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Boulder, CO climber moving to East Coast
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Jan 4, 2017
Before you decide on NYC, try and make the drive out of town to New Paltz or wherever. You may lose your shhhh..

Take a look at Boston.
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
40 points
Jan 4, 2017
i live on the western edge of CT, literally minutes from the ny border, and just daily driving i pass by lots of great stuff. the 4 most exciting ones to me are the breadloaf in new milford, the cliffs on either side of the river at Lover's Leap state park which i know people climb(also handful of ok boulders), and in Sherman there seems to be this really really long ridge of rock going down Holiday Point road, maybe other points of town, but at certain points it's magnificent, but unfortunately a private community road mostly. the town beach has this massive boulder right by the parking lot but it's been years since i've seen it so i couldn't tell you how it is for climbing. i avoid sherman like the plague i hate the people and culture they created there, overly pompous and stuck up/hateful

oh and then there's the appalachian trail which is littered with boulders and stuff. point is CT pretty much anywhere can be fantastic for climbing if you look
Joseph Dul
From New Milford, CT
Joined Jul 15, 2016
15 points
Jan 4, 2017
Bill Kirby wrote:
Before you decide on NYC, try and make the drive out of town to New Paltz or wherever. You may lose your shhhh.. Take a look at Boston.


Ditto this, traffic to/from NYC is horrible.

Related note -- of all the places in the US I've visited most like Boulder, New Paltz is right up there (we joke that it's "Boulder East"). It's 1.5 - 2 hours (?) to Newark, less than 1.5 to Albany airport. Perhaps check the city out as a living option?

Boston also gets a nod for being just awesome as a place to visit, and likely live. Traffic can still be rough, but they've done a lot to expand the highways out there.

Additionally, Albany NY is between the ADKs and Gunks (and within driving distance of more in New Hampshire, Mass, and Vermont). Cost of living is (much) lower in Upstate as well. Nearly all metropolitan areas in the NE are expensive to live. If your pay is the same regardless of where you live, then definitely look 'elsewhere' and avoid the major cities.
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 4, 2017
If you're going to be travelling between DC, Baltimore, Philly, NYC, and Boston you'll like end up in the Amtrak as opposed to flying.

Consider living near a station on the NE Corridor.

That being said, New Paltz would still be my vote. The Gunks offer a lifetime worth of climbing and you are close to NY, NH, and VY ice, backcountry skiing, and climbing.
ChrisN
From Morro Bay, CA
Joined Oct 14, 2014
0 points
Jan 4, 2017
I second what Bill Kirby and Kevin Heckeler said above...

I live a few miles from NYC and getting in and out is a disaster on most days. It's probably at least 2 hours drive to the gunks which is the closest place to climb. There are a few other local crags within about that distance but mostly not worth visiting IMO. Trail running will also be very limited in NYC. NYC offers a ton of stuff to do but not much for the outdoor enthusiast so you have to decide which is more important to you now. In NY, New Paltz is a good option, still close enough to Newark Airport. Albany brings you slightly closer to more climbing areas, but it's pretty far from major airports (2 hours or so) and kind of boring. I'm not too familiar with the area but I think some places in MA or NH within an hour so of Boston (or in Boston itself) would be good. Boston is much better for outdoor activities than NYC.
Peter T
Joined May 1, 2016
10 points
Jan 4, 2017
"I love living within a 3 minute run from the trails/mountains,"

Coming from Boulder, you are in for a GIANT shock when you arrive for your new life in the Northeast corridor. It's pretty horrible. Boulder is heaven compared to any of these places being discussed. You will likely not respond well to large metropolis like NYC or Boston. They are concrete jungles, cold, expensive, and mean.

Your best bet is a smaller city, where you can quickly access your trail running and climbing, as quickly as possible without too much hassle. (It may not be three minutes...) Your work travel schedule is going to leave you with not much time, and pretty frazzled and tired. Keep it simple and keep your priorities in line.

My suggestion is a small mellow place where outdoors are the main thing. May I suggest somewhere in the "Pioneer Valley" which is western Mass. Great funky towns, near a couple of airports, insanely good local climbing, plus quick access to world class climbing such as the Gunks, Daks, and NH. It's all the charm of New England and not much of the headache that comes with life in the Northeast.

