Route Guide - iPhone / Android - Partners - Forum - Photos - Deals - What's New - School of Rock
Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Las Vegas, Reno, or Bozeman for grad school?
View Latest Posts in This Forum or All Forums
   Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>
Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
 
 
By Claire Rasmussen
From Bozeman, MT
Mar 21, 2013
pitch 1 West Crack

I'm trying to decide where to go to grad school next year. If you've lived in one or more of these cities I would love your opinion on the general quality of life, how cohesive and friendly the climbing community is, the ease with which someone new to town can find climbing partners, that sort of thing.

Also, in regard to Las Vegas, I'm wondering how safe the neighborhoods around UNLV are. Safe enough to walk home alone from campus at 9pm? Or is that a bad idea anywhere in Vegas?

Any insight is greatly appreciated!


FLAG
By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 21, 2013

Vegas is a pretty good bet in terms of climbing. Plenty in town year round (you gotta like limestone sport climbing for summertime rock adventures), but the amount of rock within a days drive is mind boggling. Sierra, everything in Utah, most of Colorado, all of Arizona, chunks of New Mexico, etc, etc.

Community has gotten alot better since 2007 when the crash happened. People are sticking around, making this place their home. We have alot of pretty tight groups and new folks have a much easier time working their way into the community. The local council is even coming back to life and being pretty successful with those efforts.

In terms of safety in town- Las Vegas is a large metropolitan area (roughly 2 million people in the valley). Like any large city, there are good neighborhoods and bad ones. The UNLV area has good parts and bad parts. Its right at the center of the city, which means its in an older part of town, so you need to definitely check out where you're thinking of living at night. I do know theres a decently active student climbing community and there are rumors of a large climbing gym going in downtown, not too far from UNLV.

Depending on your inclination, I'd recommend living on the west side- its nicer, closer to Red Rock, and its pretty much where all the climbers live, so you can probably find a roommate who climbs easier.

I've lived here for about 26 years now, love it for the most part. Dont let its reputation from visitors give you a bad impression- those impressions come from our crappy campground and life on the strip. Neither one of which come into play when you actually live here.


FLAG
By Joe Manlove
Mar 21, 2013

What're you planning on studying? The climbing community is bozo is pretty cohesive, but the climbing is mostly ice for 9 months. If you want to get lots of skiing or work in bozo is great. If winter's not your thing and you want to climb alot and work minimally go someplace else.

Cheers


FLAG
By alpinglow
From city, state
Mar 21, 2013

Wouldn't the quality of the school be a larger factor?


FLAG
By John Wilder
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 21, 2013

alpinglow wrote:
Wouldn't the quality of the school be a larger factor?


I assume the OP can do that research on her own.


FLAG
By Lurker
Mar 21, 2013

Reno is a pretty good bet. I can't speak to the Reno climbing community, but the Tahoe climbing community is pretty big, and generally friendly.

Not much climbing to speak of in Reno proper. 45 to 90 minute drives will put you within a lifetime of amazing granite in the Tahoe Basin tho. Bishop is 3 hours south, and there's some good winter bouldering in Doyle, about 45 minutes north of Reno.

How many days a week will you be in school? A lot of people commute to UNR from Truckee.

Skiing in Tahoe is pretty phenomenal too. Some of the most accessible backcountry you'll find anywhere.


FLAG
By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Mar 22, 2013
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do

#1 - Go to the program that will get you to where you want to go beyond your 2+ years of battling through grad school. It is way more important to get into a good program and make it happen in that respect; if there is awesome climbing nearby that is a nice bonus.


#2 - I did both undergrad and grad school in Reno. Give you an idea on my background, I went to high school in Las Vegas as well and am living back down here again now after getting a job down here. Living in Summerlin is THE way to go if you are living in Vegas. I would strongly recommend against living near UNLV. A friend of mine was robbed at gunpoint in broad daylight there a couple of years ago. That being said, her experience may not necessarily be the norm there.

LVMPD Crime Mapping


That should help you, make sure to set the date parameters to as far back as you can so as to get the fullest understanding from the data.

It also depends on what kind of town you are looking for...Vegas and Reno are very different. Both are great towns, but for different reasons. Can't speak to Bozeman, as I have never been there.

The Reno and Tahoe climbing communities are pretty easy to find partners in, and I have had no difficulties finding partners here in Vegas (or having old friends come visit now during high season). As is mentioned up-thread, the Reno area doesn't suck for climbing. Lifetimes worth of rock 45 mins + away. Awesome access to other areas. Same with Vegas except you have Red Rock in your backyard. That doesn't suck, either.

