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By Amanda Chapin
May 19, 2009
my dog.
Ahhhh! I need out of Albuquerque.
Lookin to move somewhere in Arizona sometime soon.
I'm lookin' for:

1) Nice roads for bicycling (as i have no car and i have no plans to own a car anytime soon)

2) A bunch of restaurant options - for potential work

3) Climbing/Bouldering within bicycling distance

4) Lots of enthusiastic climbers with lots of free time

5) Fairly low rent or houseshare opportunities

6) Libraries

7) Some public transport

8) Independent coffee shops

9) Progressive minded peeps

Where should I go?
Thanks for any input.

FLAG
By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
May 19, 2009
You might like Tempe AZ: lots of climbers since it is a college town; light rail right in town; coffee shops cuz its a college town; progressive folks; relatively cheap housing; plenty of eating establishments; centrally located in the metro area, too. Tempe also has plenty of bike lanes. There is good roadie riding here, too. Look me up for biking, too.

I've lived here 21 years and love it! Trad or sport climbing within an hour of town; long or short approaches; climbs from sport to 1000' backcountry fun stuff; great hiking; canyoneering if you like; kayaking at the right time of year; lots of primo mountain biking; most people are friendly; close to CA, NM, CO, NV, UT, Mexico!

If you know where to go it is easy to get away from folks if you wish.

Send me a PM if you want some more info. You will find we AZ climbers welcoming, and fun. Welcome to Arizona...its a dry heat (a local's joke...it is way hot, but a dry heat.)

FLAG
By mattso
May 19, 2009
If you typed all your requests into google it would come back and read Flagstaff. Hands down. Cheers

FLAG
By Pete Hickman
From Tacoma, WA
May 19, 2009
the crocoduck
Probably better check out Flagstaff and Tuscon before you make a final decision. Phoenix (Tempe) does have plenty of local climbing though, and the light rail!

FLAG
By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
May 19, 2009
Coup
Tucsonans are progressive with a capital P and they also drive really well.

FLAG
By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
May 19, 2009
Toofast
Amanda Marie wrote:
Ahhhh! I need out of Albuquerque. Lookin to move somewhere in Arizona sometime soon. I'm lookin' for: 1) Nice roads for bicycling (as i have no car and i have no plans to own a car anytime soon) 2) A bunch of restaurant options - for potential work 3) Climbing/Bouldering within bicycling distance 4) Lots of enthusiastic climbers with lots of free time 5) Fairly low rent or houseshare opportunities 6) Libraries 7) Some public transport 8) Independent coffee shops 9) Progressive minded peeps Where should I go? Thanks for any input.


Can't speak to the coffee shops, but barring this I'd suggest Tucson.

From a climbing standpoint, Tucson has a huge amount to offer: comfortable climbing year 'round, sport, trad, cragging, multipitch, etc.

FLAG
By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
May 19, 2009
She needs a job...good luck with that in Flagstaff. Not easy to make a living up there. Tucson could work, however. Being from Phoenix, I'm biased, of course. Phoenix is more centrally located for climbing both north and south in the state, however.

FLAG
By Pete Hickman
From Tacoma, WA
May 19, 2009
the crocoduck
Mt Lemmon is awesome and I haven't even been to Cochise yet but isn't Tuscon kind of far away from everything else? It seems like an 8 hour drive to Red Rocks is a lot different than a 5 or 3 hour drive.

Or am I the only one who evaluates a location solely on its proximity to red rocks?

FLAG
 
By 1Eric Rhicard
May 19, 2009
It is a good sized roof. Photo: Jimbo
28 years in Tucson and we are 3-7 degrees cooler than Phoenix. Tons of independent restaurants, coffee shops and book stores and bike shops. Bike lanes and routes galore, U of Arizona and all the stuff that brings to a town. Bouldering isn't great but there is more and more every year and the stuff that is here is will keep you busy for a while. Mt. Lemmon, at the top of the Catalina Mountains, 9100 feet at the top. Nice and cool relatively speaking in the summer. Close to 2000 routes on the mountain alone. Starting at the bottom and working your way up you will find tons of trad and sport climbing year around. Then there is the Stronghold 1-2 hours depending on where you go. Mendoza Canyon. La Milagrosa which is at the bottom of Mt. Lemmon. The back side of the Catalinas, The Homestead, limestone 1.5 hours, The Mustang is a little over and hour away. The Dry has steep limestone and is about an hour and a half away. Tons of climbers that meet at a coffee shop on almost any weekend day. Man I should get a job with the chamber of commerce!

FLAG
By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
May 19, 2009
Eric is correct about the Tucson scene. You should consider Tucson also. Wonderful climbing down there. And you could ride that road bike up the Catalina Highway for a great leg and lung pump. Tucson-Phoenix, Phoenix-Tucson? I'm being bi-polar. Check them both out. In my opinion, Mt Lemmon is probably the premier mountain for rock climbing in AZ. As Eric stated, Lemmon has it all and you can crag there year round depending on how low or high you go in elevation.

