Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
How would living in Syracuse be for a climber?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 2 of 3.  <<First   <Prev   1  2  3   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
By Jake Jones
From The Eastern Flatlands
Jun 29, 2012
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.

I have several friends that grew up in Syracuse. It's the SHIT if you're into snowshoes and cold weather survival.


FLAG
By NYClimber
From New York
Jun 29, 2012
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers Rock, Lake George, NY. Summer 2013.

Kevin Heckeler wrote:
^^^ I finished high school in Utica, and haven't gone back since graduation. The entire central NY area is depressed. It's the classic everyone who works at Walmart shops at Walmart kind of economy, meaning there's no new industry and much of the job base has fled to greener pastures. You couldn't pay me to live west of Amsterdam in Upstate.


Kevin is right....unless your a nurse (like I am) the only jobs out that way are one's like Wal-Mart, Taco Bell, Burger King, and the Turning Stone Casino, and crappy minimum wage positions. Not the job mecca of the world - believe me. Lots of farm country out what way....


FLAG
By Justin Sanford
From Broadalbin, New York
Jun 29, 2012
Push-5.12C at Good Luck Lake Cliffs

I went to college in Syracuse and was very thankful that home was only two hours away and back towards the Adirondacks. I found myself travelling home every weekend to get away from the area so I could climb, hike and camp in a much nicer setting. I got a decent education out of Syracuse but I too have not been back since graduation and don't have any plans on even visiting in the future. I was able to get my climbing fix in by building a home wall in our college house attic, one day a week at the jewish community center wall, and frequent trips to Clarks Reservation to touch actual rock...but honestly I couldn't wait to finish school and get out of there for good!


FLAG
By Rick Blair
From Denver
Jun 29, 2012
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!

Nathan Stokes wrote:
As far as miserable places to live relative to climbing Syracuse is no where in the top 10. Try Houston, all of Florida, Georgia south of Atlanta, Rochester, Buffalo.

West Texas has amazing climbing I hear, no one goes to Florida for climbing but I'm pretty sure there is a reason it is a top vacation destination and the Souteast is supposed to have some pretty nice climbing as well. I'll agree about Buffalo and Rochester.

Look, someone asked a question and, unless they are headed off to prison, I'm doing them a huge favor.


FLAG
By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jun 29, 2012

JacobD wrote:
Just wondering if anyone who climbs a lot has any experience living in Syracuse, NY. I enjoy all types of climbing from alpine to bouldering. I'm willing to drive on the weekends to get to good stuff. Is there a climbing gym in town? Good climbing community? Also is it a nice place to live? What do folks think? Thanks.



If you need to be in Upstate NY, Albany is much better. Then you're only an hour and a half from tons of good rock and ice (Gunks, Southern/Eastern Daks, VT). There is a nice climbing community there (much more than Syracuse, Buffalo, or Rochester), and there's plenty of good skiing in the winter. Winters are also much milder than just a little further west.


FLAG
By Nathan Stokes
Jun 29, 2012

Now if you are considering Cornell, Ithaca would be much more tolerable for culture snobs, minus the lack of close climbing part. The saying goes "Ithaca, 10 square miles surrounded by reality"

Better options in the NE for schools closer to climbing would be Dartmouth, UVM, Boston (take your pick). Vermont is an entirely different world comparatively speaking.

The main thing Syracuse has going for it are a couple of niche industries that pay big city salaries without the associated big city headaches, and the Wegmans Grocery store chain.


FLAG
By AdamB
From Charlotte, NC
Jun 29, 2012
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin donation

oh man, I miss Wegmans...


FLAG
By Auto-X Fil
From NEPA and Upper Jay, NY
Jun 29, 2012

AdamB wrote:
oh man, I miss Wegmans...


You should. Did you leave before they started doing burritos? Incredible!


FLAG
By AdamB
From Charlotte, NC
Jun 29, 2012
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin donation

dammit!


FLAG
By Ben
Jun 29, 2012

I just moved to the 'cuse area, Cazenovia specifically, after 14 years in Boulder, CO. Not cus its a dream spot, but my girlfriend is here. Anyhow, while its only been a few weeks, there's still plenty to do. It might help that I live across the street from the lake. Yes, climbing is like everyone has said, not close, and the good stuff is a haul. I've yet to be disappointed with the food. Armory Square has a great scene, restaurants and bars. Personally I'm psyched to check out the NE climbing. Its legendary, the rock and the ice. Supposedly the best ice in the lower 48. The NE seems to pump out hard-men, so if you have motivation and aspirations, seems like a decent spot. Buy Gore-Tex. Humidity, rain, bugs, etc. is definitely an adjustment coming from the West but nothing is burning down here anytime soon. There's no gym in 'cuse but someone needs to build one. There seems to be a small community of committed folks. I'm still learning it, so take mine with a grain of salt.


FLAG
By Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Jun 29, 2012
Mt. Baker

Not sure about you Jacob...but I am packing my bags right now! After reading some of these posts I am sold on Syracuse...sounds like paradise.

