Ken Roberts - - Climbing

what's here

see also:  more USA stories | public discussion | more on USA

comments on USA websites

Gunks - Trapps

Gunks - Near Trapps

CampToCamp - c2c (USA routes)

Mohonk Mountain House rock scrambling

[ GPX file ]

These GPS waypoints are not accurate enough for positive navigation, but they might help someone tell when they are way off.





Gunks - Near Trapps

how to find easy routes

directions to Disneyland

Drive to West Trapps Parking area (GPS latitude/longitude approx N41.7360 W74.2004) of the Mohonk Preserve, which is on route 44 about 1.25 miles west-bound from its intersection with route 299. From the east end of the parking, walk about 750 feet NorthEast then SouthEast on the wide trail mostly uphill to a portable toilet next to stone steps leading up steeply to an iron bridge. Do not go up those steep stone steps, instead turn Right a couple of steps to the side of the route 44 highway. Immediately turn Left and walk under the iron bridge, SouthEast about 400 ft along high-speed high-traffic route 44, and at some point cross over to the other (southwest) side of the highway.

After passing by a rock-cut cliff along the southwest side, just before a steel guardrail, turn Right off the highway (lat/long ~ N41.7363 W74.1935) onto a dirt trail. Walk South-SouthWest about 180 ft on the trail, first down, then up, until meet the base of the cliff -- at a junction of trails. The trail climbing up to the right is the normal Descent route for climbs in the north section of the Near Trapps -- so it's good to make a little side-trip and go up and check it out now. so you'll recognize how to find it when coming from the top of the cliff. The trail more horizontal to the left is the way to the bottom of the climbing routes, including Disneyland ... so continue South-SouthWest along the base of the cliffs ...

After a giant roof ("Kansas City") just left above a left-facing corner ("Topeka"), walk for about 30-35 feet, then down a little to a flat area with a horizontal hand-traverse crack about 5-6 feet above the ground. About 50-55 feet along that, reach a prominent nose overhanging. Another 35-40 feet reach a giant slanted triangular roof 10 to 20 feet off the ground - (at its right end which you reach first is the climb "Broken Sling"). Walk about 35 feet farther to reach the left end of the roof -- that's the start of Disneyland.

directions to Gelsa

First follow the directions from the Parking to "Disneyland".. Then continue going SSW along the base of the cliff. After about 45-55 feet, reach a narrow passage between the cliff and a rock. The cliff at that point is a narrow ridge with a crack in it ("Inverted Layback").

Another 50-60 feet, after passing under a prominent blocky nose about 25 feet above, see an open book of orange rock starting above a ledge about 30 feet up -- with cracks in its left face ("Alphonse").

About 65-70 feet further, reach a prominent narrow ridge down to the ground, with a slanted triangular gap cut out from its bottom - (left side of this ridge is the start of "Fat Stick").

About 65 feet more, after passing by a roof about 25-30 feet above, then by a large slanting/leaning flake about 25 feet high with lots of lichen on it, see twin trees on top of a smaller slanting/leaning flake about 10 feet high. About 35 feet above them is a giant ledge/alcove below a big roof with orange rock - ("Baskerville Terrace").

Another 40-45 feet, after passing by a ridge about 20 feet high, then by two roofs layered 15 or 20 feet up, see a bunch of stacked rocks with a tree about a foot wide growing out of their midst -- that's the start of Gelsa. Above is an obvious crack going from 15 feet to 30 feet up. And about 50 feet up see a semi-triangular ceiling sticking out from the face.

(After this the trail goes down a little past an evergreen bush, and about 75 feet past Gelsa ... if you find an open book of orange rock with a thin crack ("Roseland"), with an overhanging bulge about 30 feet up, capped by a ceiling about 60 feet up ... you've gone too far)

directions to Yum Yum Yab Yum

First follow the directions from the Parking to "Disneyland". Then continue walking (SSW) on the the informal trail at the base of the of the cliffs ... When you reach those property boundary signs, you've gone too far. Turn around and go back north about 70-85 feet (20-25 meters), and I think the bottom of YYYY is the only clean rock around there. If you look up and slightly left, should see a Left-facing corner that starts about 20-25 feet up. Might be able to spot the pine tree on the ledge about 55-65 feet up.

