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Partner camhead


Mar 8, 2011, 12:20 PM
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marc801 wrote:
damon_achey wrote:
I'm looking to relocate in the next 6-12 months and am just looking for a brainstormed list of cities to consider. Requirements are reasonably large city for employment options, lots of climbing within 1-2 hours away, good length of season to take advantage of it.

Some off the top of my head...

Seattle (currently live here)
pros: 6+ respectable crags within 2 hours
cons: overcast/drizzly 220 days a year

Denver
pros: ?
cons: ?

Phoenix
pros: ?
cons: ?

Where else should I be considering?

Two posts since registering 6 years ago? Perhaps you didn't see that obvious search function on every forum page?

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...rch_string=best+city

We've established time and time again that the search feature on this site sucks major ass, so we can't fault people for not using it.


marc801


Mar 8, 2011, 12:26 PM
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Re: [caughtinside] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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caughtinside wrote:
If you lived in a place like SLC, I think you'd be foolish not to at least dabble in some of the winter sports! World class.
In the spirit of full disclosure...since moving here 10 years ago, I put in far more ski days than climbing days each year. Admittedly it may have something to do with getting old and decrepit after climbing for 39 years. (Yep, when I started, 5.11 didn't exist yet. Sure, there were 5.11 climbs, but we didn't know that. Explains backing off of so many 5.9+ routes!)


petsfed


Mar 8, 2011, 12:39 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
It's hard to believe you're seriously equating Phoenix with Denver. Have you lived in Denver?

Naw, I stayed in Broomfield for 6 years, learned to climb with Rossiter's Falcon guides tucked into my rucksak, graduated from high school there, come back every thanksgiving and christmas, and a litany of minor holidays, attendings Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, and worked at Rock'n & Jam'n for a few months. I've never lived inside Denver city limits though.

My point was that the classics-to-climbers ratio in both cities is about the same, its just that Denver has WAAAAY more mediocre to lousy climbing than Phoenix does, and the climbing season isn't year round in Phoenix. Denver is supposedly a great climber town mostly because you have access to a lot of different climbing, but in the 8 months I spent in the Denver area last year (which I mentioned in my previous post), the only major front range areas I didn't visit were the South Platte and the Golden Cliffs. The problem is everybody has this ridiculous hard on for Eldo and Boulder Canyon, and most of the climbing in either is bad. There are definitely some world-class routes in both, but the only time I didn't have to wait in line to do classic in Eldo was a tuesday last may when I got there at 6am. To do Gambit (which is way overrated, by the way).


gosharks


Mar 8, 2011, 1:28 PM
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Re: [dynosore] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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dynosore wrote:
Snowboarding 2 hours away? Where? I've been to LA quite a few times and it takes 2 hours to move 15 miles from the airport......if you work a normal 40 hour week, good luck heading towards the mountians on Friday afternoon in the summers. Same goes for the Bay area. 4 hours to Yosemite, yeah right.
I can easily get to Yosemite in 4 hours from San Jose on a Friday night. Just leave after dinner.


malieka


Mar 8, 2011, 3:16 PM
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Re: [damon_achey] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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I'm often surprised that Reno/Sparks isn't mentioned in conversations of this type. While the economy here isn't exactly booming, the greater metropolitan area has a population of about 500,00 along with the amenities/industry variety expected with a city of that size.

Reno is close to so much quality rock it would be silly to name it all. But a sampling....
Donner - 45 min
Eagle Lakes - 1.5 hr
Woodfords - 1.5 hr
Leap,Spires,Loaf - 2ish hr
Tuolumne - 3.5 hr
Rock Creek - 4 hr
Bishop/Gorge - 4ish hr

Granted, Reno is similar to SLC in that much of the rock is under snow for part of the year. But like SLC, these areas also offer world class winter sports opportunities. Plus, climbing can be found nearly year round within a 5 hour drive.


TheBishop


Mar 8, 2011, 3:17 PM
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Re: [damon_achey] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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I have not heard it mentioned much on this site, but Nashville is actually a pretty good climbing city.

Pros: fairly quick access to all the great climbing in east Tennessee: Obed, Foster Falls, T-Wall, and many others. Close to King's Bluff. Not too far from Red River either. And Arkansas climbing is not too insanely far away for weekend trips. Good weather, long climbing season, can climb through the winter if you don't mind a bit of cold.

Cons: Only King's Bluff is within that 1-2 hour drive. From downtown Nashville it's about 45 minutes. East Tenn climbing is about 3 hours, RRG about 4.

