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Old 03-19-2012, 07:08 PM
 
605 posts, read 1,234,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bydand View Post
What a crock of crap! We get the picture, you don't like the Midwest, at least quit spewing outright lies about it.

How are these outright lies?

Look at most of the season snowfall totals in the midwest states. The vast majority of them get under 100 inches of snow a season. In fact many of them barely have more than 30-50 inch of a base at any one time. The midwest is just not a great place to go skiing for someone who really enjoys the sport. There are a few places in Michigan that do OK.

Compare that to places in Oregon like Mt. Hood, or Mt. Bachelor, or Mt. Baker in Washington state, or some of the places in Idaho, Montana, and California. Many of those ski resorts get hundreds of inches in one season. In fact Mt. Baker recorded over 1000 inches of snow in one season (a world record).

That plus if you live in Portland or Seattle you are pretty close to Whistler and many of the great resorts in British Columbia.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:59 PM
 
1,981 posts, read 3,171,285 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterz View Post
I appreciate all the responses! As to the California responses, I have only been to San Fran once. While I did like it, my understanding is that you do not really get the changing of the seasons (and that it just gets more tropical the further south you go)? Which is where, in my opinion, Denver, Portland?, Seattle?, would be more preferable. Do you get much of a fall in either Portland or Seattle? (if you haven't run on a trail in the middle of the fall with all the color around then you haven't experienced what running can be!!!)?

REI has its flagship stores in Seattle and Denver....


I can speak more for Seattle and Portland, both great outdoor cities, if you don't mind the wet season (which also happens to be ski season). Seattle and Portland have 4 seasons, sort of. Excellent summers (best in the country), a short fall (when the leaves turn pretty colors), the wet season (part of fall, winter, part of spring), and spring where the rainy season dies down and all of the pretty flowers come out. The tulip capital of the USA is an hour north of Seattle.




Seattle:

Ski/snowboard - Seattle is 50 miles away on Interstate 90 from Snoqualmie Pass, with 4 connected ski areas, and close to two other large ski areas as well. Whistler-Blackcomb, the best resort on this continent is 3 hours to the north. South Central & South Eastern British Columbia are a big time sleeper skiing region.

AMTRAK from Seattle to Leavenworth/Wenatchee (skiing, nordic, whitewater, rock climbing), Sandpoint, ID (skiing, water activities), Whitefish, MT (skiing), and Glacier Natl. Park.

Hiking -

You can read some trip/trail reports here:

NWHikers.net - Index

Many great hikes in the Cascade Mountains and Olympic Mountains. The Olympic Coast is one of the longest stretches of wilderness ocean shore, and an incredible hike. The Issaquah Alps, just east of Seattle have many popular running and hiking trails.


Water -

Tough to beat Seattle here, as it is located between an inland sea and a large lake. Boating is very popular in the area. Kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding are also popular. Many white water opportunities nearby, including the famous Skykomish. For a slower pace, there are also good canoe adventure rivers with less rapids.

Climbing -

Many great climbs in the Cascades. Practice at the REI's huge indoor climbing rock at their flagship store north of downtown.

Bike -

Great mountain biking in the area. Many urban bike trails too, the Burke-Gilman/Sammamish trail being the most famous. It links many popular north Seattle neighborhoods to the eastern suburbs. It also runs along the UW campus.

REI, K2, Outdoor Research, MSR, McHale, Therm-a-Rest, Filson, and many other outdoor related companies are based in Seattle.


Portland:

Ski - Mt. Hood has skiing 9 month of the year. Multiple resorts in the Hood area. Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon is the best in the state. Bend, OR is an outdoor paradise too.

AMTRAK from Portland to Sandpoint, ID & Whitefish, MT


Hiking -

Great hikes in Cascades, Columbia Gorge, Coast Hills, and Oregon Coast.

Water - More river oriented. Columbia River the hot boating spot. Urban river adventure on the Willamette. Wind surfing and kite boarding in the Columbia Gorge is what makes Portland special in this category.

