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Best climbing towns?
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By Geir
From Tucson, AZ
Feb 2, 2010
Toofast

Eric D wrote:
Tucson is one of the most underrated climbing towns in the U.S. I would feel confident saying that we have more perfect climbing days than any other U.S. city. When it gets hot in summer, go high on Mt. Lemmon to the cool temps. Great sport climbing in winter (the dry), great sport in summer (the orifice), great adventure climbing in winter (Cochise/Mendoza), great adventure climbing in summer (the Reef). Not to mention the 100s of other good locations around Tucson. Cost of living is super cheap. And the climbing community is really excellent.


+1

I moved to Tucson 7 years ago so I could climb year-round. It is truly spectacular. Trad, Sport, Multipitch, Singlepitch, Roadside, Adventure - Tucson has it all. And you can truly climb comfortably year-round.

My only complaint is that I don't get things around the house done because I'm always out climbing!


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By elwood
Feb 2, 2010

Placerville CA
Lovers leap,Phantom spires,Wrights lake 1/2 hour drive, plus dozens of hidden areas. Close to town there are a couple of TR areas. The coast areas are a days drive. Oh yeah you can ride a motorcycle year round.


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By bernard
From birmingham, al
Feb 2, 2010
near trapps, Shawangunks, NY, 2008

What about Ogden, UT? I read some good things but don't know how it might relate to climbing or other outdoor rec. opportunities and resources


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By Matt McKibben
From Durango, Co
Feb 2, 2010
north six shooter tower

Got some contenders here, I'd say Flagstaff or Durango are at the top of my list and probably would be pretty happy in either area. Both sound like they have climbing/bouldering within biking distance, plenty of other areas to hit within a few hours drive for year round climbing, bit cheaper than boulder with fewer yuppies and not too big of cities with all the annoying city folk. Tuscon was up there, but I've been through shortly and gotta agree that it's not to appealing on the eyes, sorry to say. Chatty, while it sounds great, seems to be lacking the multi-pitch aspect that you could find in red rocks or the black.


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By Ben Cassedy
From Denver, CO
Feb 2, 2010
IP

Not that I'm trying to sell you on Chattanooga, I was wondering this more out of my own personal curiosity and we were talking about it last night.

Looks like it ranges from 3.5 to 5 hour drive from Chatty to the classic NC multipitch stuff. Looking Glass, Whiteside, Rumbling bald, etc. And about 5.5 hours to the beach. Score!


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By Tom Powell
From Rawlins, Wyoming
Feb 2, 2010
leading shotgun

bernard wrote:
What about Ogden, UT? I read some good things but don't know how it might relate to climbing or other outdoor rec. opportunities and resources


Having once lived in the Ogden Utah area I can definately say that the climbing there is good and close to home. There isn't really much in the way of GYM's right now but being a five or so minute drive from the crags is not a bad deal.


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By Brigette
From Seattle, WA
Feb 2, 2010
At the anchors.

Geir Hundal wrote:
My only complaint is that I don't get things around the house done because I'm always out climbing!



+1


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 2, 2010
You stay away from mah pig!

Tracy Ellingson wrote:
More like 50%, and there are some great bars in SLC. you need to get out more, and experience the wonders of Utah.


Look, I caught another one!


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By akforty7
From seattle, wa
Feb 2, 2010
campus problem at valley of the moon

i would have to give a nod to san diego as well...mostly because it's not landlocked, therefore, starts off better with just that fact. you can hit up southern/mid-arizona in a couple of short hours (driving in a straight line, so it seems shorter when you tie off the wheel and take a nap on the way).

if you like seasons, then look elsewhere...it's one long summer with a few chilly days/hours? yeah.

2.5 hours from jtree
5 hours from bishop (high sierras if that tickles your fancy)
6 hours from mt. lemmon
**factor in whatever the drive to flagstaff

winter mountains within range
surf (and the bums that go with)
**used to be able to have a keg on the beach, but that has passed

there's more locations on a previous reply...see above.


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By BackCountry
From West Point, UT
Feb 2, 2010
Whaaaat?

Andrew Gram wrote:
As it is, i'm in Denver now but i'm counting the days until I can move back to the Salt Lake/Park City area.



I hear you! I lived in Denver for a year and counted down the hours to return home to the Wasatch front.

I know Ogden pretty well too, and I would recommend staying away at all costs. There is a terrible gang problem, the climbing gyms are tiny (think birthday party walls), there is a bouldering field but it's covered with copious amounts of gang grafitti, and worst of all, the tiny ding-bat mayor and his money-hungry cronies are ruining the whole town and surrounding open spaces, crags included.
www.envisionogden.org/Articles/ViaFerrata.php


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By Superclimber
Feb 2, 2010

camhead wrote:
  Look, I caught another one!
Ha, that's kinda funny.

Thanks for all the input ya'll. I'm still leaning toward Tucson, but we're still considering some other areas too.


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By J mac
Feb 2, 2010
Zermatt

bernard wrote:
What about Ogden, UT? I read some good things but don't know how it might relate to climbing or other outdoor rec. opportunities and resources


There is good skiing and climbing but the feel of Ogden is like the Akron of the west.


