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By Drew_n
From Park City, UT
Feb 13, 2013
Dolomites
Ok, yet another moving thread; but hey, why not? This is the best community for the help we need!

So, the family and I are getting ready for what (hopefully) will be our last major life move, and we want to do our best to get it right. Top two areas right now are SLC/Park City (where I lived for 15+ years) and Reno/Truckee. Love the Wasatch, but like the idea of getting to know a new mountain range. Since we are starting from scratch, we can be picky. Our goals:

- Good schools & and overall quality of life for a family.
- Able to realistically ski-tour before work in winter
- Able to realistically crag after work in summer
- Enough of an urban center to support a small/medium sized university
- Enough of an urban center to support a regional hospital with a rehabilitation center;
- And/or a VA hospital
- Close enough to an airport to realistically get to LA/NYC in a day.
- No offense intended, but not interested in the East coast (just finishing a stint there).

Thanks!

FLAG
By bruno-cx
Feb 13, 2013
shirtless wonder
Albuquerque NM, or Santa Fe NM.

Albuquerque is like a ghetto version of boulder without the douche bags, and Santa Fe is... just Santa Fe.

Either one meets your criteria aside from "ski touring" be accessible for before work runs. Global warming has pretty much killed the ski season in the SW.

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By NorCalNomad
From San Francisco
Feb 13, 2013
Truckee and Reno are an hour (minimum)away from each other just to let you know, but Truckee is a pretty sweet place to live. Other than Uni's and hospital bit, they're just in Reno, Truckee fills all your requirements

FLAG
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 13, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Might be a bit small, but check out Bend, Oregon. Not mountains, but high desert with access to snowy volcanoes. 80,000 in the town. 200,000 in the region.

Crazy good quality of life here. Climbing, skiing, rivers, and biking all 20 minutes away. And you can basically do any of those sports all year long! Amazing weather (less moisture than Los Angeles), we're on the dry side of the cascades - but a ski resort with 500+" of snow is 25 minutes away. Yes, not the most epic terrain at Mt. Bachelor, but a large ski resort (3000 acres) and a great family mountain.

Oregon State University is building their next four year campus here. Housing is inexpensive right now, certainly compared to Truckee or Park City. We have a major hospital that serves the entire eastern Oregon desert. Airport serves the following hubs: Seattle, Portland, SFO, and Salt Lake City.

Excellent schools and a VERY family oriented town. Lots of families with kids. We've had friends move here just for the family nature of the town and schools - the recreation was just a bonus.

I can't believe it took me 40 years to find this place!

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By AdamB
From Chattanooga, TN
Feb 13, 2013
Black Boulder Problem, sent after a generous skin ...
having spent a significant amount of time in Truckee and SLC, I vastly prefer SLC. Truckee is smaller, so that's kind of cool, but it gets waaaaay congested with tourist traffic. Im sure the same could be said of SLC, but seriously, Truckee sees a stunning amount of out of town traffic. It's insane. THe amenities as far as food and such, both restaurants and grocery, is way better in SLC. Plus the climbing is far better in Utah. and the people in SLC are really nice. THe folks in Truckee taht ive interacted with over the years seem like they're trying way to hard to be mountain dudes.

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By Davis Stevenson
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Feb 13, 2013
Following up a new route out in the Mojave Desert....
Flagstaff, AZ!

Maybe not ideal for ski touring, but Spring-Fall after work climbing is almost endless here. There's a decently large University, Hospital, and the train station make for a lot of stuff going on here. Lots of culture, and has about any kind of terrain you could ask more in about a 5 hour radius.

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By Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
Feb 13, 2013
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.
I really liked living in both places, but they are each inherently different beasts.

If I were raising a family I'd do so in a mountain town because of the outdoor and recreational resources available to kids. That would be Truckee or Park City. And I agree the seasonal influx of traffic and tourism in Truckee is a negative consideration.

Salt Lake wins in the food, shopping and cultural amenities department, and with quick access to skiing and climbing... But I will never again live in Salt Lake because of the horrendous Winter air quality.

FLAG
By Drew_n
From Park City, UT
Feb 13, 2013
Dolomites
Thanks everyone! Cannot believe I forgot about Bend, spent a couple of summers working @ Smith, that is good beta.

Please keep the comments coming as they are very helpful.

Also, anyone have thoughts on various parts of Colorado (e.g. front range areas, Grand Junction, Gunnison, Durango, etc.)?

FLAG
 
By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Feb 13, 2013
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do
Well, I haven't lived in SLC but have spent the last 7 1/2 years in Reno although I am moving to Las Vegas at the end of the month (career move)

- Good schools & and overall quality of life for a family.
Reno has this, Truckee is nice and all but you have a high level of transiency, higher than what Reno has.
- Able to realistically ski-tour before work in winter
You can in Reno, you can in Truckee. Live in South Reno and you are a 20 min drive from 5-star dawn patrol activities.
- Able to realistically crag after work in summer
If yer off work at 5, 45 mins gets you to Donner Summit and all that there is to offer there. Snowshed is a great after-work crag, no approach and plenty of hard climbing.
- Enough of an urban center to support a small/medium sized university
- Enough of an urban center to support a regional hospital with a rehabilitation center;
- And/or a VA hospital
- Close enough to an airport to realistically get to LA/NYC in a day.

Check, check, and check.

I would highly recommend Reno if your focus is on both of those and you're not wanting to live in SLC again. Or if you want a smaller city. Or if you want easy access to Yosemite, the Sierra Eastside, etc.

