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  • Moving to Berkeley, CA....

    I’m going to be moving to Berkeley, CA sometime between now and mid-October. I’ve been mostly in Utah for the past 6 years, and in NH before then. I’m curious as to the collective wisdom here about living in the bay area and still getting in a descent amount of touring. Obviously it is going to be a bit of trek compared to the backyard character of the Wasatch. Anyone care to point me towards some good books or other resources to get to know trail-heads/access points?

    Also, I’ll be looking for some touring partners once the snow starts to fly… anyone else here living in Berkeley or the Bay Area?
    Feel free to PM if you don't want to blow your cover

    Thanks.

  • #3
    Looks like some really funky and very uncrowded terrain up there. Very cool. I was vaguely aware of the Trinity Alps but had no idea about these other peaks.

    And this guide
    http://www.earnyourturns.com/3878/cc...e-2-mendocino/
    is a really nice resource... looks like a lot of work went into figuring this area out! Thanks.

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    • #5
      Cracking knuckles......

      I made this move in 2009, so I can give you a bit of insight.
      First, the skiing is good and the people are great! But you have to work a bit for the skiing a bit, before you even get to the trailhead. That is if you are looking at the regular ski spots (i.e. Sierra Nevada, and Cascade Volcanoes)

      Being able to sneak away mid-week is a really nice option to have. I found the weekend grind in the traffic and crowds wore me out pretty quickly. You'll probably want to get in on a ski lease that will offer you a place to sleep when you are up skiing. I was graciously taken in by mchin, lucy and sierrafred and having them show me the Tahoe region was a very large help.

      Are you fully convinced you want to live in Berkeley? You might consider some neighboring communities as well. Oakland is much cheaper and gets less fog (it's true) and the bike commute from the north side of the city to campus or downtown Berkeley is really nice.

      There is no shortage of terrain and the access is good to excellent. If you're into long tours with up and down and many miles, the options really are endless as the Sierra lends itself well to this kind of skiing. The snowpack is bomber 90% of the time and those few days it's touchy there are plenty of other options to be had. The last two years have been pretty bad in terms of total snow, so you might be picking a good time to move to this range. Everyone is saying the chances of three bad years in a row is next to impossible. Even with a pretty lame year last year I still skied a LOT of powder around the holidays last year and a few other days later in the season.

      Welcome. Northern California is pretty mind blowing.

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      • #6
        I moved from Berkeley to Utah about 17 years ago. As noted directly above, the traffic on weekends can take the joy out of the otherwise awesome skiing, climbing, hiking, biking and all sort of other activities. Being able to ski mid-week, or at least take a Friday or a Monday to make it s 3-day weekend makes things a lot better. At least back when I was there, going to Bear Valley was a lot better traffic-wise than the routes to Tahoe (i80 and Hwy50, IIRC).

        I have really liked living in Utah, but if I was going to move, the Bay Area would be top of the list. Have fun.

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        • #7
          Hang out here, contribute, and you'll connect up quickly. The most popular trailhead access points are at the passes. Google California Sno-Parks and, if you don't mind filling your lungs with carbon monoxide, the CA OHMVRD guide to OSV staging areas. There are lots of other access points, some identified on Forest Service info sheets. Dostie also provides links on this site to a number of great online resources, several of them maintained by members of this forum.

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          • #8
            Thanks for the thoughts/info B, Berg, Greg, and Baaahb.

            You'll probably want to get in on a ski lease that will offer you a place to sleep when you are up skiing
            Good to know. I've been lucky to have always lived close enough to skiing so as to never think about finding a place to stay. That will definitely add an element. As will the traffic.

            Are you fully convinced you want to live in Berkeley?
            Not fully, no. My wife will be working in west Berkeley. I'll be commuting to SJ, which, yes, I know is going to seriously suck the life out of me. Fortunately I'm on flexible schedule and only have to be down there 3 days a week. One thought is to live near the Amtrak in Berkeley... another is to split the difference on the commute, but as is usually the case, that just gives you the worst of both. Oakland is a possibility for sure.

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            • #9
              All I got to say is get ready for sticker shock. Everything is eff'ing expensive here!

              EDIT: Wait wait... you're going to commute to San Jose? Good luck with that. Those 3 days a week is going to grind the hell out of you. 880 is just sucks ass. Period. 80 (Terrible) -> 880 (Even worse) -> SJ. Rivals any nasty traffic you find in LA.

              If anything, I would move to somewhere like Dublin where you have the option to take 680 and her commute isn't terrible either. Or even consider living in San Francisco. At least you will be able to take 280 to work while she takes BART if she can swing it.
              Last edited by SoMuchBetterThanU; 10 September 2013, 07:05 PM.
              Drive the cuff!

