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Best College for climbing
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By Chase Yarbrough
From Denver, CO
Apr 12, 2010
profile pic

Stanford (good education, good climbing, and great climbing community) -- hey you have four years to get your grades up =)
UC Davis


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By Ted Davis
From Prescott, Arizona
Apr 12, 2010

Check out Prescott College in Prescott Arizona

Its within two hours of some of the best climbing in Arizona and you can take classes on rock climbing! No joke you can take month long or semester long classes on how to progress from basic top rope climbing all the way to multi-pitch trad leading. I am a current student @ Prescott college and have gone to colleges in both Squamish BC and Durango CO and I get to climb more often here.

And there is a great climbing community.


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By Joe Forrester
From Ft. Collins, CO
Apr 12, 2010

Without a doubt, The Colorado College is the best combination of education, location, and high concentration of dedicated climbers. Check out the CC Alpine Journal. Garden of the Gods, Turkey Rocks, the Black, the Park, you name it, and CC has crushed it. www.coloradocollege.edu/campusactivities/orc/CCAJ%202009.pdf
-Joe


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By NC Rock Climber
From The Oven, AKA Phoenix
Apr 12, 2010
tanuki

Lauer wrote:
The University of Arizona has a lifetime of climbing in the area and probably the best climbing weather during the school year of any place I can think of.


Seriously, Tucson is an amazing "climbing city." I am always surprised that it is not mentioned more in these discussions. When attending the U of A , I would often go to Mount Lemmon and climb after classes. The Lemmon is awesome and it literally has a lifetime of routes. Given the diversity of the elevation, you can ALWAYS find a place to climb and there is never an off-season. If you want variety, you have J-Tree, Cochise, Queen Creek and a huge number of other climbing destinations within a few hours drive. I have not lived in Tucson for almost 15 years, but I believe that the cost of living is still fairly reasonable and that it has a great climbing community.

Oh yeah... the U of A is a good school also. ;)


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By clemay
From Boulder, CO
Apr 12, 2010

When you get to that point of seriously looking at schools, check out UMass Amherst, Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College and Amherst College in Western Mass. All are good schools and you are within 2-4hrs of popular climbing areas like Rumney, Gunks and Daks plus about 45mins from Farley which has good single pitch rock/ice and great bouldering. Also there are a ton of boulders(big ones at that) scattered throughout that area that are waiting some FA's. Most have been found and cleaned by a local that I know.


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By kubes
From Littleton, CO
Apr 12, 2010
One of the most amazing sport climbs ever. Caveman (5.11d) on Thaiwand Wall, Tonsai, Thailand. The move above where I am is the crux, but stays pretty sustained the rest of the way. Awesome exposure and excellent moves the whole way.

CU Boulder is amazing. I've been a student in the physiology department for about 4 years now, and it has been an excellent educational experience. Great professors, awesome campus... SO MUCH GREAT CLIMBING!!! It really is hard to beat. Another good one would be Fort Lewis in Durango. As people have said before it's an awesome town with lots of great climbing, mountain biking, pretty much everything fun to do in the outdoors.


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By Blake Cash
Apr 12, 2010

The climbing in and around Boulder is WAY over hyped. There are some good routes here and there, but in terms of world class climbing, nope. If you're just looking for sheer quantity of climbing to be had, sure thing, there's a boatload of rock...but 75% of it is mediocre. You'll be entertained for a little while, but then you'll turn out like most other people here and spend the majority of your time figuring out how to leave Boulder and go elsewhere to climb.

I've lived here 2 years and am all set on the climbing...leaving for Chattanooga in the fall to start grad school.


I'd 2nd Western Mass...amazing people, amazing rock, fantastic climbing zones. Good schools...which is what's most important.


