Moving to California...But Where?

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jjl3

Trad climber
Vancouver, BC
Topic Author's Original Post - Dec 7, 2012 - 07:33pm PT
So I'm finally graduating and moving back to 'Merica after five years in Vancouver. I've done all the research on the prospective jobs, but I am having trouble with the most important part - the climbing. I've been to Joshua Tree and Yosemite before, so what I'm really interested in is the "local" climbing - after work crags, etc., in the following areas:

Bay Area

LA

Orange County

San Diego

Davis

For what its worth I prefer trad climbing but I'm ok with sport climbing, and well, bouldering still beats the gym.

Thanks!

Burchey

Mountain climber
San Diego
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:37pm PT
San Diego is a great place to "live", but you've got a drive to get to any serious climbing. 2-3 hours to Jtree, 5-7+ hours for the Sierra, Yosemite's even more of a haul. YOu get the picture.
BASE104

Social climber
An Oil Field
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:45pm PT
Move to the East Side for a while for full value. You can do anything there from bouldering to sport to multipitch to hang gliding to parasailing to you name it.

If you have a career, then place yourself within weekends of the valley. San Diego has unreal bouldering.

I hated southern California. Everyone is so cool there. You have to act cool. In the boonies you can just be yourself. I came from the plains, so the ocean of concrete that is Los Angeles really depressed me.

That said, California has everything you could possibly want.
jtcrip

Gym climber
jt
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:46pm PT
BAY AREA HAS NO LOCAL CLIMBING.

JTCRIP

707 4 LYFE.

STAY HYPHY



neversummer

Trad climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:53pm PT
Southern Ca. is full and...
Credit: neversummer
Stewart Johnson

climber
lake forest
Dec 7, 2012 - 07:57pm PT
nothing to see here, carry on.
lake tahoe
lake tahoe
Credit: Stewart Johnson
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:07pm PT
Chatsworth California is where you otta be....Porn capital of the world. (although the LA government is trying to run them out, just like they have done to most industries)

But IMHO.... depending on just what you "DO" the "east side", like has been said, would be the killer location, unless you love- need cultural diversions.

Ill speak for LA... if your going to have a regular 9-5 job try to have a short commute. All the time sitting on FWYS going noewhere is lost, waisted time.

I have a 20 min drive, and Stoney Point is on the way. So I stop in almost every day. Living on the north end of the BEAST its easy to hit the road on Friday and Lone Pine is just over 3 hrs, South Sierra 2.5, the Valley 5 so its not to bad.
I always shead a tear for the folks who live in Orange county whenever I exit the 405 at my exit and think about the added 1.5 hours or more that they require to get home.

welcome to the jungle, we got fun n games.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:11pm PT
Never EVER shed a tear for those who live in the OC guyman.

Long Beach, on the other hand....

DMT
sempervirens

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:22pm PT
If you ski you'd probably like Truckee. Has climbing at Donner Summit-20 minutes dirve. Damn good skiing... for California. We don't often get nice dry powder. It's convenient to Reno and Sacramento for flights out and other city stuff. But housing is expensive. I live an hour north of Truckee and housing is dirt cheap, but no climbing to speak of other than a couple choss piles here and there.
whitemeat

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo, CA
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:30pm PT
San Luis Obispo!!!
close to everything and some pretty great climbing

local mountain
local mountain
Credit: whitemeat
rlf

Trad climber
Josh, CA
Dec 7, 2012 - 08:31pm PT
One thing that would help is what profession are you heading towards. From the areas you put forth, places like the East side won't work for you.

Care to give us a hint?
yosemite 5.9

climber
santa cruz
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:01pm PT
Come to Santa Cruz. Everyone will be happy to tell you how to be politically correct!
bergbryce

Mountain climber
California
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:10pm PT
This is the primary problem with California. There isn't really anywhere to live within good access of a good amount of quality climbing and have a decent job save for a few career options.

I suggest Reno.
Or maybe Sacramento with an emphasis on foothill communities like Auburn.

edited to add: Fresno
Matt Sarad

climber
Dec 7, 2012 - 09:25pm PT
Bakersfield

Affordable housing
Conservative politics
Great Basque food
Close to Needles

The bad side?

Terrible air
Conservative politics
Gangs everywhere
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Dec 7, 2012 - 10:21pm PT
I wouldn't advise making a career decision based on after-work crags....
Here are some bouldering options, for *after* you decide:
Berkeley - Indian Rock (also closer to Yosemite, Tahoe and Jailhouse than south bay)
south bay - Castle Rock (but takes awhile to drive up the hill to reach it; more of a "dawn patrol" than after work)
Davis - Nut Tree boulders, Putah Creek (I haven't been to either of these places).
Look stuff up:
http://www.mountainproject.com/v/california/105708959
jtcrip

Gym climber
jt
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:03am PT
PUTAH CREEK IS ONE BOULDER.

