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What is the best affordable ski resort/mountaineering, climbing town?
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By Allen Hill
From FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Feb 4, 2011
Slick Rock put in
The ski area in Sandpoint is great. Schweitzer mountain.

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By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 4, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
Allen Hill wrote:
The ski area in Sandpoint is great. Schweitzer mountain.


I've looked at the ski map and all though its no Jackson, there does seem to have potential...and quite a good vertical drop. Is there any OB skiing from the lifts? Also, what are the mtns like up in that area...they seem to be about 6-8k feet high. Is there Alpine Climbing and ski mtneering in those hills?

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By drpw
Feb 6, 2011
Salinas, CA

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By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 26, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
OK, I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this little blog but noone has mentioned Ouray/Ridgeway area. It's about 40 minutes to Telluride and 1hr to Silverton, 3 hrs to moab, and ice climbing everywhere....am I missing something about this place or do people just don't know about it?

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By bjp
From durango
Feb 26, 2011
bud
athan wrote:
OK, I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this little blog but noone has mentioned Ouray/Ridgeway area. It's about 40 minutes to Telluride and 1hr to Silverton, 3 hrs to moab, and ice climbing everywhere....am I missing something about this place or do people just don't know about it?



good jobs are tough to come by in dgo, but they're really gonna be hard to find in ouray and ridgeway. just too small. the climbing is great all around ouray (many folks from dgo drive up to ouray regularly through the winter to climb...), but it's hard to live with no work. of course, it depends on what you currently do for a living as to whether or not my statements are valid.

I figure you could pretty much count on having to drive at least to Montrose for work. It can be done, but it's not a lot of fun to have to drive a ways to work.

I live in dgo, and I drive 75 miles (one-way) to my awesome job.

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By T.C.
From Whittier, NC
Feb 26, 2011
It looks like skiing is your focus, but if you decided to give up some on that side, Asheville is about as fabulous as an "outdoor town" as you can get in the East, especially if you have the kayak bug too. Housing is plentiful and reasonably priced, jobs are not hard to come by, and the independent nature of the downtown scene puts out a great vibe. We do have some Ice in the winter, but the closest you can get to ski mountaineering is cross country on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I ski to Waterrock Knob about 10 times per season via the parkway and it is wonderful. The ski areas around here typically open in Nov and close around right now. My Cataloochee pass cost me $160, and I'm almost always the only one on tele gear when I go. I miss the big mountains of WA now and then, but then spring arrives and I'm on my road/mountain bikes, kayaking in the GSMNP, or climbing at Linville and I quickly forget that.

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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 26, 2011
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
My family and I (5 and 2 year old) just moved from Jackson to Bend, Oregon. We had spent 8 years in Jackson, and with our oldest child starting kindergarten - we decided it was the right time to make the move.

We're climbers before skiers, and the (rock) climbing in Jackson is really quite poor. Yes you can access the City of Rocks and Lander, but with small kids it just doesn't happen much.

We love Bend. Climbing in TShirts in January, and skiing powder (ok, heavy powder) the next day..... and it is an AMAZING town for kids. I don't think there is a more kid friendly town in the U.S. The entire town is setup for kids and there are great schools.

You give up the big mountains in Bend, but in exchange you get great weather, great climbing (trad and sport), world class mountain biking, and acceptable skiing. And all this is packaged with a huge infrastucture for families and kids. Want to go to the crag with your kids? There are five other families in your neighborhood to go with!

Oh yeah, and houses are DIRT cheap right now!

Good luck with your search!

Andy

ps. When thinking about your next home town.... be sure to consider how your family needs will change in a few years. We travelled out of Jackson extensively in the off season with young kids, but once our son started kindergarten that was no longer an option - hence the motivation to move. We wanted to live in a town that was a great place all 12 months of the year... and as everyone knows, there are 4 rough months in Jackson! And of course, schools are critical! In fact, it may become the most critical decision for you in a few years....

