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ggemmen


May 24, 2007, 11:10 AM
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ithaca?  (North_America: United_States: New_York)
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Hey, I am loosely considering a move to Ithaca, NY for professional and relational reasons (I'm a physicist and the singularly greatest girl ever will be in NYC the next three years). What is the climbing like close by to Ithaca? How far away are the Catskills, Adirondacks, Gunks? What about stuff south in PA and the like. I am coming from San Diego where I have been spoiled...so much good rock within 1-2 hours, not to mention the tons within 3-4 hours (Josh, Tahquitz, etc.). Any info would be appreciated. Thanks!


adklimber


May 24, 2007, 11:22 AM
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Re: [ggemmen] ithaca? [In reply to]
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Not a bad spot to be.

mapquest it to New paltz. Not much compares to the Gunks, if you can pick the days that aren't busy. The Daks are great if you can find a dry day. Make sure you take advantage of the ice in the Catskills and Daks.

I grew up in upstate - Northern NY, it ain't the Western weather, but the climbing is a lot of fun and Ithaca's a good town.


ggemmen


May 24, 2007, 11:29 AM
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Re: [adklimber] ithaca? [In reply to]
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the ice climbing brings up another question...i've become so "san dieganized" that i forgot to ask about the length of season. i grew up in michigan so i can handle winter, but about how many months of the year allow one to climb hard up there? and how far south does one have to go say in january to get on rock...north carolina? tennessee? or is really far west the best direction at that time of year ;)


Valarc


May 24, 2007, 11:31 AM
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Re: [ggemmen] ithaca? [In reply to]
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Not to hijack your thread, but hooray for physicist climbers! Although it can be a bit disconcerting sometimes to REALLY understand the forces that are involved with these things.
Cool

I'm guessing you'll be at Cornell? Gorgeous campus and certainly a great place to live - but some of the science departments can be pretty cutthroat. Watch your back!


rhythm164


May 24, 2007, 11:43 AM
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It's not a huge deal to get to the Gunks or the Dacks, and there's another spot, Little Falls, that's probably around 2 hours from Ithaca, it's not too bad, (and there is a guidebook, if you can find it). The Catskills aren't that far off either, but really that's more of an ice destination. As for dry rock in January, be prepared to drive. There's not really anything around that area unfortunatly, depsite all the gorges and such, but it's a cool town with other stuff to do, it was rated one of the top towns for mountain biking a few years ago, there's a descent brewery, and there is a gym @ Cornell, and Colgate, and a new one @ Hamilton College, but I havn't checked it out yet, so I'm not sure how it stacks up.

cheers


GregM


Apr 25, 2008, 10:38 AM
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Re: [rhythm164] ithaca? [In reply to]
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I live in Ithaca right now (go to school at Ithaca College). The town is great. I guarantee it is one of a kind. There is the wall here at IC and Cornell has really nice wall as well. I am actually going on my first trip outdoor climbing to the Gunks. It looks like a 3 hour 45 min drive.

The surrounding area, other than climbing, is beautiful. The lakes and gorges are really something to see.

Good luck.


synrock


Apr 25, 2008, 10:50 AM
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Re: [ggemmen] ithaca? [In reply to]
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About the only thing I can say for ithaca is that you are not too far from gritstone bouldering areas in northern PA.

The gunks is great for trad but the bouldering is sucky. Western Mass and Ice pond have much better rock.


misanthropic_nihilist


Apr 25, 2008, 12:47 PM
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Re: [ggemmen] ithaca? [In reply to]
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I've lived in Ithaca for 5 years now (4 in school, 1 working) and really enjoy it. The way I describe it is that there's a lot of climbing near Ithaca, but nothing in Ithaca.

The Gunks is about 3 hr 10 min away. Day trips are definitely do able. Yes, it gets really crowded on the weekends, but once you get to know the area, you'll learn where to go to avoid the crowds. Trad climbing at the Gunks is spectacular. Hard rock, incredible exposure, and ROOFS! Bouldering is also very high quality, despite what a previous posted stated. Bouldering gets crowded too, and there are plenty of beta sprayers, but the problems are awesome. Like trad climbing, stay away from the crowds and you'll have a good time.

Little Falls is a little over 2 hours away. It would be a good alternative if it was closer, but why not just drive the extra hour to the Gunks? Mostly top roping. Some trad/sport too.

There's a little known place in PA called Blue Run. Short sport climbs, decent quality.