By the way, same idea applies to spots like New Paltz, Manchester NH, etc.
Russ Keane
Joined Feb 8, 2013
70 points
Jan 4, 2017
I would recommend living close to New Paltz as well. I lived in New Windsor, outside of Newburgh, NY for five years and found easy access to airports (Stewart and Newark, NJ) as well as outdoor activities (Gunks - 25 minutes away). I traveled each month including international travel (8 - 10x/yr to Europe). It was a great situation and if I had to move back East I would look to live in the area once more. The Gunks and the region offers lots of climbing and trails (Bear Mountain, Minnewaska for the trails, etc.)

The two times I lived in CT (in Broad Brook, 25 minutes North of Hartford) I found the airport convenient, even though I always had to connect somewhere to travel internationally, or do the horrendous drive to JFK. The bad part however is that central CT was lacking in climbing quality and I spent most of my weekends traveling to the Gunks, to the Dacs in upstate NY or to New Hampshire. I had a 7 mile commute to work, but drove in excess of 30,000 miles each year to find decent outdoor recreation. This was my experience both in the late 90's and again in '08 - '10.

The other nice aspect of living in the Hudson Valley is that NYC is really accessible for weekend/weeknight trips using commuter rail from White Plains.
Rui Ferreira
From Longmont, CO
Joined Jul 2, 2003
779 points
Jan 4, 2017
Peter T wrote:
Albany brings you slightly closer to more climbing areas, but it's pretty far from major airports (2 hours or so) and kind of boring.


Albany is definitely not a cultural center, but for most outdoorsy types they don't spend much time pursuing those things anyway. By the end of 2017 we will have two stellar [new] climbing gyms (Clifton Park, Queensbury) as well. We had Reel Rock 20 minutes from home this year, the closest its ever been shown to our residence in Upstate. Prior closest was New Paltz, before that Keene in the Adirondacks. Climbing is getting popular around here and the climbing community growing. Not good for getting on the classic routes, but good for prospects of climber's life stuff (gear and coffee shops, leverage for access issues, boutique beer, nipple rings, etc).

We do a lot of flights using Southwest to/from places out West. Albany airport might be fine depending on the destinations and frequency they actually need to travel. Lines are definitely shorter on most days than the major hubs. ;)

The larger issues living anywhere in the NE is the weather. The weather is a big issue sometimes. last year being the exception because of drought conditions, but most years it seems to rain half the time. And with winters becoming statistically warmer/wetter each year, even ice climbing isn't a guarantee anymore.
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 4, 2017
Kevin Heckeler wrote:
last year being the exception because of drought conditions, but most years it seems to rain half the time. And with winters becoming statistically warmer/wetter each year, even ice climbing isn't a guarantee anymore.

it gets reeeeeeeeal soggy for a long ass time
Joseph Dul
From New Milford, CT
Joined Jul 15, 2016
15 points
Jan 4, 2017
Ana Tine wrote:
The point is, you can still have a climbing life & be strong living in a place such as NYC or DC if you want.

If your climbing life evolves around the gym: this is how these kids got really strong. It has nothing to do with climbing as an outdoor pursuit. They didn't get strong at or exposed to climbing thru the Gunks or Seneca, etc.

And really, your point would be meaningful if they didn't involve kids whose parents/sponsors have the time & resource to take them around the world. Kind of like using the Boulder trust funders as examples of work/climb balance.
reboot
From Westminster, CO
Joined Jul 17, 2006
50 points
Jan 4, 2017
reboot wrote:
If your climbing life evolves around the gym: this is how these kids got really strong. It has nothing to do with climbing as an outdoor pursuit. And really, your point would be meaningful if they didn't involve kids whose parents/sponsors have the time & resource to take them around the world.


Definitely, coastal city life in the Northeast only offers hurtles to climbing outdoors. If someone wants to add more challenges on top of an already challenging pursuit, then by all means.

Always live closest to the mountains/crags as you can if it's important to you. That's why Boulder is so awesome. You can climb the flatirons as part of your morning jog. lol
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 4, 2017
Ana Tine wrote:
That is why I said Despite living in NYC they are still elite climbers, meaning it's not a place known for climbing, but yet they manage. The point is, you can still have a climbing life & be strong living in a place such as NYC or DC if you want. Ashima was born in NYC, started there, got good, got world famous, became the first female to climb 5.15.... all while living in NYC. And still lives there.