FLAG
By mattso
May 19, 2009
Tradster wrote:
She needs a job...good luck with that in Flagstaff. Not easy to make a living up there. Tucson could work, however. Being from Phoenix, I'm biased, of course. Phoenix is more centrally located for climbing both north and south in the state, however.

All the college kids are gone, so that leaves a lot of affordable rooms to rent. Plenty of restaurant options to find employment at right now.

FLAG
By dcohn
May 19, 2009
Christian wrote:
Tucsonans are progressive with a capital P and they also drive really well.


Good one. Another vote for Flag.

FLAG
By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
May 19, 2009
Coup
Tucson: Main advantage is year-round climbing (it's not so much the 3-7 degrees but the fact that near the summit of Mt Lemmon, it can easily be 30 degrees cooler than in the city). Job market not as good as Phoenix but definitely better than Flagstaff. A bike and climbing don't mix here (or in any of these cities) but finding rides wouldn't be a problem, there's strong camaraderie in the Tucson climbing community and everybody knows everybody. No awesome splitters like near Flag. Maybe the cheapest cost of living?

Phoenix: Best job market and closer to splitters of Flag, but in the (6-month) summer you might get a couple of hours in the early morning before it gets really hot. You'd have to road-trip somewhere, you're not gonna get a casual last-minute afternoon climbing session at Prison Camp like you could in Tucson. More big city issues like traffic.

Flag: Probably the best climbing overall but may be too cold in winter. Less jobs and apparently not as cheap as it used to be with the influx of deep-pocketed new residents "discovering" it. Probably the most "progressive" youth scene, if I even understand what you mean by that.

FLAG
By John Maguire
From Boulder, CO
May 19, 2009
Bastille Crack Final Pitch
Move to Boulder, CO.

I have fallen in love with this town and it meets all of your needs.

FLAG
By ElyseSokoloff
From Spokane, WA
May 19, 2009
Flagstaff has a lot of what you are looking for, other things are debatable. The job market here is pretty skeery; there are restaurants but lots of bodies wanting to work there. The climbing scene is wonderful...so many people climb and are willing to meet new people/partners. You can absolutely climb in the winter here but there are time when you'll be shut down. Our library system is a joke (IMHO) but I still find things to read there.
I"m not sure about rent...it's cheap to me but I moved here from San Diego so take that for what it's worth.
There's a few local coffee houses plus the requisite Starbucks (but it was 4 months before I even knew where they were!).
Again, the climbing scene is phenom. If you're a 5.12-5.13 climber you may get bored soon but if not, you've got a lot of rock to play on!

There is a large trail system here as well that can keep you off main roads for quite aways. The bus system (I've heard) is good or at least decent. Better than what I remember Albuquerque's being for sure.
Overall, Flagstaff is a great place to live for a climber.

FLAG
By Pete Hickman
From Tacoma, WA
May 19, 2009
the crocoduck
Plus, Flag gets snow.

FLAG
 
By Boodge Nomchompski
May 19, 2009
Ancient wall art
FUNGUY wrote:
Phoenix and Tucson blow!!! 3) Climbing/Bouldering within bicycling distance That does not fit Phoenix or Tucson. What does 3-7 degrees different really matter when it is over 100 and for 6 months a year or more.


What?? You obviously don't cycle or climb in Tucson. On Catalina Highway, from bottom to top, on almost every single weekend of the year, you will see hundreds of cyclists...seems to me that makes everything on Mt Lemmon within cycling distance.

FLAG
By Luke W.
From Prescott
May 20, 2009
Avi
I cant see why Phoenix is even being considered. People dont move here on puropose.

FLAG
By David Arthur Sampson
May 20, 2009
Slap/Tickle
Luke Wakefield wrote:
I cant see why Phoenix is even being considered. People dont move here on puropose.


ummmmm. So you say. Different strokes for different folks. I love Tempe. I moved here to work at ASU (on purpose).

Tempe has good food (Trick's, others), great beer (and nice bars- Boulders on Broadway, Four Peaks, Casey Moore's), nice folks (I have many good friends here now), the light rail (I use it daily), some biking lanes, free bus service (Orbit), independent coffee shops (I stay away from Starbucks), progressive individuals, good libraries, and a range in grocery alternatives (Trader Joe's, Sunflower, Whole Foods- also Fresh Market). And, it is centrally located:

From here one can go:
1) North to Isolation canyon (1 hr 50 min), Jacks (2 hrs 45 min), Clear Creek, Sedona (~ 2 hrs), the Overlook and Waterfall (2.5 hrs), The Forks (~ 3 hrs), King Dome (~ 2 hrs)

2) West to Cali for J-tree (~4 to 4 hrs 30 min) and Tahquitz (~5.5 hrs),

3) South and East to Cochise (3 hrs), and Mt Lemmon (also about 3 hrs)

4) Northwest to Red Rock (5.5 hrs),

5) East to Queen Creek (1 hr- 1.5 hrs to Lower Devils), Tamo, and the Homestead.

