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Phoenix or Tucson for climbing?
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By NickMartel
From Tucson, Arizona
Apr 16, 2014
And Tucson has a really good live music scene. And crazy nightlife.

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By Christian
From Casa do Cacete
Apr 16, 2014
Ooops...
Implying that South Tucson crime rates are representative of crime rates in all of Tucson is kind of like using Compton to represent all of L.A.

It's not too hard to figure out where Leon found these stats, where Tucson itself is #25 and Phoenix is #17.

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By Chris C
From Seattle, Wa
Apr 16, 2014
at the top of the headstone
leon wrote:
According the the city crime rate directory South Tuscon is #1, and Phoenix is #12 in AZ. The road quality in Tuscon really sucks. Hopefully the new trolley lines don't cramp the 4th street riding even more than it is now. I am a roadie and was looking forward to training in Tuscon during my visit. Mt Lemmon highway is sweet, but the rest of the town's roads are far from decent. Things I enjoyed in Tuscon: art fairs, bike swap, mellow winter weather, and pawn shops. It's not without a charm. Although, for a young college kid Phoenix would be a better choice...I think.


FWIW South Tucson is its own city, not a part of Tucson.
southtucson.org/

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By Eric D
From Gnarnia
Apr 16, 2014
Born again on the last move of the Red Dihedral, high Sierras.
Leon - the culture that really impressed me in Tucson was

The huge Mexican influence and all culture that came with that. From the food, to the bario parties on the south side, to the Mexican influence in art there, to only-in-Tucson events like the insane day of the dead march. No other city has a day of the dead event like that.

Tucson has a very good live-music scene with many small intimate venues.

Tucson has a good amount of unique historic architecture. If you know where to look (Bario Viejo among other places) Tucson has some very cool historic adobe homes that are being bought up and renovated while keeping their original character. Places like Sam Hughes are full of beautiful historic homes. You also get some very cool renovated historic buildings like the Icehouse Lofts and the 1860s schoolhouse that is now modern lofts just south of downtown.

Cool performance art is pretty common in Tucson and the city hosts a lot of very unique events. For example, Tucson meet yourself, the party after the Day of the Dead march, and many others.

Tucson has it's problems (crime, roads) but I find it to be a culturally interesting place to live.

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By jeff lebowski
Apr 16, 2014
Phoenix if you like fake boobs. Tucson if you like meth.

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By Joe Kreidel
From Tucson, AZ
Apr 16, 2014
Tucson, for sure. While I would never argue that the climbing in Tucson is world-class, the combination of easy access and year round climbing in Tucson is hard to beat. Mt. Lemmon rises to 9500 feet, so even on the hottest days of summer, perfect climbing temps can be found high on the mountain. On the coldest days of the year, south facing cliffs low,on the mountain are perfect. From U of A you can be at Gates Pass boulders in 15 minutes, at the base of Lemmon in 20, or a 5 minute bike ride to the gym.

The city certainly has its quirks and downsides (like anyplace), but is actually a really nice place to live. It has a small town feel to it in a lot of ways, but with a dynamic downtown arts/music/culinary scene. Tucson has a ton of cool festivals and events, and some good museums. And all the arts and nightlife is all nestled in a compact, walkable area, whereas the Phoenix arts and nightlife is spread out across downtown/Tempe/Scottsdale/Mesa.

My experience with Phoenix is admittedly limited, but for me, Tucson is the easy winner.

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By Brandon Baldwin
From Sahuarita, AZ
Apr 16, 2014
TJ and I at Munchkin Land
I grew up in Chandler and have lived in Sahuarita for the past 7 years. I have a Bachelor's degree from ASU and a Master's degree from UofA. For my degree field (Mechanical Engineering) I prefered the education I recieved at ASU, but only slightly. I would pick ASU for Architecture and Business and UofA for anything in the Medical field. Anything else is kind of a wash. Both areas have safe areas and dangerous areas. Sahuarita is the safest town in Arizona followed by Oro Valley (both in the Tucson area). I think Gilbert was #3 (Phoenix area). I prefer the area near ASU (Mill Ave. and the Tempe Marketplace are very nice) to the area near UofA which is kinda rundown. I love the outdoor climbing in Tucson, the variety and the proximity. Climbing day trips after school on weekdays are easy in Tucson. I like the indoor climbing gyms in Phoenix more than Tucson, more gyms and better variety. Traffic is far worse in Phoenix and was the major reason I took a job in Tucson when I graduated. Every freeway turns into a parking lot during rush hour in Phoenix.

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By leon
Apr 16, 2014
Mug shot
Nice to know about Day of The Dead celebration in Tucson. The event has been put on my "list to attend" for years! A little off subject, but it was a lot of fun going to that part of Mexico as well. The Sea of Cortez offers its own uniquely delicate serenity. Another event I quite enjoyed was The Mineral and Gem show in Tuscon. The people it brought into the town were also very interesting.
Hey, whatever goes for the kid. I just think there is more to do in Phoenix. BTW I stayed where I lived for bike rides, which is Starr Pass, and never got bothered. I would NOT go much South though. Seriously scary places.

