Mountain Project Logo

Moving to Massachusetts.....Maybe, I don't know, help!


Original Post
Sara Amish · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

Hi everyone, 

So we have a dilemma, my partner just got accepted into grad school in Massachusetts. However, we are both from Montana and a little freaked out about the idea of moving out to a city (currently living in a town with about 36,000 people). We both climb, hike, backpack, and are really unsure if moving to a city would be a growing experience or totally stifling? 

So, I am just reaching our for insights, advice, ect.... anything to kind of help us form a picture of what it would look like to move out there. Thanks! 

Spencer Ringwood · · Somerville, MA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I'm assuming you're talking about Boston? Plenty of good crags within an hour's drive and local hikes as well. Lots of climbing gyms. Mountains are only a few hours north. For a pretty big metropolitan area, wilderness access is great, even if it means dealing with congestion and some times road noise. Shoot for weekday excursions if you can. 

Living in the city proper will take some adjusting and it's possibly not for you. I don't understand the fascination with paving everything, like, there are areas in front of and in back of houses that would be beautiful little yards but instead are hot-topped. Disgusting. But the rental market in the city is much bigger than it is outside of the city; most places in the 'burbs are single occupancy homes and apartments in cute towns are expensive and lack public transport to the city. 

If accepting the offer is going to benefit you guys in the long run, go for it, you can always move away when it's over. The city has a lot to offer that you will never find in a state like Montana. Breweries, restaurants, music venues, community events, arts, etc.

If you end up out here, feel free to drop a line.


Mark LaPierre · · spencer, MA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 70

I live in Massachusetts and have traveled in nearly every state, Montana included.  If access to nature is paramount to your choice, I would say no don't come.  By "Mountains are only a few hours" north" we must admit the highest possible peek is just over 6000', an altitude well below the Bitterroots of your home drive time can exceed 2 hours to travel about 70 miles  As for the comment " means dealing with congestion and some times road noise." google Boston traffic and commute times.  The statement "For a pretty big metropolitan area" could better read Megalopolis with urban sprawl reaching as much as 50 miles out from Boston proper.  One fact I observe about New England, unlike the westerns urban centers,  our cities have no clear limits.  Urban blends into suburbia as it invades rural.  Along the major roadways, of which we have many, urban congestion snakes into the countryside.   Check the cost of rent in Boston proper, once inside the 495 loop costs are steeper than a 5.10. I love New England we have a little of everything but not a lot of anything great.  If you are looking for a world-class educational experience you came to the right place.  If you want to commune with untouched nature, I am afraid most of it has been quite molested.  The mountains of NH are the weekend playground of the New Yorker who also love our "wilderness" and quaint Bed and Breakfasts, outlet malls, and specialty shops.  Again if you want to have nature and an education I say no, if you want an education and access to pockets of nature, yes.  A simple fact I don't see many climbers traveling east from the west to find epic climbs, hikes, or rides, while the inverse is quite prominent.  I know the New England proud are going to broadside this but I have lived here my whole life and must be honest  Nature is not our natural state.

Anthony L · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 25

As someone that lived out west, moved back east, and is now back out west... DON'T DO IT IF YOUR PRIORITY IS NATURE. If your need for natural areas is like mine, moving east will be a long game of waiting and wishing you were somewhere else. 

Mobes Mobesely · · MDI · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

We survived moving from Utah to CT, then Mass(thankfully). No move has to be permanent and Mass is full of rock and fairly open minded climbers unlike other states I mentioned.

Mark LaPierre · · spencer, MA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 70
T Roper wrote:

We survived moving from Utah to CT, then Mass(thankfully). No move has to be permanent and Mass is full of rock and fairly open minded climbers unlike other states I mentioned.

hey, I know Ken

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 11,305

Lots and lots of people come here for grad school. You’ll have many peers to relate to and make friends with. The crags are small, but many are quality. The local people can be cold at times, but once you break the crust, they get real with you. Not sure where he’s going to school but Harvard and MIT have very active outdoor clubs. I’m sure others do too I think you’ll benefit from the experience here. Bouldering is fantastic, good trad on day trips, and lots of smallish (by comparison to out west) parks and conservation areas for hiking. I’ve lived here most of my life and I still haven’t climbed all the lines or seen all the parks. I don’t think you need to be nervous. Find a place on the north side of the river if you can. Closer to climbing.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,800

How many years are we talking about?  As an old boss once told me, "You can pretty much stand on your head for two years."

Russ Keane · · Asheville, NC · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150

"We both climb, hike, backpack, and are really unsure if moving to a city would be a growing experience"

Not knowing you at all, it's tough to say.   Getting some different experiences under your belt is always good.  The thing about eastern Mass is, the congestion (too many people) is striking.  You end up spending all your time figuring out how to get around and avoid traffic, you will rush and fight and grow increasingly anxious.  Sure, New England is a beautiful place with pockets of relaxation.  But generally you would be grinding.   As for your outdoor passions, you will find oodles of people with similar interest, and you can no doubt make it all happen. It's just not easy.

Tim McGivern · · Medford, ma · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 11,305
Russ Keane wrote:


...The thing about eastern Mass is, the congestion (too many people) is striking.  You end up spending all your time figuring out how to get around and avoid traffic, you will rush and fight and grow increasingly anxious.  Sure, New England is a beautiful place with pockets of relaxation.  But generally you would be grinding...


Sure, lots of people live here. I hardly spend much time trying to figure out traffic. Rush? Fight? Anxiety? Ahhhh, not so much. These things are not attached to location. I feel like those things are more about the person than the place. 

I live smack dab in the midst of the metropolis. I walk a lot, ride my bike around, take the subway, take the bus, drive 20 minutes to go climb, my neighbors are close by and friendly, the communities are tight knit, the diversity is high, fun things to see and do, beaches are close, there is always a large public park/forest nearby, and this city attracts a lot of really smart people from all over the world. Plenty of opportunity for a positive experience, if that is what is sought after. It will be what you make of it.


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Community Forum
Post a Reply to "Moving to Massachusetts.....Maybe, I don't know…"

Log In to Reply