Sorry for the lack of a cogent response, been up for a lot of hours today after returning from an Eastern time zone business trip. Best of luck in your decision, make school the #1 priority and the remainder should sort itself out best. Let the real internal debate be a point of contention once you have competing job offers from companies in those cities....


FLAG
By SteveP
From tehachapi, CA
Mar 22, 2013
king

Vegas. hands down.


oh, yeah, and whichever program gives you an assistantship.


FLAG
 
By Claire Rasmussen
From Bozeman, MT
Mar 22, 2013
pitch 1 West Crack

John - Thanks so much for your response. I'm kind of leaning toward Vegas, but had some reservations due to its reputation. It's really encouraging to hear a good review.

Joe - I'll be studying math. Only ice climbing for 9 months!?! I had no idea the winters where that bad. I do like to ski, but I don't know if I want it to be my only option for 9 months...

alpinglow - The quality of the school is indeed an important factor, but as John pointed out, this is research I can do (and have done) on my own.

Weston - Thanks so much for the crime mapping link and the advice on neighborhood choice. All of these programs are pretty comparable and UNLV and MSU have offered me assistantships (still waiting on UNR, but I'm optimistic), so at this point I'm just trying to gather as much additional information as possible.


FLAG
By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Mar 22, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

Some good responses to ponder here Clair...I have seen few posts regarding this subject cover three such diverse options....completely different. I have lived in Incline Village (Lake Tahoe), Canmore, Alberta (similar seasons and temps as Bozeman)and St.George, UT, the desert 1.5hrs from Vegas. The amount of potential rock climbing hours available to you in the desert vs your other two choices is quite substantial. If you enjoy winter sports, particularly ice climbing, Bozeman would offer you a much better close-knit climbing community than anywhere in California or Nevada. But your trad climbing skills would progress so much more if you lived in the desert near a climbing area like Red Rock, Jtree, Moab, Sedona or Zion.

Unlike Portland, where you appear to be from, which is a very progressive city and allows 3 hens per household in city limits....Vegas mandates 3 guns per household....just kidding (sort of)...downtown Vegas is not unlike most any other of its size with the exception of its transient population being larger (tourists=more opportunity for theft; warmer climate). I know several young ladies who live and go to school at UNLV who manage it just fine...having to be no more prudent than any other coed at a major downtown University (GA State in Atlanta for example).

Good luck on such a unique decision...my last three decisions on where I have lived have been solely based on my desires...treat each day like it is your last, with limited amount of fear...we are all dying day by day anyway. Every night you can lay your head down in your pillow with a smile is a huge win. Cheers.


FLAG
By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Mar 22, 2013
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do

May the school that gives you the best assistantship offer relative to cost of living in the area win! None of those three locations suck, again, I can only speak on Vegas and Reno as those are the cities listed that I have lived in, but I am loving the fact that I can drive 5 mins from my house to Red Rock. Absolutely love it. However, I do miss driving 45 mins to Donner Summit and taking a swim in the lake with my friends on a hot day.


What my rambling response is trying to say is that regardless you will make a good decision and it will have its own strengths and opportunities. Enjoy the ride that is grad school (MS or PhD?) and make sure you check on employment placement rates for these schools.

Happy climbing!


FLAG
By Dan Bachen
Mar 22, 2013

Winters in Bozeman can be a bit long. I generally stop rope climbing in late October/ early November and start again in March (weather permitting). There is some decent winter bouldering about an hour away near Butte, that can be pretty nice if it's sunny and above freezing.

Having to switch to skiing for 4-5 months could be worse, Bridger bowl is >20 minutes from town and has some epic in-bounds skiing if you have a beacon, Bigsky is about an hour south. If backcounty is more your style Hyalite is great for an after work lap or something more epic.

Other than that the quality of life here is pretty good, low crime, medium sized college town with a great outdoor culture. I've been a grad student here for 2 years and have no regrets.


FLAG
By David A
From Boulder, CO
Mar 22, 2013
Hanging out after climbing a route in Eldo on a cold day.

Reno!


FLAG
By rockratrei
From Las Vegas, NV
Mar 22, 2013
rockratrei

I went to grad school at UNLV and choose it because of the year round climbing ! Beyond grad school I lived in Vegas for 12 years and climbed every summer in Red Rock(go out early before the sun rises find a north facing wall climb until noon and race outta there!)
I also climbed all of the surrounding areas ! ! !
Lived off Tropicanna and Maryland Pkwy in the 1990's not sure how
that is now. If you want to go to UNLV talk to students to get
the dirt.

Happy studying and climbing!


