/ Packing it all in for climbing - Where would you go?

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Fenda - on 11 Oct 2016
Recently I've been daydreaming of quitting my job. It keeps me grounded to a single location, far from any mountains. The problem is, I'm addicted to being outdoors. I'm sure there are many of you who are in similar situations or are already living this dream. I'd love to hear personal experiences or plans.

I'm a software engineer and so if I can find internet, my laptop alone will allow me to freelance to keep a small income required for expenses. A digital nomad, so to speak. With that in mind, for 2017, I have been considering:

Jan: Scottish Winter
Feb - March: Spain (South) & Greece (Kalymnos)
April - May: Japan (Nagano)
Jun - Sep: Alps (Not been before! Taking a course in Arolla but any tips for where to go/base after that??)
Sep~: Who knows! Tips?
RyanOsborne - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

For september, if you've got the money to get there then I'd say Yosemite.
pasbury on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

Lucky bastard!

September onwards has got to be America surely. Start in Tuolumne then work south: the valley, sierra East Side, Red Rocks, Josh, Mt Lemmon, Courtwright etc etc.
1poundSOCKS - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

> Recently I've been daydreaming of quitting my job.

I plan to be free by the end of Feb.

Plan is start in Northern Spain, then move across France to end up the Frankenjura by the end of May.

Then June to August in the UK. So many things I missed this year due to limited leave and weather.

Then Sept to Nov on the east coast US. The Gunks, RRG, NRG and other places (the west coast is better really, but I've been there the last couple of times and fancy a change).

Then who knows, I don't do winter, so somewhere warm.

Probably all the these plans will change!

BTW, I'm a software developer. Any info on freelance work and how to get established would be appreciated?
CurlyStevo - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:
For alps trad rock (and sport) the dolomites are superb. Loads of road side spires as well as mountains and huge faces.
Post edited at 11:11
CurlyStevo - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

you could also consider Croatia for September. Not too hot then and amazing coastline and sea food along with some great climbing.
AP Melbourne on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

> Recently I've been daydreaming of quitting my job.

Haven't we all????

Australia perhaps Fenda?
Its a biiiiiiiiiiig place. There's more outdoor space here than a very 'outdoor spacy place' and every type of climate, rock for bouldering, sport or trad and internal flights are pretty cheap. Crikey, we even have Culture (in Melbourne) so theatres, restaraunts & coffee in abundance. You can leave town early, ski all day and be home by teatime too.
Three stars for Quality of Life. Jobs going begging too ..

Xharlie on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

South Africa. Rocklands for bouldering. The Cederberg for trad. Montague (or just about anywhere) for sport. Trips up to Gauteng to go to Boven for a complete change of style.

Dry. High friction. Quality rock. Long routes. No polish.
graeme jackson - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

The Lake District has everything I ever want when I'm free of work. Nice hills, some decent rock, great food and superb beer.
Gary in Germany - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

End of Aug first half of Sep Dolomites.

Second half of Sep first half of Oct Yosemetie

Second half of Oct first half of Nov Joshua Tree then Red Rocks.

Would be a decent addition to the plan.
abr1966 - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

Sounds great! I'd do Jan to April in Scotland though for winter climbing then May to Sept Peak District and then head for the sun till the new year and back to Scotland!
alan moore - on 11 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

I would go to Wales. I think they have wifi now.
stp - on 12 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

I think if you're on your own you don't simply want the best crags but somewhere where you can easily find partners. If so that would limit the choice quite a lot. I met a digital nomad in Kalymnos this year and he seemed to be having a great time. Lots of other climbers there. Cornudella, the village at the bottom of Siurana, also seemed another popular base for climbers. It seemed like about half the population were climbers when I was there last Feb.

Going to different continents would be interesting but in practical terms it might be better to choose just one. That way you could buy a van to live in and travel with. There's so much climbing in Europe, or the States or many other places there would be no shortage of amazing new places to visit.
dunnyg - on 13 Oct 2016

Sept oct yosemite, tuolomne,
Oct nov moab, zion bishop
Nov dec j tree
January feb canadian ice
March desert again
Also squamish, wind river, devils rock, red rocks, mexico, surfing, winter snow sports and skiing.

Bishop has over 300 days of sun a year. Just saying...

Cheaper wohld be spaun and aputhwrn france into the alps when it gets warm
Mark Kemball - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

What about Norway? Lofoten is superb. Not too expensive if you don't drink alcohol.
seankenny - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

The key rule of thumb for trips like this is: do stuff you can't do normally. So I'd forget Spain, the Alps, Kalymnos. All can be done from the UK using holiday time when you're an office drone again. Go to places a long way away and where the climbing is different, so it takes some time to get the hang of it. America, Australia, S Africa, India - these are the sorts of places you should be considering.

