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Good places to climb and telecommute from?


Original Post
mike again · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 40

So I’m planning to experiment with small chunks of time working remotely, and looking for thoughts on good locations. The vision is to take about a week at a time, working something like 20 solid hours between evenings and rest days. I have a van to work from and sleep in. I have not yet tried to work in the van, and am aware that this will have its own challenges, but am keen to try and pull it off. I have quite a bit of flexibility in when and how the working part could happen, and I have a partner who is likely game to do this with from time to time (plus all of MP to recruit from but that’s another thread for later).

Having not done this before in any significant way, I’d welcome some input. Here are some ideals for a wish list for location, recognizing that I may not find them all in one place:

  • Would want some level of access to cell service and/or wifi. I don’t need to be online the whole time I’m working, but need to make a few calls and send some emails most days.  
  • Having always had a hard time getting in a satisfying day recreating and a strong chunk of work in one day, I and am wary of transaction costs, so would want to be somewhere amenable to time efficiency. For example, being somewhere that didn’t require lots of driving and/or approach time to access climbing would be great. Similarly, not having to move around a lot between a place to get work done and a camp site would be great - for example if a campsite doesn’t have cell access there’s more moving around necessary there.
  • Avoiding paying for camping would be great, but not necessary. Avoiding the need for lots of advance planning or squabbling for access to bivy spots would be a huge huge bonus.
  • I prefer trad climbing, and ideally access to some longer routes
  • Edit: interested in skiing and ice climbing destinations as well for winter...
As examples, I think I could pull this off in Yosemite Valley. I expect Smith Rock and Red Rock and SLC would work readily as well, although I’d want a longer block of time for this to amortize the drive there. Tuolumne or Joshua Tree, on the other hand, would seem much more difficult, as much as I love climbing there.

Questions:
1) if anyone has relevant experience I would welcome other thoughts to consider - will edit to build this list out as relevant for my situation
2) do you have suggestions for other locations?

Edit:

Compiling the list:

Summer:
Squamish

Fall:
The New or Moab
Moab(my buddy said the library there is amazing)
Yosemite

Winter: 
Bishop(requires a bit of a commute to go climbing/work though)
Chattanooga
Ouray
SLC

Spring:
Yosemite
Smith rock
Lander
(requires a 30 min commute to go climb at wild iris)
phylp · · Upland · Joined May 2015 · Points: 617

A friend of mine worked out of his trailer for about 2 years, staying free in national forest sites between Lone Pine and Bridgeport, moving with the seasons. He had a dish for satellite wifi so he wasn’t restricted to being near towns. 

gblauer Blauer · · Wayne, PA · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 990

I could easily (and have) telecommute from Hidalgo, Mexico (El Potrero Chico).  Renting a place for a few months would be cheap, internet is reasonably reliable AND there is a lifetime of climbing within walking distance.  The bad news:  you really have to chase shade during the late spring/summer.  It's hot.  Since the climbing is so accessible, you can easily climb for a few hours and then walk home and do some work, rinse, wash, repeat. 

Mark P. · · Luzern, Schweiz · Joined May 2013 · Points: 680

East Coast is really good for this - North Conway NH has short approaches at many of the more popular crags and cell service; the Gunks as well. Maybe not as long routes as out west, but that's the trade-off for phone service density

NCD · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 50

Moab would work, good cell service and a library. I am curious how SLC is for living in the van,

On the East Coast, New River Gorge has decent cell service but not really free camping (some rare spots do exist). You'd have access to longer trad at Seneca 3 hrs away and could bounce to Red River Gorge and NC areas in about 4 hrs from there.

dsauerbrun · · Boulder · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 55

maple canyon is decent. I do the same thing and spent 2 weeks there last summer. Approaches can be 2 minutes; however, there is a commute into ephraim to the community college library to get work done.

If you get the right campsite you can get lte service on your phone with verizon(at least the campsite i stayed at which is on private property and requests a donation).

also I'm looking for partners to do the telecommute thing and climb from 3:30pm until dark at places within a 10 hour radius from boulder. Let me know if you've got any plans in the near future that you need a partner for.

some other places I would imagine would work but I haven't actually tried:
Smith rock(work in redmond)
Squamish
Moab(my buddy said the library there is amazing)
Bishop(requires a bit of a commute to go climbing/work though)
Lander(requires a 30 min commute to go climb at wild iris)

Some places I tried and didn't work out:
Ten Sleep(the library changes its hours mid summer and the table is way too low causing neck strain)

Scott M. McNamara · · Tucson, Arizona · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 55
Marc801 C · · Sandy, Utah · Joined Feb 2014 · Points: 65
Mark P. wrote: East Coast is really good for this - North Conway NH has short approaches at many of the more popular crags and cell service; the Gunks as well. Maybe not as long routes as out west, but that's the trade-off for phone service density

Add in humidity and bugs. For someone used to the west, those could be deal breakers.

Billy Danger · · Asheville, NC · Joined Mar 2005 · Points: 232

Summer: Squamish
Fall: The New or Moab
Winter: Bishop or Chattanooga
Spring: Yosemite

Man... I should really start working remotely. 

Mark P. · · Luzern, Schweiz · Joined May 2013 · Points: 680
Marc801 C wrote:

Add in humidity and bugs. For someone used to the west, those could be deal breakers.

There are places to climb without humidity and bugs?!?!    but where's the fun without humid, slick slab routes and black flies eating your face at the bottom?

mbk · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0
Mark P. wrote:

There are places to climb without humidity and bugs?!?!    but where's the fun without humid, slick slab routes and black flies eating your face at the bottom?

In my experience, they eat your face the whole way up.

Christopher Woodall · · Somerville, MA · Joined May 2015 · Points: 169
mbk wrote:

In my experience, they eat your face the whole way up.

Not if you move fast over that slick run-out slab.

mike again · · Berkeley, CA · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 40

Great responses, thanks, and thanks for the PMs.
Shooting for late June/early July in Squamish to start actualizing the experiment...  

Aaron Liebling · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 584

Chamonix in the winter (or summer..or spring...or fall). I do it for a month each year.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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