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By leon
Apr 17, 2014
Mug shot
Whichever town you end up in, don't forget to take the advantage of free buffet at the local casinos when you get your first time players card. Surely hits the spot after a long day of climbing!

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By jefe
Apr 19, 2014
Tucson's way ghetto.

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By Eric Hamer
From Tucson
Apr 19, 2014
Aint nothin like a chihuahua with a backpack. Someone's got to carry the beer
jefe wrote:
Tucson's way ghetto.


Agreed.

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By Bob
Apr 19, 2014
I love Tucson. I have lived here since 1982 and I have no desire to live anywhere else. The Sonoran desert is as beautiful as it gets. You can climb here year around without suffering.

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By Adam Block
From Tucson, AZ
Apr 20, 2014
Some background on me, I grew up in Milwaukee and lived from crappy urban areas to the wealthy burbs, I have also lived in South Carolina and checked out (for a few weeks at a time) at least a half dozen other US cities.

In terms of Tucson, I have lived in every part of it, from Oro Valley, Barrio Hollywood, Sabino Canyon, Marana, and the Foothill to yes, even South Tucson. The nightlife SUCKS but I'm used to going out in Chicago, it still sucks next to Milwaukee but not as bad. I liked living in South Tucson the most honestly, people may call that "high crime" but I find it laughably low but again, compared to other urban areas. I have never felt "unsafe" here.

Traffic, it's awesome here, I'm guessing native people would say otherwise or maybe younger folks but I love driving in Tucson more than any other city I have lived in. It may not always be the best but it's proactive. The lack of interstate cross town or a loop does bite if you live NW and want to get to Lemmon though.

UofA is a better school, the end.

Climbing and the climbing community are better here.

I would leave Tucson tomorrow if Lemmon were gone but I may do that even with Lemmon not being gone. It does get old after awhile, same people climbing the same crap in the same spots but I guess that's anyplace and I have A LOT of hobbies of which I will never be great at any single one.

I would pick Tucson honestly and find something like South Tucson to move to, Lemmon was really easy from 32nd and Kino (Campbell) and so was campus.

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By manuel rangel
From Tempe, Arizona
Apr 20, 2014
I drive through Tucson all the time. I live in Tempe so I pass a lot of towns in AZ to climb.

Have fun wherever you land, both schools are ok. Get used to the provincial outlook some people have about "their" areas. You can drive to all the crags in AZ from either Tucson or Phoenix.

As usual for most towns, the local milieu revolves around the gyms mostly. You will meet the same people but different in either town, although from reading the previous posts some folks are quite rabid about it. Enjoy your time in school and you will find plenty to climb in either town.

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By Scott M. McNamara
From Tucson, Arizona
Apr 27, 2014
One Way Sunset
tucsonweekly.com/tucson/cities...

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By James Xu
From Flagstaff, Arizona
Apr 27, 2014
Old Man gap highline!
Have you thought about Flagstaff and NAU?

NAU's campus is on a smaller scale when put into comparison with the UA or ASU, but boasts in certain areas such as the forestry department, parks and recreation, environmental studies, etc. and has an absolutely badass and growing community of young climbers, bicyclists, slackliners/highliners, and other outdoor enthusiasts. But like Jaren said, quality of education depends more on your initiative and engagement than it does on the university. The town is very small and quiet, and is surrounded by an ever green pinyon pine forest which can be a very nice escape from the bustle and city life that Tucson and Phoenix has to offer. All in all, if you want to make an effort to be outside and want to do something awesome, there's always someone else that's just as psyched as you are.

Climbing here is very close with easy access, such as the Pit, Priest Draw, Paradise Fork, Mt. Elden, etc. Sedona is just a 45 minute drive from town, while southern Arizona, Moab, Red Rocks and other areas are roughly 4-5 hours out. Climbing is nearly year round, if you are willing to adjust your elevation. In the winter Flagstaff can have a hell a lot of snow (or none at all), which in turn creates the big snowboard/ski community at Snowbowl as well.

The climbing gyms here are great and very community-driven, and NAU has a decent climbing wall (w/ bouldering, TR and sport climbing on 40' walls) at the rec that is free to students and gets re-set every week.

As someone that recently transferred from the UA to NAU, I would say the biggest thing I miss about Tucson was the music, art, and Mt. Lemmon (and SoAz climbing in general!!), but the things that drew me to NAU was the atmosphere and integrated forest environment, school program, inclusive gyms and communities, and all the cool shit that always happens up here. The UA is a great school, but NAU is definitely geared towards those who want to spend a good amount of their college experience in a great community full of outdoor enthusiasts.

For me, it was a great move. It's not for everyone, but for a lot, it's a pretty damn good place to be.

FLAG
 


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