NUT TREE IS BUNK.

A HANGBIARD OR ROCKNASIUM IS BETTER.

JTCRIP

YAYO IN THE BAY, YO
WBraun

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:09am PT
Get a fricken job first.

Climbers are stupid.

just read Supertopo and you'll agree ....

;-)
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:15am PT
Orange County has the best climate in the world. No argument.

As pointed out, you are buried down there.

The Pasadena area is not bad. Great hiking out your backdoor. You can start a multiday backpack by just walking out your front door. On the edge of the big city for quick weekend get aways to Josh, Southern Sierra, Eastern Sierra, Tahquitz, and the desert.

Great food, you name the cuisine, it's in LA.

Great music, of all kinds: jazz, blues, rock, hip-hop, and the LA Philharmonic is the most forward thinking orchestra in the world. They play Zappa, fer chrisakes. And the quality of the free music is mindblowing.

Great museums. The Norton Simon is Pasadena is an unkown treasure. It's cheap admission, and worth it to go and trip on van Gogh.

Los Angeles is the best mountain town in the country. Just don't try to get over to the West Side.
Captain...or Skully

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:18am PT
Werner's got a point...
toadgas

Trad climber
los angeles
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:20am PT
^^^^^^^^^^^

+1 for Pasadena, CA



I've lived in quite a few places but the Pasadena area is the only place where i've really felt peace and happiness



tis a special place indeed




-
Jon Beck

Trad climber
Oceanside
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:24am PT
Moreno Valley, close to, JT, idyllwil, rubidoux, big rock, cheap houses, but a hellish commute. Gotta set your priorites. If you want to climb east side, want to work, LA, OC.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
the crowd MUST BE MOCKED...Mocked I tell you.
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:25am PT
El Portal or Lee Vining, everything else is just so much clap trap.
T H

Boulder climber
bouldering
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:31am PT
San Diego is a great place to "live", but you've got a drive to get to any serious climbing. 2-3 hours ... 5-7 hours ...
Then, Warbler has been lying to us all along?
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:31am PT
Lot to be said for the northern L.A. area, up there along the San Gabriels. Especially this time of year when they're freezing up in Buffalo. Oh sh#t it'll be 70 and sunny even when it's dark. All the men are trim and all the girls are beautiful. Everyone drives a convertible.

San Francisco has hellish weather. It's up hill, both ways. San Franciscans are so busy patting themselves on the back they don't have time to climb. Good thing too, the bridge traffic is murder.

The rest of the Bay Area is a climbing wasteland. Smileyville, all perched precariously on top of the deadliest fault lines in northern California. They built nuclear facilities on the f*#king fault line can you believe it???! They designed the bomb there fer fuksakes! Takes 18 hours to drive any f*#king where too except for cobble alley down Pinnacles way. Ew. Forget about it.

Davis? Burn in summer and moulder in winter fog, yummy. Its a flatland for christsakes they have AG MAJORS at the university there. They all know how to drive tractors, even the hippies. Its on the wrong side of Sacramento, which btw you need to steer clear from. Just a bigger poorer version the same. You gotta drive like 2 hours from there just to get your head out of your ass.

San Diego is a landlocked prison. Don't tell them that they're in the bubble, just remember. Once you go in you can't get out. They're all tan in their white shorts and deck shoes but mark my words they're all sharks. The problems are wired, the approaches booby trapped. They guard those worthless brown turd boulders of theirs like Apache's defending the stronghold. Which they are. Its been nice knowing you.

The rest is just Hooterville nawmean, if you've a shingle to hang any town'll do right? You can be a Dr. or a Lawyer or slick assed saleswoman or a grocer or a f*#king whore I don't care, Bishop, Oakhurst, Mindenville, whatever.

DMT
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:33am PT
Did somebody upthread actually discourage San Diego as a good place for after-work climbing and weekend access to major crags? Uh...yes! He's right! These are not the boulders you seek! Move along.

I can speak from the tough experience of growing up and learning to climb in SD, it's pretty bogus. Easier access to Stony Point would have been a major bonus.
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:36am PT
^^^

Cheers buddy!
DMT
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:43am PT
Two thumbs up, Dingster!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 12:53am PT
If you're planning on moving anywhere south of the grapevine, just kill yourself, you'll want to eventually anyway. Unless you like big cities. If so, we don't think the same so no advice. Otherwise, central valley (Fresno-Visalia area)! You'll understand why once you live here.

