|The Near Trapps
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.
We've subdivided the cliff into for areas for now (2013): 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.
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.
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.
125 Total Routes
['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',42],['2 Stars',54],['1 Star',22],['Bomb',0]
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Near Trapps:
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Latest Regional Forum Messages
From: Jersey City, NJ
Oct 24, 2011
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.