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              • #10
                Day trips from Berkeley are possible, but you have to get up very early and you will be driving as many hours as you spend skiing. Avoid Friday night if at all possible. Ski leases are great, but you really have to be there almost every weekend to get your money's worth.

                Traffic and storms can turn a 3-4 hr drive into a 12 hr one. Going back in the afternoon will generally take at least 1 hr longer than driving up, even on a Saturday afternoon. Learn the back roads to avoid the Roseville traffic jam. Highway 50 is a complete **** show on weekend afternoons. Nobody knows how to drive in the snow. If you don't have 4wd, spend the money on good chains and figure out a system to get them on/off as fast as possible.

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                • #11
                  Friday nights aren't so bad, so long as you leave after 7pm. Anytime before that generally sucks major balls, unless you leave in the morning. Driving through storms is a definite ****show tho.
                  Drive the cuff!

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                  • #12
                    Echo the general advice here.

                    Originally posted by bergbryce View Post
                    You'll probably want to get in on a ski lease that will offer you a place to sleep when you are up skiing.
                    This. If you're interested, my buddy is looking to fill a place he recently bought in Meyers (aka South Lake Tahoe with easy access to Kirkwood, Sierra-at-Tahoe, Heavenly, and excellent BC terrain): http://www.tetongravity.com/forums/s...pcoming-season

                    Originally posted by bergbryce View Post
                    The last two years have been pretty bad in terms of total snow, so you might be picking a good time to move to this range. Everyone is saying the chances of three bad years in a row is next to impossible.
                    Meh. I don't know who "everyone" is, but they evidently don't know their snowfall histories... http://yubanet.com/california/DWR-Pr...p#.UjAH4yT1u6w See 2007-2009, 1987-1992, etc. and pray.

                    Originally posted by SoMuchBetterThanU View Post
                    If anything, I would move to somewhere like Dublin where you have the option to take 680 and her commute isn't terrible either.
                    Not a bad idea. OP, if you go this route and like to mountain bike, hit me up. I live in the Outer Rim Territories--also known as the Tri-Valley Area.

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                    • #13
                      Upslope - first welcome to the Sierra, the "Range of Light." Yeah, our snow pack can be highly variable, the traffic sucks, and housing is expensive. And the Giants just got eliminated from the play offs....
                      But there must be some reason for however millions of people to call this place home. Lucy and I lived in Berkeley for 7 years and it's not a bad place for reaching the mountains if your wife's job is in West Berkeley. You got Vic's for Indian food, Bergbryce and my favorite Thai place - Thai Noodle, order #42, a great boot fitter at California Ski Co - Paul Jacobs, mountain bike, hiking and coastal access. And come spring, when the Sierra cement transitions to creamy corn, the high passes open, and more importantly the Whoa Nellie deli opens, you head for the east side of the Sierra. There you find high mountain trail heads like the Virginia Lakes road and Tioga pass (whenever they finally get plowed by the mercurial Caltrans boys), you can wash off the dust from the long approaches in natural hot springs on the east side and look forward to fish tacos, beer and friends at the Who Nellie deli on your east side ski tours.
                      Ski cabin - we are looking for a couple more people to fill out our South Lake Tahoe cabin. We do mostly BC, but hit the resorts on storm days. PM me for more details. And despite others who harsh on route 50 for access to the mountains, in more than 8 years of driving that route to South Lake Tahoe I've only had a few delays due to weather.
                      Last edited by mchin; 11 September 2013, 04:47 AM.
                      Originally posted by riser3
                      I heart filthy, stinky "hippies", although isn't mchin a Doctor or something like that? Hardly qualifies as a "hippie" IMHO...

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                      • #14
                        Commuting to SJ will be tough, even if only 3 days a week. Consider living in SF. You can take Cal Train to SJ (I think). Your wife can take BART to Berkeley. If she is working in West Berkeley there may not be a BART station close to her work. Bikes can help here. BART used to not allow bikes during rush hour, but folding bikes are OK. I still have the Bike Friday that I bought for this purpose.

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                        • #15
                          Originally posted by Greg View Post
                          Commuting to SJ will be tough, even if only 3 days a week. Consider living in SF. You can take Cal Train to SJ (I think). Your wife can take BART to Berkeley. If she is working in West Berkeley there may not be a BART station close to her work. Bikes can help here. BART used to not allow bikes during rush hour, but folding bikes are OK. I still have the Bike Friday that I bought for this purpose.
                          Good thoughts. Folding bikes have always been allowed on all trains. All bikes are currently allowed on all BART trains for a 6-month or 1-yr experimental period. Deets available on BART.gov.
                          Last edited by jfb; 11 September 2013, 09:37 AM. Reason: To add detail and correct spelling
                          It's turns! Of course it's worth the hike!

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