Seriously, if your living in Flag now, you are getting some great advice, you will hate it and want to shoot yourself before you even get settled. If you are into mtn biking my guess is what you will see out near Syracuse is going to blow compared to what you are riding now.

4 hours to good climbing and just a few local lichen covered TR routes at your disposal?? I admit I am spoiled as shit cause I live in CO but that is a pathetic climbing scene. And the weather that the other posters are speaking of sounds hellacious. There are a ton of other cities to choose from. After reading all of this, it sounds like you can't do much worse in the NE than Syracuse.


FLAG
By Nathan Stokes
Jun 29, 2012

Ben,
During the school year the gym at Colgate is pretty nice and Caz is 1/3 of the way there. They have lots of routes and some good variation. The popularity has picked up a bit since we started making the trek, so its more like a college bar sometimes than a place to get a crank on.


FLAG
By Ben
Jun 29, 2012

Nathan Stokes wrote:
Ben, During the school year the gym at Colgate is pretty nice and Caz is 1/3 of the way there. They have lots of routes and some good variation. The popularity has picked up a bit since we started making the trek, so its more like a college bar sometimes than a place to get a crank on.


Thanks for the info.


FLAG
By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Jun 29, 2012

If you can't climb as often as you would like at least there is PLENTY of POONTANG around for you.


FLAG
By Merlin
From Grand Junction
Jun 29, 2012

AdamB wrote:
oh man, I miss Wegmans...


I'll second that, I actually saw chanterelle mushrooms at Wegmans, 40 bucks an ounce but still...


FLAG
By Greg DeMatteo
From W. Lebanon, NH
Jul 1, 2012

What up Jake. If you really move back east you gotta get at me and we can hit the Gunks/Dacks. Hope you're doing well in Flag, man. Your trip pics always make me super mad.


FLAG
By Nick K
From Somerville, MA
Jul 1, 2012

I'd suggest looking at Boston over Syracuse any day of the week. Two years out west (1 in San Diego, 1 in Denver), and I'm moving back to Boston in the fall for grad school (admittedly if there weren't a bunch of family reasons to be back East as well, I might have gone for a school out West).

Boston is a great place to be a student, the economy in the area is pretty good if you have actual skills, and there's a huge variety of schools to choose from. There's good food and beer to be had, and health insurance is relatively affordable. You can be in Rumney, NH for your world-class sport climbing in two hours (maybe less if you have heavy feet), with a similar time to North Conway for your multi-pitch trad. For shorter days, you've got a whole bunch of small trad crags in MA itself, and some excellent bouldering. The Daks, the Gunks and a bunch of other delightful spots are within weekend trip range.

But you will probably need to take up ice climbing if you want to be climbing year round in the NE. I'm certainly planning to. Fortunately it seems like everyone I've met here who climbs harder than 5.10, climbs ice in the winter, so it shouldn't be too hard to find partners for that either.

Oh, and I think pretty much anywhere you go in the NE, the cost of living is a slap in the face compared to the South West.


FLAG
By handon broward
From Rochester, NY / Aspen, CO
Jul 2, 2012
Elk Range, CO

Being from upstate / western NY I can say with full conviction it is not the place for a climber to live. There is no rock, the weather is terrible most of the time and the people are not at all like those in the climbing community. The only city I would recommend in NY would be Albany, strictly because of its proximity to the Gunks and its not super far from the Dacks as well. Otherwise, if you can afford to go more off the map lives in the Dacks. Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Lake Placid are all great towns with amazing atmosphere, food and people besides the obvious factor of being located close to / in one of the biggest overall climbing areas in the continental US. That being said, a climbing day in the Dacks does not consist of driving to a parking lot and a five minute approach to a wall with ten or more perfect sport routes. The climbing in the Dacks is very spread out and very mixed, but packed with hidden gems, theres a reason why many hardmen have chosen to spend theor careers hidden in the back woods here. Being from NY state I am a little prejudice, some people can't stand being out in the sticks, personally I love it, but what you think is the only thing that counts. Good luck man.


PS - what is with you people and Wegmans. Many other grocery stores are just as good and actually care about their employees and community as compared to just making profit. Dont support the machine.


FLAG
By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Jul 2, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

Brutally honest answer: Syracuse would be a shitty place to live as a climber...or as anyone.

HOWEVER: Wegmans is the best grocery store/ food-destination, EVER...so you have that going for you. Syracuse would be much better than Buffalo or Rochester, in my opinion, but I suggest Albany if you want to be close to climbing...on the other hand, there are no Wegmans in Albany, which sucks.


FLAG
By Jim Lawyer
Administrator
Jul 8, 2012

Lots of Syracuse haters here. I'll clarify a few points.

I've lived in the countryside just south of Syracuse for 35 years, and have been a serious climber for a good portion of that time. Here's the scoop:

We're 3 hours from Chapel Pond (in the Adirondacks), 3 hours from the Gunks, 6 hours from Cannon, 7 from North Conway, 7 from Seneca Rocks, 9 from New River Gorge, 12 from the Red River Gorge, and 12 from Asheville, NC.

Closest Rock Climbing: Little Falls (1:45), Eagle Falls (1:50), Old Forge areas (2 hrs), Caroga Lake areas (2 hrs).

