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Best climbing towns?
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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)

Kia Marie wrote:
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.


real simple solution to any and all cultural problems when climbing in utah: more time climbing and less time getting cultured.


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By Price
From SLC, UT
Feb 6, 2010

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 is here in SLC. Still kickin' ass.


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By Ben Woods
Feb 7, 2010
A couple days before, getting religion on Grizzly peak in a ridiculous storm (with a break for the photo op)

Price wrote:
Casey is here in SLC. Still kickin' ass.


him and blake were the guys who taught me everything to get me going in climbing back in logan...great days, them late 90's in logan


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By John Korfmacher
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 8, 2010
Long's

I recommend giving Reno, NV a good look. I learned to climb there while at the Univ of Nevada. There's a lot of good single- and multipitch day-climbing there on perfect granite (Donner Pass), sportier stuff around Lake Tahoe, and the classics of Lover's Leap are <2 hours away. There's some alpine west of Lake Tahoe...but if you always liked the Sierra batholith, Bishop and the Sierra eastside are a few hours south which offer the Lower 48's best alpine rock. If you're into exploration and FA's, the desert of central Nevada is totally undeveloped and full of opportunity.

There's tons of lift-served skiing around the lake, but the backcountry opportunities are excellent (<1 hour from town) and uncrowded.

Reno's climbing scene, such as it is, is small but energetic. People that climb in Reno like to get after it. The town itself, outside the casino district downtown, is relatively bike-accessible and affordable. There is a very active mountain-biking community; two excellent breweries; and a hilarious, campy, lounge scene. The town's economy is fairly diverse and job opportunities exist outside the usual gambling/hotel thing.

There are a few disadvantages...the climbing (except for a few minor local crags) requires the use of a car, and climbing season isn't year round unless you want to drive to Owens River. Yosemite isn't too far away--but the passes close in winter. But it's a pretty nice place to live overall, IMO much more livable than Vegas or the California west slope.


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By 426
Feb 8, 2010

Pig Rock pretty good winter crag (AM) reno area. Iron Buttes. Plenty of obscure desert pebbles to wrestle, too...

Snowshed Wall, America's "11th best" crag (via an old Mountain Mag)


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By Rob P.
From Bay Area
Jul 21, 2011

I'm going to resurrect this topic with a question. I am looking for a town that has great year round climbing. Ideally this town would have great cragging (biking to the crag is a big plus!), with bigger opportunities close by. I would also like a place with winter climbing readily available. I love hard fruit-booting mixed climbing, ice climbing, and hard alpine.

What wold be a good city for me?


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By jack roberts
Jul 21, 2011

Salt Lake has all the above.............


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By Matt Marino
From Georgetown, MA
Jul 21, 2011
Haul Bag

For pure climbing location it's hard to beat Redlands, CA. Caveat it's close to tons of stuff, but the town itself isn't a climbing town. If you're into trad you have Joshua Tree in the winter and Taqhuitz, and Suicide Rock in the summer (under an hour and a half to each). For sport you have Holcomb Valley in the summer (1 hour or so north) and a bunch of places north in the high desert for the winter (new jack city is like 2 hours). Mt. Robidoux for bouldering 30 minutes away (it's where the stone masters practiced) and Mt. San Gogoria for Alpine/Ice about an hour away. Plus you are 4 hours from Red Rocks/Vegas and 7 hours from Yosemite. Oh, and the 5-10 factory is on State Street, discount shoes Friday from 1-5pm.


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By Nick Stayner
From Billings, MT
Jul 21, 2011
Nick Stayner near the crux. Ryan Minton photo.

I haven't actually lived there, but I've always been intrigued by Reno as a place that meets many of your criteria. I've spent a lot of time driving through there on my way to and from the Sierra and Yosemite. Anyone from Reno care to chime in?
And Rob P., way to go on resurrecting the thread rather than beginning a new one.


