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Two Aussies planning a NA Road Trip
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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Mar 3, 2013

jasoncm wrote:
Well this trip is still definitely on the plans. But.. I'm having lots of trouble working out what to do for transport. There is really only two company's that do cheap camper van rentals ($8000-$10000 for 3 months). I have even had trouble finding cheap long term car rental, not that I really want a small car. The best option I have found is renting a Uhaul cargo van. The online quote I got was around $2500-3000 for 3 months which is pretty decent. Just have to check if they will rent it to me. I really want to fly into vancouver and do Squamish first, moving east and south from there. Anyone got any transport input? Thanks Jason

What the hell, $10,000 to rent an RV for three months?! That is insane! Also, Uhaul charges millage, and with as much as you are going to be driving you will probably pay 3x the quoted price!

The best option would probably be to buy a vehicle and resell it when you are done. Dont get something new. Just get something cheap you can live out of.


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By jasoncm
Mar 3, 2013

$9000 for one of these

www.jucyrentals.com/vehicles/jucy-champ.

Hardly a RV. If you want a decent size RV that sleeps 2-3 you would be looking at $14,000.

Buying a car - from all the research I can do online, I have found that its super hard for a non resident to buy, register and insurance a car in most of the USA.

Anyone want to buy/insure me a car for profit :-)

Jason


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By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Mar 3, 2013
Me on Supercrack

Jason,

You might try contacting people that have vans/rv's/cars for sale on Craigslist. Work a deal with them where you boost their insurance to cover you & your pals while on the trip. Pay the seller some or all of his asking price for the vehicle, with the understanding that they get the vehicle back when your trip is finished. A great way to go cheap with 3 people would be a Dodge/Plymouth mini-van (they're cheap as hell & fairly abundant) and a tent. If you want more room you could add a pop-up trailer camper but even a crappy used one will be about $1500.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Mar 3, 2013

jasoncm wrote:
Buying a car - from all the research I can do online, I have found that its super hard for a non resident to buy, register and insurance a car in most of the USA.


What about in Canada? Might it be easier there, maybe? (This is pure speculation). The one downside is that at the end of the trip, you would probably have to drive backt to Canada to sell the car since importing it would be difficult.

jasoncm wrote:
I really want to fly into vancouver and do Squamish first, moving east and south from there.


Good plan. One additional note: Squamish is one of the few crags in North America where it is reasonable to get by without a car. The town (which is large enough to have everything you need) is within walking distance of the majority of the climbing. A car makes everything easy, but is not neccesary, and lots of travelers for overseas spend a month or more there without a vehicle. This is relevant because, if you go to Squamish for a while first, this gives you more time to figure out the car situation. You can just go to Squamish, hnag out there and climb for a month, and on your rest days try to find a car. This is probably easier than trying to arrange things by email.

The only other climbing area that is reasonable without a car is Yosemite. In Yosemite, it is in some ways easier to get by without a car; the car can be a liability...it is just one more thing that the rangers can bust you over (if you haven't heard, Yosemite is a police state). In the Valley, there is a grocery store within walking distance of Camp 4, and there is a good bus system, so it is easy to get around. Additionally, it is really easy to find a ride from Squamish to the Valley in September, since a lot of people are doing that drive...just post up on the message board and offer to help pay for gas. Seriously, it is probably the easiest 1000 mile hitchhike on earth. I gave a British guy a ride on that route a few years ago.

Anyway, if the bulk of your trip is Squamish and the Valley, and finding a car is prohibitively difficult and expensive, you could consider going carless. It limits you options a bit, and means you have to travel light, but it is totally reasonable if it is you only option; lots of people do it this way.

To go basically anywhere else, though, a car or extremely advanced hitchhiking skills are necessary. However, going carless in Squamish and Yosemite would really cut down on the amount of time you need to rent for, significantly reducing expenses. You could spend a month each in Squamish and the Valley, and then only need to rent a car for the last 3-4 weeks for Indian Creek.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Mar 3, 2013

jasoncm wrote:
I really want to fly into vancouver and do Squamish first, moving east and south from there.


Another note on this plan: Don't show up in Squamish before early-July; it can still be rainy there in June. July is usually good; August is even better.


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By jasoncm
Mar 3, 2013

Thanks for all the input. I'm not flying solo on this trip, my Girlfriend and I are both going. This trip is not going to be a pure dirt bag climbing trip so I am not interested in going car-less. It could be possible to buy,register a car and Canada from what i've read. Might have to try find some more info.

I just found out last night that my girlfriend has some long lost part relations that live in the USA. She is finding out where they are and maybe they can help sort something, which would be great.

Thanks


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By 20 kN
From Hawaii
Mar 4, 2013

It is worth noting that the OP said he climbs 5.9 trad and 5.11 sport. So spending a month in Yosemite which has zero sport under 5.11 and very little trad under 5.9 is probably not the best option. Smith Rocks is another option that does not absolutely require a car, and Smith has far more routes in his grade range as it is mostly a sport climbing area.


