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By Welle
From Fargo, ND
Aug 18, 2009
Spearfish Canyon

Where is the best place to live in order to easily access both of these amazing activites? Perferrably the West Coast, like California. Any thoughts?


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By ANGUS WIESSNER
From Denver Colorad
Aug 18, 2009
Mt Lemmon

South Africa cape town my cousin lives there and Climbs of surfs everyday he also knows snakes and great white shark well


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By Ian G.
From PDX, OR
Aug 18, 2009
Mens Crisis Center .12a

Santa Barbara- Good bouldering.

Santa Cruz- Castle Rock close. 3 hours to the valley.

San Diego- Lotso climbing, even better surfing.

Humboldt- Shhhhh....no climbing here. or surfing.

LA- You'll spend most of your time driving.

SF- No real climbing. Only bouldering close by. OB is mostly shitty, but can get epic in the fall.

If you want to be more of a surfer, head to SD. If you want to be more of a climber, head to SF.


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By Welle
From Fargo, ND
Aug 18, 2009
Spearfish Canyon

I've heard talk of Santa Monica or San Louis Obispo. Chill towns?


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By Ian G.
From PDX, OR
Aug 18, 2009
Mens Crisis Center .12a

If you are moving to CA from Minnesota I would avoid places like SLO or Santa Cruz. You will get a lot of people asking you why you moved there. Amazing coastline, but not the friendliest of locals. Maybe others had different experiences, but I found Santa Cruz to be a very xenophobic, insular city. Just my 2 cents...

If you want to be a climber AND a surfer, try Oakland. 30 mins. to the beach, bouldering in town (well, in Berkeley), world class gyms, and 3 hours to the best climbing on the planet. And you can do Santa Cruz on the weekends (just don't expext a lot of smiles in the line-up).


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By Welle
From Fargo, ND
Aug 18, 2009
Spearfish Canyon

Well I lived in Tahoe/Reno for 2 years (2005-2007). I moved there to ski and then fell in love with rock climbing and surfing, so I can handle Cali people. I tend to find the cool ones and ignore the fake people and gapers. haha. I'm not a huge fan of the Bay. I have hella friends in Truckee and Reno, as well as family and friends in LA area. Figured SLO would be a good midpoint. Thoughts?


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By JWong
From Los Angeles, California
Aug 18, 2009

Santa Monica is nice. Very similar to Boulder. But Santa Monica is kind of pricey and while close to the beach, the surf is not very good, there is a beach break at SM and Venice, but it's sheltered by Catalina island. You can drive up to Malibu/Sunset/Etc (Points) or drive South to El Porto, Hermosa, Manhattan (better beach breaks).

But if you're gonna drive, you might as well live in West LA or somewhere that's less expensive.

For climbing, you're gonna need to drive. The closest spots are Stoney Point and Malibu Creek. 1.5-2hrs drive are Riverside Quarry, Holcomb Valley, Suicide and Taqhuitz and of course Joshua Tree a little further out.
If easy access equals a 1-2 hr drive, Southern California has access to everything.


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By Welle
From Fargo, ND
Aug 18, 2009
Spearfish Canyon

driving, and driving in LA are 2 totally different things. haha


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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Aug 18, 2009
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills

Santa Monica/La: The good thing is that the rock climbing season is literally year-round, minus a couple days a year where it may be too wet to go outside (optimistically I'll say 360 climbable days per year). From Santa Monica the closest climbing would be stoney point for bouldering/toproping (30 minutes), Malibu Creek or Echo Cliffs for sport climbing (30 & 60 minutes respectively), Joshua Tree Tahquitz and Suicide for single and multipitch trad (all 2 hours). Stuff that is a little farther includes Yosemite (5.5 hours), a lifetime worth of good rock in the Sierras (between 3 to 7 hours depending on where you're going), & Red Rocks (5 hours). The bad thing is that all of these drive times don't include traffic. Basically leave after 6 or 6:30am and you can easily double most of those drive times. The thing to do is wake up early, miss the traffic, and then you'll be the first at the crag too! I can't tell you how many times I've driven two hours to Jtree and still been the first person on some classic climb in HV campground even though many of the people planning to climb it that day were sleeping only 30 feet from it!

With regards to surf, well . . . LA sucks. Plain and simple. It is by far the worst place to surf in Socal. Between the islands and PV, most swells don't make it through to the coast. The ones that do only break in a few spots, and since EVERYONE here wants to surf they all go to these few spots. It tends to be crowded, polluted, and not that good. If you drive north a ways to Malibu, the surf is good, but good luck getting any waves . . . so crowded!