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By Chris C.
From Lakewood, CO
Feb 26, 2011
Buckwater Draw, Dinosaur National Monument
Consider this a vote for Ouray/Ridegway area. I'm a life-long Coloradan, and I've always thought this would be the place to retire. I love the area. The Sneffels range reminds me of the Tetons a little bit, especially with the way Mt. Sneffels dominates (like the Grand). Like you, I had to leave Jackson Hole after several years of summer jobs in the park and a two-year full-time stint in Teton Village. I can't think of an area I like more in the country, but it's just too expensive. The hiking in the Ouray area is endless, and there are many alpine climbs nearby (not to mention ice climbing). I just assume there aren't many jobs, though. It can be a zoo on the summer holiday weekends, but it might be worth it. Sadly, it isn't an unknown area anymore, so the housing prices might be little higher than you'd expect.

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By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 27, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
T.C. wrote:
It looks like skiing is your focus, but if you decided to give up some on that side, Asheville is about as fabulous as an "outdoor town" as you can get in the East, especially if you have the kayak bug too. Housing is plentiful and reasonably priced, jobs are not hard to come by, and the independent nature of the downtown scene puts out a great vibe. We do have some Ice in the winter, but the closest you can get to ski mountaineering is cross country on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I ski to Waterrock Knob about 10 times per season via the parkway and it is wonderful. The ski areas around here typically open in Nov and close around right now. My Cataloochee pass cost me $160, and I'm almost always the only one on tele gear when I go. I miss the big mountains of WA now and then, but then spring arrives and I'm on my road/mountain bikes, kayaking in the GSMNP, or climbing at Linville and I quickly forget that.


I've lived in Boone, NC for a spell... I think if kayaking and rock climbing is your bag (and humidity), asheville is the place. Also, there is incredible fly fishing under an hour drive from Asheville. The east seems to be over run with people and trash though.

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By Timmamok
From Durango, CO
Feb 27, 2011
crack at undisclosed location - my little proj
Durango sucks ;-)

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Feb 27, 2011
Me, of course
athan wrote:
OK, I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this little blog but noone has mentioned Ouray/Ridgeway area. It's about 40 minutes to Telluride and 1hr to Silverton, 3 hrs to moab, and ice climbing everywhere....am I missing something about this place or do people just don't know about it?


Everyone knows, it's just an expensive resort area with limited employment opportunities. Also, Red Mountain Pass between Ouray and Silverton shuts down whenever it snows, so, no access to the best ski area in the state on the exact days you want to be there. At least that's what I have heard from locals, maybe I'm wrong.

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By Evan S
From Erie, CO
Feb 27, 2011
Me, of course
richard magill wrote:
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?


Yeah, ned is comparably priced to Boulder, maybe a little less expensive, but gosh darn if it ain't literally the windiest, nastiest place to spend a winter in the state. I grew up skiing at Eldora, it's fun, there are good trees, a tiny bit of decent o/b, MASSIVE crowds on the weekends, and really good snow maybe a handful of days a year. After moving back down to Boulder from Summit County, I tried to deal with Eldo and fighting my way up I70 to Loveland, but screw that. I basically just don't ski much anymore. DO NOT move to the front range if skiing is really important to you.

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By JPVallone
Feb 27, 2011
If skiing comes first I would look outside of the USA for maximum pleasure, better terrain and more affordability.

If it must be the USA, then Anchorage is only 45 minutes to Alyeska and you would be in Alaska at least.

First choice is the Alps for skiing but if Canada works, you will find more enjoyable skiing there. Or maybe I should say a more liberal approach to the use of the skiing in these places.

Good luck in your quest

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By jon weekley
From Denver, Co
Feb 27, 2011
avocado gully
Lakewood's pretty cool. 35 min from eldo, 5 min to I-70, 1.20 to rmnp, a few crappy jobs, schools, medium hot chicks with feathered hair and cigs., 1.30 splatt, 7.30 to JH in summer,4.30ish to ouray...12 min to Broaderdam...

