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Seattle Relocation Beta and Climbing Partners wanted!


Original Post
Brent Kelly · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 36

Hey PNW’ers,

I’m looking for beta on Seattle life, and a quickstart guide to the local cragging and adventure climbing scene.

I’m moving to Seattle in couple weeks for work, relocating from Denver/Boulder. I’ll be working around downtown/Pike’s Place. I’ve visited a couple times, but only in the summer.

FOR CITY LIFE:

Recommended neighborhoods?
My priorities are:
1a&1b - good value/budget housing & not too heinous a commute
2 - neighborhood culture/amenities (shops, parks, safe-ish)
3 - weekend mountain access

Is evening after-work cragging even a thing in the Seattle area?

FOR CLIMBING:
What are the “go-to” local crags?

How to survive the winter? Is winter all about the Snow Sports and vacation trips to climb? Or is there anywhere for winter cragging?

Also, any gym beta?
Momentum near downtown seems logical...

FYI:
Smith is the only “local” crag I’ve climbed at.
I’m mostly a 5.12- sport climber (got started as a Texas gym rat), but am also stoked to get better at crack and push into 5.10/11 trad.
I have some Alpine experience, and Mt Ranier etc are goals, but I’m a fledging mountaineer/skier/etc.

Also looking for housing and fun, safe, sane partners. Hit me up!
Thanks for any available beta!

Dana Walters 1 · · Spokane, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 235

Winter Cragging. Smith Rocks or Vantage...

After Work cragging? Depends on when you get off.  Seattle traffic is heinous and a dawn patrol mission at exit 32 (4 am wake up... is a more realistic option than after work cragging.  

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

Exit 32 and 38 are totally doable after work.  I have positioned myself on the East Side (Bellevue) near East Gate on i90.  It is a tad cheeper than down town and much quicker to get out to the mountains.

Stone Gardens Bellevue, IMO, is the superior rope climbing gym in Seattle.  Momentum is cool but it’s just a bouldering gym.  

The winters are rough but if youre motivated Vantage is usually dry. Smith is far, Ive done it in a weekend but it feels rushed.

If you want to crack climb, places like index and Squamish shit on the front range cracks in BoCan and Eldo (if you can even call that crack climbing).  The Alpine climbing is also much less  chossy than the Rockies.  

I think you’ll like it here.  

James Cho · · Bellevue, WA · Joined Sep 2014 · Points: 6

Hey Brent, I believe we climbed in Joshua Tree a couple years ago. Happy to climb with you again once you've moved up here. For indoor climbing I go to Stone Gardens in Bellevue - IMO markedly better routesetting than other gyms I've seen.

Curtis Tripp · · Seattle, WA · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 732

Hey Brent! Not sure if you still use it, but I pm'ed you at your alumni email address.

JCM · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 95
Dana Walters 1 wrote:After Work cragging? Depends on when you get off.  Seattle traffic is heinous and a dawn patrol mission at exit 32 (4 am wake up... is a more realistic option than after work cragging.  

I’ve found that, working in/near downtown Seattle, true after-work (leave work at 4-5 pm) evening cragging isn’t feasible. The climbing is just about too far, and traffic leaving the city at that hour is brutal.

If you have some work schedule flexibility and can get out early (~2:00-2:30) once a week in the spring/summer, this lends itself very well to evening climbing. 
Brent Kelly · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2010 · Points: 36

A bit late in my reply here, but, thanks everyone!

Dan, I'll have to scope out the Bellevue area. Very appealing.
Eldo is pure magic, and I refuse to hear otherwise.

James! I'd be stoked to rope up with you again! That was such a good day on Mental Physics!

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365
Brent Kelly wrote: A bit late in my reply here, but, thanks everyone!

Dan, I'll have to scope out the Bellevue area. Very appealing.
Eldo is pure magic, and I refuse to hear otherwise.

James! I'd be stoked to rope up with you again! That was such a good day on Mental Physics!

Hahahaha.  I meant no offense.  Eldo is a magical place but it lacks the long splitter cracks.  You’ll see what I mean.

Aaron Nash · · North Bend, WA · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 212

Some advice I've picked up from being here a long time:

I'd prioritize weekday commute times over weekend mountain access for your first year or two here. Weekend mountain access is "easy-ish" wherever you're going and unless you live in the mountains, the weekday commute is going to make way more of a difference. You can be at Snoqualmie Pass in ~50min, Index ~90min, x32 ~30min from downtown Seattle on a Saturday morning.

I have no idea what living downtown is like in regards to price these days, but it could be an option. A good friend of mine lives on first hill and has for quite a long time. Good access to a lot of the city from that area. I always like crashing at his place if we drink too much around the area. There are a lot of other good neighborhoods with easy commuting access to the core area; capital hill, first hill, beacon hill, south lake union, fremont, ballard, maybe even columbia city are all easy bike rides/bus rides from downtown. Also anywhere an easy bike/walk from the light rail line would work well too (as far north as Northgate, or south as Seatac). It all depends on how much you're willing to pay in rent.

As mentioned earlier, somewhere on the eastside MAY be more affordable, but that's a big maybe. Commuting via bus from Eastgate/Bellevue into the Seattle core is very easy, but could take a long time depending on traffic/time-of-day. Lightrail will go across the lake eventually (2 yrs from now I think?). Driving into the core and paying for parking will suck at your time, money, and soul; avoid it as much as possible.

Super easy to after work crag out in the snoqualmie vally from Seattle during the summer. It stays light out until after 9PM, so you can get a couple of good goes on your proj midweek as long as you can get out of town. Ever since they made the I90 bridge 4 lanes I think it's flowed better during rush hour, so you might not have too much trouble heading east. Might slow down a bit near issaquah, but not much. Index mid-week is good too, but longer travel time. Leaving work around 2-230 as mentioned previously is how I'd swing that one.

I uesd to go to vertical world when I lived in the city, but now I usually just climb outside in the summer and ski in the winter :)

Good luck and welcome to the area

Anthony M · · Bellevue, WA · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

I'd prioritize your commute vs. living close to climbing just like Aaron said.

I'm a recent transplant now living in Bellevue. I enjoy it, but I work from home and my wife works in Redmond. So total commute time is very low. Weeknight sessions are doable, especially during long summer hours. Winters are rough if rock climbing is your only outdoor hobby. I'm not really into snow sports, but if you can stand rain then trail running, mountain biking, and I guess general hiking is fine. I was able to go outside almost every weekend this winter. The real burn during winter is just the shorter days during the work week. If your work allows and you can take an afternoon run, start work later, or end work early, than try to work some odd hours in order to get some outdoor sunshine during the work week.

SG Bellevue is great if you live somewhere with easy access, but I've heard great things about Momentum.

EDIT: Forgot to say welcome to the area. HMU if you want to get after it.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Pacific Northwest
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