I would suggest Chattanooga, but you said major city.


Partner camhead


Mar 8, 2011, 3:27 PM
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TheBishop wrote:
I have not heard it mentioned much on this site, but Nashville is actually a pretty good climbing city.

Pros: fairly quick access to all the great climbing in east Tennessee: Obed, Foster Falls, T-Wall, and many others. Close to King's Bluff. Not too far from Red River either. And Arkansas climbing is not too insanely far away for weekend trips. Good weather, long climbing season, can climb through the winter if you don't mind a bit of cold.

Cons: Only King's Bluff is within that 1-2 hour drive. From downtown Nashville it's about 45 minutes. East Tenn climbing is about 3 hours, RRG about 4.

I would suggest Chattanooga, but you said major city.

I suppose that if everyone is mentioning "passable" climbing cities that are big, such as Nashville, Phoenix, etc., we would have to include Atlanta, GA, as well. Within 2-3 hours of a lot of really good Southeastern Rock, local bouldering at Boatrock. I'm sure summers would suck, though.


damon_achey


Mar 8, 2011, 3:41 PM
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Re: [camhead] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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Have to have a fair amount of climbing in the 1-2 hours range max. I don't mind the occasional longer trip, but 3+ hours travel time is a long day or an entire weekend.


TheBishop


Mar 8, 2011, 3:56 PM
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Re: [camhead] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
TheBishop wrote:
I have not heard it mentioned much on this site, but Nashville is actually a pretty good climbing city.

Pros: fairly quick access to all the great climbing in east Tennessee: Obed, Foster Falls, T-Wall, and many others. Close to King's Bluff. Not too far from Red River either. And Arkansas climbing is not too insanely far away for weekend trips. Good weather, long climbing season, can climb through the winter if you don't mind a bit of cold.

Cons: Only King's Bluff is within that 1-2 hour drive. From downtown Nashville it's about 45 minutes. East Tenn climbing is about 3 hours, RRG about 4.

I would suggest Chattanooga, but you said major city.

I suppose that if everyone is mentioning "passable" climbing cities that are big, such as Nashville, Phoenix, etc., we would have to include Atlanta, GA, as well. Within 2-3 hours of a lot of really good Southeastern Rock, local bouldering at Boatrock. I'm sure summers would suck, though.

Just curious, but what exactly makes Nashville only "passable?"


skiclimb


Mar 8, 2011, 4:25 PM
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Re: [malieka] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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malieka wrote:
I'm often surprised that Reno/Sparks isn't mentioned in conversations of this type. While the economy here isn't exactly booming, the greater metropolitan area has a population of about 500,00 along with the amenities/industry variety expected with a city of that size.

Reno is close to so much quality rock it would be silly to name it all. But a sampling....
Donner - 45 min
Eagle Lakes - 1.5 hr
Woodfords - 1.5 hr
Leap,Spires,Loaf - 2ish hr
Tuolumne - 3.5 hr
Rock Creek - 4 hr
Bishop/Gorge - 4ish hr

Granted, Reno is similar to SLC in that much of the rock is under snow for part of the year. But like SLC, these areas also offer world class winter sports opportunities. Plus, climbing can be found nearly year round within a 5 hour drive.

Ditto .. find a better decent sized place closer to Yosemite?


malieka


Mar 8, 2011, 4:41 PM
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skiclimb wrote:
malieka wrote:
I'm often surprised that Reno/Sparks isn't mentioned in conversations of this type. While the economy here isn't exactly booming, the greater metropolitan area has a population of about 500,00 along with the amenities/industry variety expected with a city of that size.

Reno is close to so much quality rock it would be silly to name it all. But a sampling....
Donner - 45 min
Eagle Lakes - 1.5 hr
Woodfords - 1.5 hr
Leap,Spires,Loaf - 2ish hr
Tuolumne - 3.5 hr
Rock Creek - 4 hr
Bishop/Gorge - 4ish hr

Granted, Reno is similar to SLC in that much of the rock is under snow for part of the year. But like SLC, these areas also offer world class winter sports opportunities. Plus, climbing can be found nearly year round within a 5 hour drive.

Ditto .. find a better decent sized place closer to Yosemite?

