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layton

Best U.S. Climbing Towns

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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.

I'm with you on this. I lived in Nederland and loved it. I would go back in a heartbeat.

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The thread title says climbing!?

 

It ain't climbing without snow and glaciers. ;)

 

Crag climbing is just training for the real thing.

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Boulder is da bomb. It is obscene how much climbing there is in the state. And you're only a 2 hr. plane ride from a Seattle glacier fix (snow and ice are plentiful in CO).

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SLC, UT.

 

1.)Cottonwood Canyons for one. Other places too probably?

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? Moab is about 4 hours. City Of Rocks is about 2 hours. Zion is probably 4 hrs. Red Rocks is I'd guess 5 hours. Ouray seems not too far either. Black Canyon is close to Ouray. Tetons & Winds are 5-6 hrs. Sawtooths (ID) are probably 6 hours or so? The airport is pretty well connected - can probably find cheap flights.

3.)Weather. How many climbable days a year are there? See above list - this would keep you busy year-round. In-town crags I'd guess are snowy probably in winter??

4.)Scenery. Is it a pretty place to live? Seems a bit sprawled out but not too bad.

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? might be a tough one coming from Portland or Seattle but can't be that bad given it's a large city?

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i climb around boulder all the time, i love the climbing. i would rather climb in cali though. kinda hard to beat el cap. boulder is full of a bunch of ghey wadds, bunch of hippies gone rich. it's illegal to smoke cigarettes outside for fuck sakes.

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The thread title says climbing!?

 

It ain't climbing without snow and glaciers. ;)

 

Crag climbing is just training for the real thing.

 

 

Definition of climbing: To ascend

 

 

What ever floats your boat…..but I think it’s the other way around…..climb snow only when the rock is wet…..

 

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How is Flagstaff in the summers?

 

 

Great…..it’s at 7000 feet so even hot days are not that hot. The lack of jobs/career kept me from moving there.

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Being spawned by a sea going parent myself, I can't live without the ocean near by. I guess that makes this place (Seattle) the best climbing town for me. Not that I wouldn't mind living somewhere sunny for a while, but I don't think it would be Colorado. Maybe in Northern Arizona somewhere, or a short time in California near some good sunny granite.

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What are the best towns in Washington? Outside of Seattle and Bellingham, where can you be close to climbing and still enjoy the town? Is Leavenworth worth a damn? Winthrop/Twisp?

 

They're probably all a lot nicer than Tacoma...

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Sultan. I'm telling you, it's the next Boulder. All you have to do is see Stickshift Annie at the Pasttimes Bar and Grill and you'll know what I mean.

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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

 

SLC #1

 

1. Lots, right outside of town. Go to:

 

http://mountainproject.com/v/utah/wasatch_range/105739213

 

All of these areas no more than 45min from town, and most are about 20min from town.

 

2. Moab=3h45min, Zion=4h30min, City of Rocks=2h30min, Red Rocks=6h, Maple=1h30min, St. George=4h, Uintas=1h, Tetons=4h, Winds=3h30min, Wild Iris=3h30min, Logan Canyon= 1h15min, Lander=4h, Sawtooths=6h. Longer range - Tuolumne/Yosemite=10/11h, Joshua Tree=9h30min, ...

 

3. Lots. Year-round. In winter, most of the climbing you'll be doing right outside of town will be in LCC on south facing granite. But winter weekends in the desert are often perfect.

 

4. Yes, very much so. Big mountains with decent relief (town is about 4,500 ft - peaks a few miles to the east are above 11,000 ft) form the eastern edge of town. To the west, there are the Oquirrhs - high and above treeline but less dramatic than the Wasatch (not unlike a lot of the CO mountains).

 

5. Dont let all of the rumors scare you off. Town is actually pretty cool, and the climbing community is great. It aint Seattle, but it is way better than a lot of people think.

 

 

Something to think about:

 

When living in Boulder, I sure do recall making a lot of long drives to Utah to go climbing.

 

When living in Utah, I don't recall ever driving to Colorado to go climbing.

