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Michigan climbing
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By efulltower
Jun 23, 2012
Hey everyone!
I may be moving to MI sometime in the near future. Does anyone know if they have ANY sport/trad climbing or bouldering there?!? I know they have dunes but it's not quite the same... Just wondering. I live in MN right now and love to climbing community and the diversity of climbing styles (even though it isn't the best). Thanks!
Eric Fullen

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jun 23, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
A place called Grand Ledge is centrally located and has some sport I believe. Not too tall, but something worth a day or so.

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By DavidT
Jun 23, 2012
Grand ledge is fun but only for day trips. Its all TR because the rock is soft. Other than that the red or southern Illinois is the closest climbing besides gyms. There is also climbing in the upper peninsula (some rock but good ice from what i hear)but is pretty far up there. What area are you moving to?

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By Max Supertramp
Jun 23, 2012
My .02:

Don't do it. I grew up there, driving 40 minutes one way to hit Grand Ledge. Not worth it. You could just quit climbing in MN instead. Your call.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jun 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Max Supertramp wrote:
My .02: Don't do it. I grew up there, driving 40 minutes one way to hit Grand Ledge. Not worth it. You could just quit climbing in MN instead. Your call.


I'm 4 hours away from any kind of legal rock climb here in Illinois, so I'd take that 40 minutes any day to Grand Ledge. That's closer than a decent rock gym around here.

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By Alasdair
Jun 24, 2012
Michigan is about as far from anything enjoyable than anywhere in the country. I went to high school there and left as soon as I could. There is nothing that would ever convince me to go back there. Grand ledge is not worth a 10 min drive, your better off in the gym.

If you do any other outdoor activities that dont include motorized vehicals forget it. If you try to ride a bike you will be barraged by constant verbal abuse. If you run there will be no sidewalks or places to do it. Michigan does not value open space or outdoor activities, and you cant do anything without getting in a car.

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jun 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Alasdair wrote:
Michigan is about as far from anything enjoyable than anywhere in the country. I went to high school there and left as soon as I could. There is nothing that would ever convince me to go back there. Grand ledge is not worth a 10 min drive, your better off in the gym. If you do any other outdoor activities that dont include motorized vehicals forget it. If you try to ride a bike you will be barraged by constant verbal abuse. If you run there will be no sidewalks or places to do it. Michigan does not value open space or outdoor activities, and you cant do anything without getting in a car.


! Sounds like you are pretty glad to be out of Michigan. I always thought with their great lakeside parks and the huge northwoods, that Michigan was a pretty good 'open space or outdoor activities' kind of location. Imagine living in south end of state or near Detroit, etc. might put a real negative on any feelings. But not being a gym rat, I'd still go for the feel of real rock at Grand Ledges under my hands and feet ahead of a 4 plus hour drive.

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By Alasdair
Jun 24, 2012
Yea the SE michigan area is where I was. Northern Michigan is better, but it takes a long time to get there. Better off heading to Kentucky for the weekend.

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By Tony T.
From Denver, CO
Jun 24, 2012
Getting up the Great Dihedral on Hallet Peak, RMNP.
Wow, lots of mitten hate. I grew up there and loved it. It is the weeks with 100F temps and half the state on fire in Colorado that make me pine for the Great Lakes. I started climbing in a gym like most mid-west kids. Michigan has *some* climbing opportunities, but they are more off the beaten path and less developed.

There are a lot of fun deep water soloing opportunities in the UP and along the Lake Huron coast. Grand Ledge is worth the drive. Otherwise, you do have to leave the state to get to destination worthy climbing. The Red is really not a bad drive. You can drive over to Ontario and climb on Lion's Head.

I grew up in the 'burbs of Detroit and moved to the city as soon as I could. There are awesome and unique urban climbing opportunities there, especially since "urban spelunking/exploring" became so hip(ster). Don't believe what you hear about Detroit, it's a great place to live and full of positive young people doing fantastic things.

To stymie any "If it's so great, why did you leave?" banter, I moved to Denver for grad school. Yes, Colorado is a great place, and mountains are fantastic. However, you can't compare Michigan to Colorado because it's just not fair. You can consider Michigan to other mid-west states, and it really doesn't fare that poorly. In fact, Michigan's GDP growth is outpacing most in the nation, behind only California, Oregon, and maybe two other states? mlive.com/business/index.ssf/2...

So, like the old ads say, Say Yes! to Michigan. =p

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By Woodchuck ATC
Jun 24, 2012
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Tony, you got yourself a job with the Michigan tourism bureau any day you want it.