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By TWK
Mar 5, 2013

There's a lot to do in Yosemite and Tuolumne if you can lead 5.9.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Mar 5, 2013

TWK wrote:
There's a lot to do in Yosemite and Tuolumne if you can lead 5.9.


And probably after a month in Squamish, and then a month in the Valley, he would be climbing solid 5.10 trad anyway. In that case, there is even more to do.

That said, make sure to visit Lover's Leap, CA (near Lake Tahoe). it is probably the best crag on the West Coast for 5.7-5.9 trad climbs in the 2-5 pitch range. It is a tall vertical granite crag, but these fantastic horizontal dikes (actually sills, to be precise) provide jugs and stances to keep the difficulty very reasonable. Weather is good there in summer to early fall; it would be a great place to go in September.


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By todd w
Mar 5, 2013

If you're spending $2500 on a vehicle, you may as well just buy a junker and spend the extra cash on repairs.

It will be more memorable that way. You can even cap off the end of your journey by lighting it on fire and rolling it off a mountain!


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By TWK
Mar 5, 2013

Totally agree with the Lovers Leap endorsement. If you're leading 5.9 it would be an excellent stop for up to a week before Yosemite.


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By jasoncm
Mar 7, 2013

Hey,

Got a reply back from the Canadian ICBC, there will be no problems buying. Registering and insuring a vehicle in BC as a tourist. This sounds like the best plan.

I like the sound of lighting the car on fire and pushing it off the cliff, but I'm sure that's not an accepted practice for travelling climbers.

I'm confident I will be climbing 5.10 trad after a month in Squamish. I have done a a couple of 5.10's already.

Will definitely be checking out Tahoe area, I got the super topo guide and it looks good.

Cheers

Jason


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By jasoncm
Apr 17, 2013

Well the tickets are booked and the big 777 will be taking us to Vancouver on 2st July. We are so pumped for this trip. Thanks everyone for the advice.

Jason


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By jasoncm
Aug 28, 2013

Hey guys,

The trip has come along great. Climbed in Squamish, Lake Louise, Canmore, Tensleep, Devils Tower and now in city of rocks.

We leave on the 8th of October. Looking at some suggested itineraries for the rest of the trip. We were think of heading to maple canyon next and would really love to go to Moab area, even though its going to be hot. We do have to drive back to Vancouver so we probably will make the mandatory stop at Yosemite and Tahoe for a look/climb.

The biggest attraction is cheap/free camping and super easy/friendly place ie. city rocks, Tensleep.

Cheers

Jason


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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Aug 28, 2013
Mt. Agassiz

Honestly, at this time of year, I'd drive into Tuolumne Meadows and climb the classics. Smoke from the fire may be a turnoff though.


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By James Ellwood
From Bozeman, MT
Aug 28, 2013
Finish on second pitch.

I second the Devils Tower, you're already close in Ten Sleep.


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By JCM
From Golden, CO
Aug 28, 2013

Ryan Nevius wrote:
Honestly, at this time of year, I'd drive into Tuolumne Meadows and climb the classics. Smoke from the fire may be a turnoff though.


Probably not the best advice right now. Given what is going on now with the fire, and the terrible air quality you'd encounter, I would stay well away from anything near Yosemite until things calm down a bit.

Maple is unique climbing and would be great weather right now, plus there is cheap camping to be had ($3 / night in Sites A, B, C, D and E at the bottom end of the campground). The number of cheap sites is limited, so you'd probably have an easier time snagging one if you show up on a weekday. Totally worth a visit now or for the first part of September.

If you pushed of Moab until later in September, the heat should be managable, especially by going to the handful of shady crags in Indian Creek.

Other possibilities:

In Idaho, you could also check out the Fins (vert-tech limestone sport on pockets). Under the radar, but supposedly excellent. No guidebook.

On your way back to Vancouver, you could go to some crags in Washington, including Leavenworth (everything from bouldering to big alpine routes), Washington pass (roadside alpine), Index (like a mini-Squamish), Little Si (sport). Climbing in Washington is great, and unlike Yosemite it isn't on fire. September is usually a good month there.

A stop in Smith Rock in late September could be good, albeit still a bit warm.


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By wankel7
From Indiana
Aug 28, 2013

Did you all end up buying a car?


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By vincent L.
Aug 29, 2013
First day of school

I'd hit the Bugaboos.


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By jasoncm
Aug 30, 2013

Hey JCM,

Really appreciate your advice. I was unaware of the fires in the Yosemite area. Is Lake Tahoe area far enough away from the fires?

I was thinking this plan:

Leave city rocks on Tuesday, head to maple canyon for a bit, then drive west through Nevada to Lake Tahoe Area, then head to Yosemite, quick stop in Vegas (maybe climb) then up to Utah (moab/Indian ck) before heading back to Vancouver and maybe stopping at some of your other suggestions.

What do you think of this plan, it's not as efficient distance wise but I think it will work better for temperature. If we do maple canyon then moab, it will prob be too hot?

Wankel - yes bought a car in BC, ford windstar $1500, been perfect.

Cheers

Jason


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