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An ice climbers perfect world
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By paddyrock
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.
Cheers.

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By Just Solo
From Colorado Springs
Mar 15, 2013
Colorado... That's all you need to know.

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By Buff Johnson
Mar 15, 2013
smiley face
if you don't need to work near a city, CO is great, but the front range is dog piss.

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By Bang
From Charlottesville, VA
Mar 15, 2013
Thanks Hank Caylor!
or canada :)

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By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 15, 2013
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.

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By Kevin Craig
Mar 15, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd
Canmore. Alberta. 'Nuff said

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Mar 15, 2013
Bocan
Bang wrote:
or canada :)


It's almost ice climbing season there, dontcha know..

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By lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Mar 15, 2013
Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
Bozeman.

Or NY. Just did 4 pitches in the Catskills today!

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By Andrew Mayer
Mar 15, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp
Canmore or Bozeman IMO.

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By Gunkiemike
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?

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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Mar 15, 2013
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.

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By Garret Nuzzo-Jones
From Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 15, 2013
Cleaning up in Jenny Lake.
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.

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By Max Tepfer
From Bend, OR
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.

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By akafaultline
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.

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By Tzilla Rapdrilla
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.

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By Dave Cummings
From Grand Junction, CO
Mar 16, 2013
me on my redpoint
San Juans CO.....enough said

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By Dane
Mar 16, 2013
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.

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By Kevin Craig
Mar 16, 2013
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.

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By Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Mar 16, 2013
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!

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By paddyrock
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.

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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
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?

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

Or move to Grenoble, France...

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By NYClimber
From New York
Mar 20, 2013
Awesome slab climb right out of the water! Rogers ...
Yeah - NY is still pretty iced up still! A whopping 19 degrees here this AM! :)

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By Dave Lynch
From Waseca, MN
Mar 20, 2013
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 alaskaiceclimbing.com and the mountaineering club of Alaska. Can't say it enough, I LOVE Alaska.

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By cdurf
From Mpls, MN & Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mar 26, 2013
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.

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By superkick
From West Hartford, CT
Mar 26, 2013
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.

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By doligo
Mar 30, 2013
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!

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