One could, technically, ride a bike to South Mountain to boulder (in winter).

Rock opportunities include: 1) Limestone, 2) Sandstone, 3) Rhyolite, 4) Quartzite, 5) Granite, 6) Basalt (have I missed any?).

Thus, the Valley in general offers a variety of rock in relatively close proximity for year-round climbing.

Tucson is nice, of course, but there is no freeway system (takes forever to get anywhere). As Christian mentioned, the folks do drive nice (nice like my Grandma used to drive!). Lemmon and Cochise are close, and they offer great year-round climbing, but everywhere else becomes 2 hrs more of driving.

Flag is nice, but cold (and far from Cochise and Mt. Lemmon).

my vote: Tempe.

FLAG
By Eric D
From Gnarnia
May 20, 2009
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, h...
Your debate should really be between Tucson and Flagstaff in my opinion. Here are the winners of your requirements:

1) probably tied - Tucson has been nationally recognized as bike friendly, but Flag is smaller as a city
2) Tucson wins
3) Probably neither but Flag has a crag closer to town. Though you can't beat Tucson for the variety of climbing around - tons of sport, trad, adventure, short stuff, multipitch; though not much bouldering. We have a lifetimes worth of climbing here.
4) Don't know about Flag, but Tucson has a GREAT climbing scene. Groups are going up Mt. Lemmon every weekend day; we socialize together; this weekend we'll have a group of about 15 up at Paradise Forks climbing/hanging out
5) definitely Tucson
6) can't tell you who wins that one
7) Tucson's is okay
8) can't tell you
9) both places have pretty liberal scenes though Flag is usually considered the hippie capital of AZ

FLAG
By Joe Kreidel
From Tucson, AZ
May 20, 2009
I moved to Tucson last summer, and so far completely love the city and the climbing. And yeah, you COULD ride to a few of the closer crags, but it would be a lot easier to make some friends who could meet you somewhere along the way. The desert is amazing, great local coffee shops, tons of live music, riding around town is a breeze, and there are lifetimes worth of year-round climbing here.

Flag is pretty sweet, too, though...

FLAG
By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
May 20, 2009
I think you shoud move to Flag in the summer, head to Phx in the winter, go to Tucson in the spring. Everybody happy?

FLAG
By Marcy
From Tempe/Tuscon, AZ
May 20, 2009
the tornado
Pete Hickman wrote:
Or am I the only one who evaluates a location solely on its proximity to red rocks?


Ummm, no :)

Seriously though, I agree that Tempe is centrally located to all the places mentioned above by David. There's also Prescott (Granite Mountain, the Dells, Promised Land) ~ 2 hours north and the McDowell Mountains in NE Phoenix ~30-40 minutes.

Perhaps living in Flag you one wouldn't get to Cochise or Lemmon as often or to Red Rock if living in Tucson. Can't say for sure, as I've never lived in either location.


I've been in Tempe for 11 years and love it (also came here on purpose).

FLAG
By Bill Bones
May 20, 2009
Flag is your best option. I just moved from there. The climbing is not that close but the town is just as you are looking for. Plus there is a gym in Flag. You could meet many climbers that do have a car. The job market is a little more slim but the college is just about out for the summer and there will be many jobs. It does snow in the winter which offers winter fun but its not like your normal winter town. Its still Arizona. I got out a fair amount of days bouldering every month, plus Sedona is close for winter trad climbing. The best part is that it stays around 85 in the summer. The rest of Arizona is bloody hot. To hot to go outside in the summer.

FLAG
 
By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
May 20, 2009
Luke Wakefield wrote:
I cant see why Phoenix is even being considered. People dont move here on puropose.


Yes, I came here on purpose. I left Houston in 1987 and have been happy living in Phoenix. David, we know each other. You are right about Tempe and all you stated. I live in north central Phoenix, not Tempe, but Tempe does offer plenty of what the OP is looking for. Big city yes, but if you don't have a car, now it is easier to get around with light rail. And, though I don't drink coffee (tea for me, please), Starbucks sucks...support the little guy! Plus we have excellent biking opportunities here for roadies and fat tire fans alike.

FLAG
By Jon Ruland
From Tucson, AZ
May 20, 2009
sending Hard Day at the Orifice
hahaha nice! it's an epic battle of the cities in arizona! this is freakin AWESOME!!1 i wanna join the rumble!

tucson rocks, yall outside tucson suck. in fact, if there was a sucking contest you all would receive the Hoover Award. tucson would like, come in last in the sucking contest and own the rocking contest.

here's a pic i found that accurately represents tucson in a fist fight with phoenix (phoenix is the big, ugly, unwieldy thing on the left, and tucson is the small, elegant, graceful thing on the right):


FLAG


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