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Best place to live in the PNW for climbing (all sub genres) and snow sports that is still close to a major Airport?


Original Post
Cireously · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 15

Looking for input on a good place to relocate to in the PNW.  My recently new job allows me to live anywhere in the PNW that allows me access to a major Airport for travel to other parts of the PNW. Prefer Washington for the tax benefits.  I climb all disciplines and snowboard both on resort and in the BC. 

And go...

Andrew Davidson · · Everett, WA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 1,342
Cireously · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 15

Not that I was lazy, but I must have used the wrong search terms. 

Cireously · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 15

Basically Bend or Wenatchee( no airports), or you are driving 3+ hours to get to the east side of the Cascades. 


Andrew Davidson · · Everett, WA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 1,342

understandable. But if you are looking areas with commercial Airports, you have Spokane, Wenatchee, Yakima, Bellingham, Tricities/Pasco, Seattle for WA.  Portland, Redmond, North Bend, and Medford in Oregon.    My first pick would be Wenatchee aera, Cheaper, more defined seasons, less rain. less traffic, new rock gym. couple nice ski areas and BC.  But that is just me. Spokane is second pick.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

I mean I find anywhere in the Seattle area to be lucrative in climbing options.  If you don’t mind 2-5 hour drives you can get to whatever ever type of climbing is in season.  Sometimes less if you are going to Index or the exits.  You have access to world class climbing in a weekend trip where others would have to plan the logistics of an expensive trip.  Living on the east side (Bellevue) offers a much quicker approach to the mountains and also very close to the airport.  Hope that helps. 

Cireously · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 15

Thanks for the info guys, leaning towards the Vancouver area for distance to Smith and Mt Hood ski area while still 20 mins to PDX.  Seems like a compromise, but moving to the better climbing towns wouldn't help me much more than staying where I am. 


mediocre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2013 · Points: 0

Longview, WA

Amy Krull · · Oregon · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 45

I'm located in Vancouver, happy to give you my two cents on why it can be great, and where it might be lacking! 

Cireously · · Bozeman, MT · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 15

Okay Amy, let start with what's lacking...


Amy Krull · · Oregon · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 45

Vancouver is a border town, it's has a burgeoning food, coffee and beer options and lacks the crowds of Portland. But you'll go in to Portland for most things: gear stores, climbing gyms (Vancouver has one, but most Vancouver climbers I know go to PG in Portland which has more classes and lifting, etc.), movies, grocery store (seriously, if you live near downtown Van hopping across the I-5 to Portland can be faster to visit Home Depot, organic food, etc. You'll schedule those trips around traffic, I-5 traffic is really heavy as Vancouver commuters drive into Portland in the morning and back home at 5pm.  Northbound traffic on Friday up through Seattle is extremely heavy. Additionally, it's not practical to use public transit to the airport or to get in to Portland using Vancouver transit. Uber is $27 to $30. 

Vancouver is great is terms of being a super affordable town (rent is inexpensive compared to Portland and has tax benefits) and being on the north side of the gorge is great.  I can ride my bike home from work in PDX and still make it to Ozone or run uphill.  You're correct that Mt Hood is an easy day or half day trip.  A "weekend drive range" of 4-5hr extends as far south as Shasta, Bend/Smith, Vantage (Central Washington), Rainier, Baker, etc. After living here for a bit I've found myself a bit bored of the close by options (lots of sport/trad cragging; not many long scrambles, and the backcountry skiing is super limited on Hood due to elevation) I've found myself making the drive to North Cascades and Leavenworth alot, which leaves me to advise if sport climbing, day trips for skiing, spring volcano mountaineering is where you're at you'll love the position of being in NW Oregon.  If you're looking for access to alpine climbing, ice climbing or backcountry skiing, living further north to be closer to North Cascades, Picketts, Baker, etc. would be my preference. 

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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