A major difference to consider, though, is that both Sasha and Ashima have the financial support and time (school breaks) available to take several major international climbing trips per year. They are also highly motivated to train and have access to quality coaching. As such, they are able to train hard, and then fly to Spain to cash in on thier fitness. This is actually a strategy that works pretty well, and using it you can live just about anywhere. But you need to have the ability to take time off for those trips. This strategy, where you have to get on a plane in order to get to your climbing objectives. does not work very well for the average 9-5 schmuch in NYC with 2 weeks of vacation per year.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
5 points
Jan 4, 2017
Hi,

I grew up in New Paltz, and live in Boulder (Longmont) now so I can speak to both places. I just wanted to echo the sentiment that New Paltz is a great place to live and is very similar to Boulder. Good food, music etc.

People will complain about the Gunks getting crowded but if you climb in Eldo you know the drill: just hike 5 minutes further and you can still climb classic rock. (Although this may have changed in the decade I've been gone).

Not a ton of sport climbing right out the door.

Easy 90 minute train ride from Poughkeepsie train station (20min from NP) to NYC, driving is another story.

The only gym nearby was the Inner Wall when I lived there. I understand that there's a new gym or two nearby.
Tim Benson
From Longmont,CO
Joined Apr 20, 2010
0 points
Jan 4, 2017
reboot wrote:
If your climbing life evolves around the gym: this is how these kids got really strong. It has nothing to do with climbing as an outdoor pursuit. They didn't get strong at or exposed to climbing thru the Gunks or Seneca, etc. And really, your point would be meaningful if they didn't involve kids whose parents/sponsors have the time & resource to take them around the world. Kind of like using the Boulder trust funders as examples of work/climb balance.


"And really, your point would be meaningful if they didn't involve kids whose parents/sponsors have the time & resource to take them around the world. Kind of like using the Boulder trust funders as examples of work/climb balance."

Hahaha. So true!

And of course where does Sasha live now? Boulder CO, where else?

The East Coast is where climbing dreams go to die unless you are made of pretty stern stuff indeed
Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,650 points
Jan 4, 2017
Tim Benson wrote:
... just hike 5 minutes further and you can still climb classic rock. (Although this may have changed in the decade I've been gone).


Sadly on many weekends this is no longer true.

A side note - at the current rate of growth/use, it looks like the preserve is going to run out of parking before they run out of climbable rock.
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 4, 2017
Peter T wrote:
I second what Bill Kirby and Kevin Heckeler said above... I live a few miles from NYC and getting in and out is a disaster on most days. It's probably at least 2 hours drive to the gunks which is the closest place to climb.

So why are you still there?
kenr
Joined Oct 29, 2010
7,383 points
Jan 4, 2017
kenr wrote:
So why are you still there?



Are you kidding??? I throw out some guesses.. family or job.. Climbing is not the center of the universe for everyone!!!!

Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
40 points
Jan 4, 2017
kenr wrote:
So why are you still there?


Grad school, job, and family. Living here is far from ideal for climbing or other outdoor stuff but considering everything else it makes more sense for me to stay here.
Peter T
Joined May 1, 2016
10 points
Jan 4, 2017
Check out Concord, New Hampshire. Near lots of good climbing/ice climbing, tons of good hiking, a decent cultural area. Near Manchester airport and not far from Boston. Close to the ocean. If you can get away with northern VT (Burlington Intnl Airport) it would be the least shock from Boulder (besides much less climbing). If you can stand the cold it's awesome though.

I've lived in CT for the majority of my 33 yrs and it sucks.
Nick Votto
Joined Jul 27, 2008
80 points
Jan 4, 2017
Not a single person who poo-poos in this thread on NYC lives or actually has lived in NYC. Traffic is not that bad. It's not the Front Range type of thing when everybody on weekends goes mass exodus out of the city on a single artery. There are lots of ways to get out of the city, including mass transport, unlike Denver area. If you are going to be traveling a lot, living in New York would get you easier access to the airports via mass transit or cheap taxi fare (LGA) without worrying about driving and parking. There are three (!) major international airports all accessible via mass transit (way more efficient than the light trail in Denver).

There are lots of parks and greenways and green spaces in NY, all reachable via single Metrocard swipe. Living in New York is a great once in a lifetime experience. It only sucks if you are a visitor (overpriced, overcrowded, overhyped).
doligo
Joined Sep 26, 2008
212 points
Jan 4, 2017
doligo wrote:
Not a single person who poo-poos in this thread on NYC lives or actually has lived in NYC. Traffic is not that bad. It's not the Front Range type of thing when everybody on weekends goes mass exodus out of the city on a single artery. There are lots of ways to get out of the city, including mass transport, unlike Denver area. If you are going to be traveling a lot, living in New York would get you easier access to the airports via mass transit or cheap taxi fare (LGA) without worrying about driving and parking. There are three (!) major international airports all accessible via mass transit (way more efficient than the light trail in Denver). There are lots of parks and greenways and green spaces in NY, all reachable via single Metrocard swipe. Living in New York is a great once in a lifetime experience. It only sucks if you are a visitor (overpriced, overcrowded, overhyped).


