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.
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.
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!"
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?
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.