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Boulder, CO climber moving to East Coast
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Jan 4, 2017
NYC is a sucky place to be a climber. I do manage to get out every week, sometimes twice but I have a properly next to the Gunks so I can stay there over the weekend. Psyched climbing partners are there, but you will encounter a lots of flaky behavior since NYC is pretty distracting. Gyms are "nice" but crowded and expensive. Nivel Egres
From New York, NY
Joined Dec 10, 2014
0 points
Jan 4, 2017
You guys are fucking awesome for all of these sweet responses! I am reading every comment and love the differing opinions.

while I originally thought that CT was the leading candidate I now am really struggling between a few decisions (which you are more than welcome to comment on).


  • New Paltz sounds pretty awesome and that is the leading east coast candidate

  • You are really making me re-think leaving Boulder for this position at all

  • I know that I want to go back to grad/med school in a couple years and I am not sure if leaving my residence in CO is worth it.


Now for a few questions to those who would like to respond!

  • How many days can you actually climb or get outside if you live in New Paltz? Can you climb every day in the gunks from March/April to October? Is the weather only good in the spring/fall and too hot in the summer? How does the rain effect your climbing?

  • Does anyone who travels 65+% of their time enjoy it? (obviously personal but if you want to answer)

  • NYC would obviously be a crazy crazy shift. It is something that I actually really would like to experience (never lived in a city), but is it worth it to pay the insane cost of living if I will be away from home for 65% of my time?

  • I really wanted to get into parasailing this summer and almost bought a $7k lesson plan that included a wing etc. Are there good paragliding locations to learn near New Paltz?


One of the main things I am struggling with is that I know this job will open up a whole new world to me. It will allow me to travel to places I have never been (east coast mainly with opportunities to travel internationally). But I fucking love Boulder. I love Colorado. I love living 10 minutes from eldo and next to endless amounts of running and scrambling in the flatirons. Is it worth it for me to give that up for a new opportunity and new experiences? (that is probably a question that only I can answer)


Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond. This is the biggest decision of my life so far.
trice Rice
Joined Mar 9, 2014
0 points
Jan 4, 2017
trice Rice wrote:
* Does anyone who travels 65+% of their time enjoy it? (obviously personal but if you want to answer)


Some years I traveled in the range of 50%, and bumped it up to about 60% the first year I lived in France and I can tell you it is absolutely miserable. Forget about climbing, etc. with that type of travel schedule, you end up coming home and not wanting to go away for the weekend or do anything other than recover and get ready for the next business trip.
Rui Ferreira
From Longmont, CO
Joined Jul 2, 2003
784 points
Jan 4, 2017
Traveling for work gets old fast. The Gunk's are great spring, summer and fall but don't expect as many days of sunshine. You can work around the rain though. It's not so bad.

. If you cherish easy access, New Paltz is the shit. Any other spot is not that.

For me, NYC isn't worth it in any circumstance. Too many people in a stressed out rush to go nowhere.

Opportunities to travel the world and experience living around the country are usually worth it. Especially if you are young. Experiences are invaluable. If you have the time, do it!

You may like it but the East is not the West. Not in the things you say you appreciate Colorado for.
Ralph Swansen
From Denver CO
Joined Nov 24, 2012
270 points
Jan 4, 2017
Based on this:

trice Rice wrote:
But I fucking love Boulder. I love Colorado. I love living 10 minutes from eldo and next to endless amounts of running and scrambling in the flatirons.


This:

trice Rice wrote:
I know that I want to go back to grad/med school in a couple years and I am not sure if leaving my residence in CO is worth it.


...and the fact that it sounds as though your employer wants you in or near a major metro area, I think you're going to be unhappy making the move.

Of course, it's only a couple of years if you really do go back to school, so maybe it's worth the experience, but you seem so connected to the outdoors, and all the nearby high-quality access Boulder has, that you will miss it terribly.

I lived for nearly 40 years in the D.C. area, a region that has better climbing than it gets credit for, though it otherwise sucks. Whenever I could, I fled west to Colorado and beyond. This summer I moved somewhere warmer and drier where I can climb year-round. I miss my friends and the job I left behind, but I don't miss the lifestyle a single bit.
Robert Michael
Joined Aug 20, 2014
25 points
Jan 4, 2017
If you are traveling 65% of the time, and also looking to go climbing a lot in your free time, you'll basically have none of the benefits of living in NYC and all of the drawbacks. Just live upstate or in CT, where you are just a short train ride away from the city whenever you want to visit.

I grew up in the Mid Hudson Valley, and lived in CT for years. Both are good options for climbers. Central CT has lots of climbing options close by (and still driveable to Gunks, Rumney, Mass); Hundson Valley has one world class area (Gunks) but not much else (but not far from Dacks too).