Please... I lived in the Upper West side and worked the Upper East side and Wall Street. I've renovated many parking garages in the city. I make the drive from Manhattan to the Gunks and Adirondacks a lot. The last time I drove into the city from Keene NY was last month. Traffic is much worse than even 10 years ago. Can it be easy to leave the city to head to the Gunks? Sure.. can it be a nightmare? Damn right. You can't take a train to the Trapps without bumming a car ride.

Oh and Peter Beal lives there and commented too. Where you live?

If I don't comment more about your silly assumptions it's because I've reached my post limit.
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
40 points
Jan 4, 2017
doligo wrote:
Not a single person who poo-poos in this thread on NYC lives or actually has lived in NYC. Traffic is not that bad.


Denial.
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 4, 2017
...you'll be back soon enough. It's crazy just how many people from that region are now in CO.

I would have to think long and hard about moving any further east than CO after growing up here and enjoying all the west has to offer the last 30+ years.
gspup
Joined Aug 10, 2014
0 points
Jan 4, 2017
trice Rice wrote:
any city dwellers here? is living in a city fun enough to not live with immediate access to the outdoors? I love living within a 3 minute run from the trails/mountains, but could sacrifice it for a couple years if the city life is fun. I really don't know yet, but love the different opinions!


I've lived in every borough over the past 10 years. Is it fun? It can be. It's not '3 minutes away from the trails / crag' fun, though. If you expect to have flexibility with where you live (meaning, if you can move around if you don't like it) and just want to try out something -- NYC is a good bet. If you know what you want and what you want is easy access to the outdoors, then look elsewhere.

Also, where in NYC matters a lot. Whereas it takes me 75 mins some days from my door to the gunks parking lot, some folks in Brooklyn need to travel for ~2 hours or more. As other have pointed out there are good parks and city trails, but you need to do your research and make sure you pick a neighborhood with good access to those.
Mrkb3
Joined Mar 4, 2015
246 points
Jan 4, 2017
Bill Kirby wrote:
Please... I lived in the Upper West side and worked the Upper East side and Wall Street. I've renovated many parking garages in the city. I make the drive from Manhattan to the Gunks and Adirondacks a lot. The last time I drove into the city from Keene NY was last month. Traffic is much worse than even 10 years ago. Can it be easy to leave the city to head to the Gunks? Sure.. can it be a nightmare? Damn right. You can't take a train to the Trapps without bumming a car ride. Oh and Peter Beal lives there and commented too. Where you live? If I don't comment more about your silly assumptions it's because I've reached my post limit.



It's different if you are trying to leave Manhattan after work. Usually people drive in the opposite direction of the commute when trying to get to the Gunks, for many it's a daytrip on weekends, early am to late pm (as in eat dinner in New Paltz, and then drive home). Unlike Denver area, where there is only one way to the mountains, and everybody uses it, there are many different ways to get out of the city driving or catching a commuter train to the station where you can rent a car or do a zipcar (is it still a thing?). Because there are many public transit options, there are not as many cars on the roads (compared to zero public transportation like in CO Front Range area).

My point exactly, doesn't sound like you've spent enough time in the city to find better ways around. If you live in outer boroughs like Queens, Brooklyn or Bronx you could avoid a lot of traffic cluster in Manhattan. BQE (highway runs through Brooklyn and Queens) is your friend - takes you to the Tri-Borough bridge (your gateway to New England) in minutes.

I've lived 12 years in NYC (Queens and Manhattan) and managed to get out of the city on a weekly basis, lived in New Paltz, have spent some time in Boulder/Denver area (so I know where the OP is coming from) and now live in SW Colorado in a county with a single traffic light.

If the access to the outdoors is more important than an easy access to the airports, I would live in the immediate vicinity of climbing, say in the New Paltz area (forget CT). Just because weather sucks and if you wait for perfect weather, you may not get too many climbing days, but if you live right where climbing is you can get out for an hour or two between storms or on a nice sunny winter day. Or climb late evenings in the middle of hot summer. New Paltz is smaller and more intimate than Boulder btw with a really nice close-knit climbing community.
doligo
Joined Sep 26, 2008
212 points


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