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Best climbing towns?
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By Andrew Ryder
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 3, 2010
Stems, Seeds

Flagstaff AZ. Tons of climbing within an hour, tons more climbing within a few hours, and seemingly endless potential for development. Crazy variety of rock in the area thanks to the CO Plateau (limestone, 2 kinds of sandstone, basalt, and dacite), plus proximity to spectacular Prescott granite and quartzite down on the rim. Super laid-back, fun, low-key town (as long as you avoid the university.) I'm looking to move to Boulder, wanna trade?

I saw a few people suggesting Tucson, I lived there for 8 years and I would not suggest it - the climbing is pretty good but the insane 100+ degree heat that burns five full months out of the year is really quite taxing. Yeah, you can escape it to climb, but unless you find some way to live in Summerhaven you're going to be damned miserable when you're not at the crag. And, (sorry guys but) I think the climbing doesn't have enough variety - lots and lots and lots of thin sharp granite with few exceptions.


FLAG
By lamina
Feb 3, 2010

Some one may have mentioned this before... here is a previous discussion on the Arizona and NM section - mountainproject.com/v/arizona__new_mexico/moving_to_arizona/>>>.

and I vote for Tucson, AZ.


FLAG
By scottydo
From ventura, ca
Feb 4, 2010
chalking up at a rest

Fat Dad wrote:
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.


I've made it from Bishop to San Diego in 5 hours...but it was later (no traffic) and we were movin' relatively quick the whole way (80-85).


FLAG
By mr sluggo
Feb 4, 2010

There is some excellent convenience to outdoor opportunities in Ogden, UT (I have lived her most of my life solely for the recreation). By Utah standards though, I would give the climbing a C+/B- although that scale is skewed due to Ogden being in...well...Utah. Better locations abound within a short drive from the Den of Og including the City, Logan, the Cottonwoods, AF, Maple, Joes/Triassic, etc and I often find myself driving to those places instead which is both good and bad to have that access.

The bouldering is fun but it doesn't take long to run out of problems and then find yourself longing for LCC or Joes. Graffiti and Trash abound in the boulder fields due to the convenient access which draws riff raff from town in force. Route climbing is fun with a good variety from the concentration of sport cragging at the Schoolroom to scattered trad climbing throughout the valley to longer alpine rock climbing such as that found in Willard Spires or one might fit Macabre/Mezzanines into that category, to mention a few. Ice climbing is here but scarce and pales in comparison to Provo.

I rate the skiing, mountain biking, and hiking way higher for rec. opportunities. Some good stuff for sure but the convinient mountain access is riddled with property issues that are rearing their ugly heads as owners want to profit from the outdoor recreation publicity, much of which they have generated.

In terms of places to live, well, that is its weak spot. I view many of the magazine pieces on the Den of Og as marketing and propoganda. Take it all with a grain of salt. They are trying to get you to buy something. It's easy to show a few glossy photos and hit one or two talking points without mentioning some of the ills. Officials never seem to get ahead of the gang problem. The job market is limited, even when the economy was better. Hospitals are good. Housing market can look attractive and cheap but so many people end up working in SLC which is a bit of a commute on a daily basis and therefore a substantial transportation cost and major pollution concern for the Wasatch. Also, in terms of real estate, the promoters of Ogden are pushing for rather large, expensive homes to be built literally at the foot of the climbing and biking. History and common sense shows that this does wacky things to your cheaper property and trail access.

I dont have kids so I can't speak to that but I have a dog which is like my kid. The city strongly enforces leash laws and seems to make buckets of revenue from citations while not actively promoting responsible dog ownership or providing 'dog parks' and safe streets to walk. This includes portions of the boulder field and its approach. Beware of citations and Krylon toting adolescents.

I think Ogden is well suited for college students. WSU is a good school. Spend your four years here, get an education, climb/ski/bike the shit out of everything and then bolt (or use the degree to improve the town).

If all of what you have seen of Ogden is a picture of neon lights and fancy restaurants and the nightlife of 25th st and then a sweet climbing pic, then that is a very, very small microcosm of Ogden. Step just out of frame of either of those glossy photos and it is a different story altogether, yet here I am.

Lastly and most importantly, it is an EXTREMELY bad idea let your local politicians (mayor especially) fucntion as an advocate for your climbing and other recreation, especially when they are not active participants. Derive whatever conclusions you want from that but something about strange bedfellows applies.


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By klk
Feb 4, 2010

Chris Miller wrote:
Good question! My girlfriend and I have also been shopping around for a new place to live. So far Tucson seems like a great option, but I am very interested in hearing some more opinions.


hey chris--

Tucson is great, but getting around is not as easy as it might seem, so you have to be very careful where you live in order to have decent access to both mt. lemmon and the interstate during getaway hours.

and it can get hotter and wetter during the summer than you might expect-- windy point is about like jtree, but w. greater chance of t-storms.

personally, i'd go to flag in a second if i had the chance. easier to get out of the snow in winter, than it is to get out of the heat in tucson.

but tucson has a better art scene, the university had some nice resources, if the legislature hasn't already shut them down, and the so az hinterlands have stacks and stacks of untouched winter season rock.