Both are a short-ish drive to LGA too.
steverett
From San Diego, CA
Joined Feb 9, 2012
15 points
Jan 4, 2017
I look at it this way - some folks are city folks. They love what a vibrant, large city offers, want it all within reach, don't mind not owning a car, and for this there is arguably no place better on earth than NYC.

Other folks are country/outdoors folk. Have little-to-no use for the hustle and bustle of a dense metropolitan area, absolutely need open space and rigorous experience. For these folks, Colorado is pretty F'in close to perfect. A bit expensive and trendy in Boulder perhaps (and traffic is getting BAD; SIXTEEN lanes on Rt 36, are you kidding me??), but it is highly sought after for good reason.

Most folks fall somewhere in the middle. Where are you?
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
1,850 points
Jan 4, 2017
Rui Ferreira wrote:
Some years I traveled in the range of 50%, and bumped it up to about 60% the first year I lived in France and I can tell you it is absolutely miserable. Forget about climbing, etc. with that type of travel schedule, you end up coming home and not wanting to go away for the weekend or do anything other than recover and get ready for the next business trip.


This is absolutely true. In a previous job I was at close to 50% travel, and it killed my climbing. When you're travelling two weeks in a row, it is pretty hard to get out of town for a climbing trip over the weekend in between. You often just need to spend that time dealing with all the life logistics you've neglected while away. Sure, you can make it a priority to squeeze the climbing in, but this is exhausting and will burn you out if you do it regularly. Training is hard too; everything is too inconsistent, and it is difficult to maintain fitness. It is also quite hard on the personal life- it is hard to develop or maintain relationships or friendships if you are never home.

I changed jobs (within the same organization) to get away from the travel, and would never again take a work position with such a large travel component.
JCM
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
5 points
Jan 4, 2017
Just a follow-up since the OP is now more on the fence. I grew up in New England and can personally attest to the long winters, erratic and humid weather and distances from climbing, especially near big cities like Boston and NYC. Traffic is brutal compared to just about anything in Colorado, except maybe right near Denver. Very few really serious climbers stay east for too long and for good reason. Unless you are getting a substantial premium (huge pay increase, plum job, free housing, etc.) for moving east, I would strongly recommend against it. Having lived in Boulder for over 20 years I see no reason ever to move back voluntarily. Peter Beal
From Boulder Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,670 points
Jan 4, 2017
Colorado is great for access to rock and mild weather but if you're young and have never left I say try something new. You might be pleasantly surprised. You can always go back - it's typically a lot easier to come home than to generate the initial motivation to leave. I suspect a lot of us struggled to leave home but are happy we did. Sure, New Paltz doesn't get 300 days of sunshine but it won't suck. At worst you experience some unique world class climbing (very different than Eldo) and gain a new appreciation for your home before going back.

If you're interested in medicine there is no lack of opportunity in the Northeast. Personally I like ice climbing but want to practice in a major academic center. I prefer small towns. If there were a teaching hospital on the western slope, in WY or MT I'd be stoked. But as it stands no place truly offers that except the Northeast. There are probably more teaching hospitals in Massachusetts alone than in the entire mountain West. To me working in Aurora/Denver or SLC is less appealing. Just an alternative perspective; we all love climbing but it seems as though you're interested in being multi-dimensional. You might be surprised where your career takes you.
jdejace
From New England
Joined Sep 20, 2013
0 points
Jan 4, 2017
trice Rice wrote:
Does anyone who travels 65+% of their time enjoy it?

My sense from having done some business travel and knowing some people who did more than me is that a substantial percentage of the males who liked it were glad for the opportunity for lots of interesting / exotic sex partners. Second place might be sampling lots of restaurants and bars.
. . (I did not enjoy my periods of frequent business travel).

. . (Some people think that New York City is pretty good for that too).

New Paltz?
There's a reason why lots of East coast avid (trad) climbers move to Boulder long-term (rather than New Paltz). Because the climbing close to Boulder is way better than the Gunks. And the climbing in Colorado overall is way better than rock climbing in the Northeast US.

The key way that Boulder beats the Gunks is that Boulder has real multi-pitch with real commitment, and the Gunks does not. In the Gunks you're never more than one rope-length from the ground. If you really need to escape, just tie one end of your 60-meter rope to some sort of anchor and rappel on a single strand and you reach the ground. (Next day go back and hike along the top of the cliff and retrieve your rope -- or ask the ranger to help).

The trail-running in the Gunks I think is pretty nice: But mostly horizontal.
If you want bigger vertical, the trail-running in the Catskills and Adirondacks is completely inferior to the good stuff in Colorado. The White mountains in NH have some decent ridges, but it you (like me) wish for some fun scrambling in your trail runs, then not much there (and the Whites are a long drive from New Paltz).