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By Finn the Human
From The Land of Ooo
Jul 22, 2011
Mathematical!

I agree with everyone above, SLC sucks big time. It's filled with generally nice people, and that just gets soooooo old sooooo fast.

Definitely don't move here.

That way I don't have to share the world class climbing and skiing with you. I mean, it already takes me a whole 30 minutes to get to the (multiple) crags/resorts, and I can't be bothered to wait around for someone to get off the climbs I want to do...

On a serious note, one other kinda cool thing about SLC is that there's a lot of climbing/outdoors companies here. BD is in SLC ("Rawr China, outsourcing, harnesses that fail/don't fail " I know, I know), Petzl has a warehouse in Ogden (not sure if it's the official Petzl headquarters or just a branch), and the Backcountry.com retail store is in SLC as well. Makes it pretty easy to gear up on the cheap.


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By Superclimber
Jul 22, 2011

Taylor Ogden wrote:
I agree with everyone above, SLC sucks big time. It's filled with generally nice people, and that just gets soooooo old sooooo fast. Definitely don't move here. That way I don't have to share the world class climbing and skiing with you. I mean, it already takes me a whole 30 minutes to get to the (multiple) crags/resorts, and I can't be bothered to wait around for someone to get off the climbs I want to do... On a serious note, one other kinda cool thing about SLC is that there's a lot of climbing/outdoors companies here. BD is in SLC ("Rawr China, outsourcing, harnesses that fail/don't fail " I know, I know), Petzl has a warehouse in Ogden (not sure if it's the official Petzl headquarters or just a branch), and the Backcountry.com retail store is in SLC as well. Makes it pretty easy to gear up on the cheap.


Oh, I see what you did there… It was a reverse psychology thing;)


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By Boris Kerzhner
Jul 22, 2011

Tucson wins the best town contest to live hands down. For 8 months out of the year you can climb in a 60F weather (sending temps) for the other four months the temps are not that great but the worst it is on Lemmon is 80F. Plenty of variety in the winter between Lemmon, The Dry and Homestead. Tucson is really cheap, the cheapest town I've live in thus far. The temps in town itself are tolerable in the summer and great though the rest of the year. I can get to great climbing within hour and 15 min. drive, and I live as far away from Mt. Lemmon as possible to live in Tucson. Climbers are very friendly and you'll make friends in no time.


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By bergbryce
From South Lake Tahoe, CA
Jul 22, 2011

How many climbers also ski?
This is what makes AZ not look so attractive. Yeah there are places to ski but the snowpack can be thin and inconsistent. Guess that means the climbing would be good, but I needs me my skiin' fix, bad.

Anyone who has ever lived east of the Mississippi and has moved west would most likely never go back. One word: humidity. Get away from that $hit and you realize it's the worst weather condition known to man.

Boulder is probably going to be hard to beat in terms of sheer access to and amount of quality climbing, this has been hashed and re-hashed.
Reno is a kick ass location for a climber if you need a city for a job, a gym scene, etc. Salt Lake City the same with arguably better and more diverse climbing and great skiing. But I could think of probably 30 mountain towns I'd rather live in but I'm not a trustifarian.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jul 22, 2011
El Chorro

SLC amazes me every time I'm out there. The granite in Little Cottonwood is killer and you're a few hours away from a ton of different areas. Anyone who says the Mormons are a reason not to live in Utah is just being ignorant or close minded. It's just a big city that happens to have a large religious population, not unlike a dozen other cities in the world.

Tuscon has amazing climbing opportunities, year round, but I'm not a big fan of the city itself. Too many old and/or scary people and I just like grass too much to live down there. But yea, the climbing is top notch and the climbing community is very welcoming.

Boulder is pretty well talked about on every climbing forum. Amazing access, too much a part of the scene for me but I still think about spending a year there. Not many places on earth that combine so many different types of climbing opportunities with that much sun.

