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climbing community prospects in Ann Arbor and/or Chicago
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Jessclimbs


Apr 9, 2011, 11:02 AM
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Registered: Mar 31, 2011
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climbing community prospects in Ann Arbor and/or Chicago
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Hi,

I'm a 28 year old woman preparing to leave Northern California's gorgeous rockscapes behind when I move from San Francisco to Ann Arbor or Chicago for grad school in August. I'm freaked out about losing my climbing community. I know the outdoor options are slim, but what is the community like at Ann Arbor's Planet Rock? Chicago is woefully lacking in climbing gyms near U of Chicago, but I'd love to hear from Chicago climbers as well. I know I won't be able to climb outdoors much, but how likely am I to find a group of 10 or more climbers to work hard at indoor gyms and share my love for the sport?

Jess


tmplcrg


Apr 9, 2011, 1:07 PM
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Re: [Jessclimbs] climbing community prospects in Ann Arbor and/or Chicago [In reply to]
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Hi,

I lived in Ann Arbor for a while, also after spending some (too little) time in the Bay Area.

The situation in Ann Arbor will likely be different from what you have now, but the community there is actually quite strong. The Planet Rock gyms are nice and there are some very committed people who climb there. Since there's nowhere to climb outdoors in South East MI, everyone heads down to Red River Gorge in KY for rock, and then up to Northern MI or Ontario for ice climbing in winter. Some go to the Adirondacks. Just start talking to the people at the gym and you shouldn't have too much trouble finding others for outdoor trips. The major drawback is the accessibility..you have to drive a lot (about 6hrs for KY and 7-ish to Ontario ice). However we always went as a group, so the trip was still enjoyable. I'd say if you're okay with this set-up, you don't have much to worry about in Ann Arbor.


potreroed


Apr 11, 2011, 8:07 PM
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Re: [Jessclimbs] climbing community prospects in Ann Arbor and/or Chicago [In reply to]
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I think you'll find that there are a lot of Chicago climbers who go to Wisconsin to climb frequently--like every single week-end.


Jessclimbs


Apr 11, 2011, 11:18 PM
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Re: [tmplcrg] climbing community prospects in Ann Arbor and/or Chicago [In reply to]
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Thanks for the insight! I seriously appreciate it.

If I have to move, the situation will undoubtedly be different from what I have now, but it's a relief to hear some positive observations about the climbing communities that sprout up in somewhat-less-desirable places. (Not that Ann Arbor and Chicago don't have their charm, but they're hardly ideal in terms of climbing.) While I do love outdoor climbing, it's actually more important to me to find an indoor gym with a solid crew of potential new climbing friends, since I won't have the time to shlep out to Wisconsin or Red River Gorge as often as I would need to to get my chalky endorphin fix. Everyone think positive thoughts about Berkeley deciding to accept me off their wait list, but if that fails, I'll be posting again in a few months to request climbing partners in the Midwest.

And again--thanks so much for taking the time to offer your thoughts. I was kind of panicking at the idea of losing my climbing prowess.

~Jess


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