FLAG
By plantmandan
From Brighton, Co
Mar 22, 2013
J Tree after blizzard

Reno is closest to Tahoe, the Eastern Sierra, and Burning Man.


FLAG
By Dow Williams
From Saint George, UT
Mar 22, 2013
Dow Williams, 2011

off topic, but hasn't Burning Man kind of turned into a yuppie, but wanna be dirtbagger, festival at $400+ a pop or whatever they charge now days??? I also heard rumors it was heading south.


FLAG
 
By plantmandan
From Brighton, Co
Mar 22, 2013
J Tree after blizzard

Dow Williams wrote:
off topic, but hasn't Burning Man kind of turned into a yuppie, but wanna be dirtbagger, festival at $400+ a pop or whatever they charge now days??? I also heard rumors it was heading south.


Well, people have been speaking about the demise of Burning Man since they banned recreational shooting and imposed a speed limit there in 1996.

You might find some climbing there as well.
hypha
hypha


FLAG
By Cale Hoopes
From Sammamish, WA
Mar 22, 2013
Profile Icon

Bozeman. Better ice.


FLAG
By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 22, 2013
Get down from there! <br /> <br />May 2013 <br />Photo by Duc

Lived in Reno for a while and attended UNR for a short time. Small climbing community which is loosely associated (I was comparing it to the Phoenix climbing community I was used to). Finding good, consistent, long term partners in town was a so-so probability in my experience. You can always find lots of other good pards to meet out of the surrounding California areas.

Reno has mostly great, four season weather and great access to a variety of top notch climbing. I would imagine Vegas is more like a two season place (I base this on a lot of trips there during my Arizona years and the fact that Vegas has a similar climate to the Sonoran Desert).

I think driving around Reno is not nearly as bad as getting around the Vegas area due to size and population.

If you go to Vegas, keep in mind living on the Red Rocks side of town means a much longer commute to school. In my experience, living close to school is much more important than living a few minutes from climbing because you'll spend a lot more of your time at school.

I recently visited Bozeman but not enough time spent there to tell you anything other than you should probably like winter-ish activities more than summer-ish, although the town is not excessively snowier than Reno in winter.


FLAG
By sqwirll
From Las Vegas
Mar 22, 2013
Cool snow formation at the base.

Depends what you're more into. I've lived in Bozeman and Vegas for substantial periods of time.

If you're more into climbing, I'd say Vegas. Although skiing and ice climbing are close enough to satisfy your needs.

If you're more into skiing and ice climbing, I'd say Bozeman. There are no destination climbing near Bozeman (unless you count the Tetons), but there are a ton of cool climbing areas really close to town. You can climb granite, gneiss, & limestone all within 1 hour of town.

I'd move back to Bozeman in a heartbeat (even with the hipster explosion), but the pay up there is pretty crap.

That said, living in Vegas is way cooler than it would seem at first glance.


FLAG
By Weston L
From Summerlin, NV
Mar 22, 2013
Me at the good rest on Doggie Do

Might I also add that with prudent selection of canyon and aspect, Vegas offers a more hospitable habitat for summer climbing than most give it credit for...


FLAG
By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Mar 22, 2013

Weston L wrote:
Might I also add that with prudent selection of canyon and aspect, Vegas offers a more hospitable habitat for summer climbing than most give it credit for...


Especially if you enjoy pocketed limestone; shady crags at Mt. Charleston can be absolutely prime (i.e. belaying with a sweatshirt or jacket on) even when it is triple digits temperature on the Strip.


FLAG
By Woodchuck ATC
Mar 23, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008

Vegas for sure,,,with so many other great places to climb within a short days drive too. UNLV must have something decent to study...


FLAG
By Andrew Mayer
Mar 23, 2013
top of mt. lady washington - rmnp

I would vote against bozeman unless you are big into ice, or wanting to get big into ice climbing.


FLAG
 
By Jason D. Martin
Mar 25, 2013
Jason

I went to graduate school at UNLV and lived close to campus. I loved living in Vegas. I stayed for a number of years after I graduated. I miss living there all the time.

It's a little bit seedy around campus. I had a good apartment within walking distance and often walked or rode my bike late at night. There were a couple of times when there were odd people about that I didn't trust a lot, but I never had any problems.

My wife also went to UNLV and regularly walked to school alone. She never had any problems...

Jason


FLAG
By Jason D. Martin
Mar 25, 2013
Jason

One last note...

If you have a car or want to ride the bus, there are much nicer neighborhoods when you get away from campus a bit...

Jason


FLAG


Follow replies to this topic? Notify me at the top of web site.
1

Email me.
Page 1 of 2.  1  2   Next>   Last>>