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Best place to live in, for the all-around climber? (rock/ice/mountain)
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Jun 4, 2013
Lake Tahoe. kovarpa Kovar
Joined Nov 18, 2007
3 points
Jun 4, 2013
PatrickV wrote:
No one ever mentions Estes Park, is that because it is too obvious a choice?

Estes is def amazing, favorite town in CO maybe
Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Joined Jul 3, 2007
90 points
Jun 4, 2013
I'm from the Bay Area. If your time off is weekends, be prepared to spend many, many hours sitting in traffic to get to anything outdoors that is worthwhile.

If she's super psyched on the ocean, look at San Luis Obispo. It is a much smaller urban area, but has comparable local climbing to the Bay, and similar driving times to Yosemite (but not the traffic).

If you can convince her to leave the ocean, the Front Range of Colorado really has decent access to "ice/rock/mountaineering year round" and a real job market (that def has tech jobs and jobs for bilingual teachers).
Joined Nov 28, 2007
35 points
Jun 4, 2013
I am a full time climber and split my seasons between St. George, UT (Red Rock-Zion) and Canmore, Alberta (Canadian Rockies). To satisfy my rock and ice climbing needs I find the need to live in both locations. If I was forced to live in the lower 48 exclusively, I would chose Ridgeway, CO. Not the ice or rock routes I am accustom to, but one of the few areas that can offer fairly serious trad routes (Black Canyon) along with multi-pitch backcountry ice routes in such a short distance. The Black is what I am referencing for rock, but Ridgeway, vs Montrose, puts you closer to Silverton's ice and Moab's towers/IC. Had a friend who moved from Albuquerque to Montrose. She is a Doc and took a huge pay cut to do it, but enjoys these activities and does not seem to regret it. Affordability in Montrose is a plus, Ridgeway less so prob. I have climbed in Calif quite a bit but never really enjoyed it much outside of pulling off 15+ pitches a day in Jtree. Lots of folks pissing on each other, on the roads, in towns and in the backcountry. Good Luck. Dow Williams
From St. George, Utah; Canmore, AB
Joined Mar 13, 2006
75 points
Jun 4, 2013
It's Ridgway, not Ridgeway. And it would be a pretty good choice. s.price
From PS,CO
Joined Dec 1, 2010
1,018 points
Jul 12, 2013
Looks like housing in the Bay Area is just too ridiculous so, being near the beach is becoming less of a priority. Having dogs too large for a small apartment would put us at, easily, a $3000/month for rent. :-O SO... Denver/Boulder is looking more and more promising (also pretty good job market there for software engineering).

Now I should ask... any reason why you would NOT like to move to Boulder/Denver and surroundings? Looks like reasonable housing, dog-friendly, near rock and ice climbing (and snow sports), and pretty cool overall.
From Denver, CO
Joined Sep 27, 2010
5 points
Jul 12, 2013
Colorado....without a doubt....whether that means GJ, Ouray, Denver, or Boulder.

For alpine rock, alpine ice, more ice, more rock, choss, more rock, more mountaineering, hiking....Only thing CO doesn't have is a proper glacier.
From Vail, CO
Joined Jul 15, 2010
760 points
Jul 12, 2013
Don't go to the Bay Area. Just...don't. Ian Stewart
Joined May 17, 2010
0 points
Jul 12, 2013
Salt Lake City. I love being 15 min away (less to the mouth of BCC and LCC) from thousands of routes. Plus you have lots of sport in AF and RC. Maple and City less that 3 hrs. Tetons and Zion 4hrs away. Wind is like 4.5. 6 hrs away from Ouray. Moab is 3 hrs away. 7 National Parks I think. And you have canyoneering, Escalante, Red Rocks is 6 hrs away.
Ice climbing is awesome too. There is some alpine climbing too. Not as good as CO. LCC has all the granite you need for a daily basis. Save Yosemite for the big trips. Zion has some of the biggest sandstone walls this side of the hemisphere.

