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Best places to live for mountaineering


Original Post
Ian Ritterbush · · Lincoln, Ne · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Hello,

I am wanting to become certified as an alpine guide through the AMGA but lack the experience to get started, I'm from Nebraska, terrible place to live for mountain lovers. I have been climbing indoors for a few months with some outdoor experience sport climbing, and have a couple 14ers under my belt. My question is, where is the best place to move to gain alpine experience and join a rescue team? Colorado is extremely expensive and I'm not looking for expensive at all. Tucson would be a great fit for me potentially, but I was also thinking Wyoming. Looking for a friend. Thanks in advance!

USBRIT Ross · · Keswick Cumbria.UK · Joined Apr 2001 · Points: 21,358
Ian Ritterbush wrote:

Hello,

I am wanting to become certified as an alpine guide through the AMGA but lack the experience to get started, I'm from Nebraska, terrible place to live for mountain lovers. I have been climbing indoors for a few months with some outdoor experience sport climbing, and have a couple 14ers under my belt. My question is, where is the best place to move to gain alpine experience and join a rescue team? Colorado is extremely expensive and I'm not looking for expensive at all. Tucson would be a great fit for me potentially, but I was also thinking Wyoming. Looking for a friend. Thanks in advance!

Take up golf however it is  also a bit expensive... At the moment you are perhaps 10 years behind in experience.

T Roper · · DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 860

Driggs Idaho or Jackson WY

trailridge · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 20

Alaska,  learning in the bigger mountains will sky rocket your skills, confidence and how you see the mountains,  after you can visit co and see that these mountains are small, busy and not all that complicated yet they do yield great rock climbing.  Plus coming from the flatlands provides great motivation.  Learning the technical skills of climbing does not take 10 years,  more like a couple months if you have a strong head and are motivated.  Instinct and self reliance are critical in the mountains.  The key is not dying.  Good luck in your pursuit   

C Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 551

Camore,  Alberta

Ian Ritterbush · · Lincoln, Ne · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
trailridge wrote:

Alaska,  learning in the bigger mountains will sky rocket your skills, confidence and how you see the mountains,  after you can visit co and see that these mountains are small, busy and not all that complicated yet they do yield great rock climbing.  Plus coming from the flatlands provides great motivation.  Learning the technical skills of climbing does not take 10 years,  more like a couple months if you have a strong head and are motivated.  Instinct and self reliance are critical in the mountains.  The key is not dying.  Good luck in your pursuit   

This could be great actually great for me, I have a best friend moving to Alaska in a few months. I will touch base with him about it. I appreciate the advice! 

Eric Fjellanger · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2008 · Points: 840

Is Colorado extremely expensive? That wasn't the impression I got living in Estes- lots of the front range seemed pretty cheap, which is no doubt why the whole area is exploding and the denser parts are getting more expensive. In fact I'd put Estes down on your list, lots of good access to mountains and rock climbing. If you need cheaper than that, there are plenty of places that are less convenient but cheaper strung out between Denver and Fort Collins or farther north. 

Washington is hard to beat as a place to gain well-rounded mountaineering skills, and there is demand for volunteers in Search & Rescue and Mountain Rescue. And my impression is that guiding on Rainier is a relatively easy way to get started. But if you think Colorado is expensive you will want to steer clear of Seattle and surrounding suburbs. Maybe Enumclaw or Leavenworth?

I lived in Jackson for a year and the expenses there will also make your hair curl. Driggs would be a better call from that point of view. You could also consider Lander, or Pinedale. Wyoming has a lot of good rock and mountain climbing but I don't feel it's necessarily a great place to gain snow travel skills.

Ian Ritterbush · · Lincoln, Ne · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks for the comments guys! So after talking with my buddy who is moving to Anchorage, Ak in a few months, that might be the move for me. It sounds like a solid place to start gaining experience fast. Does anyone have any knowledge of Anchorage or the mountains there, is it easy to find people to help teach Alpine etc. any more advice would be fantastic.

Steve J. · · Seward, AK · Joined Feb 2011 · Points: 70
  • There is tons of mountaineering objectives around Anchorage. Pick a direction and you'll have more on your list  than you know what to do with.  Check out whats on the south central Alaska section of MP, summit post and alaskaiceclimbing.com.  Meeting folks is pretty easy at the rock gym and check out the climbing festivals as well.  There is an ice festival on the Matsnuska glacier in October,  Valdez in Feb and a rock festival in Valdez in June. Check out the Mountaineering Club of Alaska (MCA) too.
Ian Ritterbush · · Lincoln, Ne · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
Steve J. wrote:
  • There is tons of mountaineering objectives around Anchorage. Pick a direction and you'll have more on your list  than you know what to do with.  Check out whats on the south central Alaska section of MP, summit post and alaskaiceclimbing.com.  Meeting folks is pretty easy at the rock gym and check out the climbing festivals as well.  There is an ice festival on the Matsnuska glacier in October,  Valdez in Feb and a rock festival in Valdez in June. Check out the Mountaineering Club of Alaska (MCA) too.

I appreciate the advice man!!

Danomcq · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 95

Just moved to eagle river, just north of anchorage. I don't climb a ton. I only get out maybe 10 days of climbing a year. Plenty of family hikes though. I'll tell you the anchorage area has been paradise for me. I can get to a few ice Craig's super close by.we can see glaciers from the town. And the chugach is damn near endless. 250 mile range of jagged peaks souring to 14k from sea level. Oh, and summer isn't scorching hot either. 

Ian Ritterbush · · Lincoln, Ne · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
Danomcq wrote:

Just moved to eagle river, just north of anchorage. I don't climb a ton. I only get out maybe 10 days of climbing a year. Plenty of family hikes though. I'll tell you the anchorage area has been paradise for me. I can get to a few ice Craig's super close by.we can see glaciers from the town. And the chugach is damn near endless. 250 mile range of jagged peaks souring to 14k from sea level. Oh, and summer isn't scorching hot either. 

Thanks man I appreciate the advice! Looks like I will be heading out there early next year, late spring. Hopefully I will get the chance to get a good day of climbing in with you if you are ever feeling up to it!

lukeweiss · · St. Johnsbury, VT · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 30

Head to Washington and get hooked up with the mountaineers. They have a few year program that will get you to entry level amga alpine. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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