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christophbenells

Living in Anacortes?

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How is living in Anacortes for rock climbers, mountaineers and skiers?

 

How is the rock on Mt. Eerie? Enough to keep one busy?

 

How about the drive to Baker, Squamish and such? (yes i've looked at google maps)

 

What is life like there in Anacortes? Lots of stuff to do? Good music? Freindly people? Fun bars?

 

Is there any work for someone who works in the ski industry?

Edited by christophbenells

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So, the answers are kind of the same for Anacortes as they would be for Bellingham....

 

It's ok!

It's a relatively small crag at the end of the day. But stays drier than most other West side crags during the rainy season.

The drive to Baker is a haul. Even from Bellingham it's kind of a haul.

Life in Anacortes is about the same as any small town with lots of darkness during the winter, lots of sunshine during the summer, and no jobs. There are a few good places to eat. There are some young people and some old young people. You can sail the San Juans at will, best access to San Juans in WA. You can hop a ferry anytime, too. The water life kind of is central to the town. The town runs on tourism. The industrial lights nearby rule the night, every night.

Is there any work? Ah yes, the perpetual question.

 

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plenty of work at the refinery. dangerous work though.

 

baker ski area? add 45 minutes to b'ham. so that would be about 2 hours if you drive slow like me. take that back. no idea as one can drive east and north towards the baker hwy instead of going to b'ham.

 

+1 to what Alex said.

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There isn't a ski shop or outdoor store in Skagit Valley, and past evidence indicates that the market won't support one. We're a small, poor crew.

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With snow, it often takes me 1.75-2 hours to get to Baker. So you can add 20-30 minutes to that depending on where in Anacortes you live.

 

If you are single, Anacortes is a pretty sleepy place, as is the rest of the Skagit.

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What kind of ski industry work are you looking for?

 

At first pass I would recommend Bellingham over Anacortes for what you're looking for. Squamish is 2 hours from driveway to parking lot (plus border times), Baker is an hour and 18 minutes from driveway to Heather Meadows with bus traffic and I live on the south side of town. We have our own climbing gym now to pass the time in the winters. We lose out on Mt Erie but we have a mythical big wall with a 45 minute drive and a 2 hour approach instead. :D

 

If you already have a significant other and can work from home I'd be tempted to live up river on Hwy 20 and buy a snowmobile for real North Cascades adventures year round.

 

It rains here. A lot. I'm actually kind of hopeful that all the rain and the miserable snow conditions this year will spread rumors that it's no longer a very nice place to live.

Edited by Jason4

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If you are serious about skiing or climbing, go elsewhere or plan to drive. If you are serious about a small town groove, a small crag, and water based tourists you are in the right place.

 

I live in Seattle which aside from E32/E38 and Spire Rock is 2 hours from anywhere. Or 4-5 hours from beyond anywhere. Hint (Squamish and Smith). But anywhere can be important if you have means to get there.

 

Just have your priorities straight. And the gents have it right: Baker is a long ways from you.

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Baker is a long drive from anywhere except maybe Glacier and Maple Falls. If you wanted to work in the ski industry near the area you'd probably need to live in one of those 2 towns. And they aren't exactly Vail or Park City. The friends I've had who worked at Baker full-time and lived in Bellingham got burnt out after a season or two.

 

I used to spend a fair amount of time in Anacortes. I kind of like it there, but it is quiet and you'd probably want to take up sailing or sea kayaking if you have a big appetite for the outdoors. It can get a bit crazy in the summer with all the island bound tourists.

 

Is the Hidden Wave shop gone from Burlington now?

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If you want to live in a nice small, working class/tourist type town then Anacortes would fit the bill. Everybody gave you good info. It wouldn't have the Portland feel. I like Anacortes. Go visit for bit.

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I like it there, but I can't answer your questions since I have never lived there.

Side question for those who have: is the mountain biking there decent? I know there is a trail system there, and I've been meaning to check it out.

 

Anacortes is in the the same sort of "rain shadow" that Sequim is in. Thus it is often dry or drier there when it is wet everywhere else on the west side of the mountains. That goes for climbing and whatever else...I'm curious if the mtn biking is worth a trip when everything else is getting wet.

 

As far as the climbing, I've only been there three times. One thing it does have going for it: the views are stunning.

 

Mt.-Erie.jpg

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Hidden Wave is still in business which is impressive considering the online competition. I try to support them whenever I can and try to send friends and coworkers there. It is a small snowboard shop that's worth checking out for work if you know something about skateboarding, screen printing, and mountain bikes too but I think the staff is pretty limited.

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there are some decent mountain biking trails, and all the chuckanut trails are only 30 minutes away.

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Ah right, the Hidden Wave! It is impressive that it is still in business. Everything else has come and gone.

 

Don't get me wrong, I have grown to love the Skagit. But it is very different than Seattle, Portland, or even B'ham. Slow and quiet. And affordable if you avoid LaConner/Anacortes.

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I live in Seattle which aside from E32/E38 and Spire Rock is 2 hours from anywhere. Or 4-5 hours from beyond anywhere. Hint (Squamish and Smith). But anywhere can be important if you have means to get there.

 

You forgot the best crag in the state, Index, which is only an hour from seattle. And where the hell is spire rock?

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I live in Seattle which aside from E32/E38 and Spire Rock is 2 hours from anywhere. Or 4-5 hours from beyond anywhere. Hint (Squamish and Smith). But anywhere can be important if you have means to get there.

 

You forgot the best crag in the state, Index, which is only an hour from seattle. And where the hell is spire rock?

 

I didn't include Index because its harsh for anybody new to the area. Spire Rock is inside joke. Its a constructed crag in Spanaway public park.

Edited by matt_warfield

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I didn't include Index because its harsh for anybody new to the area.

 

If by harsh you mean awesome.

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Thanks for all the replies folks.

 

 

so here's the deal,

 

the girlfriend loves sailing and the ocean. i have so far chosen the places we live and she has followed me along. I've left her alone for several months while i go on expeditions.

 

Its her turn to be close to what she loves, the ocean and sailing adventures.

 

Where can we go that will still have relatively close access to the mountains for me? Her #1 choice would be port townsend.

 

We should probably just do bellingham or seattle.

Edited by christophbenells

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Bellingham has good sailing too.

 

I'd actually prefer to see people leave B'ham so I won't try too hard to talk you into it but why are you resistant to B'ham?

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Port Townsend puts you in within driving distance of Hurricane Ridge but that's hit or miss. It also puts you sort of close to Mervin Mfg. Would Sequim or Port Angeles work?

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I didn't include Index because its harsh for anybody new to the area.

 

If by harsh you mean awesome.

indeed. has the OP commented on index yet? goddamn, as much as i love beacon, i sure do wish i was just an hour commute from the city walls...

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Ah. Well PT gives her access to what she wants and PT itself is a great small town however, the Olympic mountains are different from the Cascades and access to just about everything is harder from PT than from either Seattle, Anacortes, or Bellingham.

 

None of these choices are bad, for either of you, if that is what you want....you could do far worse and live in Astoria or something...

 

Anacortes and Bham have far more economy than PT. Bham has a college, and AAI, so there are always some young guns going to climb. Bellingham has the worst access to sailing of the three choices (PT and Anacortes each sport two very nice marinas), but its doable. there is one annual regatta in Bham, several in Anacortes and mostly wooden boat building oriented stuff in PT but thats cool. Me, i work for the Man and have kids so have made my choices mostly around high paying wages and good school districts, which are hard to come by in Washington.

 

However mybe we can all agree Index is the bomb

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