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By C Scariot
Apr 12, 2010

wow blake, ever been to eldo? hundreds, if thot thousands, of great routes. i guess its just a matter of preference.

back on topic. I attended CSU (great access to bouldering, vedauwoo 1 hr, lumpy ridge/rmnp 1 hr, eldorado/boulder canyon/etc 1hr.--hard to beat for the proximity to a variety of great climbing). Also went to Univ. of Wyoming which was great, but vedauwoo has a fairly short season. Finally, went to UK, which is an hour from the red river gorge; pretty hard to beat for a sport climber.

anyway kevin, lots of great schools/locations mentioned in the above posts. i think its freakin awesome that with four years to go you are already thinking about college and climbing. the world could use some more educated climbres.


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By Adam Leedy
From Austin, TX
Apr 12, 2010

I went to school at the University of Kentucky. If you want to climb at the Red regularly, this is THE place to go to school. I mean, you can be at Miguel's in 45 minutes (a little more depending on where you live in Lexington). School is in session during the prime climbing seasons (fall and spring). So you climb a few days a week during the prime season, and then in the summer when the temps/humidity get too hot, it doesn't matter because you don't have school and you can dirtbag it to Colorado where the season is just getting perfect.

This is pretty much what I did for my last two years of college and it was excellent.

The school has a rock wall but it really isn't' much if you are trying to train for harder grades. And there isn't a gym in town so that is pretty weak. however, I know of at least three home gyms that allow more or less anyone to come and climb any time you want. The one I frequented had one of the sickest bouldering caves I've climbed on indoors.

Getting an education at UK is really cheap compared to other schools. We have a lot of out of state people come to UK because out of state tuition there is still cheaper than in-state tuition at other state schools like OSU (we have a huge ohioan population for that reason). The cost of living is also pretty low. You can get an apartment split with a few friends for 350 each if you live a couple of miles off of campus.


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By Blake Cash
Apr 12, 2010

Yeah, I love Eldo, climb there a ton...but it's not enough to make me want to live here. There are way better climbing areas IMO. Yes, probably a matter of preference.


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By rob rebel
From Denver, co
Apr 12, 2010
I get excited over a large desert rack

Grant Gerhard wrote:
also CSU has prettier women


Obviously you have never been to a CU vs CSU game and seen who is wearing gold and who is wearing green.


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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Apr 12, 2010
My dogs got ups yo!

Appalachian State University for the boulderer/tradsters! Good luck getting a job.


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By YDPL8S
From Santa Monica, Ca.
Apr 12, 2010
Korea 1 1975

Wasted State (Western State) in Gunnison is the ticket if you're looking for world class climbing in a "relaxed" atmosphere. World class mountaineering, ice climbing, and rock climbing are all within an hour or two's drive. The nearby local climbing, Hartman's for after class bouldering and Taylor Canyon for multipitch hardcore trad, are 30 min. away.

Not to mention the friendly locals!

mountainproject.com/v/colorado/gunnison/106429350


To emphasize how good the local climbing is there, my grade point average after my first year and a half was a 0.7!

And then if you want to add skiing, Crested Butte is 30min away, and the surrounding mountains have arguably some of the best back country skiing there is. Think champagne powder, not Sierra cement or Vermont blue boilerplate.

Of course if you like the hectic, high profile limelight, there's always CU Boulder.


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By Phill T
Apr 12, 2010

Joe Forrester wrote:
Without a doubt, The Colorado College is the best combination of education, location, and high concentration of dedicated climbers. Check out the CC Alpine Journal. Garden of the Gods, Turkey Rocks, the Black, the Park, you name it, and CC has crushed it. www.coloradocollege.edu/campusactivities/orc/CCAJ%202009.pdf -Joe



+1 for Colorado College. Great education, not exactly cheap...but as far as climbing, its in colorado springs (50 minutes south of Denver). So, close to shelf road and south Platte areas, but the real key to it is the schedule they have there....Its on a 'block plan', so you take 1 class for 3.5 weeks, then the next class, and so on, in 8 blocks through the school year. The beauty of this system is the time between blocks; you get wed-sun off with NOTHING (no projects, papers etc) hanging over your head. So basically a mini spring break every month to climb/ski/etc wherever you want.