The neighboring counties are all good: Santa Barbara is awesome 9 months a year (flat in the summer though), SLO is consistently good and un-crowded, OC is good but crowded (not as crowded as LA though), and San Diego is the best!

As far as people having a bad attitude in SLO, I'd have to disagree. I've surfed there several times and never had any problems. Just be polite and don't drop in on people (look before you drop), especially when you're new to an area. That's probably good advice no matter where you go.

If you want to mostly climb and don't mind "alpine" starts, pick LA, if you want to mostly surf, I'd look somewhere else.

Cheers,
Cory


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By Rick Shull
Administrator
From Arcata, CA & Dyer,NV
Aug 18, 2009
Grip strength training, Nevada style.

Ian G Is correct that there is no climbing or surfing in Humboldt...just great whites and rain....HeHe...


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By Neil MacRaild
Aug 18, 2009
Toulumne Meadows, Daff Dome, West Crack

I think you also need to carefully consider the lifestyle and pace of life you are looking for. I certainly would not discount Santa Cruz, although you should be aware that it is a locals town and will take some time to connect with people.
Until recently moving to boulder I lived in Santa Cruz for several years. Yes...it is different but it is also very unique and one of the most laid back towns to live in. Great surfing all year round and just a few hours drive to the Yosemite, Tuolumne Meadows and the eastern sierra's. Hour or two more will take you to Joshua Tree in the winter. How good can it get!!
I have lived in many countries/towns and I can say Santa Cruz is my home of choice. I plan to move back after some time climbing in Colorado.
Either way I think you first choose a town that fits with your character and lifestyle, even if it means an hour or two more driving to get the climbing.

Good luck
Neil


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By Welle
From Fargo, ND
Aug 18, 2009
Spearfish Canyon

ironically, i have been debating between, santa cruz, SLO, west denver, golden, and boulder. SLO being expensive seems to be the only thing driving me away from there. i would be looking for a civil engineering job though, so hopefully i could "get by."


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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Aug 18, 2009
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills

Oh man, I would kill to live in SLO. I haven't climbed there, but I've heard there are fun routes to be had. And the town is sweet! Small town, but not too small (thanks in part to the college). It has great bars and restaurants, and you can't ask for a more scenic location! The surf is great, and I don't know if you mountain bike but that is stellar too. One warning though, if you find yourself in Bull's Tavern and someone offers you a "bull sweat", just say no!


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By budman
From Moab,UT
Aug 18, 2009
LCC

Peru


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Aug 18, 2009

Given that you're coming from Minnesota, any location on the California coast is going to be a vast improvement over your present situation, so it really comes down to where you'd like to live. SLO is nice, a college town, nice scenery, and good road biking too. The climbing is fun, but pretty limited and it's a haul to any place worthwhile from there, so keep that in mind. It's kind of like Santa Barbara in that sense--great if you don't want to go anywhere else. The weather is way more temperate than Santa Cruz too, which can be pretty cool and cloudy alot (at least every time I've been there). SC is a cool town with a nice vibe, but I haven't really visited enough to give you any advice to rely on.

I love LA of course but, despite all the amenities/culture/good food, you need to balance those against how close you want to be to the other activities. Despite what some have said, it's not all sitting in traffic unless you're stupid enough to live on the opposite side of town to where you want to be, in which case the town is hardly to blame. And while the surf may be better in other areas, there's clearly enough surfers who live here to undercut the claim that the surfing sucks.


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By Cory
From Boise, ID
Aug 18, 2009
Relaxing in the Tuttle Creek Campground after a fun day in the Hills

Fat Dad wrote:
I love LA of course but, despite all the amenities/culture/good food, you need to balance those against how close you want to be to the other activities. Despite what some have said, it's not all sitting in traffic unless you're stupid enough to live on the opposite side of town to where you want to be, in which case the town is hardly to blame. And while the surf may be better in other areas, there's clearly enough surfers who live here to undercut the claim that the surfing sucks.


Good point. If your job allows you to live in the valley (close to sport climbing and bouldering), or on the east side of town (close to all the world class trad) your drive times would be much less, although you'd be farther from the surf. The drive times I listed are from Santa Monica. Also maybe I shouldn't have said the surf sucks, it's just more crowded and less consistent than the other CA cities mentioned.

I too love living in LA, and the great rock climbing and backcountry skiing (yes you heard me right, the San Gabriels and San Bernadinos are full of it, and unlike the surf it's never crowded!) are a big part of the reason why.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Aug 18, 2009

Welle wrote:
I've heard talk of Santa Monica or San Louis Obispo. Chill towns?