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By Bill Thompson
Jun 24, 2012
Everest Base Camp

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By Bill Thompson
Jun 24, 2012
Everest Base Camp
With some of the best ice climbing in the country and endless rock routes in the Upper Peninsula (and no climbers to boot), I would have to say Michigan isn't all that bad!


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By Tony T.
From Denver, CO
Jun 24, 2012
Getting up the Great Dihedral on Hallet Peak, RMNP.
Bill Thompson wrote:
With some of the best ice climbing in the country and endless rock routes in the Upper Peninsula (and no climbers to boot), I would have to say Michigan isn't all that bad!


Great photo! The trick with the UP is the distance. If you live in SE Michigan, it's a haul to get up there. However, if you do take the time to get there, it is beautiful and remote.

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By jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Jun 24, 2012
hi
Looks like a hell of a runout Bill!

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By Doug Hill
Jun 24, 2012
DON'T

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By Bill Thompson
Jun 24, 2012
Everest Base Camp


DO!
Drive isn't too bad and the weather is so much cooler then down south! Plus the scenery isn't too shabby either

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By Josh Olson
From madison, wisconsin
Jun 25, 2012
Looking at a 5.7 crack with Nick
I've climbed in the UP in 5 or so areas, and I've always been really impressed with the feel. Never felt like the areas got much attention, which is a big plus in my book.
Hopefully you aren't moving to the mitten. It would suck to be a troll.

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By Sky Chamberlain
From Honolulu, Hawaii
Jun 25, 2012
Makapuu Overhang.  <br />Oahu, Hawaii.
I grew up in West Michigan and it was pretty awesome! Mountain bike trails, Sand dune camping on Lake Michigan, hiking, kayaking & tubing the rivers etc. About an hour and a half for me to get to Grand Ledge. A fun place to check out but perhaps not on a regular basis.
Each mile that you head North though along the West coast and up into the UP, nature just gets more awesome! Definately a drive to get up to Marquette, but a great place to spend a week or two in the summer and if you are into deep snow, the winter as well.

Enjoy!

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By Cpt. E
Jun 25, 2012
I lived in SE MI and went to school up in Marquette.

As Bill knows, the Marquette area is a great climbin' hub. Good local cragging hiding in the woods. A little driving from there will have you climbing cool stuff as well.(harvey and isabella if i remember)

You can shoot over the border to Lions Head as well if your living in SE Militia-gan as well. And The Red is only 5-6 hrs south.

Grand Ledge sucks. Planet Rock is better.


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By Bill Thompson
Jun 25, 2012
Everest Base Camp
Hey Jon,
That's Kelly Laasko running it out on the Pinnacle on Presques Isle. Super strong, old Finlander who is much tougher then me!

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By SendaGorilla
From Boulder
Jun 25, 2012
Tony T. wrote:
Detroit, it's a great place to live and full of positive young people doing fantastic things.


I guess everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but.......Are You Effin Kiddin' Me Tony?!?!?!

What, did you live in Bloomfield Hills or something?? Sipping Martinis while the Crackheads were selling their rocks to 2nd graders, a few blocks away????

Or maybe it was their 'BOOMING' economy that really set your inspirations ablaze??.......i mean, it certianly couldn't have been their plethora of BADD ASS climbing!


Sorry, but, DON"T listen to Tony----MICHIGAN SUUUUUUUCKS!!!
I left right after highschool and Never looked back.

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By SendaGorilla
From Boulder
Jun 25, 2012
"Detroit has become a modern day terror town, nearly unsafe for occupancy. It is near the anarchy that prevailed in the fictional file “Escape From New York.”
Source: economicnoise.com (s.tt/1fgrX)

Probably could find SOMETHING to climb here!
Probably could find SOMETHING to climb here!


Here's some 'Wilderness' for ya!
Here's some 'Wilderness' for ya!


...ummmmm, yeah..
...ummmmm, yeah..

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By jon jugenheimer
From Madison
Jun 25, 2012
hi
The photo on the bottom is from the 60's. come on.

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By SendaGorilla
From Boulder
Jun 25, 2012
hehe...i know...it's kinda funny though.

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By Bill Thompson
Jun 25, 2012
Everest Base Camp


Every state has their burned out buildings and crime problems. No lines for the climbs here and nobody attacks another climber with an ice axe either!

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By SendaGorilla
From Boulder
Jun 25, 2012
Bill Thompson wrote:
Every state has their burned out buildings and crime problems.!



True...but if we were to make a list of the TOP FIVE WORST cities in the Country...Detroit would definitely make it high on that list.

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