Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
layton

Best U.S. Climbing Towns

Recommended Posts

What do you think is the best U.S. climbing town to live in (not skiing town).

Factors include:

 

1.)access to high quality local climbing you can do after work without much effort.

2.)How close is it to other, more varied climbing areas that you could reasonably climb for the weekend at without driving all night long?

3.)Weather. How many climbable days a year are there?

4.)Scenery. Is it a pretty place to live?

5.)Local Culture. Will you live in a uni-bomber cabin lusting after the one single girl within 500 miles? Movies, restaurants, nightlife, good places to spend a non-climbing day?

 

I'd say Seattle is in the top 10, losing most of it's draw in #3

Other contenders: Mammoth Lakes, Bend, Boulder, Bellingham, Bozeman, Jackson, Las Vegas, Durango, and Salt Lake City.

 

I don't know what I'd call #1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boulder, or better yet Eldorado Canyon- then you avoid a lot of the Boulder stuff.

 

It's the strongest if you go by your 5 factors. Great variety of climbing (and square miles of routes on very high quality rock) in the immediate area (Boulder Canyon, Eldo, Flatirons, Flagstaff bouldering are all walkable or bikeable or use the car for a max 10-15 mins to farthest points), tons of epic areas within a 2 or 4 or 6 hour drive (RMNP, Lumpy, Vedauwoo, South Platte, Morrison all w/in 2 hours). Tons of ice as well. No glaciers though. Great BC skiing. Tons of 14ers to stay in altitude shape on. Killer weather, strong community, beautiful scenery, good "culture" points- tons of music, good food etc. Not as diverse as some places (although Vegas may be the only one on your short list that trumps it here) but it's pretty good and an international airport nearby.

 

This will likely set off a shitstorm vs. CO or Boulder, seems like mentioning CO always does, but go there, you'll see. Eldo was the best place I have ever lived. Climbed or skied 300-325 days a year while working full time, on classic quality rock, mostly trad, lots of good partners, and fun nightlife. I would wake up and then walk 2 minutes into the Canyon and climb or solo up to 2000' of routes before working an 8 hour day in town, then go out for beers with friends and see good music. Wake up and repeat. Go check it out if you haven't, whatever people may say about "Boulder scene" etc., who cares? Literally thousands of high quality routes (tons of it multi-pitch trad) on great stone within a 20 minute hike, bike or drive, and weather to take advantage of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seattle is a nice place to live, but you get in a car, get onto a highway, drive for a while to get to any quality rock, then drive back after your session. There's something a lot stronger about the experience when you can literally walk or bike from your home to the same quality stuff (or better), with a massive variety at your fingertips, and then walk or bike back. The experience from the session stays with you, at least that was my experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with many of your points about climbing around Boulder, but I disagree when it comes to skiing. I'd much rather ski in WA or better yet BC than ski in CO. I can see somebody raise a strong argument for the Salt Lake area when it comes to skiing, but not the east slopes of the Rockies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great thread. What would you consider the top 5 places to live for climbing considering Layton's criteria. Also you might add getting a job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I love Bend, but if SLC could get somewhere beyond the monoculture of the church, could be a pretty nice place to live. The skiing and climbing are pretty phenomenal and varied. Bend is jumping the shark more and more with every new traffic circle, plus the skiing is, well....let's just say I miss the Bend I enjoyed as a kid.

 

That said, I'd rather live here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Boulder was a great place to live. I won't even join the bandwagon and bash it's culture. It has hot college girls, nothing more you can ask for. Yeah, there is money there, but that certainly has it's plusses and by and large the people are great. For rock climbing access it's unreal. The weather was awesome. The only letdown were the Colorado rockies have nothing alpine. The "big mountains" are largely choss and sadly enough i did 30 or so 14ers after I finally just forced myself to think of it as going for a hike.

 

And for skiing, PNW any day. Colorado skiing is as overhyped as it is overpriced. If you love groomers, on the other hand, it's heaven for that.

 

I will throw in another nominee - Missoula, MT.

Edited by JoshK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

North Conway, NH

 

Perhaps not the best in the country but worthy of mention.