For the more complicated "normal" way of trying to find it, by checking landmarks going forward south on the informal trail at the base of the cliffs ...
First follow the directions from the Parking to "Gelsa". After Gelsa, go about 165-175 ft, soon pass by one big open book (Roseland) then uphill to reach second big open book (Birdland).

Another 185-200 ft, just after the trail goes up a little, see a gentle slab (Lonely Challenge). Then the trail goes down.

Another 95-105 ft after the Lonely Challenge slab, see a rock standing with only a small space between it and the cliff (Elder Cleavage). The rock is about 4-6 ft high, 2 ft thick, 6 ft wide. Together with another rock, they almost block the trail.

Another 110-120 ft, finishing with uphill, see a less-steep face with a wide crack 15-20 ft up. (Aint Dis Yab Yum)

Another 90-100 ft, soon passing by a small triangular slab, reach some (relatively) clean rock: Yum Yum Yab Yum. If you look up and slightly left, should see a Left-facing corner that starts about 20-25 feet up. Might be able to spot the pine tree on the ledge about 55-65 feet up.

. . . (another 70-85 ft, reach the property boundary signs)

Near Trapps route descriptions

Yum Yum Yab Yum

protection: normal Gunks rack, but I've never placed anything larger than a #1 (red) Camalot. Also I've found that two or three very small cams are helpful both on P2 and P4.

P1 - Starting up slab, trend slightly left to reach Left-facing corner, follow that to ledge with a large pine tree  (with rappel slings as of 2013) - about 50-65 feet off the ground.

P2 - First go up 12-15 feet on right side, then traverse Left about 10 feet (shorter climbers might find it easier to step down some) - to reach left-facing corner. Follow that (steep) to its top. Then up face (with a bulge) to a wide ledge. On the right side of the ledge is a large pine tree (with rappel slings as of 2013).
 . . Long pitch, possibly as much as 125ft.
 . . Double-rope technique early in this pitch perhaps makes it easier to protect high on right side before making traverse to left.
 . . Well-protected with small cams and very small cams and medium + large stoppers, and long threads around rocks - except for the bulge with possible leader-fall-and-hit-ledge.
 . . P1 + P2 could be combined. On the other hand the belay setup at top of P1 is pretty easy, so the saving in time is not large.

P3 - At first go up, then diagonal left (some vegetation) and Left, finish horizontal left to reach wide ledge at bottom of wide corner, with anchor around a large rock (? or small tree ?)
 . . (While climbing, as you look up you see a roof above which seems would be impossible to make a traverse close underneath. That is not the roof of the top pitch of YYYY, which is out of sight above that roof. The point of P3 is to get around the lower roof, well below it. The point of P4 is to climb up past the lower roof, then traverse between the lower and upper roofs.)

P4 - up the wide corner about 20 ft to a mini-roof.  then traverse 30-40 ft horizontal under roof (exposed but good holds), then less-steep slabby (thoughtful moves) to the top.
 . . Old piton at top of corner above mini-roof. Perhaps could bypass that to reach the roof traverse quicker with less rope drag. But placing a small cam (with long slings) next to the piton might help protect followers on upper section of wide corner)
 . . The traverse section is well-protected for both leader and follower (with double-rope technique) if bring sufficient medium and small cams. The final slopy section protects well with very small cams.
 . . Once above the roof, the anchors and belay stances get nicer the higher you go, but then communication with followers gets more difficult.""
 . . A possible way to improve communication and reduce rope drag is to place good directionals out to the right of the traverse, to pull the rope away from the right end of the traverse. Then after anchoring to a good tree higher up, the leader extends the anchor with rope downward to near the right end of the traverse. Then with semi-hang down from the tree and good directionals to NE side, belay the followers from close to the right end of the traverse.

Descent: The rappel slings on trees on P1 + P2 might make you think there should be a rappel station at the top of the climb, but there is not. Instead walk off to the north (right) and soon meet a trail.


more . . .

see also


concept words: roberts United States America American USA visit trip vacation holiday visitor report reports

climbing: technical rock mountain free climb climber climbers

routes: climbs route routes tour tours map maps

places: cliff cliffs rocks mountains peak peaks group place state country region regions area areas