad lines at stover.)

-You were grading everything to Gym rating. (Whatever you wanna do for grades, but with the bolting and guide book. It effects the case of liability issues) If you are promoting the area to uneducated climbers than the liability to many (climbers) is in that issue). This isn't Utah or California and people can sue over all sorts of issues alot easier.

-Guide Book- Access sensitive area. If you decided to sell a guidebook to the lost city at GV2 someone would probably want to smack you in the face. (That area is fully legal).

I took plenty of climber "Garbage" away from the cliff and that is the issue I see. People who aren't used to the outdoors that climb in a gym shouldn't be encourage free range on any outdoor area until certain measures are taken to prevent the destruction on said area.


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By al piner
Feb 11, 2012
Lk Minnewaska

Hello Jon,
I know all about the confusion of property lines and ownership of the land in that area. I am very good friends with a Palisade Interstate Park ranger. Many years ago I brought up the question of climbing in this area and what the park boundaries were. His answer to me was similar to the information your gave above.

He told me "that area has been mixed up in red tape for years. If you do climb up there just be safe ,clean and discreet and no one should bother you.If you are told to leave , do so respectively". Over ten years we had no problems. We even once asked a PIP cop if parking on Torne Brook rd was ok and he said sure be careful up there.

You say that "After a discussion with the Ramapo Town Supervisor, and a visit to the Tax Assessor, I was under the impression that the land would be managed by the Town of Ramapo, who were overall climber friendly."

Under the impression is a little to close to assuming for me.


-Did Ramapo township give permission to climb?
-Do you have any documentation of this?
-Who did you contact from the Palisades Interstate Park Commission ?
-Who authorized the development (bolting) of the area?
-Your blog mentions the Access Fund.Which coordinator are you working with?
After contacting them they seem to only have knowledge of the closing and none on the development.

The bottom line : Unless you were 100% positively sure ( documentation from PIPC or the town) that it was legal to climb , why would you go ahead and develop this area?

Tony "Alpiner"


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By jon crefeld
Feb 11, 2012

Thanks for you questions and points, and I'll answer what I can now and get back to the rest.

On determining land management, here's a video clip from May 2010. This is when I was informed the Powerlinez area had been sold by the Ramapo Land Company, and the Town of Ramapo had bought a large part of the land. I had a sit-down with Town Supervisor Chris St. Lawrence to talk about climbing.

Discussion with Ramapo Town Supervisor.

You can see from this discussion, that it definitely seemed like a climber friendly area, and I was even asked to teach Ramapo to climb. Basically, I was asked to develop the area. Jon


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By rogerbenton
Feb 11, 2012
Whoever this guy is, he's just plain irresponsible.

well that vid clears up some of the assumptions going on here.

Jon- what can locals do to help the cause (besides lay back for a while)?


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By jon crefeld
Feb 13, 2012

Tony, trust me, this is not some financial scheme to guide at the Powerlinez. I grew up climbing trees in NJ, and we have a chance here to build something for the next generation of climbers.

If you've been to the area, you know it has a two hundred foot clear-cut all along the electrical lines and they use defoliants to keep plans from growing. We, as climbers, can be part of reclaiming some of that devastation.

So, I'm not sure why you're so quick to criticize, but as you noted - climbing is not allowed there - yet. I stand by my words, it does have a chance to be a treasure, and I hope that after I've stood the litmus tests, given the chance, you'll give us a hand opening up the best local crag around.

That'd be worth hearing a peep out of you again! Cheers - Jon


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