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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Feb 2, 2010
My dogs got ups yo!

Chattanooga is surrounded by a ton climbing areas. Saying that it is not near the mountains is misleading. It's surrounded by an almost infinite amount of CLASSIC sandstone cliffs and boulders in every direction. Not this BS that technically passes for sandstone in the Front Range with Horsetooth being the ONLY exception.

Just listing off the popular areas: HP40, Rocktown, Sandrock(yes graffiti crazed rednecks f'd this place up, but the climbing is spectacular), Little River Canyon, Foster Falls, Stone Fort, T-Wall, Obed, and the Lilly Bluff Boulders are within 15 mins to 1-1/2 hrs of the city. If you wanted to count the areas within a 2-5 hr drive you pretty much have the entire Southeast covered from Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina. As far as the humidity you just learn to deal. You will always have Fall, Winter, and Spring covered at any of these classic areas. On top of that the Southeast locals are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet.


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By COEveryman
Feb 2, 2010

You know man, having read this entire forum I would like to offer another interpretation.

I moved from boulder 9 months ago to start my Ph.D. at Virginia Tech. I have the New River Gorge right in my backyard and it is absolutely world class. McAfee Knob is a bouldering area that is unappreciated but has a ton of good bouldering. On top of that there is Seneca and all the stuff in North Carolina all within reasonable striking distance.

That being said, as far as climbing goes, I AM MISERABLE. If you love climbing with all your heart and soul, like I do, and you have the choice, DON'T LEAVE BOULDER. For all of its bullshit, there are so many intangibles about Boulder that are not to be found anywhere else. And ultimately, if you are really a climber who gets out and climbs, you are spending your time on the rock, not with the trustifarians at the Foundry.

Notice also how many of the other posts note all the other things that such and such a town offers. But you want climbing, right? Pound for pound, Boulder is absolutely unbeatable in terms of 2 second access, gyms, distance to other areas (RMNP, Vedauwoo, South Platte, Rifle, Moab and on . . .) and climbing community. If you just need to get out of boulder for some other reason, than that is how it has to be. But if you are a climber and are just looking for something comparable to Boulder, Trust me, a few weeks after you are gone you will realize how big a mistake you made.


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By Fat Dad
From Los Angeles, CA
Feb 2, 2010

akforty7 wrote:
i would have to give a nod to san diego as well...mostly because it's not landlocked, therefore, starts off better with just that fact. you can hit up southern/mid-arizona in a couple of short hours (driving in a straight line, so it seems shorter when you tie off the wheel and take a nap on the way). if you like seasons, then look elsewhere...it's one long summer with a few chilly days/hours? yeah. 2.5 hours from jtree 5 hours from bishop (high sierras if that tickles your fancy) 6 hours from mt. lemmon **factor in whatever the drive to flagstaff winter mountains within range surf (and the bums that go with) **used to be able to have a keg on the beach, but that has passed there's more locations on a previous reply...see above.


San Diego is a great town, granted, and has a ton of good climbing, especially with some of that backcountry stuff being developed. I'd give my eye teeth to have Mt. Woodson in LA's backyard. But it's not 5 hrs. from Bishop. Bishop is about 4.5 hrs. from LA, and SD is a good 2 hrs. south of LA. You do the math.

And besides, you mention Mt. Lemmon but not Idyllwild?!

Edit: P.S.: Has anyone mentioned Bishop? Not the cultural hub of CA, but the climbing and scenery can't be beat. I suspect the job situation might be grim, but there's enough climbers there who seem to find a way. Mammoth Lakes would be awesome as well but, again, employment issues.


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By Kevin Hadfield
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Feb 2, 2010
Photo by Grant Bryans.

I've lived in Flagstaff and currently live in Durango...

Flagstaff is MUCH harder to find a job... housing is also less available for cheap. On the other hand the climbing in Sedona is A+ and the proximity to Vegas and the VRG make it Tits!!! Close good climbing and the gym saved my winter.

Durango is less than half the driving time required to get to Indian Creek tho... and Mill Creek is good for a long weekend of sport climbing and Rifle is still manageably close...

Both towns are RAD and have a great thriving climbing community... although very different the two. There is no climbing gym to speak of in Durango... the college one and a couple of woodys around town so if it's a cold snowy winter, you may as well ski... Silverton and Wolf Creek are about 1-2 hours away. If you are psyched you can get outside all year for some rock scaling... In both places I have post holed through waste deep snow for dry steep boulders.

Good Luck... either is a great choice... I loved my time in Flag and I don't see myself leaving Durango for real anytime soon.


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By Tracy Ellingson
From Provo, Utah
Feb 3, 2010

Look, I caught another one!</q
why are you fishing? this is a climbing forum. when you spu your mouth about something you apparently have no knowledge about, take your rebutles. buck up, and acknowledge your short comings. Do you think you know more about the SLC area, then those who enjoy living here?