Lots of good jobs too 'cause most college grads go elsewhere and leave them for the rest of us (depending on what field your looking for) :)

Fletcher

Trad climber
The rock doesn't care what I think
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:02am PT
For accessibility and nice weather, I third the Pasadena area. Lived here for years and I'm now up the hill in Altadena... closer to the mountains and when it's snowing way up high, you get the feeling it almost might snow here. But leave it up there, much better place!

OC and San Diego are great places too. Especially if you are into general fitness activities. Whenever I'm in the San Diego area, it seems like every man, woman and child (and maybe dog) is a triathlete. If we ever move down that way, I'm gonna really have to get my butt in gear!

Good luck!

Eric
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:23am PT
Otherwise, central valley (Fresno-Visalia area)! You'll understand why once you live here.

Oh yes, the paradise that is McFarland. Hey, it's only 6 miles to Delano from there!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:36am PT
Say what you want but I'm going snowboarding Sunday morning and climbing Sunday afternoon!
Gary

Social climber
Right outside of Delacroix
Dec 8, 2012 - 01:51am PT
Sounds great!
bergbryce

Mountain climber
California
Dec 8, 2012 - 03:32am PT
The Bay and maybe even LA are much more doable if you've got an amenable schedule. Weekend warrior schedule, blah.
Consecutive days off that aren't weekends make some areas like the Bay area more acceptable and even attractive.
Having to deal with every other d-bag trying to get out of town on Friday evening gets old real quick. Id' take that into consideration.
Fletcher

Trad climber
The rock doesn't care what I think
Dec 8, 2012 - 04:51am PT
My bro-in-law lives in Clovis, which is next to Fresno. I like it. And it's really close to some nice Sierra places. Just a hop, skip and a jump.

Eric
Dr.Sprock

Boulder climber
I'm James Brown, Bi-atch!
Dec 8, 2012 - 05:28am PT
central valley will give you breathing problems after 10 years,

SF has good air but it is hell on earth to drive, and a big earthquake hit there last night, millions of dead people who thought they were somehow immune to plate tectonics,
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Dec 8, 2012 - 08:01am PT
Sierra Foothills, Interstate 80 or Highway 50 corridor. Great access to climbing, skiing, kayaking and good paying jobs. I love it, at 3,ooo ft. I'm always above the valley fog and typcially below the snow line in winter. The transition seasons are fantastic but summer has the heat, our place in Apple Hill is about as low as I'd want to be given the heat.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:14am PT
California has it all (not really, but close) but its all spread out over a wide expanse. Finding an ideal spot is troublesome.

What is your heat tolerance? Most of the state is too hot for me most and though not humid by Midwestern/eastern standards it Ain't, a dry heat!!

Culturally, the Bay Area is the place to be, Period. But that means weeken warriorhood (great selection of objectives) and gyms.

Living by crags? Eastside/Tahoe, including Reno.
What do you do for work? That's has a strong bearing....
this just in

climber
north fork
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:25am PT
DMT, the only thing that could of made that post better is if was in the Russ rant format.
10b4me

Boulder climber
Somewhere on 395
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:33am PT
Sorry if I missed it, but what kind of work are you looking for? That will decide your location.
Dr. F.

Ice climber
SoCal
Dec 8, 2012 - 10:43am PT
If you don't like the heat above 100 degrees 1/3 of the year, then you will be restricted to coastal or high attitude areas.

JT??, Moreno Vally??? Davis?? Way to hot for most folks, and you will spend all your extra cash on A/C when not climbing.

The OC Coastal areas are the Best for So Cal, Costa Mesa is ideal!
We don't have A/C and only turn the heat on about 10 days a year.

But there is little local climbing, Pirates Cove is 5 minutes away, but is very limited.
JT is 2 and half hours, Tahquitz is 2 hours, and one hour closer than the Porn Capital Chatsworth, which I do not shed a tear for.

There is No perfect place to live, it's either, or
good climbing/no jobs
good jobs/no climbing
MikeL

climber
SANTA CLARA, CA
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:01am PT
Get the job first if you're just graduating. Unless you've got some super-in-demand career skills (unlikely if coming out of school), your first job will be your best opportunity to point your career. After the first job your degrees of freedom will decline steadily. It's a tough job market anywhere.

(There will surely be those here who will say, "f*ck the job.")
Michelle

Trad climber
Toshi's Station, picking up power converters.
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:05am PT
What Dingus said. This place sucks.

Go Tuolumne County.
jstan

climber
Dec 8, 2012 - 11:05pm PT
Take the best job.

One thing that I found really works well. Work double time for two months and then do two months off. You get more done plus when you get no break from work the politics seem entirely normal. Politics will be a bummer when you come back but within a week it will become normal again.

Your task structure may require another cycle time but once you are into double time it won't make any difference.

I've been double timing on ST now for six years. All the stuff here seems entirely normal.
jjl3

Trad climber
Vancouver, BC
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2012 - 05:14pm PT
Well I'm back. About ten minutes after I made the original post I was talked into a three day ski trip. Just got back this morning...