Right!! Not to mention, even with a FT job it's possible to bag a High Sierra route per week at least 1/3 of the year.


marc801


Mar 8, 2011, 5:10 PM
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Re: [damon_achey] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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damon_achey wrote:
Have to have a fair amount of climbing in the 1-2 hours range max. I don't mind the occasional longer trip, but 3+ hours travel time is a long day or an entire weekend.
Remember that John Stannard lived in Silver Springs MD and made the 5.5 hr trip to the Gunks every weekend during the climbing season for 20 years or so.


damon_achey


Mar 8, 2011, 5:20 PM
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And no doubt he's a bad ass, but I don't have that kind of patience and would wind up in jail for some sort of road rage incident if I tried that.


nkane


Mar 8, 2011, 6:00 PM
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Can we get a little more love for Seattle?

Index within an hour, decent sport climbing at x 38/32 even closer, and some of the best alpine climbing in the country. Squamish is also within striking distance, not to mention choss mountaineering in the Olympics.

Sure it's a little wet in the winter, but you can go to Smith, Vantage, Tieton or the other east side areas. And Leavenworth stays dry many days when the west side is wet.

Plus, it's a full-sized, large American city with a somewhat-functioning economy.

I also vote for Portland, but you have to drive a little farther to get into the North Cascades.


damon_achey


Mar 8, 2011, 6:26 PM
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Sorry, already live here and gave that more as an example. Looking to move else-ware.


shockabuku


Mar 8, 2011, 6:39 PM
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Pretty much all of the front range is good for sport, trad, and bouldering, Colorado Springs has Shelf Road for sport pretty close by, Garden of the Gods almost in town, South Platte just to name some more popular things. Also a pretty good gym now with the (relatively) new City Rock gym. It's also decent size so job prospects are probably at least mediocre.

Denver is biggest, so more economical options. Provides easy access to I-70 when you want to go west. The Golden areas (Clear Creek and Table Mountain are right there), the Rock'n and Jammin gyms are pretty decent for sport climbing, mediocre for bouldering. It's also pretty much in the middle of the front range cllimbing from a north/south perspective so the Boulder area is within an hour and Colorado Springs is maybe 1.5 hrs.

Boulder is Boulder. All roads lead there, blah, blah, blah. But it's sort of true. No destination sport area but Eldo provides good trad climbing and Lumpy Ridge is only an hour or so away. Boulder Canyon, the Flat Irons, and lots of other "local" areas provide other good options. Lots of gyms. Economy is pretty good but I think the competition for skilled labor jobs is pretty strong.

Loveland is the suicide capital of Colorado - don't go there.

Fort Collins is pretty vanilla but a nice place to live if you're not looking for anything too off the wall. Economy has remained decent though it's a smaller "city". St. Vrain canyon and some other smaller areas around within about an hour, as well as Boulder is really only about an hour away. Two gyms in town.


Partner cracklover


Mar 8, 2011, 6:39 PM
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caughtinside wrote:
Out west, the best two are SLC and Vegas. Denver 3rd I suppose.

After that, LA, SF and Phoenix probably roughly equal. I wouldn't say any of those are great climbing towns unless you are willing to drive a fair bit on the weekends, in which case there is tons of great stuff.

I'd agree with your top three. I'd say SLC, Vegas, and Denver in that order.

GO


Partner cracklover


Mar 8, 2011, 7:02 PM
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petsfed wrote:
cracklover wrote:
It's hard to believe you're seriously equating Phoenix with Denver. Have you lived in Denver?

Naw, I stayed in Broomfield for 6 years, learned to climb with Rossiter's Falcon guides tucked into my rucksak, graduated from high school there, come back every thanksgiving and christmas, and a litany of minor holidays, attendings Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, and worked at Rock'n & Jam'n for a few months. I've never lived inside Denver city limits though.

My point was that the classics-to-climbers ratio in both cities is about the same, its just that Denver has WAAAAY more mediocre to lousy climbing than Phoenix does, and the climbing season isn't year round in Phoenix. Denver is supposedly a great climber town mostly because you have access to a lot of different climbing, but in the 8 months I spent in the Denver area last year (which I mentioned in my previous post), the only major front range areas I didn't visit were the South Platte and the Golden Cliffs. The problem is everybody has this ridiculous hard on for Eldo and Boulder Canyon, and most of the climbing in either is bad. There are definitely some world-class routes in both, but the only time I didn't have to wait in line to do classic in Eldo was a tuesday last may when I got there at 6am. To do Gambit (which is way overrated, by the way).

Okay, your creds are way better than mine on the whole knowing the Denver scene, so I should just shut up now I guess.