Chattanooga is probably the place to be in the east. Year round climbing, great access to all of the areas that none of you westerners know about, loads of new routing to be done, cheap living, nice people... can't say enough good things about the south.

Asheville and Boone in NC should be on the list, but I won't get started on why or else I'll never finish. NC rocks, and thank God most climbers don't realize this.

Flagstaff has been brought to my attention many times over the past few years and although I've never climbed there, it seems to have great climbing in every direction, year round.

Personally I think the only way to live is to travel and find a place that you enjoy. If you love living somewhere, you'll come to love the climbing as well. The top three or four places that I've enjoyed living would never show up on this list, but I still got to climb a ton while living there and I'll probably end up staying at one of them until I die!


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Jul 22, 2011
El Chorro

bergbryce wrote:
How many climbers also ski? This is what makes AZ not look so attractive. Yeah there are places to ski but the snowpack can be thin and inconsistent. Guess that means the climbing would be good, but I needs me my skiin' fix, bad. Anyone who has ever lived east of the Mississippi and has moved west would most likely never go back. One word: humidity. Get away from that $hit and you realize it's the worst weather condition known to man. Boulder is probably going to be hard to beat in terms of sheer access to and amount of quality climbing, this has been hashed and re-hashed. Reno is a kick ass location for a climber if you need a city for a job, a gym scene, etc. Salt Lake City the same with arguably better and more diverse climbing and great skiing. But I could think of probably 30 mountain towns I'd rather live in but I'm not a trustifarian.


The "town" thing always turns into a city discussion, and in my mind SLC is at the top of that list. Like you say, plenty of towns I'd rather be in but I'm not rich.

As for the east vs. west thing...

I lived in CO for a year and have spent a ton of time out west. Might live out there for a year or two if and when I get back to the US, but you couldn't pay me to spend the rest of my life there over the east and I know A LOT of people that feel the same way. Dry air isn't as important as you might think.


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By nherment
From San Francisco
Jul 22, 2011

Chamonix, France.


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By Corona
Feb 4, 2013

"But Chattanooga is just so far from big multi-pitch," said no one in Tennessee ever. You see, North Carolina locals are justifiedly cagey about the gems they have just 3.5 hrs away.

In fact, if the climber folks that love the vibe in Boulder, Flagstaff, Taos, etc. ever find out about Asheville, it'd be overrun within a year. Beautiful town, hippy vibe, super close to amazing bouldering and single pitch at Rumbling Bald and epic adventures in the Linville Gorge. And that's just the stuff near town.

Don't get me wrong, Durango is an awesome town. I do think it's strange that a town where the selling point is "only 2.5 hrs from real climbing" should be mentioned in the same breath as Salt Lake, Prescott, Chattanooga, or Flagstaff. By that rational, I'd vote Louisville, Kentucky (great art/music/theater, waterfront concert series, tons of professional work opportunities, low cost of living, and just 2.5 hrs from the Red!) *shakes head*

Seriously, though, you need to clear up a couple of questions first:

How important is vibe? (Durango or Grand Junction/Rapid City?)
How big of a town? Job opportuities important? (Are we talking Lander or Las Vegas?)
Does the climbing need to be totally year-round? (Chattanooga or Taos?)
How single-disciplinary are you? (Are you fine with low angle trad for half the year when it's too hot to sport climb?)

For context, I'm from Kentucky and am living in (and moving from) Moab


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 4, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Elmira, NY anywhere in the running?


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By Patrick Vernon
From Albuquerque, NM
Feb 4, 2013
mexico

Ha, Ben that is some irony! I am from that area, Binghamton, but the town I live in now, Estes Park, never gets mentioned in these threads despite proximity to thousands of routes. My advice to anyone living in Elmira, run away as fast as you can...


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 4, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

Haha, yeah WNY is certainly no climbing destination...