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By David Appelhans
From Lafayette
Feb 4, 2010
Imaginate

So I should definitely not move to SLC. I'll just cross it off my list then, I wouldn't want to even bother to visit. And I definitely won't ask for any pms for a weekend of climbing so I could see the choss for myself.


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By Tom Hanson
Feb 4, 2010
Climber Drawing

There are hundreds of towns across the U.S. that can provide a climber with a lifetime of new routes to do.
So little time, so many destinations.
I relocated to The Front Range after high school.
I'm sure I could have had an equally enjoyable and productive climbing career on California's east side, Wyoming, Utah, Washington, Arizona, Black Hills, the southeast, the northeast, etc.
If I move away from here, I'd likely select a climate where I wouldn't have to shovel snow or drive icy roads.
I have family south of Tucson is the Green Valley / Suaharita area.
I've climbed at Mt Lemmon a couple of times and thought it was a great area.
I'd love to climb the prominent West Ridge of Elephants Head, and Cochise Stronghold in The Dragoon Mountains has always been on my hit list.
Matt, with so many places to choose from, I think you have to take all of the other non-climbing factors into account before making decision on where to move your life.


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By david Adkins
Feb 4, 2010

I moved from Arizona to Chattanooga and let me tell you the climbing in Chattanooga sucks! Don't move here you'll regret it!


FLAG
 
By Dan Carter
From Las Cruces, NM
Feb 4, 2010

This one hasn't been mentioned and it's way off the radar but in my opinion a fine candidate. Las Cruces, NM. It's warmer and more laid back than the northern NM towns. Not much good climbing near town but some rock (bouldering and sport) to get you through the week until you can go to a number of places: Organ Mtns (trad and adventure)- 30 min, Hueco Tanks - 1hr., The Tunnel (sport climbing) - 1 hr., Cochise - 3 hr., Socorro - 2.5 hr, The Tower - 3.5 hr, and others. Also, there's good mountain biking, good food, brewery, a university, but only a very small art, music, city scene. The cost of living is pretty cheap. Not sure about the job market but I'd imagine it's not too bad.


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By Tracy Ellingson
From Provo, Utah
Feb 4, 2010

clausti wrote:
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?"


Did you mean " Where have YOU 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?"
Who is pissed? You and camheadjob, are the ones trolling to see who you can reel in, what is the point of that? Oh, so you know, I was born in Canada, raised in Australia, attended school in Utah, and learned to climb all over, "the world is not enough" to travel and enjoy all of the climbing destinations out there! Try again, when you have a few years of experience with life.


FLAG
By Wyoming Jake
From WYOMING
Feb 4, 2010
Baldwin

Lander, WYO


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By Adam Winters
Administrator
From the Shire
Feb 4, 2010
Red-tail Hawk, Buttermilks

Barstow, CA


FLAG
By Pat C
From Honolulu
Feb 4, 2010
me

O'ahu has great surfing... that's like climbing, right?


FLAG
By xxxxx
Feb 4, 2010

salt lake city is the bomb.com

Yeah, mormon culture absolutely sucks, but as long as your circle of friends is filled with climbers, it's hardly and issue.


FLAG
By Shawn Neal
Feb 5, 2010

I'm suprised there havent been any votes for Las Vegas.

Red Rock is my single favorite climbing destination in the US, We climb year round at R.R. just gotta' know how to avoid the heat in summer. Mt Charelston and Mt Clark are 8000'+ world class limestone crags,1hr or so away, J tree 3hrs, St. George/Zion 2.5 hrs, Bishop 3.5 hrs, 2.5 hrs N. Big Rocks Wilderness,(thanks G.W.)boulderer's call it "Mecca", The list goes on and on...

If you are pre-disposed to stigmas and stereotypes it's ez to understand how Vegas gets passed upon threads like this one, but I've lived here 11 yrs. and can't think of a better "climbing town".


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By Price
From SLC, UT
Feb 5, 2010

Kia Marie wrote:
salt lake city is the bomb.com Yeah, mormon culture absolutely sucks, but as long as your circle of friends is filled with climbers, it's hardly and issue.


I'm not standing up for Mormons, just bagging on you, but ... why the hostility? Do you hate Jews or Buddhists? Muslims? I personally don't understand why people find it necessary to hate the culture that surrounds them.

What if your circle of friends is filled with climbing Mormons? What about rappelling Hindus?


FLAG
 
By Will Butler
From Boulder, CO
Feb 5, 2010
ice park

Why on earth would you want to move?