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By Russell Holcomb
From Boulder, Colorado
Apr 12, 2010

Hey Bro, I'm a pimp for Boulder, and a Colorado alumni. There are lots of great choices out there, but when you consider the combination of weather, accessibility and community, there's nothing to equal Boulder and CU. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no school in the US that is of the caliber of CU with climbing as close and accessible. You can literally be climbing here 15 minutes after getting out of class on world class routes. Sport, trad, multi pitch, bouldering, whatever you're looking for. And you can climb in Boulder all winter as well: the best days in Eldorado Canyon are typically in the winter. As a counterpoint, I've tried to climb at the T-Wall in Tennessee 3 times with only one successful outing. One time in August it was simply too hot. You honestly could not touch the rock. One time in February it was too cold and miserable. The 'wintry mix' was in effect. Same thing in New Paltz, and truly anywhere east of the Mississippi you're going to have limited climbing days. No matter what anyone tells you, there is no school in the US that is of the caliber of CU with climbing as close and accessible and as many climbable days a year.
If you're really into climbing and you want to go to school, work and climb almost every day, there is no place that compares. If you want to go somewhere that you can talk about the climbing accessibility in terms of hours, there are lots of choices, but if you want to talk about it in terms of minutes, there's only CU. IMO if the climbing is more than a few minutes away, you're relegated to weekend warrior status. Only in Boulder is the climbing close enough that you can climb outdoors the way people in other locales climb at the gym. And with all respect to Blake Cash, he's totally wrong about the climbing here. It is if anything underrated. Some people just don't like Boulder and go out of their way to trash it. But the reality is that the climbing within an easy hour of Boulder is pretty much unlimited. Eldo is not even climbed out. New routes go up all the time and the Flatirons are the same. There would be as many routes within cycling distance of your dorm room than in all of JTree. And the rock quality is great. Now that being said, you do have to be a competent, even bold trad climber to take full advantage of it. Which is why some people cannot appreciate it. I had some Swiss friend visit me once and they showed up with a rack of quick draws and a rope and they were disappointed with the trip. They were impressed by Eldo, but they couldn't get off the ground.


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By Andrew Johnson
From Park City, UT
Apr 12, 2010

if you want to stay east bound plymouth state university in NH really cant be beat. 10 minutes away from rumney with endless quality sport routes of all grades that alone could keep you busy for 4 years. Cannon cliff is only 20 minutes away with some of the longest quality alpine routes in the east. 40 minutes will get you to conway with cathedral ledge and whitehorse with dozens of awesome ignored crags in between scattered along tne kangamangus. Just go climb sandstone splitters in UT during spring break and you got everything covered.


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By portercassidy
From UT/CO
Apr 12, 2010
Deep in a slot canyon, somewhere on the colorado plateau

Im amazed nobody has mentioned Utah State University in Logan, UT. lots of limestone, and FA potential. It even was rated as one of the top party University's to attend in Playboy magazine...... back in the 70's


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By Dan Dalton
From Boulder, CO
Apr 12, 2010
Working the sick hand-jams on Stemwide aka Big Dihedral (5.8) at North Table. Photo courtesy of Scott Borger.

Joe Forrester wrote:
Without a doubt, The Colorado College is the best combination of education, location, and high concentration of dedicated climbers. Check out the CC Alpine Journal. Garden of the Gods, Turkey Rocks, the Black, the Park, you name it, and CC has crushed it. www.coloradocollege.edu/campusactivities/orc/CCAJ%202009.pdf -Joe


Hands down!!! A no brainer. With the block plan, there is plenty of time for climbing too! Not to mention block breaks!!! Pretty prestigous school though and not so easy to get into, but definitely the best combo.


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By Daniel Trugman
From Los Alamos, NM / Stanford, CA
Apr 12, 2010
Final steps up Blanca after a snowy traverse. <br /> <br />Photo by Jason Halladay.