It's not for everyone and don't be put off by downtown Reno like many others have been in the past...

FLAG
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 13, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Drew_n wrote:
Thanks everyone! Cannot believe I forgot about Bend, spent a couple of summers working @ Smith, that is good beta. Please keep the comments coming as they are very helpful. Also, anyone have thoughts on various parts of Colorado (e.g. front range areas, Grand Junction, Gunnison, Durango, etc.)?


Everyone forgets about Bend! :) But in ten years it is going to be the "new Boulder".... for better or worse. The upcoming college will have a huge impact.

And Smith is an amazing home crag. A lifetime of projects await and there is plenty of trad as well (Lower Gorge and Trout Creek).

FLAG
By scott e. tarrant
From Fort Collins
Feb 13, 2013
kate!
i just moved to fort collins and i love it! skiing off the top of cameron pass (not incredibly convenient...maybe an hour) climbing up the poudre is good, access to the park is amazing, boulder (eldo!!!) is close...CSU is a great campus...loads of great beer... an hour from denver.

i moved over from the roaring fork valley (aspen, basalt, carbondale, redstone) which i love and miss. skiing is amazing, climbing on the pass is amazing, mountain biking, fishing... while there is no university (there is colorado mountain college), aspen is enough of a financial hub that it does not want for 'culture'. there are world class restaurants, arts, entertainment...there are direct flights to LA (...yeah...that is kinda funny...) 3 hours to denver, 1.5 to grand junction, 3(+/-) to the moab area...

both places are pretty great imho. both seem to fit all of your criteria (with certain trade-offs of course) and i believe that both would be great places to raise a family.

good luck!

FLAG
By Jon O'Brien
From Nevada
Feb 13, 2013
please expand upon the "horrible winter air quality" i have never hear this before... wood burning stoves?


thanks,


jon

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By Drew_n
From Park City, UT
Feb 13, 2013
Dolomites
Hi Jon,

There is actually a parallel thread running with pretty recent comments discussing the SLC air quality issue in good detail (" Life in the Wasatch?").

Basically, as a mountain valley with tons of automobiles, industrial processing plants, etc. during winter periods of high pressure the cold air sinks trapping all of the pollutants (I am sure a person more savvy with meteorology could state this better). As a result, you can have a beautiful day in the mountains with <100' visibility in the city. When this occurs, air quality alerts go out for children, elderly persons, etc. There is also a link between air quality and asthma rates in children (although I do not know the hard data).

That is my understanding of the SLC air quality issue and have witnessed it first hand numerous times. One option is to live up valley in Immigration Canyon, Parley's Canyon, Park City, etc.

FLAG
By beco nico
Feb 14, 2013
Andrew's wife, Rebecca here.
Thanks for all the great advice! Please keep it coming!

FLAG
By Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
Feb 14, 2013
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.
So it sounds like your top three are: Truckee, Park City or Bend? And it sounds like you're open to considering other options? Do you have the type of skills that would allow you to live anywhere (I assume you are in health care)? Maybe also look at:

Durango (another top pick if you can afford to live there)
Bellingham
Boise
Ft Collins
Flagstaff
Missoula/Bozeman

Could a family road trip be in order?

If I didn't have to work for a living I'd spend Winters in Moab and Summers in Ketchum. But then again I think I've done fairly well with my current live/work situation.

sltrib.com/sltrib/news/5567044...

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By Drew_n
From Park City, UT
Feb 15, 2013
Dolomites
Thanks Zirkel,

I think Durango, Bellingham, Missoula/Bozeman would be the best fits. Would personally love to be in the San Juans if we could make it work.

And yep, health care it is (i'm a neuro/rehabilitation psychologist and my wife is a photographer with a NYC gig, hence the need for an airport). We've been dues paying in NYC for the last few years to set up this move, hence all the research.

You are right! A family road trip is in order. However, it will probably come down to fate per where I can find the best work fit.

Thanks! ajn

FLAG
 
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 15, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Bellingham? You know it rains there 9 months a year and it is a loooong way from dry rock most the year. I'd scratch that one off the list.

FLAG
By MTKirk
From Billings, MT
Feb 15, 2013
Me on Supercrack
FWIW. The climate in Missoula might be a little warmer than Bozeman but the winters in Missoula are kind of dark & dreary, lots of foggy/overcast days. In Bozeman you'll get more sun year 'round. Winter is a bit too long in Bozeman for my taste, but it sounds like you are into that anyway. Both places have great skiing and climbing but I think the edge there has to go to Bozeman. Both places are far less "Undiscovered" than people realize. I've had to wait in line for climbs in the Gallatin Valley (Bozeman) mid week.

FLAG
By Ian70
Feb 15, 2013
If you like the San Juans, think about including Montrose/Ridgway/Ouray on your list to visit. The adventure benefits are pretty obvious; but also, flying in and out of MTJ is fast -- 40 min from Ouray to the Montrose airport, then minutes to the gate (depending on lines of course). Flight price is higher, but not as bad as you might assume for a small airport.

On the job side, my completely uninformed guess would be that the health care jobs on the western slope would be in the Montrose and Grand Junction areas.

FLAG
By TWK
Feb 15, 2013
Truckee.

People are friendly. East side of the Sierras is awesome. Half a day to SF. A couple of hours to Sacramento.

Truckee to Reno is 35 mi, 1/2 hour, not "a couple of hours". Traffic in Reno is a cluster fuck.

The reason there's a lot of tourist traffic in Truckee is because it's so nice that a lot of tourists want to go there, or through there to other bitchin places nearby.

FLAG


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