Bike - great mountain biking near the city. Very bike friendly city.

Climbing - many local climbs, and some great ones in Central Oregon.

Nike, Adidas NA, Columbia, Danner, Leatherman, Keen, Pendleton, CRKT, and many other outdoor related companies are based in Portland.

Last edited by Andy; 03-19-2012 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skihikeclimb View Post
150 inches of snow really is not that much snow for an entire season of winter. If you like to snowboard or love to ski than I really would not recommend living in the midwest. Most of the midwest ski resorts have pretty small snow totals for the entire year.

Just last week Mt. Baker received over a 100 inches of snow. Keep in mind this is the middle of March already.

I am not saying this to be critical, but it is reality.

I said "at least....".
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:20 PM
 
704 posts, read 1,502,075 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterz View Post
I appreciate all the responses! As to the California responses, I have only been to San Fran once. While I did like it, my understanding is that you do not really get the changing of the seasons (and that it just gets more tropical the further south you go)? Which is where, in my opinion, Denver, Portland?, Seattle?, would be more preferable. Do you get much of a fall in either Portland or Seattle? (if you haven't run on a trail in the middle of the fall with all the color around then you haven't experienced what running can be!!!)?

With no office to any of the other suggestions, I would lean more towards Denver, Portland, and Seattle as likely choices. But in addition to the questions above, is there anyone who has experience in these cities and could explain similarities/differences between the cities (alternative travel options in the city such as bike lanes and public transit, ease to get out of the city to recreational activities, closeness of those activities, weather [and I do like the 4-seasons!], and nightlife).

Again, thanks for all the help so far! And thanks for any advice you can provide in regards to these questions.

edit: I was looking at pictures of Denver...is it common to kayak in Downtown (I saw a picture where there was a guy putting in with a skyscraper RIGHT in the background)? If it is that easy to get to outdoor sports in Denver then I may just be sold!
Denver is actually quite a bit different from Seattle and Portland. The west coast culture is different than the midwestern culture that characterizes Denver. Denver is a more generic, middle-American, family-oriented area, especially compared to Portland and Seattle. I'm a Denver native and I went to college in Corvallis for a year, hated the rain and the overt liberalism, and came back to Colorado. I don't have a lot of experience with Portland (or Seattle), but I can tell you that even though all three cities are very outdoorsy, Portland and Seattle are more "city" than Denver, which is more suburban or even "country"--at least in spots. Public transit is terrible in Denver, and as I said, it's a city tailor-made for families.

All of that said, however, the mountains are the mountains and the Rockies are incomparably better than the Cascades, for what that's worth. And Denver is indeed a large city, if a bit of a cowtown.

Last edited by GoneNative; 03-19-2012 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by GoneNative View Post

All of that said, however, the mountains are the mountains and the Rockies are incomparably better than the Cascades, for what that's worth.
I don't agree. The North Cascades are the USA's Alps.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I don't agree. The North Cascades are the USA's Alps.
In what way? The Rockies are considerably taller and more numerous.

For skiing and snowboarding in particular, I much prefer the dry, fluffy, powdered sugar-like snow of the Rockies than the wet stuff you get in the Pac NW...basing that on my experience snowboarding in both places. However I find the North Cascades much prettier than the Rockies.
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wag more bark less View Post
In what way? The Rockies are considerably taller and more numerous.
Considerably taller? The North Cascades rise 10,000 feet from just above sea level. The Rockies in Colorado rise to 14,000 feet from a base of around 6,000 feet.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:08 PM
 
605 posts, read 1,234,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wag more bark less View Post
In what way? The Rockies are considerably taller and more numerous.

For skiing and snowboarding in particular, I much prefer the dry, fluffy, powdered sugar-like snow of the Rockies than the wet stuff you get in the Pac NW...basing that on my experience snowboarding in both places. However I find the North Cascades much prettier than the Rockies.
Actually Andy is right. In terms of ruggedness the Cascades are far superior to the Colorado Rockies from a geological perspective. You are right however that the Cascades have very heavy wet snow. This is to be expected with mariatime polar air masses.

