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What is the best affordable ski resort/mountaineering, climbing town?
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By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Jan 30, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
Is this asking too much?

So, we used to live in Jackson Hole. Actually for the past ten years I have been skiing and climbing in the Tetons and at the resort. It has been a good run to say the least. With a new family of 2 girls the housing costs pushed out of the area...we are currently living in Billings MT. We are in search of a town that we can afford a nice semi-rural house/lifestyle and still enjoy the mtns and skiing with the family. Any suggestions? Some ideas that I have are schweitzer Mtn. (northern Idaho), west Denver area, Ridgeway CO, and Whitefish.

Does anyone have any feedback on these areas or ideas on another place?

FLAG
By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Jan 30, 2011
Consider Leadville, CO.

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By mtoensing
From Boulder
Jan 30, 2011
Props to my home state show
Check out Gunnison. It is really close to Crested Butte ski resort and a central location for areas like the san juans. Also amazing climbing nearby. Living expenses are pretty cheap here and it is a very friendly town. On the down side it is kind of hard to find a job sometimes, especially when all of the college kids take of for the summer and the economy drops some.

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By Josh B
Jan 30, 2011
+1 on Leadville. Although I heard that it has one of the highest rates of cancer per capita in the country. It was hearsay so I could be wrong. I would also check out Buena Vista which is right down the road from Leadville. It has a more robust, healthy, economy and it really has a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast. Close access to 14ers, year round climbing 5 minutes from town, 45 min to skiing at Cooper or Monarch, 1 hr to Copper or Vail, rafting, hiking, hot springs, etc. What are you looking to do for work?

FLAG
By Owen Darrow
From Garmisch,
Jan 30, 2011
Nice view
Kevin Landolt wrote:
Consider Leadville, CO.

Yes, rent is super cheap and it has a pretty good group of parents and kids that are always out doing stuff. Closest climbing and kayaking is in Buena Vista (20 min) and the best small resort skiing is at Ski Cooper (20 min) outside of town. Surrounded by mountain biking and hiking in the highest peaks in the lower 48. Enjoy!

FLAG
By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Jan 30, 2011
Slick Rock put in
Leadville if alcoholism and mental illness aren't in your gene pool. It's bleak up there in the Winter. It's certainly affordable for that part of the state.

FLAG
By Wyatt H
From Casper, Wy
Jan 30, 2011
There are lots of towns in the north wasatch that aren't too expensive.

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By Gordon
Jan 30, 2011
I would have hated my parents if they raised me in Leadville--it is way smaller than most liveable mountain towns, windy, kind of miserable, and cold as shit. I would look at Gunnison and Durango the hardest for Colorado. The skiing is not quite as close, but Fort Collins is just as good for any of those other qualities you're looking for. Plus, there's also New Belgium and Odell's in town.

FLAG
 
By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
Jan 30, 2011
That's true. I grew up in Fort Collins and moved to Leadville for a couple years after high-school. I certainly miss the easy (15 minutes) access for backcountry skiing... but that's about all I miss. Fort Collins is a down to earth town with several notable breweries (check out the newest Equinox Brewing CO ) a liberal university town feel, world class bouldering, sport, trad, etc up Poudre Canyon. And some of the best backcountry skiing terrain in the whole damn state, if not country, up at Cameron Pass - a mere 90 minutes from town. Don't get me started on the great trail-running and mountain biking. We're also the closer to RMNP than the Boulderites.



Backcountry terrain in the Never Summer Mountains 90 minutes from town.

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Jan 30, 2011
Me, of course
Pagosa Springs CO. Get in now before the storm.

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By DrewS
Jan 30, 2011
+1 for Buena Vista or Durango. I would also say that Pagosa Springs is good but would not like to live anywhere near that hot springs. Also I never really thought that Pagosa was close to too much except for Wolf Creek and Chimney Rock.

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By Travis Larsen
From Ogden, UT
Jan 31, 2011
I looked all over the West for the place I live in now it's pretty incredible what you have around for the cost of living here.

