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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 12, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
The only place in the continental US I've grown up and lived is in the southeast...you know, where the best climbing is this side of the mason-dixon and where you can buy guns, beer, bread, and fireworks in the same store. I've recently decided that I would like color TV and to marry someone I'm not related to, so I'm looking around for a new place to live. I have an opportunity to relocate to one of the below locations in the next few months. All other cultural and political factors aside, which would you choose for a climbing destination?

Groton, CT
Portsmouth, NH
Norfolk, VA
Bremerton, WA
San Diego, CA
Kings Bay, GA

(yes, these are Navy ports...)

FLAG
By Pitty
From Marbach
Jan 12, 2013
My cool Elly....
San Diego - for the Yosemite, Josua Tree and Red Rocks....all of them not too far away.

FLAG
By Unassigned User
Jan 12, 2013
DO NOT GO TO GROTON CT ITS FULL OF DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS PLAYING SUBMARINERS

ITS LIKE HARRY POTTER AND DAHMER HAD 5000 BABIES

sorry if you are a submariner

FLAG
By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 12, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
Pitty wrote:
San Diego - for the Yosemite, Josua Tree and Red Rocks....all of them not too far away.

San Diego is high on my list for sure...

FLAG
By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 12, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
thefish wrote:
DO NOT GO TO GROTON CT ITS FULL OF DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS PLAYING SUBMARINERS ITS LIKE HARRY POTTER AND DAHMER HAD 5000 BABIES

hahahaha

damn submariners

FLAG
By Kyle Pease
From Missoula, MT
Jan 12, 2013
Goat on Brothers
don't even consider the 4th one on your list

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By Gunkiemike
Jan 12, 2013
Pitty wrote:
San Diego - for the Yosemite, Josua Tree and Red Rocks....all of them not too far away.


The western perspective on proximity always causes me to chuckle. San Diego --> Yosemite is 8 hr or more (per nps.gov). Totally justified by the climbing there of course, but still a big drive IMO.

FLAG
By Pitty
From Marbach
Jan 12, 2013
My cool Elly....
Gunkiemike wrote:
The western perspective on proximity always causes me to chuckle. San Diego --> Yosemite is 8 hr or more (per nps.gov). Totally justified by the climbing there of course, but still a big drive IMO.
it is 370 Miles..... ok, too short for the evening but for the weekend? why not...

FLAG
 
By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 12, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
thefish wrote:
you know its true! now that we've established that you are in the navy, what's your job?

I was a submariner for 10 years. Been out since last January and considering going back in.

I would also consider 8 hours to be a fairly short drive, well worth doing for a 3-day weekend.

FLAG
By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Jan 12, 2013
Me on Supercrack
No doubt about it, absolutely has to be San Diego. Besides fairly good climbing close by the Surfing is amazing, if you don't yet know how it's time to learn!

FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Jan 12, 2013
Pitty wrote:
it is 370 Miles..... ok, too short for the evening but for the weekend? why not...


Brian Hudson wrote:
I would also consider 8 hours to be a fairly short drive, well worth doing for a 3-day weekend.



Ha! Some people (especially Californians) are insane when it comes to driving. Still, San Diego has a lot going for it as a city, has close access to some decent climbing, and not-close-but-still-manageable access to great climbing.

That said, the "it absolutely has to be San Diego" answer is silly; some of the other areas have a lot going for them too. Specifically, Portsmouth, NH also has some good things to offer. Decently close to North Conway, Rumney, Pawtuckaway, Shagg, etc. It isn't California, but that may be a good thing; it really depends on which culture/landscape/climate suits you.

Bremerton, WA is a beautiful place, and the PNW has tons of great climbing and big mountains. Unfortunately, Bremerton is located on the wrong side of the Puget Sounds from all of the good (rock) climbing, making access to said climbing a massive nuisance. Quite unfortunate, really.

Groton might be tolerable, from a climbing perspective, but not ideal. While CT does have some climbing (Traprock toproping, generally), and the Gunks are not terribly far, I would choose one of the other areas first, if possible.

Avoid Norfolk and Kings Bay at all costs; no climbing near any of them.

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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jan 12, 2013
El Chorro
I'd stay where you are. None of those places seem appealing to me at all with the exception of San Diego.

FLAG
By Superclimber
Jan 12, 2013
If you can put up with the California cost of living and taxes, then the west coast seems like a no brainer.

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By frankstoneline
Jan 12, 2013
Bremerton is 4 hours from squamish, a ferry ride from seattle (good gyms) and has a gym of it's own i think, about 90 minutes from little si, couple hours to leavenworth/goldbar bouldering.

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By JJNS
Jan 12, 2013
+1 for Portsmouth, 2nd place Washington, 3rd place San Diego

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By Be Esperanza
From Asheville, NC
Jan 12, 2013
OKellys Crack, J Tree
WA has a short climbing season because it rains a lot. People that live there will tell you otherwise, but they are wrong. It rains a lot, and they basically only have one good trad crag; Index. It rains a lot at Index.

FLAG
 
By Dan Felix
Jan 12, 2013
Portsmouth has a lot to offer, as has been mentioned. Just don't try to get out of work early by setting a fire and all will be good!

To add to the Portsmouth list just a bit, there is a ton of new climbing opening up less than an hour from there in New Durham. Acadia NP in Maine is also a 3-4 hour drive as well. The downside is housing is expensive, but if you can live on base or out of Portsmouth town its better. My girlfriend is from Portsmouth and I spent a significant amount of time there last summer for work so I am somewhat familiar with the area.