 

Acres of high quality granite overlooks the town. There are also some high end ice routes on the same cliff with spectacular ice at all levels less than 30 minutes away.

 

Within 2 hours of a large sport climbing area and an exciting (read loose) alpine wall.

 

Weather? Well it is New England.

 

The Mount Washington valley is a beautiful place.

 

Small town but very colorful, lots of local character, good food and music for a small town. One draw back are the tourists.

 

Also, skiing, cycling, and paddling.

 

Employment may be a problem however.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think anything can touch Boulder.

 

One other town that I think gets dismissed for political reasons is Colorado Springs. If you live on the western side of the town, you're usually just a few minutes from Garden of the Gods and a bunch of other small granite Crags, a bunch of stealth crags on Rampart Range Road, about 40 minutes from 11-Mile Canyon, and about 10 minutes beyond that you are into Turkey Rocks and the granite infinity of the Platte. There was even a somewhat stealth two-pitch 3-4 ice line about 20 minutes outside of town, and a spot offering `~100 feet of 1-2 ice that I could play around on before work. The trailhead to Pikes Peak was also about 15 minutes away. Head about 1.5 hours South and you're at Shelf Road and warm south facing rock that you can climb just about all winter long.

 

Also big enough for real-jobs, the downtown core has Colorado College, small bookshops, bars, restaurants, etc - just about all of it with a great view of the Front Range. And ridiculous amounts of Sunshine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For crag climbing and alpine rock climbing Boulder or Colorado Springs are hard to beat. Things fall apart when you start thinking about real mountain climbs with glaciers and such your SOL in Colorado. The things they call glaciers are a joke.

 

If you're willing to move not very far out of the US then then one good choice would be Golden BC. You're a couple hours from the Bugaboos and even less to Rogers Pass (skiing/climbing) and in the other direction it's only a couple hours to hard core alpine climbing in the Canadian Rockies.

 

The nightlife sucks in Golden, but who cares.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude, I did this research last year, and Flagstaff was tops. That's why I moved here!!

 

6 climbing areas within 1/2 hour and tons more to develop.

 

Awesome sandstone trad towers, close

 

4 hours to red rocks, Enchanted tower, Mt Lemmon

 

6 hours to Joshua tree, Indian Creek, Bishop, Zion, St George

 

8 hours to Tuolomne, Hueco Tanks, Boulder

 

Great local scene here, good weather and climbing year round,

not too big, not too small.

 

C'mon over and I'll hook you up, Brother!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thread title says climbing!?

 

Did I mention one of the few great deep-water soloing areas in the US?

 

Did I mention awesome canyoneering, mountain-biking and whitewater???

 

Great bouldering areas like Preist's Draw?

 

I could go on...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about El Portel? Very good for the first 4 criteria but lacking in #5

 

CRAP cj001f beat me to it . . .

Edited by SnailEye

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about El Portel? Very good for the first 4 criteria but lacking in #5

 

What the fuck is culture? A bunch of yuppie restaraunts and some overpriced outdoor shops (Boulder, Jackson, Bend etc.)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How about El Portel? Very good for the first 4 criteria but lacking in #5

 

What the fuck is culture? A bunch of yuppie restaraunts and some overpriced outdoor shops (Boulder, Jackson, Bend etc.)?

 

Layton set the criteria, not me. Not that I don't agree with you. I would go for quite small town before places like Boulder, Jackson and Bend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How is Flagstaff in the summers?

 

I'm still living a dream of living part of the year in Spain and part in the States. But going to Flagstaff in the summer my guess wouldn't be that much different, speaking of the heat, than Madrid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I went to school in Flag and it rocked for the outdoor lifestyle. I didn’t really want to leave except for the job problem. As I recall the town motto was “Poverty with a view”. Plus the construction/development like many places was outta site. Roughly 60k people (including school) when I was there 10 years ago and the city planners were predicting the population to triple to around 180k within 30years. Yikes! Not sure where the water will come from... Not that 180k people is bad but towns have a habit of turning into ugly strips when things happen that fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×