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By PTZ
From Chicago/Colorado
Jan 31, 2011
Where? Wouldn't you like to know. You have to buy me a beer, then I will tell you.
Durango great but kind of stuck as a college town. Meaning unless you have a skill, trade or are a hot waitress/bartender it can be tough.
I lived in the Aspen Valley for years. Great place but getting more expensive. Less If you look down valley like Silt or New Castle. Park city or SLC are good also, if you can handle Utah outside of the Moab area.
I would not suggest Leadville or BV. Gunnison good town but balls cold in winter.
Good Luck

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By Walt Barker
From AZ
Jan 31, 2011
Self portrait on the summit of Gray's Peak, CO
..yeah I just got priced out of Jackson Hole this fall, fun while it lasted though! Check out Logan Utah, I loved it. Went to school there. Lots to do and close to SLC if you need to get your urban thing goin' occasionally....Logan's not too far from Jackson, either!
-cheers

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By Yep
Jan 31, 2011
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is a great town. For some reason, I like it better than Boulder, Gunnison, and Whitefish. I've lived in Boulder/West Denver and Coeur d'Alene; I've spent a lot of time in Gunny. I got rained on the week I was in Whitefish.

Coeur d'Alene: warm summers, lots (and, lots) of climbing, lots of natural lakes/streams, lots of mountain biking, more ski mountaineering than you can manage in a life time (only 4 hours north to the Great White North/Canada), and Schweitzer is a great mountain.

One (maybe two) problem (s) with Coeur d'Alene: jobs and housing. My feeling is that most of the jobs are low paying/hourly, and I feel like rents/home prices have gone up since I lived there. All-in-all prices are likely to be much better than Jackson/Driggs. Try Spokane, if northern Idaho is too expensive...I feel like prices are going to fall off pretty fast as you move away from the Coeur d'Alene/Spokane.

I'll move back to Coeur d'Alene someday.

FLAG
By richard magill
Jan 31, 2011
Mountain Bike Action!
You ask the eternal question...

Since you mentioned west Denver: Having lived in the Denver/Boulder area, I would suggest looking elsewhere if you actually are looking for a ski town.

The skiing is basically up I-70 which is about the worst morning ski drive you can imagine. It seems like all of the 4 million people that live in the front range are trying to get to Copper/Breckenridge/Loveland/WinterPark/A-basin/Keystone/Vail at the same time! I have literally spent 5 hours trying to move 88 miles.

Although there is reasonable housing and access to jobs, there is no mountain-town vibe around Denver - it is a vast metropolis complete with horrible traffic and air pollution. Boulder has a good vibe, but is super expensive...

That said, rock-climbing in the Front Range is excellent...

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By richard magill
Jan 31, 2011
Mountain Bike Action!
Oh yeah, one step back from slagging on the front range from a skier's perspective: I think Nederland, Colorado is actually the one place in the Front Range that offers reasonable access both to the ski hill (Eldora), the backcountry, and also back down the hill to jobs in Boulder.

But Eldora isn't a huge ski area either...you could get bored with it if you want big. And Nederland might be just as pricy as Boulder... does anyone know?

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Jan 31, 2011
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!
As far as cost of living goes, the two towns with fast ski access and climbing that come to mind are Reno and Ogden. Both have their own issues of course.

FLAG
By Jim Amidon
Jan 31, 2011
J TREE
Don't forget also about Leadville the whole town is a Superfund site from mining, tailing pile contaminates......

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By slim
Administrator
Jan 31, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.
durango is going to be marginal in terms of affordability. my vote would probably go for salida, CO or perhaps gunnison, CO. if you are willing to consider a 90 minute drive to go skiing (luckily not with heinous traffic), then canon city, CO could be a good option. all of these towns are close to monarch, which is one my favorite ski areas in CO, and probably the best family ski area.

canon city is also about 15 minutes from great sport climbing, has fantastic weather, and has a fairly small community of great folks who like skiing, climbing, biking, and doing all of this with family. if i had kids, its probably where i would look to go.

