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By Patrick Gillespie
Mar 30, 2014

My girlfriend and I are thinking about moving somewhere smaller and closer to the mountains next month, right now we live in Denver and I'm looking for a change of pace. Bend is my first choice on places that I'm looking (as well as Santa Fe, Durango, Bozeman, etc.)

Both of us are big skiers, and I would like to move somewhere where access to great climbing is quick and there is a good community. She's concerned about getting a job in Bend though. Anyone know how easy/difficult it is to get a job around there? I do film/photography work right now and was hoping to continue on that track and she's very into the nonprofit scene and reproductive health.

Would we be completely shut down trying to get jobs in our fields? Would we even be able to find a job to pay rent outside of our fields?


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By FoamFinger
From Grand Rapids, Michigan
Mar 30, 2014

Bend has everything you're looking for, except Jobs. There are a lot of photographers/videographers who live in Bend, and not enough work. Not too many non-profits, although the county does have some Americorps positions in reproductive health education but overall Bend has had a hard time with the employment market. I know a lot of people who work 3/4 time or less at one job and work another part time gig as well.
Pretty tough scene there Brochacho, Best of luck!


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By CritConrad
From Bend, OR
Mar 30, 2014

I JUST found a job after looking since probably August. Ok, "looking" might be an overstatement, as I was at smith every other day. BUT, there are jobs here, just not super professional ones that pay well. In my limited experience here (mostly friends with climbers and the like) Bend seems like a young-aged never-never land where everyone plays and doesn't really seem to work all that often. Check craigslist. Restaurants are always hiring bartenders and servers and COOKS. Nobody here wants to be a cook and there are always posts about that.

Bend is really sweet, but yea, the job market is somewhat lacking.


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By Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
Mar 30, 2014

Aw, c'mon Crit, you were one of the only young people who spent more time this winter at smith than at work.

But seriously, +1 to everything said above, with the addition that the skiing in Bend, while not bad, is pretty far from world class. (Unless you're more into long volcano runs in the spring)


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By Patrick Gillespie
Mar 30, 2014

Thanks for the info, that's kind of what I was thinking. I know it's not a place to advance my professional career at this point. But it's just so damn close to such fun shit.

FoamFinger, if you have any specific info on the Americorps deal with rh education, if you could shoot it my way, that would be much appreciated.


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By FoamFinger
From Grand Rapids, Michigan
Mar 30, 2014

Hey Patrick,
Unfortunately I don't know anything specific. I had a friend who worked for the County health office in Bend and she was a reproductive health educator and she was working through Americorps in that position. That's about all I know about what she was doing. Sorry I can't be more helpful. Best of luck!


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By bradyk
Mar 30, 2014

I disagree with the above posts. I believe that Bend is a very easy place to find jobs. My wife and I moved here 2 months ago and we found jobs and a place to live within a week and a half. It really all depends on how well you can self market yourself plus your motivation. Also, everyone in Bend is super friendly, so if you get out there and make some connections, the community here will help you make this place your home. Better job market than Bozeman, Santa Fe and Durango for certain.


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Mar 30, 2014

I can't really contribute to the discussion except to say that if skiing is an important part of your lifestyle, stay away from the PNW. The skiing doesn't get good until the spring, because that's when the snow reliably corns up. Powder just doesn't happen.

I know this sounds like your standard local-telling-you-their-playground-is-choss thing, but I lived in Wyoming for 10 years. I've been in Oregon for 18 months and I'm doing everything I can to get back to the Rockies.

Were I you, I'd look for college towns, or towns that are known for their art scenes, and figure out the climates from there. Bend is really cool, if you want to climb or mountain bike. But its all maritime snowpack, and it sucks.


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By Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
Mar 31, 2014

In response to Brian's opinion, I'd have to throw in that it's a matter of what you're looking for. I'd completely disagree that you should stay away from the PNW. Washington has great powder skiing and a snowpack that is consistently stable allowing you ski way steeper terrain with more regularity than you could in a drier climate. I would completely agree that the skiing in Oregon, while worth doing if you live here, isn't worth moving here for, unless you like climbing more than skiing.

Like anything, it's a matter of prioritizing what you like to do the most. Bozeman has incredible skiing, so so rock climbing, and excellent ice climbing. The southern rockies have excellent rock climbing, pretty good ice climbing, and okay skiing. Bend has zero ice climbing, excellent rock climbing, and passable skiing. (better if you own a sled)

Eugene has marginal rock climbing, poor skiing, (especially this winter) and less than zero ice climbing.


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By Ray Pinpillage
From West Egg
Mar 31, 2014
Cleo's Needle

The skiing and alpine climbing in Oregon is marginal. Ice climbing season is about two weeks. If you like Smith Rock then this is the place for you, otherwise Washington or Utah have a lot more to offer.


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Mar 31, 2014

Max Tepfer wrote:
Bend has zero ice climbing, excellent rock climbing, and passable skiing. (better if you own a sled) Eugene has marginal rock climbing, poor skiing, (especially this winter) and less than zero ice climbing.


Not entirely true, but just like the stuff up in the gorge, its a matter of waiting for conditions to be just right once (maybe twice, sometimes never) a year. I got a pitch in over the winter, on a flow that I understand forms up pretty regularly, but those regular conditions are a once-annually sort of affair.

Let me rephrase: your day-to-day skiing in the Bend area is gonna be pretty lousy. But if you can trek out to the Wallowas, or up to the North Cascades, you'll find pretty amazing skiing. The rock climbing is pretty sweet, but Bend is surprisingly far from Smith Rock. Not that bad if you're used to the drive from Denver to Clear Creek or Eldo, but nowhere near as convenient as you're probably hoping for.


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By Mike Dalby
From Bend, OR
Apr 2, 2014

While it's not exactly what you're looking for, Bend has a growing tech industry. If you've got any experience in Graphic Design, Web or Software Development you might not have to search very hard.

I'm not sure what people consider "close" or "far" for driving to the crag, but I can get from my office in Bend to the first bolt on Magic Light in about 50 minutes. Sure it's not "in-town" climbing, but from April - September I can get a couple of pitches in at Smith almost every day.


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