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An ice climbers perfect world
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Mar 15, 2013
Yet another winter of frustration behind me as an ice/mixed climber in California. Sure 60degrees avg all winter is amazing and the Sierra are only 4hrs away, but something in my soul craves some tool scraping. Usually I will fly somewhere for a week or two but it didn't seem to come together this year. I'm Already in rock climbing mode for this season so iv hung up the tools already. Am thinking of a big move for next winter though.
My question is. If I was to pick a city to move to, with a good ice climbing scene, where would I go?
Any ideas.
Joined Jun 25, 2008
27 points
Mar 15, 2013
Colorado... That's all you need to know. Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Joined Nov 13, 2003
88 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Rrrrr
if you don't need to work near a city, CO is great, but the front range is dog piss. Buff Johnson
Joined Dec 19, 2005
1,506 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Thanks Hank Caylor!
or canada :) Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Joined Dec 12, 2010
44 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
We made our own perfect ice world with home made ice frozen on a silo, just 10 minutes from home, complete with a nice propane heated 12 by 30 warming tent with couches and cooler full of beer. It was a winter 'man-cave' for sure, right next to all the ice we could enjoy right after work each day. Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,282 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
Canmore. Alberta. 'Nuff said Kevin Craig
Joined Mar 20, 2002
448 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Bocan
Bang wrote:
or canada :)

It's almost ice climbing season there, dontcha know..
Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Joined Feb 15, 2006
1,377 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...

Or NY. Just did 4 pitches in the Catskills today!
From Stone Ridge, NY
Joined Apr 1, 2009
340 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Canmore or Bozeman IMO. Andrew Mayer
Joined Nov 14, 2010
135 points
Mar 15, 2013
lucander wrote:
Bozeman. Or NY. Just did 4 pitches in the Catskills today!

Dave - where'd you go and how were conditions?
Joined Jul 29, 2009
2,628 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: At the BRC
Maybe Burlington VT or somewhere in that area. There wasn't too much ice locally 15 years ago, but that may have changed. And Willoughby, the Dacks, Conway are all reasonable, if long day trips. I found the ice climbing in Colorado a letdown from New England when I moved from Burlington to Boulder. Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Joined Nov 29, 2007
517 points
Mar 15, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Leading Blue Collar Crack.
It's not as long of a season as Montana or Wyoming but Utah has some fantastic ice climbing. Also the seasons apparently flip like a switch which can be good. I ice climbed Monday and got sunburned in 75 degree weather rock climbing yesterday. Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Feb 9, 2012
1,577 points
Mar 15, 2013
I'm actually on a trip in Canmore right now and, having travelled in prior seasons to Bozeman/Cody, I'd say forget Canada. What's here is rad, but it's often shut down due to avalanche hazard, is very dispersed (lots of driving) and gas and food are ridiculously expensive. If I were a true ice junky, I'd live in easy striking distance of Cody and travel to Canada for vacation. Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
Joined Oct 23, 2007
1,699 points
Mar 15, 2013
Id do another vote for Utah-extremely easy access. But shorter season. But then again-on timpanogos you can find lines in november and as late as april-but not real hard technical lines and much longer approaches. And then you have access to everything else Utah has to offer-if your into other sports besides climbing. akafaultline
Joined Nov 27, 2007
115 points
Mar 16, 2013
Here's my ultimate ice farm, drain Blue Mesa Reservoir off the edge of the Black Canyon, for some sick 3000' flows, and maybe string some cross canyon routes, now that would be rad. Tzilla Rapdrilla
Joined Jan 20, 2006
1,124 points
Mar 16, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: me on my redpoint
San Juans CO.....enough said Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2007
213 points
Mar 16, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Cham '11
If Carlsberg or Cascade where in Bozeman they would be the best climbs in Bozeman. Either hardly worth a mention on a quick tour of the better climbs in Canada.

Avi, food, housing driving aside. If you want to climb ice. It is the Ghost, Canmore and the Icefield Parkway.
Joined Jun 18, 2008
591 points
Mar 16, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
Plenty to do in the Canadian Rockies even when avy danger is high. If you're on a short trip, it's easy to get shut down, but if you live there, things are climbable more than they're not.