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By TFB
From Boulder, CO
Feb 27, 2011
Sure, I'll throw in a plug for Ridgway/Ouray. I "spend most of my time" over the hill in the Magic Kingdom: Telluride. If you've made it this far in a mtn town, then you can disregard comments from the "Martin Acres" types who dream about living in the mtns but have no idea what its really like.
I hesitate to give you the DL on where we ski and climb b/c when I travel and people ask me where I ski or climb I usually say The Creek or Rifle, which is true, but after hanging out in Boulder with the chicks and "climbing heroes", its nice to have a place, a climbing, area to ourselves and I don't want more people to coming here and clogging it up with their shiny gear and attitudes. Suffice it to say that there are about 100 limestone crags around Ouray: some developed/some not. Ridgway has more sun than anyplace else I know including Boulder. That said you need to "roll your own" in a place like this: build your own house (or fix it anyway), run your own business, fix your truck, shovel your own roof, etc: In short, you're a long way from the Boulder Rock Club!
I've ice climbed in most places and the San Juans are the only place where it doesn't have that desperate "bitter cold, gray sky, blowing snow in the face" feel to it. I find leading pitches under the bridge in the Ice Park to be very challenging. Get there late, leave early and still scare the shit out of myself leading hard ice. Tons of ice in the backcountry too.
On the skiing side, I don't want to get into that one too much either but one of my bros in Silverton summed it up best, "TFB, I skiied 110 days last year, everyone of them in the backcountry and everyone of them powder".
Have fun and enjoy the search!

FLAG
By ConorD
From Monf***ingtana
Feb 27, 2011
blodgett canyon
Whitefish is really great for skiing, and the backcountry skiing is amazing. Unfortunately there isn't much in the way of climbing. GNP is great for mountaineering, but technical climbing and free climbing isn't very good there. The closest cragging is in stone hill, I found it to get old a little quickly. Great climbing south in missoula though.

FLAG
 
By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 27, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
TFB wrote:
Sure, I'll throw in a plug for Ridgway/Ouray. I "spend most of my time" over the hill in the Magic Kingdom: Telluride. If you've made it this far in a mtn town, then you can disregard comments from the "Martin Acres" types who dream about living in the mtns but have no idea what its really like. I hesitate to give you the DL on where we ski and climb b/c when I travel and people ask me where I ski or climb I usually say The Creek or Rifle, which is true, but after hanging out in Boulder with the chicks and "climbing heroes", its nice to have a place, a climbing, area to ourselves and I don't want more people to coming here and clogging it up with their shiny gear and attitudes. Suffice it to say that there are about 100 limestone crags around Ouray: some developed/some not. Ridgway has more sun than anyplace else I know including Boulder. That said you need to "roll your own" in a place like this: build your own house (or fix it anyway), run your own business, fix your truck, shovel your own roof, etc: In short, you're a long way from the Boulder Rock Club! I've ice climbed in most places and the San Juans are the only place where it doesn't have that desperate "bitter cold, gray sky, blowing snow in the face" feel to it. I find leading pitches under the bridge in the Ice Park to be very challenging. Get there late, leave early and still scare the shit out of myself leading hard ice. Tons of ice in the backcountry too. On the skiing side, I don't want to get into that one too much either but one of my bros in Silverton summed it up best, "TFB, I skiied 110 days last year, everyone of them in the backcountry and everyone of them powder". Have fun and enjoy the search!


I got hooked on this place about 11 years ago...when I did a semester of college in this town. Climbed ice 44 days in a row, when I first got there. Ski Red Mountain Pass, climb some ice, and soak in the springs all before dinner. But the trick is financial stability and schools (if you have kids). Someone mentioned that this was like the Tetons...ok show me the black ice couloir of the San Juans and I'll buy that.

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By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 27, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
Ok, here's another thought...Bend, OR. Someone mentioned this town recently. We have been checking it out and have some friends that have recently moved there. The cragging sounds incredible....after living in JH for 10 yrs I dearly miss a solid crag session or two a week. That sounds very appealing. But is there alpine climbing to be done there? And, it showed the town to have around 80k people...that seems like a huge city to me? Is there a small town feel there?

