Access Issue: Closure! of the base trail at Eenie Meenie / Moe Details

Description

Easy access, classic climbs, and easy descents make the Near Trapps a popular area at the Gunks, second only to The Trapps in climber visits. The cliff is 30' to 200' feet high, and sports almost 200 routes. The most popular area is the north end (closest to the parking lot), with many classic routes one after the other. The middle section of the cliff has loose rock and not many good climbs; be careful of rockfall in this area. More good climbs are found at the far (south) end of the cliff, a 20-to-30-minute hike from the parking lot.

To descend from climbs on the right end of the cliff, follow the cliff-top trail to the climber's right, circling around the cliff and back to the base by the route Kansas City. For climbs on the left end of the cliff, follow the cliff-top trail to the climber's left, and descend the gully at the end of the Near Trapps. Many climbs have rappel anchors which allow descent after one or two pitches without going all the way to the top of the cliff.

Navigation

We've subdivided the cliff into for areas: two areas before the closure (see below), and two areas after it. The two areas before the closure are split by the giant hanging right-facing corner of Gelsa. The closure is marked by land ownership signs: and the obvious orange right-facing corner mid-cliff that is Eenie Meenie. The two areas after the closure are divided at Harvest Moon, a striking hand crack on the right side of The White Pillar block.

Within these areas, learn to recognize the following routes as visual anchors (copies of the pictures are in this section, below) and they will help you to find the routes around them. Each of these routes has a picture in the description, and is used in other route descriptions as navigational anchors.

Disneyland. In this first section of the cliff, routes are densely packed. Many routes start in corners and aretes, and a trick to finding them is to look backwards over your shoulder. This area of the cliff is popular, so there are often people here to help you find what you're looking for.
Birdland marks the end of the 'gym' of dense routes - after Birdland, routes are a bit more spread out and sometimes harder to spot.
Up Yours is a striking right-leaning crack and ramp.
Catnip's right-facing corners and the crack of Coyote Crack are just after the closure and easy to spot. Routes are less dense around here.
Easter Time Too is a very obvious right-leaning hand and finger crack that you'll need to climb. It has a dozen or so routes near it.
Animal Farm (not entered yet) is a huge, orange corner ~300 feet left of Easter Time, on the left side of an ampitheatre. Routes around here are very spread out.
The White Pillar is an unmistakeable detached block ~100' high with a beautiful hand crack on its right side.
King of P, a very easy lightning crack (fissure), marks the left side of the Williams Wall, which has a density of moderate slabby routes.
Void Where Inhibited's left-facing corner and the deceptively easy-looking crack of Void Where Prohibited are on the front face of the Void block, a 100' high block, at the Far End of the Nears.

A private party who owns a short section of the Nears cliff has closed his land to climbers for geopolitical reasons. This means for routes from the beginning of the Nears to Eenie Meenie or Moe, you'll approach as usual, from a trail heading towards the rock between the steel bridge and the Overlook lot.

For routes past the closure or Moe, you'll need to slingshot around the cliff. Walk south on the carriage road from the steel bridge, then turn left at the second trailhead -- the Millbrook Ridge Trail (blue markers). In about 15 minutes, you'll come to an intersection where blue markers meet red markers, and a new, orange-blazed/staked trail heads east and down a slope, depositing you right at the Far End of the Nears.

This overall approach takes about the same time to approach the far end of the cliff than it does to hike all along the bottom of the Nears.

Getting There

From New Paltz, take Main St. (Rt. 299 West) to the T-junction with Rt. 44/55. Go right, up the hill. Pass the Mohonk Preserve Visitor's Center and continue past the hairpin turn up to the top of the hill.

Park at the West Trapps Lot, and walk up to the steel bridge. It is not recommended to park at the "30-minute" lot on the left at the top of the hill, unless you'll only be staying less than 30 minutes; tickets are $125. From the steel bridge, instead of going up the stone stairs to the carriage road, walk along 44/55 itself back towards town for a few hundred feet, and also cross the road (carefully). Look for a foot trail that heads south from the road, just past the road cut and before the guardrail. In a few hundred feet, this trail brings you to the base of the Nears, just to the left of Kansas City.

Guidebooks

For mobile devices, check out the GunksApp, which has both a TrappsApp and a NearsApp.

Dick Williams' The Climbers' Guide to the Shawangunks: Near Trapps -- Millbrook is purple, and was published in 2008 by the in-house Vulgarian Press. Find it at Rock and Snow. In addition to updated descriptions of old routes, Dick and company (often Annie O'Neill) went on an FA spree in the mid-2000s; most if not all of those new routes are described here.

Other editions include:
Shawanagunk Rock Climbs: The Near Trapps and Millbrook. Dick Williams, American Alpine Club Press 1991, aka the "black Dick".

The Gunks Select, Dick Williams, Vulgarian Press, 1996. Contains the best routes at the Trapps, the Near Trapps, and Skytop. (Out of print).

The Gunks Guide, Third Edition, Todd Swain, Falcon Press, 1995. All-inclusive guide to The Trapps, the Near Trapps, Skytop, and Millbrook.

Shawangunks Rock Climbs: The Near Trapps and Millbrook, Dick Williams, The AAC Press, 1991. Part of the three-volume "brown Dick" set. Contains all the Near Trapps climbs, as does Swain's guide.

153 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Near Trapps

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 132
Yum Yum Yab Yum
Trad 3 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
 352
Gelsa
Trad 3 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 138
Layback
Trad 2 pitches
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 303
Disneyland
Trad 2 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 259
Yellow Ridge
Trad 3 pitches
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 127
Te Dum
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 95
Farewell to Arms
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 178
Alphonse
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 233
Birdland
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 97
Broken Sling
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 98
Grand Central
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 161
Roseland
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 106
Bird Cage
Trad
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 98
Transcontinental Nailway
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13
 58
Fat City Direct
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Yum Yum Yab Yum b. Gelsa to Moe (clos…
 132
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 3 pitches
Gelsa a. Beginning of cliff…
 352
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 3 pitches
Layback a. Beginning of cliff…
 138
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
Disneyland a. Beginning of cliff…
 303
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 2 pitches
Yellow Ridge a. Beginning of cliff…
 259
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 3 pitches
Te Dum a. Beginning of cliff…
 127
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Farewell to Arms b. Gelsa to Moe (clos…
 95
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Alphonse a. Beginning of cliff…
 178
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Birdland b. Gelsa to Moe (clos…
 233
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Broken Sling a. Beginning of cliff…
 97
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Grand Central a. Beginning of cliff…
 98
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Roseland b. Gelsa to Moe (clos…
 161
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 3 pitches
Bird Cage b. Gelsa to Moe (clos…
 106
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Transcontinental Nailway b. Gelsa to Moe (clos…
 98
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Fat City Direct a. Beginning of cliff…
 58
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13 Trad
More Classic Climbs in The Near Trapps »

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BrianRH
Jersey City, NJ
BrianRH   Jersey City, NJ
This weekend I walked along the carriage trail from the iron bridge to the Bayards trail and then over to the far end of the Nears past the closure. Didn't time it on the way there, but on the way back it took less than 30 minutes from the bottom of the nears by the spring to the iron bridge. It's actually a nicer walk than the climber's trail along the bottom of the cliff and the far end of the Nears was empty despite the perfect crisp October weather. Oct 24, 2011