The only thing I'd add is that IME, Eldo really is pretty mediocre up through 5.9. Once you get into the mid 5.10 range and up though, wow. I've only started to scratch the surface, but, for example, in one small area you have Climb Of The Century, Center Route, Handcrack, Pony Express, Rincon, just to name a few. All absolutely five star routes.

So there's a lot of fantastic climbing in Eldo. Some of it just comes with a kinda steep entrance exam.

I do agree with you though that Boulder Canyon is overrated.

GO


Partner camhead


Mar 8, 2011, 7:42 PM
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TheBishop wrote:
camhead wrote:
TheBishop wrote:
I have not heard it mentioned much on this site, but Nashville is actually a pretty good climbing city.

Pros: fairly quick access to all the great climbing in east Tennessee: Obed, Foster Falls, T-Wall, and many others. Close to King's Bluff. Not too far from Red River either. And Arkansas climbing is not too insanely far away for weekend trips. Good weather, long climbing season, can climb through the winter if you don't mind a bit of cold.

Cons: Only King's Bluff is within that 1-2 hour drive. From downtown Nashville it's about 45 minutes. East Tenn climbing is about 3 hours, RRG about 4.

I would suggest Chattanooga, but you said major city.

I suppose that if everyone is mentioning "passable" climbing cities that are big, such as Nashville, Phoenix, etc., we would have to include Atlanta, GA, as well. Within 2-3 hours of a lot of really good Southeastern Rock, local bouldering at Boatrock. I'm sure summers would suck, though.

Just curious, but what exactly makes Nashville only "passable?"

Not really year round climbing, no opportunities for after-work burns on your project. Nashville and Atlanta would be about equal in climbing city quality. Solid B-.


petsfed


Mar 8, 2011, 9:14 PM
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cracklover wrote:
petsfed wrote:
cracklover wrote:
It's hard to believe you're seriously equating Phoenix with Denver. Have you lived in Denver?

Naw, I stayed in Broomfield for 6 years, learned to climb with Rossiter's Falcon guides tucked into my rucksak, graduated from high school there, come back every thanksgiving and christmas, and a litany of minor holidays, attendings Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, and worked at Rock'n & Jam'n for a few months. I've never lived inside Denver city limits though.

My point was that the classics-to-climbers ratio in both cities is about the same, its just that Denver has WAAAAY more mediocre to lousy climbing than Phoenix does, and the climbing season isn't year round in Phoenix. Denver is supposedly a great climber town mostly because you have access to a lot of different climbing, but in the 8 months I spent in the Denver area last year (which I mentioned in my previous post), the only major front range areas I didn't visit were the South Platte and the Golden Cliffs. The problem is everybody has this ridiculous hard on for Eldo and Boulder Canyon, and most of the climbing in either is bad. There are definitely some world-class routes in both, but the only time I didn't have to wait in line to do classic in Eldo was a tuesday last may when I got there at 6am. To do Gambit (which is way overrated, by the way).

Okay, your creds are way better than mine on the whole knowing the Denver scene, so I should just shut up now I guess.

The only thing I'd add is that IME, Eldo really is pretty mediocre up through 5.9. Once you get into the mid 5.10 range and up though, wow. I've only started to scratch the surface, but, for example, in one small area you have Climb Of The Century, Center Route, Handcrack, Pony Express, Rincon, just to name a few. All absolutely five star routes.

So there's a lot of fantastic climbing in Eldo. Some of it just comes with a kinda steep entrance exam.

I do agree with you though that Boulder Canyon is overrated.

GO

I just get tired of everybody saying "Best Climber Town!" when really, you have to either tolerate a lot of bad rock, a lot of crowds, that steep entrance exam, or a long drive away from the area to really get the most out of the Denver area. To me, that adds up to kind of a mediocre climber town. The argument in Denver seems to be that five 2s is as good as one 10. That's not how I approach dating either.

You specifically asked if I had lived in Denver, so you kind of set yourself up for that one.

All of this blathering aside, I think I over-reached quite a bit when I said it was terrible. To my mind, a good city for climbers requires at least one road-trip-worthy (that is, nation- or world-class) destination that a person could conceivably hit after work, and enough decent crags within similar range that crowds can be avoided. And Denver just doesn't have any crags that are worth road tripping for.


enigma


Mar 9, 2011, 12:02 AM
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malieka wrote:
I'm often surprised that Reno/Sparks isn't mentioned in conversations of this type. While the economy here isn't exactly booming, the greater metropolitan area has a population of about 500,00 along with the amenities/industry variety expected with a city of that size.