You can do most stuff in the Alps in two weeks from home, or even three. But walking the Annapurna circuit or doing a trekking peak takes at least three weeks, and four or five would be better. Give it six weeks and you could do an amazing Himalayan trek. Similarly, you could spend six or eight weeks at Hueco and Bishop and come out of it a way, way better climber. Or learn to climb slippy Californian granite.
paul mitchell - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

Font.No contest.
Robert Durran - on 13 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

If rock climbing is what you are after then Europe is fine if you are only interested in sport, but if you want trad then N. America following the seasons is a complete no brainer (and of course there is sport, ice and mountains too). Europe for trad doesn't come close (even though we all love Pembroke!) because the obvious premier areas are either in the UK, Norway or the Alps with all their potential weather issues. America has deserts, and deserts mean largely guaranteed sunshine!
dsauerbrun - on 17 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

So I built a site to help answer questions like these. www.climbcation.com only shows world class crags(only stuff worth traveling for, no local stuff) use the filter to figure out your parameters(climbing type, time of year, map, etc...) and the site will spit back everything that matches the filter.

It isn't 100% filled out, I only have 115 crags out of probably the 200 that should be on there, but north america is pretty filled out if you're trying to get an idea of what areas are good out there at what part of the year so you can plan out a road trip or something.

Let me know if you've got any feedback or questions!
cyberpunk - on 17 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

Jan: El Chorro (Jan can be too early for good winter conditions in Scotland)
Feb - Thailand (after the winter many routes in Kalymnos can be wet)
April - May: Japan (Nagano)
Jun - Sep: Alps - Chamonix and some trips to Ceuse when the weather craps out
Sep - Oct: Yosemite
Nov - Indian Creek
wbo - on 17 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda: what visa do you have for working in the US? Thats the biggest problem with going there

paul__in_sheffield - on 17 Oct 2016
In reply to paul mitchell:

> Font.No contest.

Couldn't agree more, finest climbing destination on the planet.
Duncan Campbell - on 18 Oct 2016
In reply to Fenda:

Ooooh interesting question!! Although not able to take whole years off I hope to soon be able to take reasonably large chunks of time off work to go away to cool places. The sorts of places I'd look at going if I were you would be popular "dirtbag" areas or I'd sort out a partner. Always fun thinking of amazing places to go so I'll rattle off a list for you!!

Jan-March; Spain earlier on you might want to be further south but realistically Catalunya will be climbable and can still be hot in the sun at this time of year. If you have been training hard at the wall in the build up to this, Spanish sport climbing would be a great way to convert that into rock fitness and imo wouldn't be a chore.

Other options; Tasmania + Australia - this would be amazing, dossing in the dirt at Araps climbing awesome routes everyday. Will be hot to begin with but conditions will get better and better and it will be really dry/Thailand/Scotland (if you must)

April-June; I'd probably drive home from Spain via some of the amazing French crags like St. Leger, Gorge du Tarn, etc these crags are just as good as their Spanish counterparts.

Once back in the UK I'd then make the most of what is often the best time of year here - I'd chase the weather either with a single partner or just hooking up with folk all over. South West, Pembroke, North Wales, Lakes, Scotland and Ireland. Interspersed with hanging out with friends/family and doing a bit of fell-running to mix things up a little.

Other options would be to stick around on the continent venturing higher and higher as conditions allowed. Dollies, Chamonix etc.

July-August: If I had just been in the UK I'd head to the Alps or the Dolomites to do some big routes. I'd also seriously consider going to Rocklands in SA looks amazing. Swizz bouldering also a good option. Squamish & Bugaboos would also be amazing.

Sep-October: US is an obvious one. Most places will be prime to varying degrees at this time, certainly all the classic places in California.

Other options: South Africa - Waterfall Boven and all the amazing looking trad. Font wouldn't be a bad shout.

November-December: Either go somewhere warm like Spain/Southern Hemisphere/Morrocco or head back home and enjoy good grit bouldering temps and potential scottish winter if you really must. Enjoy chrimbo with your fam + friends.

If you can do multiple years of this sort of thing a) I really envy you and b) I'd just see if you can get folk to go to a place with you and if not go wherever you will be able to find partners/not need them. I.e. Arapiles/Yosemite/Squamish/Font/Thailand etc.

I hope to do some/all of these trips over the coming years so maybe I'll see you around!

Fenda - on 08 Nov 2016
In reply to Fenda:

Wow, thanks for all the tips and inspiration. I've taken the advice and decided to do something that I may not have the opportunity to do again. I've booked in on an expedition to Himalayas at the end of next April. It's a training course with hopefully some attempts on unclimbed peaks up to just below 6000m.

Super excited but have a lot of physical prep and training to do before then. Will be spending some time in Scotland and the Alps leading up to the trip.

Once I'm back, I think the US will be on the cards.

Thanks again everyone!

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