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yeoman

Bay Area a good move?

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I've just accepted a killer job in Berkeley, CA. I will have a nice mix of field and office work, have an abnormal schedule with stretches of days off for climbing trips. No M-F 9-5 bs so I think I have a bit of a way around the worst of living in CA, traffic and crowds. No more of this weekend warrior BS, at least not as much.

Stoked about being able to go from my front door to Red Rocks in like 4 hours (FLYING) and for cheap. Not to mention Toulomie (sp?)

 

I'm moving from Anchorage which has treated me amazingly well for backcountry skiing, ice climbing and mountaineering. But our rock sucks moose dong and after 6 years I'm still single. I have to travel out of state to get onto quality rock. I will most likely return for a spring trip into the mountains next year.

 

Minus snarky remarks, I'm wondering if this is a good move. Making fun of Californians is okay though :grin:

thx

Edited by yeoman

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I love the Bay Area. Lived in Marin for a few years.

Yosemite and Tahoe are fairly close, and great places to climb.

You cannot get to Red Rocks in four hours.

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Thanks for the info.

4 hours to RR, I was thinking of flying. Really, anything less than 24 hours of traveling is an improvement.

 

 

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4 hours to RR, I was thinking of flying. Really, anything less than 24 hours of traveling is an improvement.

 

 

Haha - I was wondering the same thing. It's over 10 hours, I think, even if you go through Yosemite. Speaking of which, the Valley is only 3-4 hrs from the Bay Area. I would guess JTree is somewhere between 7-9 hours.

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you won't get bored. i lived in berkeley for a while, but was on the 9 to 5. being 4 hrs from the mountains burned me out, you should fare better on your schedule. there's no shortage of amazing places within a 5 hour drive.

the bay area itself is pretty darn cool, best metro area in the west IMO. there are plenty of parks to check out, the cycling is pretty good.. there's a little bit of bouldering in berkeley.

even if you decide not to stay there forever, living in the bay area is an experience well worth having - ENJOY!

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I grew up in the South Bay area.... that place is a hell hole. I am so much happier living in PDX!! I can be in the mountains within an hour or so. Not the whole planned out BS trip you have to do living in the bay area.

 

I also lived in Oakland for a little while, while better than the San Jo, It was nearly just as miserable after a while. Have you ever driven for 100 miles on a freeway, only to still be in the metro area of a city? Welcome to the SF Bay area. Oh yeah, and housing is VERY over priced!!! A beat up starter house begins around $450K and up.... ( Well, I also earned more money in the bay area, so I guess it might even out in the long run.)

 

Good luck! Who knows, you might like it.

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The Bay Area is a good place to hang out for a couple of years, take advantage of what's good there (proximity to the Sierra, good weather), but fundamentally it is a fucked-up place. The traffic and the cost of living take their toll... and if you were single in Anchorage that's not likely to change in the Bay Area...

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Making fun of Californians is okay though :grin:

 

I'm pretty sure as an Alaskan you're only entitled to make fun of a handful of states and California isn't one of them.

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There is some bouldering near Berzerkely. Mt Diablo has a few sandstone crags, and there are a variety of other sandstone crags around the southern peninsula. The great climbing (Yosemite, Tahoe, Lovers Leap, Tuolumne, Bishop, Alpine routes, etc) are all in the Sierras. In theory these are 3-4 hrs, but in practice you have to leave and return at odd hours to avoid horrendous traffic. I was happy to live there for a while but glad to leave too. Pinnacles Natl Mnmt is about 3 hrs south of Berkeley, and I enjoyed climbing there.

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It all depends on how serious a climber you are,and just how your time off is arranged,as to whether Berkeley,(or as we used to call it, Berserkley) will be a good choice for you. Even Yosemite and the Sierras, although much closer than where you are now, are still a long drive, most of a day. If you will indeed have long stretches of days off, then that might work well for you. But if all you have is a weekend at a time, you'll soon find that it really limits your actual climbing time.