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By Tracy Ellingson
From Provo, Utah
Feb 3, 2010

Jhernand wrote:
Salt Lake is not as bad as cam head makes it out to be. Yes the Mormon religion is visible in salt lake, but that is nothing to take SLC off your list. Contrary to popular belief (camhead) bars do exist in this town. Strong statement saying there are none in town. I means its not NYC, but the local bar scene is not too bad. In fact there are a lot of good bars in town, and good atmospheres. Don’t like the weak beer UT has… well SLC has bars that serve regular strength beers. Look… slc does have its downsides, but all in all it is great. You have some of the best climbing around, and only minutes form the city. Not to mention Indian creek, and Moab a short dive down the road. Red Rocks, and city of rocks in a short drive… plus if you ski or snowboard SLC has numerous resorts within 20 minutes of downtown. Oh… and as far as the religion goes… think about it this way… they go to church all day on Sunday so getting on the slopes, crags on “gods” day is super easy.

Here. Here. nothing better then Rocky mountain high. sunday afternoon in the Utah mountains is all the religion I need!


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By clausti
Feb 3, 2010

TracyEllingson wrote:
why are you fishing? this is a climbing forum. when you spu your mouth about something you apparently have no knowledge about, take your rebutles. buck up, and acknowledge your short comings. Do you think you know more about the SLC area, then those who enjoy living here?


in other news, the form says "where are you from" not "where have ever lived your whole life and where did you grow up and learn to climb and seriously, after all the jokes upthread you still are pissed about the utah remark?"


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By Nate Brown
From Wilson, Wy
Feb 3, 2010
mug shot

I grew up in Small Fake City and could not wait to get the hell out. The climbing and skiing are world class however. I would not trade my upbringing for any other.

A good buddy of mine, Brendan Brinkley, once said, "Were it not for the Mormons, SLC would be just like Boulder"...

Could be worse, what if the city were overrun with Southern Baptists??? No Dancing! NOOOOOOOOOO


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By whittlesticks
From Nederland
Feb 3, 2010
hanging at the bridger jacks campground

how come now body mentions any co mountain towns. Breck for instance has a strong climbing community, high altitude training, with in reasonable driving distance to all the good spots, and a uncrowded climbing gym. not to mention vail is 30 minutes in the winter? Unless you need the comforts of city life i think there are some better choices in colorado


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By Price
From SLC, UT
Feb 3, 2010

Nate Brown wrote:
I grew up in Small Fake City and could not wait to get the hell out. The climbing and skiing are world class however. I would not trade my upbringing for any other. A good buddy of mine, Brendan Brinkley, once said, "Were it not for the Mormons, SLC would be just like Boulder"... Could be worse, what if the city were overrun with Southern Baptists??? No Dancing! NOOOOOOOOOO



Then thank God for the mormons.


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By GG Park
From Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 3, 2010

I used to live in Boulder, now Santa Cruz, CA. For my money, Tucson, hands down. Cochise Stronghold, Mt. Lemmon, untracked possibilities in the Chiricahuas........ Much better weather and a much more beautiful town than Phoenix. You're probably not a birdwatcher currently, but if you move to Tucson, you will be; arguably, western America's finest, single birding destination. There are probably natural resource opportunities to the southeast with the San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area (yet another draw to the area) and the surrounding Sonoran Desert (desert doesn't get any better).

For convenient year-round climbing there is only one place I can think of that even comes close to Boulder, and its in Colorado too - Canon City. Canon City doesn't show up on a lot of peoples' list, but has one of the best micro-climates in all of Colorado. I have climbed at Cactus Cliff (Shelf Road) numerous times in the winter - even once, the day after a big winter storm. South of Canon is Tanner Dome - beautiful, under-appreciated, multi-pitch granite sport climbing. Lots of alpine opportunities in the Sangres. And the cost of living.......what cost of living!

Take your pick, but if you move to Tucson please leave me some contact info, so that when I move there in a couple years, I'll have some climbing partners waiting for me when I get there!


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By GG Park
From Santa Cruz, CA
Feb 3, 2010

Just left the preceding post and then read COEveryman's comments. I must concur with everything he said. If you are heart and soul a climber, DO NOT leave Boulder. I used to get up before work and climb Freeway (2nd Flatiron, nice 4th/easy 5th solo) for a morning starter and then be in the office at 7:30am, work for eight hours, after work, be at Eldo finishing the day with 2-3 pitches there. That's the Flatirons and Eldo, and then there's Boulder Canyon, Lumpy, Table Mountain.............

I'm still moving to Tucson when I retire, but it would be Boulder if it weren't for Front Range winters and rheumatoid arthritis......why I left in the first place.


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By kevino
Feb 3, 2010

I've noticed most of these suggestions have been in just a few states so I might throw another one out there to mix it up a bit...Leavenworth, WA. The only criteria it doesn't fully meet is a mild climate, but for that just head east, anywhere from 15 to 60 minutes to get on dry and warmer rock. Then again if you ski or climb ice you're once again covered by having stuff 5-10 minutes away. But literally, 4 miles down one road gets you to endless granite bouldering, cracks and slabs. Also you have acess to alpine rock, and 40 minutes up the highway is some great sport climbing.


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