Closest [legal] Ice Climbing: Salmon River (45 min), Tinkers Falls (15 min).

Closest [illegal] Bouldering: Clark Reservation (sucks), Split Rock Quarry (really sucks), Oakwood Cemetery (really illegal, but surprisingly good).

Closest [legal] Bouldering: Nine Corners (2 hrs), Little Falls (1:45).

Climbing Gyms: There is no worthwhile climbing gym in Syracuse...nearest is at Cornell (which kinda sucks) or Rochester (also sucks). There's a really good one in Albany (2 hrs). There is talk of a mega-gym to be built in Syracuse (search Facebook for "Syracuse Rock-Climbing Gym" for a status).

There isn't really a climbing community, probably because of the lack of climbing gym, but there are many climbers that live here. The Syracuse University Outing Club (SUOC) has had active periods of climbing, depending on who's in the club that year. Many of my climbing buddies were once SUOCers.

There's some great mountain biking nearby: Skytop at the University (awesome, illegal, hugely popular), Highland Forest (legal, 15 minutes, very good cross-country), Morgan Hill (great cross-country)...to name but a few. Check CNYDirt if this is a sport you're interested in.

There are several ski areas south of the city, but are small and only good for a couple of visits. Most people take trips up north to Gore (2.5 hrs), Whiteface (3.5 hrs), or the tons of places in Vermont (4+ hrs).

As far as the city is concerned, I don't go there much because [in general] it sucks. There are the normal cultural things, and Armory Square is pretty hopping most weekends, but I think the suburbs is the place to be, and the quality of life is pretty good. If you have to live near the university, then the Westcott area is pretty nice. I used to live there.

Regarding jobs...there are jobs. I started a company here with friends out of college and we were very successful. There are many high-tech employers, and many incubated high-tech businesses. There's 300K people living here (Syracuse and surrounding areas), and no, they don't all flip burgers or work at Wallmart.

The weather: I love snow and cold, so this climate suits me just fine. If you're into ice climbing, the Adirondacks has some of the best, reliable, road-side ice in the country. The Catskills has a ton of ice too, but is less reliable. Both are within reasonable driving distance.

Syracuse does receive it's share of snow, but the surrounding areas get even more. In Pompey where I live, we have snow covering the ground from late October through May. This makes for great cross-country skiing (Highland and the Tug Hill). It's worth mentioning that the Tug Hill, just north of Syracuse and the place where Salmon River ice climbing area is located, gets 400+ inches of snow annually.

In short, if you're a serious climber, you'll need a car and willingness to put on the miles (and a second set of snow tires). Syracuse does have a good airport (big enough to be useful, small enough to be easy and convenient), but is not a hub, so you have to fly to Chicago, JFK, or some other hub to get anywhere. But this is also true of Buffalo, Albany, Rochester, and most small-to-mid sized cities in the country.


FLAG
By Dana Bartlett
From CT
Jul 8, 2012

12 hours to the Red? Holy mackerel, how fast do you drive?


FLAG
By AdamB
From Charlotte, NC
Jul 9, 2012
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin donation

12 is about right from Syracuse.


FLAG
By ErinN
Sep 5, 2012
Pete's Farewell, Pitchoff Chimney Cliff, ADK

I moved here 13 years ago, leaving Boulder, my family in Denver, and my native state of Colorado in the rear-view mirror, for what seemed like good reasons at the time. My "former life," as I once described it to friends, was as a climbing, backpacking, and river guide in the Rocky Mountains. I am living that life once again... not as a guide these days, but as a strong outdoorswoman and a better climber than ever before. I have an amazing partner right under my roof, so I consider myself spoiled. We love being in the Adirondacks, and we have climbed many routes in Jim Lawyer's guidebook. I think the key here is defining community and accessability according to local terms. If you are willing to take beautiful drives lasting three to four hours, weaving past countless Adirondack lakes, with great people and conversation in tow, you will have a very full life. We seek a good crag, have an awesome day of climbing, then have a beer and snacks on the tailgate after a swim in Chapel Pond or another nearby lake. We eat, we camp, we laugh, we approach, and we climb some more. Ben and I have tons of play and exploring under our belt and still have a long long list to go. We have good friends who join us. There are many cool, positive, welcoming people, many beautiful places, and I have found the constant remains true-- "Life is what you make it."


FLAG
By pdubz
Sep 6, 2012

It's all what you make of it.

I was in Syracuse last year between living in Boston and now SLC. Laywer wrote the book so take his post a little more seriously than all the complaints.

Eagle Falls is only 90min away (and 1000x better than Little Falls) and you can get to Stewarts in Keene in 3hrs if you're motivated. I did Gunks as a day trip. I climbed at Colgate once a week during winter. There is ice around.

Not amazing, but you can make it work. There are worse places. Wegmans, Middle Ages Brewery, The Mission & Alto-Cinqo mexican, growing music scene...you'll be fine.


P


FLAG
By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Sep 6, 2012
Epic free solo with a pack on

Not to mention: Dinosaur BBQ!


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 2 of 3.  <<First   <Prev   1  2  3   Next>   Last>>