I guess I've been spoiled...I've had a PhD student's schedule (no classes/my only deadline was "finish X amount of research within 3-5 years") and of course the ability to do 14 pitches of granite AFTER work for the last couple of years. Sadly that's coming to an end, and I'm actually going to have to work on other people's schedules, and at a large university hospital for the next two years. Since this is a residency (similar to what MDs do) in a growing field, all of the opportunities are pretty similar, so the biggest distinction to me is the location. By the way, Phoenix, Denver and Lexington, KY made the list, but I've been those places and got the feel for them.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 10, 2012 - 05:51pm PT
Culturally, the Bay Area is the place to be, Period.
The Bay area, while beautiful by any stretch (parts of it at least), is a ugly step sister to the LA's cultural scene. That argument has been hashed out, tit for tat, too many times to do again.

Other than that, I'd second Dr. F's basic conclusion about living/climbing in CA. Depending on which is a greater priority, the other is going to suffer. LA/SF great culture, weekend warrior climbing. Bishop great climbing, podunk culture/work. Pick your poison.

BTW, Costa Mesa is OK. Grew up there. Was there on Sat. visiting Mom. Love Pirate's Cove but, like much of the OC, there's not much too it. Pasadena is nice. Well located but the heat and smog during the summer months is a major drawback. Plus with Williamson closed a closest bigger venue is a no go.
ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Trad climber
SLO, Ca
Dec 10, 2012 - 06:03pm PT
I'd go with Denver or SLC. If you are not ready to be a weekend warrior I'd skip California.

California has a lot going for it- proximity to after work good climbing in a place with an abundance of real jobs is not one of those things.
bvb

Social climber
flagstaff arizona
Dec 10, 2012 - 06:04pm PT
Depends on what your personal metrics and benchmarks are for evaluating a "cultural scene", Fat Dad. Paris vs. New York? LA vs. London? A blanket statement such as yours...boys, I dunno.
Barbarian

Trad climber
New and Bionic too!
Dec 10, 2012 - 06:05pm PT
Orange County is a cultural and climbing wasteland. The longest routes in the county are in gyms. The longest waits in the county are on the freeway. Just remember: On any given Friday, the 14 million residients of SoCal are all trying to get away on the same 5 roads - 101, 5 No, 15, 10, or 5 So. Eagles were right - "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!"
Look elsewhere.
Fat Dad

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Dec 10, 2012 - 06:27pm PT
Depends on what your personal metrics and benchmarks are for evaluating a "cultural scene", Fat Dad.
I totally agree. Part of my comment was just a knee jerk response to Jaybro's comment. Different strokes for different folks.
michaeld

Sport climber
Sacramento
Dec 10, 2012 - 06:55pm PT
Davis doesn't have much climbing, Vacaville boulders are local, about 15 minutes away.

Auburn, up highway 80, has some crags local, and many more within an hour drive.

Ken M

Mountain climber
Los Angeles, Ca
Dec 10, 2012 - 07:16pm PT
and at a large university hospital for the next two years. Since this is a residency (similar to what MDs do) in a growing field, all of the opportunities are pretty similar, so the biggest distinction to me is the location.

Well, you're very limited....to those options.

If you are limited to medical school hospitals, there are 8, plus two more osteopathic schools, but I don't believe they have affiliated major hospitals.

If you go out to medical school affiliated hospitals, then you have quite a few more choices. But all remain in large urban areas. Fresno, Sylmar (no. San Fernando Valley) come into play.

"after work crags" for a busy person....Stoney Point? Rubedeau perhaps?

Maybe you want to live in Boulder........
G_Gnome

Trad climber
Pebble Wrestling.... Badly lately.
Dec 10, 2012 - 07:25pm PT
Actually, look at Camarillo or Thousand Oaks or Moorpark in North Western Los Angeles area. Close enough to the beach to get cooler summers but you are generally only adding a half hour or so to the drive to get out of town. As much as I love the weather in OC I would never live there.
The Warbler

climber
the edge of America
Dec 10, 2012 - 07:30pm PT
40 pitches on this wall
40 pitches on this wall
Credit: The Warbler

San Diego is a great place to "live", but you've got a drive to get to any serious climbing. 2-3 hours to Jtree...

Hmmm... I guess that depends on what you call serious... what about:

Credit: The Warbler



or:

Eagle Peak, 500 ft high
Eagle Peak, 500 ft high
Credit: The Warbler

Credit: The Warbler

Credit: The Warbler

El Cajon Mtn. 500 ft high
El Cajon Mtn. 500 ft high
Credit: The Warbler

Credit: The Warbler

You just gotta know where to go in San Diego
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