So there's really no point in making the move to the East if your goal is to "sort of" replicate your Colorado experience.

My advice:
Go big and full on The City life and the business travel opportunities.

You just might find out that there are intense exciting things in life other than climbing. And worthwhile goals other than climbing.
. (You can always go back to climbing later).

You might discover that the alpine climbing in Europe just blows away Colorado's offerings.

And you can always go back to Boulder or Colorado later, but with a new confidence and perspective -- and lots of stories about how it's so much better than NorthEast, so much better than the Big City.

Ken
kenr
Joined Oct 29, 2010
7,348 points
Jan 5, 2017
trice Rice wrote:
Now for a few questions to those who would like to respond!


As far as whether you should move based on climbing criteria alone... it's been fairly well covered already. But to put it another way - we head West when we want adventure, long multipitch, etc.
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 5, 2017
I grew up on the east coast and lived in NYC for a short period, before moving to LA, and I now live in Boulder.

If I was in your position I would move to Manhattan. Travel, and being in melting pot like NYC, will wildly diversify your life.

That said, I'm a bit older now, and while I would consider moving back to the city for a couple of years, the allure of the city lights and the hustle still get me, I'd never make it a permanent move. I love the mountains too much and it's not same in the East.

It's a tough call, Boulder is an amazing place and flatiron laps and eldo mornings are unique, but if given the option between the known and unknown, I'd choose the unknown. Especially when the unknown is a magnetic place like NY.
Justin S
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 13, 2013
5 points
Jan 6, 2017
^^ NYC is definitely cool.... but with that much travel he won't even get to enjoy it. Would hardly be there. Russ Keane
Joined Feb 8, 2013
70 points
Jan 6, 2017
Russ Keane wrote:
^^ NYC is definitely cool.... but with that much travel he won't even get to enjoy it. Would hardly be there.


Plus it will be really expensive to live when he is there. Doesn't make a lot of sense since it sounds like they have the option to live elsewhere closer to climbing at a lower cost of living.
Kevin Heckeler
From Upstate New York
Joined Jul 10, 2010
1,361 points
Jan 6, 2017
As some have alluded to above...if you are young (I am assuming 20s???), maybe just accept the fact that climbing won't be a high priority for a few years, suck it up and move to Manhattan/NYC in a deliberate attempt to get the most out of a very different experience. Turn a switch in your brain to that effect. It will likely change you forever in unexpected ways and might lead to other opportunities/directions in your life that you never considered. Just climb and do the gym thing when it works out and don't fret about it. After a few years, or when this stage has run its course, come back to Colorado and get on with your climbing/trail running life. Life is fairly long (if you are lucky and careful) and there will be plenty of time to climb and run. When you are young, well, that's when you try out new things for a year or two or three--says this 58-year-old. (On the other hand, if you really, truly, honestly think you'll be miserable and would be unable to "turn the switch" in your head for a few years in order to put climbing on the back burner, then don't do it.) Daniel Joder
From Boulder, CO
Joined Nov 9, 2015
0 points
Jan 6, 2017
From what I'm hearing I think you should really consider NH or MA. There are plenty of spots just outside of Boston that would give you good access to climbs in NH within 2 hours or less. (Rumney, Cannon, N. Conway, etc.) There is tons of stuff to explore in NH. You could leave your house at 6:30am on a Saturday and be at Rumney by 8:30am.

Depending where you were located you could also be within a few hours of the Cape and ocean for parasailing, etc. There is a hardcore kite boarding scene around here too, with spots near Boston harbor, if you were into that. Hell, if you wanted to surf you could head down to Narragansett (1.5 hours outside Boston) RI when conditions were right.

During winter you would also have good access to all the ice and alpine climbs (plus hikes) in NH, and VT as well, while still keeping you near a big city and the airport. The Daks are within a nights drive as well (4 - 4.5 hours). You also have Mt. Washington, which can help prepare you for pretty much any other mountain environment on earth weather wise.

The NH idea is really one to contemplate, but I'm from there, and have a weekend place and go up there regularly to climb, so I'm biased. I do live just outside of Boston though in Waltham and like that I'm centrally located to the north country and also the coast, since I do a lot of kayak fishing, surfcasting etc., in the summer.

While Boston is no NYC, there is still plenty to do. Running trails can be found all over. My town has miles of wooded, hilly trails.

I'm also 10 minutes from the nearest Central Rock gym in Watertown.