The climbing sucks in SF. I lived there a short time you have to drive get anywhere. The ice is non-existant.

The people are great in UT.

I havent lived in Boulder but that would probably be a second choice I suppose.
Josh Allred
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Mar 10, 2011
60 points
Jul 12, 2013
Cory wrote:
If you want reasons to avoid the Bay Area they are listed right here. Super classic stuff, but that's a lot of driving! Also remember that those drive times don't apply to Friday afternoon traffic.

Those drive times don't apply to any weekday afternoon traffic. I did it all through college, but after having recently reexperienced the pain (on Wed and Thu afternoons/evenings mind you), I can't imagine doing it again.

If ocean is a must have: Having also lived in SoCal, living somewhere like Pasadena gives you faster, year-round access to the E Sierra. 210 weekday afternoon traffic E sucks (Red Rocks, Tahquitz, J-tree), but there are ways to skirt most of the traffic to get to places like Bishop.
From leeds, ut
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,086 points
Jul 12, 2013
Ignacio wrote:
Now I should ask... any reason why you would NOT like to move to Boulder/Denver and surroundings?

Boulder's not cheap rent-wise (maybe cheap compared to SOMA) and tech salaries will be less than the Bay (20% at least). Rent runs less in surrounding areas. For me the biggest downside is the clockwork afternoon t-storms esp for alpine (hence why I ditch the Front Range for the Sierra every summer).
From leeds, ut
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,086 points
Jul 12, 2013
CT. More trad than Seneca, more trad than the gunks! ;) Eric Chabot
From Salt Lake City, UT
Joined Jul 16, 2011
20 points
Jul 13, 2013
i'd think mammoth/bishop would be the best location. probably not the best ice (i'm sure the local ice climbers would debate that) but really good in the other 2, esp. the year round requirement splitclimber
Joined Jan 22, 2007
5 points
Jul 13, 2013
Cory wrote:
With 3 day weekends I guess it's not so bad, but for Mon-Fri working fools like me that would force the classic puzzle: Choose two of the following, family, career, or your life passion (climbing).

Ha, this reminded me of being a college student-athlete and of my climbing past. The answer, of course, is to combine your romance/family with your life passion! (good thing those men's and women's track teams traveled together! and the bay area climbing scene is how I met my wife.)
Worster than you
From Lafayette, CA
Joined Mar 20, 2013
15 points
Jul 13, 2013
I think the Bay Area kind of sucks for climbing.

Good rock?: 2 hr drive minimum.
Good mountaineering?: 6 hrs.
Ice? Forget about it.

IMO, a worthwhile place for a climber to live is somewhere where you can get off work and go to a crag to get a few routes in before its dark.
From Livermore, CA
Joined Jul 10, 2007
25 points
Jul 13, 2013
Best places I've lived for climbing:

Bozeman, MT - numerous different mountain ranges within 45min from downtown. I don't ice climb, but I hear there's good ice and mountaineering. Excellent mountain town for non-climbers too, tons of mtb and hiking trails, wildlife, alpine meadows, wild flowers, I could go on and on. A beautiful place to live and work. Bozeman was voted #2 dog town in all of the USA!

VT - has some small crags that can satisfy a quick climbing craving. Rumney is 2 hrs away, the ADKs are 2 hrs and the gunks are 4 hours. Close to Boston and the coast, generally relaxed people, colored leaves in the fall, maple syrup in the spring.