 

 

 

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Boulder by far.

 

An overlooked aspect of Boulder is the length the ice season. From mid October until the end of April, there's always something to scratch in RMNP (30 miles away).

 

Boulder is also usually warm during daytime hours in the winter. We cragged Christmas day 2005 at 24C.

 

It does lack alpine terrain, but the quality and nature of the rock makes up for it. And you can jump on something in the park during winter and experience that wind...

 

Although not climbing, it also has the best road cycling (terrain and length of season) I know of.

 

It isn't perfect, but damn I miss that place...

 

GB

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Crag climbing is just training for the real thing.

 

:tup:

 

I'm actually very happy in Snohomish. Closer to the playgrounds than Seattle, and I prefer a quieter area to live.

Edited by robmcdan

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New Paltz, NY

 

It's very pretty there, very green with deciduous forest. College town, no doubt a lot going on culturally. And it has a good poolroom.

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Although not climbing, it also has the best road cycling (terrain and length of season) I know of.

 

 

GB

 

Those bikers used to piss me off. None of them could grasp the concept of riding single file on a busy narrow road. I remember countless times driving a big work truck down the road and coming upon bicyclists riding 2 or even 3 abreast. I'm all for biking, but you have to leave space for a big rig to get past so the people in the truck could clock out and go out and do fun stuff.

 

Boulder bikers. :anger::anger::battlecage::battlecage:

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Although not climbing, it also has the best road cycling (terrain and length of season) I know of.

 

Never been to southern california, eh?

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culture is what you want i guess. I think there's two camps, the non-settled down type, and the settled down. Smaller mtn towns are difficult places to live for a long period of time if your not steadily employed, retired, married, etc...

 

I should have added a job market/affordability factor.

 

I'm curious about flagstaff. I looked at schools there back in the day, and I do remember it being absolutely beautiful. I reminds me of bellingham and missoula...both great great towns to live in and close to climbing....but job-wise, it's pretty bleak.

 

Oh, and this is just a curiosity thread, I'm not looking for a place I think is the best...just in general. Seemed like a good thread topic.

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Boulder is a great place to live if you like stuck up, anal retentive, yuppie types that only give a shit about how much money they have compared to their neighbors (the competition). For alpine climbing, you have Colorado's fabulous Front Range which features class 1 hiking trails through choss and scree to the top of those big "mountains". Then you get to hear nice stories at coctail parties about how good a climber someone is because of how many 14ers they have sent (how many trails they have hiked). How about solitude like in many parts of the Cascades? You'll find ZERO any place near Boulder. Glacier Climbing? Haha, that's a good one!

 

I guess it is also pretty important to find an affordable place to live. Make sure you bring your million dollar bank account if you're moving to Boulder, you'll need it.

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I dunno man - depends on what you consider "Alpine," but there's an awful lot of long routes way up high in the mountains that feature rock/snow/ice.

 

Kiener's ranked right up there with the North Ridge of Stuart for me, and involved quite a bit more time in Crampons. Heck, even the North Face of Pikes Peak had some pretty sweet alpine routes.

 

The attitude that seems to flourish in Boulder might be a drag, but it seems like there, just as anywhere else - you can choose who you associate with and your experience will vary accordingly.

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Yeah, there are some good looking alpine rock routes in RMNP. The cragging and iceclimbing is good too. There are just too many negatives that detract from it though.

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Seattle has more than it's share of stuck-up, anal retentive, yuppie types looking for the big $$ too

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Seattle, because X38 and REI put it over the top!

 

Where else can you spray inane crapola on CC with wireless devices during business hours, leave your Microsoft cubicle early, pop in your SUV to sit in 405 traffic, and crawl on I90 to X38, all while sipping your double-skinny non-fat extra poontang $5 cup of joe.

 

At X38 you can climb ego-inflating sport routes and clip your shiny quickdraws onto bolts 3 ft apart on chossy rock. Is there more to life than that? Oh yeah, climbing the tower in the flagship REI!

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Europe, it has everything..seattles nightlife and weather sucks so bad it trumps any climbing opportunities

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