 

I lived in SF for a year back in 1969. Remember that the traffic and population now are far greater than they were then; we went to Yosemite for a weekend. We left SF at 2:30 PM on a Friday afternoon, and with all the traffic, got to Camp 4 at 9:00 PM, driving like hell (when we could). Got up early the next morning to climb, had a great time,climbed all day, got back to camp about 9:PM. While sitting around the campfire (yep, you could still have a real campfire back then) eating supper, we were talking about what we were going to climb the next day (a Sunday), and my girlfriend said "But you can't climb tomorrow; we have to drive back because I have to teach and you have to work, and I don't want to be getting home late and be all tired out from driving." Bummer.

 

We left Yosemite at about 10:00 AM thinking that would be plenty of time; but we hadn't really counted on the masses of traffic, with weekenders of all kinds,coming not just from Yosemite but from all along the Sierra front. Endless lines of Winnebagos, fishermen, skiers, hikers, dirt bikers, you name it. It was just amazing. Long story short, we didn't get home until almost 10:00 PM due to various traffic tie-ups. The actual driving distance isn't that far,(about 300 miles) it's just that you can't drive fast enough to make any decent time because of the dozens of cities and towns you have to go through, all with their speed limits, and the absolutely unbelievable traffic, especially on the weekends. When all you can average is 30 or 35 mph, the 300 mi. will take you 10 hours. Even back in 1969, I can remember spending almost three hours just trying to get to the little Redwood grove in Santa Cruz, because of traffic, and that's only about 75 miles or so from SF.

 

We tried it again a few more times, but soon realized you really need a week or more off at a time to get the full benefit of any trip to Yosemite or the Sierras, with a full day of travel time for both going and returning home. The next closest decent climbing, but still far short of Yosemite or Sierra quality, is Pinnacles National Monument, down near San Jose. And even it is a couple of hours or more depending on traffic. Another great place to go is Castle Crags, near Yreka, about 3 or so hours north. Back in 69, it was little known and very uncrowded. It's still not as jammed up as Yosemite, but the days of spending a whole week there without seeing another soul are long gone. As far as going to Red Rocks in 4 hours is concerned, think again. That's a very long, full day's drive in the best of conditions. You'd have to average 146.5 mph to make it in 4 Hrs, and believe me, that ain't gonna happen. (Well, it might be a little more possible now that the state has had to start laying off State troopers because of budget cuts. Of course they're having to let the roads go to hell, too, so there's another slowdown.)

 

A few months later, we moved back to Seattle. I love San Francisco and the Bay area (I was born there)and have been back many times to visit; but I'll never live there again. It's just too far from the mountains, too damn crowded, and yes, it is outrageously expensive. Just mho.

 

Now, having said all that, I have to agree with one of the other posts above, that it is a great place, and an experience well worth having. San Francisco is truly a great, great city, and Berkeley and UC are a great center of intellectual,scientific,literary, artistic, and political ferment and creativity. There is nothing anywhere else quite like it, and it's an education in itself. San Francisco comes as close to anything we have in the US besides New York, to having a truly mature urban, and urbane, worldly culture, truly a great international city. Just to go to North Beach, to browse through City Lights Books and see Ferlenghetti himself back there pricing books, to walk up to Coit Tower and watch the fog roll in over Twin Peaks and Russian Hill, or go catch a Giants game at Candlestick Park, head out for great food in the Castro or Mission District, hang out on Divisadero, Chinatown, or at the Art Institute or the Palace of the Legion of Honor up above the Golden Gate Bridge, well, you'll see what I mean after you've been there a while. Even Oakland, gritty and grim as it is, has a great story to tell. Best of luck there,and it really is true what the song says, "I left my heart in San Francisco..."

Edited by Mtguide

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Yeah. I used to go there for a couple months to work every winter after a month in JT. Then I would go back to Montana for another quarter of school. The money was good but the climbing was not very accessible.

Pinnacles was the only reasonable option imo.

I left SF with enough time to stop in the valley for a week or two.

It was a good life.

Now I am in Redmond. It is still a good life. If I didn't work so damn much, I could climb all the time.