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By TFB
From Boulder, CO
Feb 27, 2011
Standing underneath Bridalveil, the biggest waterfall in the state is a unique experience. Its like the droplets splatter above you, left and right, and freeze in the air forming frozen ledges that interconnect, sometimes overhanging, for 400 ft.
44 days of ice climbing in a row? Don't know what to say about that. Other than the Yosemite score card, I've lost track of how many climbs I've done, how many partners I've had, etc. But I guess I've led over 1,000 pitches of ice; many more than that I think I'll need to have my head examined/live in a home. I can also add that my worst day rock climbing is better than my best day ice climbing.
You might need to switch gears though: I go to The Creek for the day, often. This pisses off the BDR/DEN/SLC crowd, but everyone wants what they don't have.
On a side note, it was very common 100 yrs ago in the mining towns to use the tailings for road bed. I saw a great special about the high levels of cancer from this and huge exposed mining tailings with kids playing on them. Only to find out it was in Leadville! I think you could google it. Many mtn towns have this problem.
Also on a side note. Are you single? B/c if you are you might never get laid again.

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By JacobD
From Flagstaff, AZ
Feb 27, 2011
Me on Half Dome Boulder, Middle Finger of Fury  Aw...
There are some other places in Idaho that would be worth a look. Boise, ID has some good climbing close and even better if you are willing to drive 2 hours in any direction. Housing prices in Boise are reasonable as well. Also if finding a job isn't an issue I'd reccomend McCall, ID. Two ski areas within 30 minutes of town. World class nordic. Tons of un climbed rock. Possible to climb in Riggins in the winter. Close to Boise if you need to get to the city.

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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
Feb 27, 2011
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Bend is absolutely awesome. The cragging is world class between Smith Rock and Trout Creek (think Indian Creek!). The town is the perfect size... still feels small but has all the benefits of a big city (with a million things to do for kids).

Unfortunately, there is no real alpine climbing. You can slog up some volcanoes though...

If you want to have a lifetime of cragging and mountain biking, acceptable skiing, and an awesome family town - Bend is tops. And the cost of living is dirt cheap here right now. Seriously, homes are 50% reduced. But jobs are scarce too.

Hope this helps
Andy

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By Daaave
From SLC, UT
Feb 27, 2011
Ty Meadows wrote:
+1 Nice brewery and "The Beav" is great with great backcountry access. Pretty close to City of Rocks, Idaho, for summer climbs.



Brewery in Logan?

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By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 28, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
Andy Laakmann wrote:
Bend is absolutely awesome. The cragging is world class between Smith Rock and Trout Creek (think Indian Creek!). The town is the perfect size... still feels small but has all the benefits of a big city (with a million things to do for kids). Unfortunately, there is no real alpine climbing. You can slog up some volcanoes though... If you want to have a lifetime of cragging and mountain biking, acceptable skiing, and an awesome family town - Bend is tops. And the cost of living is dirt cheap here right now. Seriously, homes are 50% reduced. But jobs are scarce too. Hope this helps Andy


Andy, thanks for your thoughts...they have been very helpful and have given us alot to talk about.

FLAG
By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 16, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
OK, my first choice of the perfect mtn town would have to be Jackson Hole. It's still snowing there!!! But, it's not perfect; there's little no cragging, barely any ice climbing, and very expensive. My second choice would be Ridgeway CO...rideway is sunny when Ouray, Telluride, and silverton is not, close to Moab, and has ice, rock, skiing access, and alpine adventures....but your job market is montrose, which isn't the worst but certainly not the best.

We are focusing our energy and job searches on Bozeman MT...which puts us 4hrs from the Tetons, ice climbing, some rock climbing, mtn biking, and a ski resort for the "kids". Any thoughts on this choice?

FLAG
 
By athan
From Bozeman, MT
Apr 16, 2011
It's ok...you'll be able to ski soon.
We actually decided to focus our energy and job searches on Bozeman MT...which puts us 4hrs from the Tetons, ice climbing, some rock climbing, mtn biking, and a ski resort for the "kids".
On a side note, Bend OR seems like a great place to live, but I think that it would be too hot and dry for us and I might go crazy without having mtns close by...start jumping out of airplanes or something like that. Also, I think that my first choice would be Ridgway CO but there are some financial risks moving there...having a family makes these choices difficult.

Any thoughts on Bozeman MT?

FLAG


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