Good luck!
From Burlington, VT
Joined Apr 12, 2013
60 points
Jul 13, 2013
+1 for SLC. Climbing, Skiing, MTN Biking, Hang-gliding is a big thing (who knew?) an incredible amount of variety. Alpine, West Desert, Colorado Plateau, Uinta Mountains, Wasatch Mountains, and still only 10 hours to LA via Las Vegas (which is pretty sweet.) and although none are particularly close, you are triangulated between the High Rockies, the Eastern Sierra, and the bugaboos, while the Tetons are not too far for a short vacation. Jon Marek
From Sioux Falls, SD
Joined Sep 30, 2009
2,460 points
Jul 14, 2013
Your wife would like the Bay area trust me. San Jose and Santa Clara are not that bad. What do you need? Acres of land and bathrooms to clean or a paradise and memories in a shack? Downsize and get a studio. You both will enjoy the experience.
You do have to drive about 4 hrs to Yosemite to climb but it's worth it. Gyms are great. Beaches are outstanding. Just sooo much to do! You both should just rethink how to live cheap and get part time jobs and do it. There is a lot of need for nursing assistants at the hospitals here if you guys are willing to get your certs and go that way. You only work 3 days a week and there is always a demand for that.
Ellenore Zimmerman
Joined May 25, 2013
0 points
Jul 15, 2013
Salt Lake City.

I've never understood why folks have always considered driving time in terms of HOURS when the Salt Lake valley has climbing that's MINUTES away. I figure if your goal is to climb, and not to drive, then having mountains in your back yard should be a major consideration.

With that, the problem with Denver (though not Boulder) is that it's not really in the mountains. It's more adjacent to the mountains. But make no mistake, Denver is on the plains (albeit on the edge of the plains), and you're going to be wasting hours of your life in a car waiting to get to the crag.
John Herreshoff
From Ann Arbor, MI
Joined Jun 10, 2011
0 points
Jul 15, 2013
Van with trustfund for gas. chuffnugget
From Bolder, CO
Joined Sep 14, 2011
0 points
Jul 15, 2013
devkrev wrote:
New Hampshire? ....I'll let myself out.

Morgan Patterson
Joined Oct 13, 2009
8,157 points
Jul 15, 2013
The problem with the bay area is traffic & distance. But if the wive isn't a climber the bay area has tons of thing to see & do.

The problem with SLC is
1 smog - pollution.
2 Utah & nuts(people)
mark frumkin
Joined Feb 16, 2013
0 points
Jul 15, 2013
The answer is there is no one best place. No matter where you go there's going to be some down side. Mountain towns are great but pricey and jobs can be harder to come by. Big cities have the jobs but force you to drive more.

For the OP you'll need to compromise with the wife and live within a 3 hour drive of the coast. There should be plenty of options, in CA, OR, WA or the whole east coast, that will get you to within 3-4 hours of lots of stuff well over 25 feet high.
Tim McCabe
Joined Oct 15, 2006
110 points
Jul 16, 2013
Really, you are going to get most replies from people that post here. Areas that aren't represented well wont tell you about there areas.

That said, I think there are some great options that the non-SLC and Boulder crowd miss because they are stuck on their mindset.

1. Reno/Carson city. A lot of everything. Amazing stuff in ~30 minutes, just like SLC and Boulder.

2. Missoula and Boseman

3. Should I even start listing the East Coast stuff that totally gets neglected but has incredible climbing? I'll pass on that for now, but there are tons of great spots in TN, NC, NY and NH.
Pete Spri
Joined Jun 1, 2009
115 points
Jul 16, 2013
Ignacio - too bad most folks haven't caught on and read your recent post from a few days ago. Sounds like you are targeting Colorado and likely the Denver Boulder area.

You won't be disappointed with the rock climbing, tons to choose from. Great alpine rock. Good skiing obviously. Ice climbing options are in the area, but front range accessible ice climbing (Vail, RMNP, to name a couple) has really gotten crowded lately. Good options can be Ouray on a non-holiday / ice fest weekend or Cody, both about 6 to 7 hours away from Denver.

As far as where to live, west Denver (Lakewood, Arvada) can be good and is closer to the hills. Golden is nice. Boulder could be desirable but you have the Boulder home prices and there is an elitist attitude present in some. Although a great outdoorsy activity city is Boulder, perhaps the Boulder downsides could be tolerated?.

I moved to the Denver area for the similar reasons 20 some odd years ago and haven't looked back!

Climb Ohn. Wally
From Denver
Joined Apr 12, 2006
0 points

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