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Austin, tx --> Durango, Co?
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Mar 26, 2012
Hey MP,

I'm considering moving from Austin, TX where I picked up sport climbing and moving to Durango, CO with a buddy who's already making the move in July. Is there good local sport climbing 10 - 20 minutes from the city? I work online and work till about 4pm Mon - Friday and would like to be able to sport climb daily during the week, as I've been able to do locally here all year. Any feedback on the city of Durango as a whole would be appreciated as well.

(If there are other cities in the area anyone can think of that would fit my sport climbing desire's and have a better city life [food / culture] please let me know.)

Thanks for your help MP!
Joined Dec 5, 2011
10 points
Mar 29, 2012
Check out the Durango area section on the routes page. Plenty to climb in Durango.
From CO / NM
Joined Jan 10, 2011
562 points
Mar 29, 2012
pretty good sport. not so good trad. close to town. indian creek is fairly close as well. S Denny
From Aspen, CO
Joined Sep 25, 2008
15 points
Mar 29, 2012
For sport climbing you have Golf Wall 20 min. up Hwy. 550(limestone), Cascade Canyon (limestone) 30 min up hwy. 550, Lemon Res. (granite) 35 min. from town, and Falls Creek 5 min. from town (sandstone). Durango has great trad/ sport climbing up at East Animas 5 min. from town and S Denny is right about the Creek only being 2 hours. We also have a high concentration of boulders within 5 min of town.

As far a city life goes Durango is the largest town in SW Colorado. Don't expect a night scene like Austin has. Durango is still a pretty small town. If you want to live somewhere that playing is of the highest priority the Durango is your town!
From Durango, CO
Joined Nov 19, 2007
765 points
Mar 29, 2012
Sounds like a great town! And with a good amount of Sport Climbing. Yes, playing is certainly top priority, not looking for any night life what-so-ever really....other than hanging with friends obviously.

I'll be picking up a copy of Durango Sandstone, unless there is another guidebook that is suggested.

I also saw there's a farmers market there, which is one of my favorite features of any town I'm in!
Joined Dec 5, 2011
10 points
Mar 29, 2012
Definitely make the move - you won't regret it. I lived in Texas for 23 years of my life and finally got out and moved to Colorado. I don't miss Texas one bit. Robert Buswold
From Longmont, CO
Joined Jul 5, 2010
109 points
Mar 29, 2012
Having sport climbed a bit in Austin on the Barton Springs trail, I'd say that Durango offers maybe slightly lower quality climbing, more diversity, and more adventure than Austin's crags in the "less than .5 hour" range. If you count the climbing in Durango on the "less than 2.5 hour drive" and "less than 5 hour drive" orbitals, Durango is infinitely better than Austin. While as a city Durango doesn't have the same buzz as Austin (nor the other major cities in CO or other locales near great sport climbing), it has a pretty active yet low-stress community. I'd characterize the community here as a nice mix of an old west, agricultural history with a strong representation of serious outdoor enthusiasts. Most folks have professional careers, too, and there's enough tourism to keep the economy relatively healthy. It's a darn good place. Christopher Barlow
Joined Dec 29, 2006
480 points
Mar 29, 2012
Oh yeah, I meant to mention that I moved here pretty much only into sport and trad climbing with little interest in bouldering. While I still do plenty of roped climbing, I've gotten way more into bouldering as it is just so good and so extensive. I'd say - hesitantly - that the bouldering is the highest quality climbing in Durango. Christopher Barlow
Joined Dec 29, 2006
480 points
Mar 29, 2012
Bryant, I see your profile picture is you pulling through the roof at Seismic wall on... Lonesome Dove?

I grew up in Austin, picked up sport climbing late in high school in the Bee Cave (reimers) area, and then started losing skin on the backs of my hands out at Enchanted Rock shortly after.

I made the move from ATX to Durango for college at Fort Lewis and I have no regrets.

I'll echo everything Ian has said in my own recommendation. Golf Wall is a year round crag with rifle-esque limestone including powerful moves through steep terrain (think Great wall with fewer crowds, less polish, and less sweating in the summertime).

There's nowhere within... boulder? (6 hours) with better city life, cragging, weather, and other recreational opportunities.

From Town:
Golf Wall (~30 sport routes): -20 minute drive -5 minute approach -YEAR ROUND season
Rock Climbing Photo: Fall at the Golf Wall.
Fall at the Golf Wall.