Estes Park should certainly qualify as an amazing climbing town! Very close to the mountains, cragging, ice-climbing, sport climbing...everything


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By Ben Brotelho
From Albany, NY
Feb 4, 2013
Epic free solo with a pack on

I would also put Keene Valley on the list, for those "in the know."


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By Jon O'Brien
From Nevada
Feb 4, 2013

disagree, slc sucks, awful vibe there, don't go unless you want to be judged by the "pious" and the winter is cold as heck, not a good year-round climbing town. the mormons are "righteous"... lots of super hot psychotic chicks single in their late teens looking for ANYONE to marry them so they can escape judgement. very very very strange place. and i say that with a home in las vegas!


and vegas is clearly the very best city in the united states for climbing (major metropolis) however, the contrast between the quality of the climbing and the quality of the climbers is remarkable. i have never actually hated my local community until i moved to vegas. SO MANY true losers that define themselves by how well they rock climb that it is really sad and finding a partner that isn't a truly selfish bastard is very hard(these scumbags commit to multiple climbers for the same day waiting for their ideal partner and then they just bail on everyone else last-minute. i have even had one "friend" snake a partner that knew ahead of time that he and i already planned to go out that day. so many of these d-bags just need an old school, east coast style punch in the face/ ego. vegas is the valley of lost souls with awesome rocks year-round but you'll probably discover top rope soloing here due to the lack of community. SLC is the valley of found souls with climbing seasonally and, therefore, crowds.


i'm excited for when i leave las vegas and move somewhere where people are less freakin crazy. i'd say arizona and california are the states to check out... also, consider new mexico despite incredibly low salaries. the southwest u.s. in general has laughable salaries. i think that the easiness of the southwest attracts bums but arizona is a remarkable contrast to that statement, arizona feels like the gunks did in terms of one huge climbing family.


in vegas they'll break your car windows and steal your gear and then call the cops and tell then you're camping illegally! beware!!!



maybe bend, oregon?

maybe reno/ lake tahoe?


let us know what you decide...


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By steven sadler
From SLC, UT
Feb 4, 2013

I've lived in SLC my whole life and the climbing is amazing. if you want steep limestone drive 30 min (max) to American Fork Canyon, Granite? 15 min to Little Cottonwood Canyon, Quarzite? 10 min to big cotonwood with unlimited small canyons in between. Vegas is 6 hours, indian creek and zion are 4 hours and city of rocks is under 3. And the whole mormon thing... No big deal. you'll run into the occasional weirdo but we're pretty normal.(yes I am one of them)Winters are cold though, but the skiing is awesome.


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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 4, 2013
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me? Hint, its on Supercrack Buttress

Bend *is* awesome... but not just for climbing. World class climbing AND mountain biking. Acceptable skiing. All <25 minutes away. And a climate that is hard to beat - dry side of the cascades. You can climb any month of the year. Ski 6 months of the year. And mountain bike 8 months of the year.

Get tired of the desert? You can drive 60 minutes and be on the other side of the cascades in a temperate rain forest.

Amazing place really. Love it here.

Only draw back is besides Smith and Trout Creek it is a looooooong drive to any other climbing.


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By Austin Baird
From SLC, Utah
Feb 4, 2013
Me scaring years off my mom's life

steven sadler wrote:
And the whole mormon thing... No big deal. you'll run into the occasional weirdo but we're pretty normal.(yes I am one of them)


Steve understates how big of a problem we Mormons are in Salt Lake. "Welcome to the Neighborhood" plates of cookies\banana bread are ubiquitous. You'll never be able to get your car stuck in a snowdrift for longer than 10 minutes before some Mormon hellbent on earning his way into heaven stops to help push you out. And don't even get me started on the smug, pious way EVERYONE insists on holding a door open for you. It's insulting.

Seriously though - I'm not from Utah and I'm not a big fan of Mormon culture (although I'm an active Mormon myself), but SLC isn't bad at all. Even if I weren't Mormon I'd still enjoy living here.


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