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By mitchy
From nunya gotdamn business.
Jan 13, 2013
Forget about Groton, there is nothing near there to brag about. Lantern hill and Ragged mtn are close by but, i would go to Portsmouth if i were you, way more things to do. The whole Maine coast is kickass, great for kayaking, white mtns aren't that far away, Baxter state park is sorta close, Acadia National park is 3-4 hrs away effing beautiful place been there 4-5 times. Boston and providence are close as well, tons of shit to do around Portsmouth.

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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
Jan 13, 2013
Climbing above Black Lake
Nofolk and that whole area around it is a shithole.

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By Eamon Doyle
From Sierra Madre, CA
Jan 13, 2013
Headshot
San Diego is a great place to live and is within a few hours of good climbing. Also, we sell alcohol in the same store as the rest of the food here ;)

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By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 14, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
Dan Felix wrote:
Just don't try to get out of work early by setting a fire and all will be good!

Sounds like a shipyard story!

Thanks for all the input, everybody. I appreciate it. I guess I'd say it's a toss-up between San Diego, Portsmouth, and Bremerton. San Diego does have a lot going for it and after the visit we made in '08 I said I'd probably enjoy being stationed there. I agree about Norfolk, although they have a nice gym in VA Beach and Richmond has a couple of tiny spots to climb. But way too far to the mountains.

Eamon...I definitely agree about alcohol being a food!

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By Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
Jan 14, 2013
I would go to Bremerton, WA because I'm desperate to get close to the North Cascades. Portsmouth might be cool too. 4 hours from the gunkx/'dax, less than 2 hrs from the whites, 2 hrs to a variety of awesome skiing in VT, and about 4 hrs to Katahdin for ice climbing sounds pretty sweet to me. I guess your also close to Rumney if sport climbing floats your boat.

FLAG
By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Jan 14, 2013
Another thought, specific to San Diego:

In whatever it is you do for the Navy, do you work a typical 9-5, 5 days a week sort of schedule, or is it some sporadic, nontraditional setup (living on a yellow submarine for 3 months, then home with lots of free time, etc.)

I ask this because I felt, when I lived in California, that California cities were very frustrating as a 9-5 weekend warrior, but could work great it you have a non-standard schedule. The frustration comes from the fact that the climbing is excellent, but is a bit far away for 2-day weekend trips, and thus is tiresome to have to commute long distances to the climbing areas every weekend, especially with Friday night traffic (since everyone else is also trying to drive out of the city for the weekend).

These problems are ameliorated if you have a nonstandard schedule, like week-on, week-off; this allows you longer chunks of time to drive to the excellent but far-away areas like Bishop, and makes the drive-to-climb ratios much better. Plus, you then avoid weekend traffic and crowds, which are a serious factor in a state of 35 million people.

So, if you have some funky schedule, San Diego definately rises up even higher in consideration.

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By Maurice Chaunders
Jan 14, 2013
Colombian Crack
The gym in Richmond is sick! Also, they have a cool little wall downtown. 60ft wall of an old bridge. Unique and kinda fun. NRG is 4 hours from Richmond and worth every minute in the car.

FLAG
 
By Brian Hudson
From Lenoir, NC
Jan 14, 2013
Valor Over Discretion (5.8), RRG
Thanks Jon, I hadn't thought about the traffic. When I'm in port it'll be a regular workweek schedule for the most part.

FLAG
By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Jan 14, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
I can't tell you where it's good, but I can definitely say don't go to Norfolk. Not just for the climbing either. It's a typical military town, and although I have nothing against the military, for I am former military, military towns suck ass- but then you probably already know that. By military town I mean it probably wouldn't exist if it were not for the large portion of the military so there's not a lot of culture or things to do there besides dive bar, tattoo parlor, laudromat, pool hall, sports bar, dive bar, titty bar, lather, rinse, repeat. There is one section of Granby St. that's sort of unique, but that's about it- that and Ghent which is a small section near the college.

Also, it is dreary, crowded, and dirty. There are few redeeming qualities. The ocean is close by, but is about the same as any east coast beach: Va Beach=Ocean City=Myrtle Beach=Daytona. Two parallel "strips" and a boardwalk filled with tourist traps and ganster wannabes after 7:00 p.m. Plethora of boobs, shortage of decent waves.

For climbing however, it is a no-go. The gym there is... well, let's just say you can get your alpine training on in the winter time, and you'll sweat like a whore in church in the summertime, and bring plenty of chalk when it rains. You aren't in close (and by close I mean within 4 hours) proximity to any "destination" spots- the closest being Seneca to the northwest at 4.5 to 5 and probably Moore's Wall that's almost due west at about 4.5 hours.

I think I'd rather marry someone I'm related to than live there, but that's just me.

I have been to San Diego, and I would say that it's the exception to the rule with regard to being a military town. That's partially because of the overall size of it. Never climbed there, but as I understand it, most of it is decent, and relatively close.

mike seaman wrote:
The gym in Richmond is sick! Also, they have a cool little wall downtown. 60ft wall of an old bridge. Unique and kinda fun. NRG is 4 hours from Richmond and worth every minute in the car.


Couldn't agree more with the above. Thank God for P.E. and Manchester, being as the really good climbing burns up a fair amount of gas and you almost need to have at least a three day weekend to make it worth it. Four if you really want to maximize it, or you need to get up balls early the day you leave, and climb the morning of the day you come back.

FLAG


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