Ice climbing is the same story: lots nearby, nothing in Ithaca. Tinker's Falls is close, but crowded on the weekends. Only a few climbs there. 'Dacks is 4-6 hours away, depending on where you go. Supposed to be really good, haven't ice climbed there though. Salmon River Falls is a sweet place to top rope ice climbs (or lead single pitch)- its about 1.5 hrs away.

Hope it helps. I really enjoy Ithaca, and will miss the roofs a whole lot when I leave in a month. Cornell has two climbing walls. They're not great, but it'l keep you in shape, plus everyone there is really nice. You hardly ever come across someone with an attitude problem.


mr_rogers


Apr 25, 2008, 2:02 PM
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Re: [ggemmen] ithaca? [In reply to]
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So, here's an alternate point of view: Ithaca is not that great for climbing. I'm finishing three years here and generally didn't find it that convenient.

The community is great, the town is nice, blah blah blah ... but when it comes to the physical realities of climbing it's not that great.

For comparison I've lived in NYC, NH, Southern France, and Oakland - all of those places have better access to climbing (yes, even NYC).

Southern France and NH (Hanover) aren't even comparable. Both of those were sub-1hr to climbing. I could get out of work/school and be at a cliff in 45 minutes. If I drove 2 hrs I had even more great options. Plus, there was the skiing. In Ithaca, your minimum drive is 2 hours.

Here's why: Ithaca is very pretty, with rolling hills and a beautiful lake. Lots of great stuff to do here, but it is not close to any great climbing. For pretty much every location you're looking at a multi-hour drive that really requires a complete weekend to really get full value. Day trips are possible, and I've done them, but it's a lot of driving for only a day of climbing.

The only thing that Ithaca really IS close-ish to is Salmon River Falls (1hr 54), which, I totally admit, is some AMAZING single pitch ice climbing (I hope you like steep ice).

Also, and I know nothing about the other climbing walls, Cornell's climbing walls are not that great. There are two of them. One was built in the '80s and is a non-modular vertical concrete wall with bits of rock embedded in it to it.

The other is a more modern bouldering wall. It's small. For a school of 15K+ students it's tiny.

I've been a member of two gyms in NYC that were better (City Climber's Club and MPHC). Keep in mind though, I'm not a gym rat.

Let's compare Ithaca to NYC for distances to NE climbing areas. Obviously with speeding/traffic, travel times are variable; so I'll just quote the googlemap time:

[Note: Leaving NYC will take longer because of traffic on a friday/saturday. There are ways to avoid this problem. If you live in NYC, you will learn them.]

To New Paltz (Gunks):
NYC - 1 hour 44 minutes
Ithaca - 3 hours 25 minutes

To Keene Valley (Adirondacks)
NYC - 4hr 45min
Ithaca - 5hr 4min

Delaware Water Gap, PA (Gunks-lite)
NYC - 1hr 26
Ithaca - 2hr 53

Catskills (Ice)
NYC - (to Tannersville, NY - 2hr 29min
Ithaca (to Lexington, NY) - 3hr 2min

Rumney, NH (sport)
NYC - 5hr 43 min
Ithaca - 7hr, 5min

Franconia Notch, NH (Canon - Alpine trad and ice)
NYC - 6hr 1 min
Ithaca - 7 hr 27 min

Lake Willoughby, VT (Multi-pitch STEEP ice)
NYC - 6hr 9 min
Ithaca - 7hr 31 min

This is just a selection of areas. There's tons of climbing in NH, all of which NYC is closer to. There's also the southern 'dacks, which should start to receive more attention thanks to the new guidebook (http://adirondackrock.com/), but for much of it NYC may still retain the access advantage. Then there's also CT and MA climbing, all of which NYC is closer to.

I admit that I'm leaving out southern climbing. I don't know much about PA, and I don't really boulder (hurt myself too many times). Perhaps that's where Ithaca shines. But most of the boulderers here I know go to the gunks.


mr_rogers


Apr 25, 2008, 2:09 PM
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Re: [mr_rogers] ithaca? [In reply to]
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Oh yeah, one more thing. Let's say you get a week off and are flying somewhere for a climbing trip. If you're in Ithaca you either (a) pay extra $$$ to fly from the Ithaca airport to NYC (or another large airport) or (b) drive from Ithaca to NYC and leave your car in long-term for the week.

If you're in NYC you (a) get on the subway/bus (b) call an airport shuttle company (c) hail a cab. All of which are cheaper than a week in long-term.

Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot of great fun here in Ithaca; and maybe if I was in NYC I'd be having too much fun in a dive bar to ever get out of the city and go climbing, but Ithaca could be more convenient.


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