Cody would be very close second. A metric shit-ton of awesome 1-2 pitch routes but only a relatively small number of climbs of the scale+difficulty range of things like Polar Circus, Weeping Wall, the numerous climbs on Mt. Murcheson or Mt. Wilson, Curtain Call, Sorcerer, Hydrophobia, climbs on the Stanley Headwall... only a tiny sampling and all within a max 2-3 hour driving radius of Canmore. That said, the South Fork valley (and some other valleys in the area) probably has a greater concentration (climbs per mile traveled) of ice climbs than you'll find in Canada. All depends on what you're after and where you can find work. AND all that said, it should be noted that Ames Ice Hose and Bridalveil (the one in Telluride) are definitely in my top 10 ice climbs list so SW CO does have its appeal.
Kevin Craig
Joined Mar 20, 2002
448 points
Mar 16, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Me eating a cliff bar walking back from Frankenste...
You can move anywhere? I would pick Whistler BC. There's ice a couple hours away. Great skiing, mountain biking and locals. Squamish is 45 min away. Canmore's eight hours away.

Canmore if you're just looking for ice.

Maybe it's growing up in Baltimore but.. Montana is boring!!! I did enjoy watching the Missoula news. Its like Mayberry!
Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
444 points
Mar 19, 2013
Trying to find a balance of all the fun things that a big city can offer coupled with a vibrant outdoor winter scene is pretty tough.
Canada is pretty much Mecca for ice and mixed and in my opinion dose not really compare to much else in the lower 48. Montana and Wyoming have some great climbing for sure but the mixed and winter mountaineering dose not even come close to canadian rockies.
Never looked into work visas for Canada might be worth a look.

At this point though i think western Colorado would be my No1 choice. With the N east being a very close second.
Durango for some reason stands out as a pretty cool town. Close to Ouray ,the desert and plenty of back country stuff to keep one occupied.
Joined Jun 25, 2008
27 points
Mar 19, 2013
As others have mentioned, the big question here is whether you can make it way out in the boondocks, or whether you need a bit more access to larger towns, jobs, services, etc. A lot of the best climbing is around small towns in the mountains, so if you can make it work to live in one of these places, you will be psyched. Still, there are some larger towns and even cities that offer good access as well. A few ideas, as sorted by size of town:

Small Towns:
Canmore, AB
Valdez, Alaska
Cody, Wy
Ouray/Ridgeway, CO
North Conway, NH (or various other northern NH towns)
St. Johnsbury, VT
Keene Valley / Lake Placid, NY
Estes Park, CO

Mid-size towns:
Bozeman, Mt
Bozeman, Mt
Bozeman, Mt (sense a theme here?)
Burlington, Vt (don't get Western US tunnel vision; the northeast has fantastic ice climbing)
Durango, Co
Gunnison, Co
Thunder Bay, Ontario (way remote, way cold, tons of ice)
Somewhere in Quebec?

Quebec City
Salt Lake
Denver/Boulder (note that these fall at the bottom of the list...fairly mediocre for ice)

Or move to Grenoble, France...
From Seattle, WA
Joined Jun 9, 2008
65 points
Mar 20, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers ...
Yeah - NY is still pretty iced up still! A whopping 19 degrees here this AM! :) NYClimber
From New York
Joined Jul 17, 2011
180 points
Mar 20, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunny day on Lost Marsupial, The Throne.
Anchorage, Alaska. I lived there 7 years and didn't scratch the surface of all the climbs in the area. Huge, multipitch climbs you can drive to and hike in within 15 minutes or multi- day backcountry expeditions. Fly into the Alaska range for an experience like no where else - around $450.00 to land you and your gear on a glacier and pick you up two weeks later, or however long you want to put yourself out there. Check out Talkeetna Air Taxi. Big outdoor community. Check out and the mountaineering club of Alaska. Can't say it enough, I LOVE Alaska. Dave Lynch
From Waseca, MN
Joined Nov 17, 2009
520 points
Mar 26, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb alone. Except with Wilson on my helmet!
Thunder Bay, Ontario (way remote, way cold, tons of ice)

Looooong ice season in Orient Bay (cold).

There is no avy danger, just frostbite danger. Brittle ice at -10 F. Picks better be sharp. Short approaches (can be 10 min).

Nipigon Ice fest (1st weekend in March)less than an hour North of Thunder Bay. Will Gadd was there this March. The ice was fat... way phat.

I Love it.
From Mpls, MN & Sao Paulo, Brazil
Joined Jun 10, 2006
50 points
Mar 26, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Free Solo up hitchcock gully WI3
if you move to anywhere in new england youre only 2-3 hours from all the ice in NY and NH and VT. superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Joined Aug 23, 2011
31 points
Mar 30, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Jose Cuervo Fruitcups dirtbag style
JCM wrote:
Or move to Grenoble, France...

Or Kinlochleven, Scotland - that ice gym from the Petzl Ben Nevis trip video is sick!
Joined Sep 26, 2008
412 points

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