FLAG
By Tim D Danley
From silt, co
Feb 6, 2010
Roman Headwall <br />

Jeremy H wrote:
I lived in Prescott AZ for a while and it was great for climbing. I also lived in Durango CO for years and it was a great place to live, 2 hours from the desert). Carbondale has a climbing community and is 1 hour from Rifle.


Rifle is only 15 minutes from Rifle Mountain Park.


FLAG
By Michael Sokoloff
From Spokane, WA
Feb 6, 2010

Shawn Neal wrote:
I'm suprised there havent been any votes for Las Vegas. Red Rock is my single favorite climbing destination in the US, We climb year round at R.R. just gotta' know how to avoid the heat in summer. Mt Charelston and Mt Clark are 8000'+ world class limestone crags,1hr or so away, J tree 3hrs, St. George/Zion 2.5 hrs, Bishop 3.5 hrs, 2.5 hrs N. Big Rocks Wilderness,(thanks G.W.)boulderer's call it "Mecca", The list goes on and on... If you are pre-disposed to stigmas and stereotypes it's ez to understand how Vegas gets passed upon threads like this one, but I've lived here 11 yrs. and can't think of a better "climbing town".


I agree with you Shawn. I lived there for 3-years in the late 90s and it was the best climbing stretch of my career. Climbed regularly throughout the winters and summers with perfect weather. Between the sandstone, limestone and easy access to St. George, Zion, Sierra Eastside, Vegas is the real deal and really is unsurpassed as a climbing town. It is interesting how it is seen as a roadtrip destination and not a place to live. With the jobs, unbelievably inexpensive housing and conveniences of a city, it really deserves more consideration. If I could find a job in my field there, I'd move there over Flag, Chat, Tucson and most definitely Boulder.


FLAG
By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 6, 2010
You stay away from mah pig!

Tracy Ellingson wrote:
Did you mean " Where have YOU 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?" Who is pissed? You and camheadjob, are the ones trolling to see who you can reel in, what is the point of that? Oh, so you know, I was born in Canada, raised in Australia, attended school in Utah, and learned to climb all over, "the world is not enough" to travel and enjoy all of the climbing destinations out there! Try again, when you have a few years of experience with life.


Silence, Athiest!

I agree with the earlier poster's qualifications about Odgen. I always considered it sort of Utah's own little New Jersey. While it is reasonably close to all the great rock around SLC, it is not the best place on the Wasatch Front to live.

I will mention my hometown of Logan, however. Reasonably good limestone sport about ten minutes from town. You only usually hear about Logan Canyon in reference to the über hard routes in China Cave, but there is TONS of really good vertical, techy stuff as well in the 5.11-12 range. SLC, City of Rocks, and a variety of Idaho Basalt climbing that is often good in the winter are all within reasonable day-trip distance. And, the mountain recreation as a whole is much less crowded than the SLC area.

Overall, it is a nice, mid-size college town. Drawbacks are that Logan is starting to have all the drawbacks of a larger city (ugly sprawl, bad traffic), but very few of the perks (nightlife is very weak). It definitely has some elements of the insular Mormon "happy valley"-type towns. And, jobs associated with the university there tend to pay terribly.


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By Ben Woods
Feb 6, 2010
A couple days before, getting religion on Grizzly peak in a ridiculous storm (with a break for the photo op)

logan utah. its got it all within a 20 minute drive.

some crazy guy named casey hire is still around them aprts, from what i been hearing....you out there still, mate?


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By xxxxx
Feb 6, 2010

Price wrote:
I'm not standing up for Mormons, just bagging on you, but ... why the hostility? Do you hate Jews or Buddhists? Muslims? I personally don't understand why people find it necessary to hate the culture that surrounds them. What if your circle of friends is filled with climbing Mormons? What about rappelling Hindus?


I have nothing against mormons. i have some mormon friends and we get along great. but utah is a cultural wasteland. being a non mormon living in utah valley is kind of like having turrets during the salem witch trials.

you always end up getting burned at the stake in some way or another.


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By camhead
From Vandalia, Appalachia
Feb 6, 2010
You stay away from mah pig!

Ben Woods wrote:
logan utah. its got it all within a 20 minute drive. some crazy guy named casey hire is still around them aprts, from what i been hearing....you out there still, mate?



Casey actually just came up in the recent LCC accident topic.

alisaandcasey.blogspot.com/2010/01/exciting-day-of-ice-climb>>>


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By Matthias Holladay
From Durango, Colorado
Feb 6, 2010
Find these and enjoy some new routes!

DURANGO,for all of the reasons already mentioned, but also for all the new route potential.


FLAG
 
By Ben Woods
Feb 6, 2010
A couple days before, getting religion on Grizzly peak in a ridiculous storm (with a break for the photo op)

camhead wrote:
Casey actually just came up in the recent LCC accident topic. alisaandcasey.blogspot.com/2010/01/exciting-day-of-ice-climb>>>


Had no idea casey was involved in that one...gotta get back in touch with the old man.


FLAG


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