Chase Yarbrough wrote:
Stanford (good education, good climbing, and great climbing community) -- hey you have four years to get your grades up =)


Definitely do not come to Stanford and expect good climbing. The climbing within 2 hours is actually pretty lousy (the bouldering is good but don't really like bouldering). You aren't that far from places like the Valley, Tahoe, etc., but you probably won't have much time to road trip during the school year.


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By Will Cobb
From Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 12, 2010
Me and my son, Kellen.

Kevin,

There are lots of great choices listed here. A couple of things to think about:

1. A school's academic reputation only goes so far. You still have to do the work. A motivated person at a less reputable school will learn more than an unmotivated person at the school with the best reputation. Remember, this is first about school.

2. A man can not live on bread alone. You will need to recreate while in school and climbing is the perfect release. But, your tastes may change in four years and climbing may not always be your number 1 activity. My advice would be to choose a school/location with a variety of outdoor activities to engage in. Climbing, trails for running or riding, paddling, skiing/snowboarding, etc. You get the idea.

3. Cost will become an issue. Tuition, room and board, books and a little spending cash add up real quick. Debt is easy to accumulate while in school. Even though student loans are cheap, they will limit what you can do once you leave school. Many of my friends stayed in state to go to school, saved money, and went on climbing trips during their school vacations. They walked away from their college days with little to no debt.

4. As the years pass by and your college career gets a little closer start asking your parents to start hitting some college towns while on vacation. It will at least give you a taste of what each town will be like.

5. All of the choices this thread have listed are pretty darn cool. Start a list, fire up google and start looking.

My own bias will always be to The University of Arizona in Tucson and Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Both are great schools. U of A is always in the top 20 of all public universities in the country. NAU is one of the best "Mid-Majors" in the country and is loaded with opportunities in a wide variety of degrees. (Hiking the Grand Canyon to learn Geology is pretty awesome...) Both schools are surrounded by several lifetimes of rock, trails, and adventure.

Good luck, have fun, and in a few years let us know which school won out.


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By Scott Krankkala
Apr 12, 2010
Climbing Trail Creek

Western State College in Gunnison Colorado. There is a great community of climbers and great uncrowded climbing nearby. Taylor Canyon is only 15 minutes away and offers all sorts of trad climbing all the way across the board. We also have the black canyon an hour away which offers unrivaled alpine style big wall climbing. Plus we are close to major climbing destinations, Indian Creek, Castle Valley, Escalante Canyon, Unaweep, etc. etc. Plus the ice climbing scene in the winter is sweet with alpine climbs and an ice park in Lake City and Ouray.


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By Kevin Brooks Henry
From Iowa City, IA
Apr 12, 2010
close up

Erik W wrote:
Nevermind college picks right now (since it's 4yrs away), go be an exchange student for a year with some family out in the Chamonix valley. Or somewhere in the Dolomites, or really anywhere in the Alps. Wish I would have done that during high school.


Going to germany in 1-2 years, near munich I think, any good climbing there?


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By Dusty
From Fort Collins
Apr 12, 2010
just teasin' the sharks...

Russell Holcomb wrote:
Hey Bro, I'm a pimp for Boulder


Need I say anything?


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By Blake Cash
Apr 12, 2010

Dusty wrote:
Need I say anything?



beat me to it.

You make it back to the Rincon? Jenn and I left some draws up there on Surf's Up. Hope they're still up there...


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By JohnWesely
From Red River Gorge
Apr 12, 2010
Gunking

University of Georgia in Athens, Ga has to be one of the most well kept secrets in terms of climbing.

There is a bridge with a route on it.
There is a world class bouldering area 20 minutes away
There are two world class granite crags within an hour and a half
3 or 4 hours get you to all of that crappy stuff in NC, but I am not sure why you would bother when Sandrock is just as close
Tallulah Gorge looks cool in pictures, but in reality, the climbs are all low angled, softly graded, and chossy.


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