FLAG
By talkinrocks
From Boulder, CO
Jan 31, 2011
Washburns Thumb.  Denali
richard magill wrote:
Oh yeah, one step back from slagging on the front range from a skier's perspective: I think Nederland, Colorado is actually the one place in the Front Range that offers reasonable access both to the ski hill (Eldora), the backcountry, and also back down the hill to jobs in Boulder. But Eldora isn't a huge ski area either...you could get bored with it if you want big. And Nederland might be just as pricy as Boulder... does anyone know?


Nederland sucks, actually it blows, a lot. either way dont move there :)
Eldora is actually a great place for kids and beginner skiers with some good turns to be had by others. The backcountry isnt the Elks, but it aint that bad with some effort. Plenty of jobs in Boulder or elsewhere. Prices similar to Boulder unless you want a house(cabin, shack) built in 1900

FLAG
By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 1, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
Wow!!!! These suggestions are terrific! This is a very difficult question. I have been working 50-65hr work weeks so its hard to find time to search but I will look over all these suggestions. I really liked the NEVER SUMMER comment as we usually bring out the ice climbing gear in June northern couloirs on the grand; black ice, vision quest, NW.

FLAG
By richard magill
Feb 1, 2011
Mountain Bike Action!
I live near Vedauwoo (literally at the end of Vedauwoo road) so I consider moving every winter...after all, windchill was -38F this morning when I woke up. Then summer comes and I forget all about it until the next November...

Anyway, I did some "average home price" research (2009 from city-data.com) on some towns, will record it here for posterity so I can look it up next winter:

Jackson $532,439
Boulder $477,700
Ft Collins $248,500
Reno $245,000
SLC $242,400
Colo Spgs $213,800
Ogden $139,900 (can that even be true?!?)

Plus, the skiing in the Wasatch is just unreal...

FLAG
By Ty Meadows
From Moab, UT
Feb 1, 2011
hellvis
Walt Barker wrote:
..yeah I just got priced out of Jackson Hole this fall, fun while it lasted though! Check out Logan Utah, I loved it. Went to school there. Lots to do and close to SLC if you need to get your urban thing goin' occasionally....Logan's not too far from Jackson, either! -cheers

+1 Nice brewery and "The Beav" is great with great backcountry access. Pretty close to City of Rocks, Idaho, for summer climbs.

FLAG
 
By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 3, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
Thanks for all the input. It's funny that this discussion is about Jackson Hole and the inventor of "Mountain Project" has a huge house in Jackson and I believe owns the Enclosure Rock Gym there too...an exceptionally nice person as well.

No one has mentioned Ridgeway/Ouray though. That is kinda surprising. I am not sure I would want to live near SLC...it seems kinda smoggy there. This is a tough decision. Its really hard to touch the access of the Tetons. I still have not had the time to look at some of these towns in depth. I am working 10-12 hr days 6 days a week and its wrecking me. I think that the greater population of Americans have the idea of Work then Die. Or Live to Work rather Work to Live. Either way I haven't had the time to do much.

FLAG
By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 3, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
not climbin' much anymore wrote:
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is a great town. For some reason, I like it better than Boulder, Gunnison, and Whitefish. I've lived in Boulder/West Denver and Coeur d'Alene; I've spent a lot of time in Gunny. I got rained on the week I was in Whitefish. Coeur d'Alene: warm summers, lots (and, lots) of climbing, lots of natural lakes/streams, lots of mountain biking, more ski mountaineering than you can manage in a life time (only 4 hours north to the Great White North/Canada), and Schweitzer is a great mountain. One (maybe two) problem (s) with Coeur d'Alene: jobs and housing. My feeling is that most of the jobs are low paying/hourly, and I feel like rents/home prices have gone up since I lived there. All-in-all prices are likely to be much better than Jackson/Driggs. Try Spokane, if northern Idaho is too expensive...I feel like prices are going to fall off pretty fast as you move away from the Coeur d'Alene/Spokane. I'll move back to Coeur d'Alene someday.


What's the ski access in Coeur d'Alene? Where is it? Glacier National Park? Is it a quick drive to the park then 5-8 miles to a summit ski? It took about 3-4 hrs to skin to the Meadows in the Tetons. That put you in the Grand Nez Perce circuit. Also, you mentioned climbing. Are you referring to sport climbing? Alpine?

FLAG


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