Reno is close to so much quality rock it would be silly to name it all. But a sampling....
Donner - 45 min
Eagle Lakes - 1.5 hr
Woodfords - 1.5 hr
Leap,Spires,Loaf - 2ish hr
Tuolumne - 3.5 hr
Rock Creek - 4 hr
Bishop/Gorge - 4ish hr

Granted, Reno is similar to SLC in that much of the rock is under snow for part of the year. But like SLC, these areas also offer world class winter sports opportunities. Plus, climbing can be found nearly year round within a 5 hour drive.


Since I am from the east coast and so are you, I will give you the skinny.
People in Northern California are quite different from Southern California and I don't know what you do for a living so it would also make huge difference.
Vegas- Red Rocks is a great climbing area, and is year round. Bishop is a great area to climb as well. Lovers Leap and Donner Summit are worthwhile.
If you could work and live near Yosemite and Tuolumne Meadows, there are alot of good people and obviously that would be a number one choice.
I believe Colorado has the best economy and most job opportunities at the present.
Tuscon Ariz has Mt. Lemmon which is a very good climbing area as well.
Utah has quite a large amount of climbing.
I also believe you should take a road trip and see for yourself.


Partner rrrADAM


Mar 9, 2011, 4:02 AM
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Raises hand for Tuscon.


Partner happiegrrrl


Mar 9, 2011, 8:24 AM
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OP - what sort of employment are you looking for? Pick up carpentry? IT? Medical field??? Those things do make a difference.


My take on Major City Life/Climbing? The two don't really mix.

My prescription for medicating the condition? Find the city, if you must reside in one, that offers what you are looking for IN A CITY.One of those things must be an airport with lots of nonstop flights to other places.

MOST places are not year-round good climbing. Do work that allows you freedom to utilize the airport's primary purpose - get the hell out of dodge!

But otherwise....what your life is life defines which sort of city is best for you, if a city it must be.


And since nobody has mentioned NYC, I will. It is actually quite easy to get to the Gunks. There is even a bus that takes you right to New Paltz which runs several times every day. You can use ZipCar or rent a car as needed, and use mass transit for about town going's. The Gunks season caaaaaan be stretched from (imo) late March through late November. I did it for 5 years, supplementing the season with 2 weeks in Jtree at the start/end of each season, and a week in Yosemite for the Facelift. The airports are easy to get to and go pretty much anywhere there is, in country and worldwide.


Partner cracklover


Mar 9, 2011, 8:59 AM
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petsfed wrote:
You specifically asked if I had lived in Denver, so you kind of set yourself up for that one.

I asked because I wanted to know. You answered. I appreciate that. I'm still surprised though.

In reply to:
All of this blathering aside, I think I over-reached quite a bit when I said it was terrible. To my mind, a good city for climbers requires at least one road-trip-worthy (that is, nation- or world-class) destination that a person could conceivably hit after work, and enough decent crags within similar range that crowds can be avoided. And Denver just doesn't have any crags that are worth road tripping for.

Well if that is your criterion, then the only place that qualifies is Vegas. But I think it's a terribly narrow definition. If you are a solid 5.10- climber who can get up 5.11 on a good day (which really isn't saying that much) I would put Eldo up against anything in the immediate Salt Lake area. It's certainly as good or better than Little or Big Cottonwood.

And the fact that you can do an easy day trip to anywhere in the South Platte, Shelf Road, RMNP/Lumpy, Garden of the Gods, just to name a few excellent locations, and a weekend trip to Rifle, anywhere on the western slope, Black Canyon, Utah desert, and Wyoming, makes it really centrally located to a variety of truly world-class destinations. Plus, lots of reasonably decent rock around to practice on right in your backyard.

For me, the variety more than makes up for the fact that the world-class destinations are a reasonable drive away, rather than in my back yard. That, and I would never want to live in Vegas.

All that being said, I'd still put SLC a little higher on the list. Again, for the variety.

GO


damon_achey


Mar 9, 2011, 9:10 AM
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Registered: Apr 8, 2005
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Re: [happiegrrrl] Major cities in the US with good climbing nearby [In reply to]
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I'm in software development and confident I can find adequate employment anywhere there are reasonably sized companies. NY is out as I used to live in eastern PA and though the climbing season is better (more predictable for sure) than in Seattle, I'm looking for better than that.

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