The North Cascades are very much more comparable to the Alps in Europe, and to a lesser extent simulate the conditions of the Andes in South America. The North Cascades are quite a bit more rugged than the Colorado Rockies. I say more rugged because the Cascades are glaciated, most of the American Rockies are not. Now the Canadian Rockies is a different story. Furthermore the North Cascades and Olympic Mountains in Washington State have some of the greatest reliefs of any peaks in the lower 48 outside of Alaska and Canada.

Altitude alone is not enough to make a mountain range impressive. Many of the coastal peaks in BC, WA, and Alaska are shorter than the Colorado Rockies but they are much more rugged. As someone who has climbed extensively in both Canada and the United States the Canadian Rockies and the Coast Ranges in Canada are far superior to anything in Colorado. I only make this comparison because the Cascades are on the same level as the coastal ranges of Canada.

Most of the large peaks in the Colorado Rockies are fairly tame by mountaineer standards, and their bases start at a very high elevation with little relief. There is a reason that most of the American climbers who go to the Himalayas train in the Cascades of Oregon and Washington and the Coast range of B.C. They are the only comparable ranges in the lower 48 that simulate high altitude climbs in other parts of the world. The North Cascades alone constitute the largest glaciers in the lower 48 outside of Alaska. Furthermore they have a much more impressive base to peak rise.

The North Cascades have the greatest relief of any range in the lower 48. The reality is that most of the peaks in Colorado are pretty rounded and start around 10K. Whereas many of the peaks in the Cascades and Coastal ranges rise nearly from sea level up to 14,000 feet (Mt. Rainier being the highest of course). The picture below was taken on the Blue Glacier in the Olympic Mountains in August. The American Rockies just don't have anything like this. In fact you really don't start seeing large glaciers in the Rockies until you get into Canada.



And here is a current snow cover map of the continental United States provided by NOAA. Notice how much broader and snowier the North Cascades are in WA state compared to Colorado. Snow depths currently close to 300 inches on the ground in many spots in the middle of March.


Last edited by skihikeclimb; 03-19-2012 at 09:27 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:22 PM
 
Location: District of Columbia
737 posts, read 1,411,572 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wag more bark less View Post
For water sports TC are great, but for rock-climbing, mountain biking and downhill skiing they're second-class.

As someone who was raised in CO on climbing, snowboarding, mtn biking etc...if you're serious about the outdoors I would never pick Boston, Mpls, Cleveland or most of the rest of the Midwest.

Seattle, Denver, Portland, SLC or parts of California are easily your best options. Big drop after that for meeting all of your criteria.
I think it goes without saying that the midwest isn't the mountain west in regards to skiing, snowboarding, and mountain biking, I mean we simply don't have the elevation. However when compared to other areas of the country especially large metros the TC holds its own. This is a huge recreational activity town (ie...weekend warriors paradise). If you do this stuff professionaly it may seen a bit run of the mill, however it certainly exceeded my expectations when I moved here.

As to the OP you can find most of the criteria you listed in and around the TC (it aint as sexy as Seattle or Portland but it is plentiful non the less) with a fraction of the cost of coastal, and mountain cities, I still say check out Minne/St Paul as well.

Last edited by sandlapper; 03-19-2012 at 10:34 PM..
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
1,309 posts, read 2,352,572 times
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Good info on the North Cascades, gents, thanks. Although 14k is still considerably taller than 10k I didn't consider the difference in look coming from sea level. They also have much more topographical prominence than the Rockies. Snow quality notwithstanding it's hard to beat the Cascades, although as a Colorado homer I'm still preferential to the Rockies.

Sandlapper, good info on the TC too, didn't mean to come off as pretentious I'm no pro but I'm a huge outdoorsman and Mpls is on my short list of cities I'd like to live in.
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