I love the seasonal sports of New England and the fact that everything is easily accessible. If you are looking to combine the best of the mountains and ocean, then it can't be beat.
Jeremy Cote
Joined Nov 11, 2015
0 points
Jan 6, 2017
OH! added bonus, if i remember correctly, EMS started in NH, and had one of the nation's first climbing schools, correct me anyone if i'm wrong please. Joseph Dul
From New Milford, CT
Joined Jul 15, 2016
15 points
Jan 6, 2017
doligo wrote:
.... My point exactly, doesn't sound like you've spent enough time in the city to find better ways around. If you live/Denver area (so I know where the OP is coming from)...i


I thought your point was I don't live there? Haha.. I don't know the best ways outta town? Haha.. Been doing that for 15 years. But what? The guy from that just moved from Boulder will? HAHA.. This has already been said but I'll say it again. Drive around NYC before you decide to move there. I prefer to drive as the traffic compared to Washington DC is not so bad. You can't say that about everybody from the one light town in CO. I've driven around Denver. It's traffic is a joke.
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
40 points
Administrator
Jan 6, 2017
I think the major takeaway here is that there's no Eastern destination that's close (within an hour or so) to both high quality concentrated climbing destinations and a major airport. So you're going to have to decide which proximity is more important to you.

I live in Richmond, VA. The good climbing is at least 3 hours away (I can get to Seneca in 3, NRG in 4, and Piedmont NC crags in 4.5) but the airport is super convenient. Richmond is a good city to live in/near. Crime isn't out of control, neither is traffic. The brewery scene here has exploded in the last few years. It's progressive for Central VA, and embraces outdoor culture, suprisingly. The gym here is small, but very high quality and another is going in late spring/early summer in closer proximity to downtown.

So, there's that. There are definitely better places, but if you're considering CT, NY and Boston, I can guarantee RVA will be cheaper. Probably significantly so depending on how "in" the city you want to live.
Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Joined Jul 30, 2011
703 points
Jan 6, 2017
My vote would be something near the Manchester airport. Lots of flights from Manchester to everywhere in the US, near the Boston airport when you need it, close to both good climbing and good trail running. ("good" by East Coast standards of course). Bill Shubert
From Lexington, MA
Joined Jul 20, 2012
50 points
Jan 6, 2017
I spent some time living in Brooklyn after college and have a couple of observations with it:

1. I had a car there, and it was a real pain in the ass. I spent the majority of my car time moving it around because the only place you could find a parking spot was the street that is getting cleaned the next morning.
2. Traffic was not that really that bad getting out of the town..
3. Everyone wants to live next to a park, and its unaffordable for most people. If I wanted to trail run, I would put my running shoes on and then ride the train for 35 minutes.

I think the question would be, how often do you have to get to the airport? Would you rather drive a couple of hours to the airport or a couple of hours to the outdoors?

I've never spent anytime in New Paltz, but here are a couple of east coast towns I thought were cool:

North Conway - small town, but you can climb a multi pitch route afterwork, there is plenty of trail access. Only a couple of hours from Boston.

Chattanooga- The south is hot. But you can climb outdoors, afterwork, year round. Its the Boulder of the South right?
Brandon.Phillips
From Alabama
Joined May 13, 2011
0 points
Jan 6, 2017
Joseph Dul wrote:
OH! added bonus, if i remember correctly, EMS started in NH, and had one of the nation's first climbing schools, correct me anyone if i'm wrong please.


EMS's first real store was the Comm. Ave store in Boston.
Gunkiemike
Joined Jul 29, 2009
1,850 points
Jan 6, 2017
North Conway is the best spot in the Northeast IMO, there you actually do have outdoor access somewhat comparable to Boulder. Unfortunately it's a bit farther away from civilization and he's already compromising on extending his commute to >1h. You're more likely to have to drive through some nasty Winter weather up there and nowhere in NH has the progressive vibe of New Paltz which may be important to the OP from Boulder. jdejace
From New England
Joined Sep 20, 2013
0 points
Jan 6, 2017
I think that for Boulder like accessibility living near Charlotte NC is your best bet. You could live in one of the foot hills towns like Hickory, Morganton or in the Charlotte suburbs, be about an hour (or much less) from the airport, and within a couple of hours of most of the climbing in NC plus weekend trips to Tennessee, RRG and NRG. The southeast has the most consistent year round climbing in the country and generally lacks the crowds of the North East and West.

Charlotte is a United hub so there are lots of direct flights just about everywhere and other than occasional thunderstorms no weather delays. Some town life but no where near as crazy as the big cities in the North East. The quantity of the rock climbing is certainly less than the west but the quality and diversity is equal (or better). Plus you have a local chosspile just like all those local Colorado crags (Crowders Mountain). The cost of living is an order of magnitude lower than the Front Range or southeast (only a slight exaggeration).
Alexander K
From The road
Joined Oct 26, 2014
5 points


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