I forgot Santa Monica, which is where I work. Really nice. Lots of good restaurants, shops on Main St., Third Street Promenade and Abbot Kinney (which is actually in Venice). Nice place to be young and single. Overlooks the beach and good riding too, both on road and mt. bike. It's a pricy place to live though, unless you can find a rent controlled apartment. They're out there but tough to find.


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By Welle
From Fargo, ND
Aug 19, 2009
Spearfish Canyon

Why all the hatin on Minnesota? I would never leave if the "mountains" were bigger.

And what is typically rent on a 1 or 2 bedroom apt with an okay location on So Cal? (mainly SLO)


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By Tyler Alves
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Dec 21, 2009

As far as apartment pricing, you are going to want to look for places as far from campus as possible. I live in the bishop peak area, which has pretty good climbing and is about 100 feet from campus but I pay $975 a month for 1 bedroom crappy apartment.
For surfing, everyone goes to pismo, which is good for you since it sucks there. Go to Morro Bay. For bouldering, Slo Op is an awesome indoor gym, and bishops peak has a decent amount of sport/ trad and a bit of bouldering as well.
btw, hows civil engineering? I have about 2 years to go for CE at slo.


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By Pat C
From Honolulu
Dec 21, 2009
me

move to oahu, surf all the time, and fly to the mainland when you want to climb.


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By Forestvonsinkafinger
From Iowa
Dec 22, 2009

Fat Dad wrote:
Given that you're coming from Minnesota, any location on the California coast is going to be a vast improvement over your present situation, so it really comes down to where you'd like to live.


First I would like to defend MN for being a wilderness state with some high quality ice and rock climbing. And my most favorite wilderness area to backpack...Isle Roayale...shhh...which probably has ok climbing and surf if you are willing to seek it out that long(be a pioneer).

As for surfing and climbing? Okinawa Japan is stacked with both, if you can get in with MWR and land a job there, you will be in paradise. Taiwan, also has amazing climbing, surf and culture...Thailand too. If you are going to have to fly home for the Hollidays, may as well make it far...Portugal's south west coast has amazing surf, and some fair climbing. Morocco...Mozambique...Yemen...all have amazing both, and I think one may go to any of them through peace corps. Get out there and see the world...california's surf is good in spots, but cold and shark ridden. And don't let people turn you away from Arcata, there is surf and climbing there, just not a ton, but the people are far more midwest in spirit than So-Cal.


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By Ian G.
From PDX, OR
Dec 23, 2009
Mens Crisis Center .12a

Forestvonsinkafinger wrote:
...california's surf is good in spots, but cold and shark ridden. And don't let people turn you away from Arcata, there is surf and climbing there, just not a ton, but the people are far more midwest in spirit than So-Cal.


Just got back from surfing 5-6 foot PB in San Diego. No sharks to be seen.

As to people in Arcata being like people in the midwest...I must question this...I've not traveled extensively in the midwest...but, most people in Arcata are not Republicans, or overweight, or even remotely interested in football :)

The only place Humboldt is like is....well, Humboldt.


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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Dec 23, 2009
My navigator keeps me from getting lost

Ian G. wrote:
...As to people in Arcata being like people in the midwest...I must question this...I've not traveled extensively in the midwest...but, most people in Arcata are not Republicans, or overweight, or even remotely interested in football :)...


Hey! I resent that remark. I'm from the midwest and none of those things. Oh, wait, there was a reason I left the midwest. What was it? Oh, yeah, because most people are overweight republicans who spend their weekends watching football.


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By Mike Washburn
From Orem, Utah
Dec 23, 2009

EVERY YEAR WE LOAD UP THE FAMILY AND TAKE A ROAD TRIP DOWN THE BAJA PENINSULA. FANTASTIC SURFING AND TONS OF GREAT ALTHOUGH MOSTLY UNDEVELOPED CLIMBING. THE BONUS IS THE BEST FOOD AND PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. THE DOWN SIDE IS THERE IS VERY LITTLE INFRASTRUCTURE.


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By Forestvonsinkafinger
From Iowa
Dec 23, 2009

Perhaps I should have said less pompous and judgmental, though I was trying to avoid the double-edge sword.

Here's a better way of putting it: Arcata may hold more of a small town vibe than say Santa Monica (or LA), San Fran.

While surfing MB, I also saw no sharks, and had no reef to wreck on, cali is still on the great white feeding route, and I would rather go up against a black tip than a great white.


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By Olaf Mitchell
From Paia, Maui, Hi,
Dec 23, 2009
rockerwaves

The SURF IS UP in my neighorberhood "Cousins" So merry Christmas to US all!!!!!


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