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if you were single in Anchorage that's not likely to change in the Bay Area...

 

Depends if he's looking for a girl or a boy?

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For the record, Pinnacles is not near San Jose. It's down by Soledad, south of Salinas (Monterey, etc.). I had no idea people regularly went down there from the Bay Area - it'd take you at least a few hours, especially depending on whether you were going to the East or West side.

 

No one has yet mentioned Castle Rock, which is a little south of Saratoga on Hwy. 9. The roped climbing isn't much, but it was always one of my favorite places for bouldering. Expect not to pay much mind to grades and instead to enjoy interesting movement on short sandstone blobs. It's very tranquil.

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I appreciate everyone's thoughts.

Few more things...

I'm kind of looking at this as a short term, maybe two year type deal. But who knows? I have no intention of ever buying in the Bay Area, just paying extremely high rent. Trust me, I have gone over and over the reasons to an not to make this move. I had a similar opportunity a few years ago and turned it down. The what if factor has always been there.

 

I know about the traffic which is why the odd schedule rocks. I wish to GAWD I had mentioned I would be FLYING to Red Rocks. I realize you cannot cross the entire state and some of Nevada in much under half a day of driving.

 

I am giving up some things to gain others. Most gains are going to be cultural. I look forward to seeing bands I actually want to see, Trader Joes, having more than three restaurants to choose from, Giants games, reconnecting with several friends who already live there, good road biking (so I've been told) living in a bikeable community, and more than anything, I'm excited about my new job which hasn't been the case in years. As for the dating pool, I can't help but think Berkeley is going to offer more single, intelligent, active women than Anchorage. Not to dog this city, I love it, but the dating pool is damn' small, at least for what I'm looking for. I'm not the only sorry ass single guy up here who thinks this is a tough market. Tough for women too so I'm told.

 

I'm sacrificing being able to ski out my door, skate skiing after work and skiing 2000' lines after work in the spring, more wild salmon than I can eat, ice climbing everywhere, top notch hiking/trail running at my front door, and some good friends. Although many of my best friends have all left town.

A bunch of other stuff too. But I hate my job and the line of work I've been doing.

 

A new adventure sounds good, even if it is only a year or two.

Like I told myself before I moved to Germany for a year, Alaska isn't going anywhere (barring the crazy gov writing some secessionist piece of legislation upon leaving office!). I can always come back.

 

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I've just accepted a killer job in Berkeley, CA. I will have a nice mix of field and office work, have an abnormal schedule with stretches of days off for climbing trips. No M-F 9-5 bs so I think I have a bit of a way around the worst of living in CA, traffic and crowds. No more of this weekend warrior BS, at least not as much.

Stoked about being able to go from my front door to Red Rocks in like 4 hours (FLYING) and for cheap. Not to mention Toulomie (sp?)

 

I'm moving from Anchorage which has treated me amazingly well for backcountry skiing, ice climbing and mountaineering. But our rock sucks moose dong and after 6 years I'm still single. I have to travel out of state to get onto quality rock. I will most likely return for a spring trip into the mountains next year.

 

Minus snarky remarks, I'm wondering if this is a good move. Making fun of Californians is okay though :grin:

thx

 

Huh, thought I would update this a bit...

So yeah, have been in the east bay for almost 2 years, how the hell did that happen so fast??

Yeah so the weekend warrior thing has basically been in full effect and it pretty much blows. I've certainly got a lot of climbing in but it comes with a cost.

The amount of driving required to get to the goods here is too much for me and many times, if you are unfortunately stuck on that weekend warrior schedule, the goods are crowded. And why this really blows so much is because California is friggen huge and there is plenty of wild places to get out to, but you gotta be on the right schedule.

 

I have managed to meet an incredible woman and we are moving in together, in Tahoe. There certainly isn't a shortage of great rock and good skiing up there so I'm very much looking forward to the change.

 

Someone said in this thread that living in the Bay for a couple years is something everyone should do if given the chance.

That dude hit the nail on the head.:cool: I don't regret it but I don't really feel the need to stay here any longer.

 

 

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