East A (~20 sport routes, some -STELLAR- 2 pitchers): -10 minute drive -10 minute (hoofin' it) approach -YEAR ROUND
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset on the best -in town- sport climbing face, ...
Sunset on the best -in town- sport climbing face, the Watch Crystal.

Lemon (30 routes, some sport, some mixed): 30 minute drive, 10 minute approach -late spring through late fall
Rock Climbing Photo: Lemon: high country granite clip ups and mixed rou...
Lemon: high country granite clip ups and mixed routes that are hard to beat.

Cascade Canyon (~30 routes, sport): 30 minute drive, 10 minute approach -lat(er) spring through earl(ier) fall
Rock Climbing Photo: Cascade: Gorgeous setting, fun routes, good summer...
Cascade: Gorgeous setting, fun routes, good summer swimming, better winter ice and mixed climbing.

Rest day activities:
-Backpacking, peak bagging, alpine climbing in CO's largest wilderness area
-Whitewater kayaking through downtown
-World class mountain biking (kicks the greenbelt's a**)
-All the local breweries
-Moab is not far (3hrs)
-Ouray/ Telluride (Ice climbng/ skiing) Less than 2 hours

-Swimming in Barton Springs after cragging (swimming and Colorado don't like each other)
-The top rope gang bang sessions at new wall/ prototype wall
-The community is not tightly nit
-There is no "governing body" for climbing ethics here (no CTCC)
-New route development is not too prevalent
-It's not appropriate to show up at a crag alone and expect to find partners there
-We have winter. (lows occasionally around -20 degrees F). Skiing?... There will most certainly be days you simply -cannot- climb (rock)
-No cheap airfare (no Southwest Airlines out of Durango Regional)
-No tufas
-The guidebook is no John Hogge masterpiece... :)

I hope any of this helped! If you -really- want to enjoy yourself out here, plan on getting into trad climbing in addition to the sport scene. You'll tire of running laps up at golf and on the watch crystal quickly, and the siren song of desert towers and endless splitters will be hard to resist (unless your online business is hand modeling)
Dylan Weldin
From Athens, OH
Joined Dec 5, 2010
1,504 points
Mar 30, 2012

You've got some good eyes! That is indeed Lonesome Dove top out. Thank you thank you for the advice, comparison, and pictures! This is exactly what I was looking for. Great to hear from someone who's experienced both of these wonderful places. Durango sounds like an incredible fit for me.

And nope, I'm no hand model! I just do operations management for a random retail website. Dylan I'll prob private message you, gotta tell you some stuff about Great Wall / New Wall - it's currently closed :(

/ Bryant A.
Joined Dec 5, 2011
10 points
Mar 30, 2012

Yep - the travel and variety of possible weekend / long weekend trips is a big plus for moving there. Everything in Austin seems to be >8 hours. While I'm not into bouldering I'm sure it'll be a great alternative to sport / trad when I don't have the time or a partner in the area.

Great stuff thanks!
Joined Dec 5, 2011
10 points
Mar 30, 2012
Dylan mentioned a lot of important features about Durango, including that the community is not that tight here. There are plenty of great folks who climb, but there isn't the cohesion that other areas seem to have. It's not that hard to find partners, but it is also very common to meet folks who are serious climbers and been here for years whom you've never met. Kind of funny.

One thing Dylan is not quite right about is new development. There's plenty on stuff getting found and developed around here - maybe some of the best climbing is being developed now. The problem is that much of the new stuff has sketchy access. Beyond that, due to the spread out community, info doesn't get distributed very well. Most developers aren't posting stuff on MP, so it mostly stays under the radar. Again, once you're in town, it wouldn't be hard to meet folks to check out new cliffs.
Christopher Barlow
Joined Dec 29, 2006
480 points
Apr 6, 2012
Thanks for the heads up Chris. Quite a different community it sounds like compared to my local crag, we often share ropes (and dirty stories) with total strangers that are clearly competent climbers, just ones I haven't yet met. In time I'm sure I'll find some climbing partners in Durango. bryant
Joined Dec 5, 2011
10 points
Apr 7, 2012
Hey Bryant,
I just moved to Durango and am psyched to get out on some of the routes. i am up for trad, sport and bouldering. Give me a call if you want to head out some time.

Chas Robles
From Burque, NM
Joined Dec 20, 2011
40 points

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