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matttt


Jan 3, 2007, 12:05 PM
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Logan or Albuquerque?  (North_America: United_States: Utah)
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I am heading to grad school and it is down to Utah State or U. of New Mexico. Academics aside it comes down to the city and climbing, so where should I go? What is better for close proximity climbing? What is better for short trips to really good areas? I prefer trad and please no beta on climbing gyms. Lets here it from the locals.


hirvimaki


Jan 3, 2007, 12:33 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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Despite the fact that I do go to Utah to climb, I am partial to ABQ. There is a lot of good trad climbing all around the city and within a short drive heading both north and south.

PB


camhead


Jan 3, 2007, 12:41 PM
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Re: [hirvimaki] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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I don't know much about Albuquerque, but I did grow up and go to school in Logan. Here's the scoop on Logan: City of Rocks, ID is 2 hrs away, Tetons 4 hours, SLC areas 1.5 hours, Moab area 5.5 hours. Logan Canyon has very nice limestone, and definitely enough to keep you busy for years. Good trad within an hour of Logan is pretty limited, unless you want to do bold limestone FA's. Not too much quality bouldering either. Definitely the nearest world-class, diverse climbing area is City of Rocks.

Furthermore, winter in Logan is LONG, and incredibly cold. Don't expect too much nearby climbing between November and April, with the exception of sunny days at Massacre Rocks, ID, about 2 hours away. I do know that Albuquerque is much nearer quality wintertime spots.

Hope that helped.


shockabuku


Jan 3, 2007, 1:30 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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Well, it depends on your definition of short. There's some bouldering on the edge of town but to get to any decent climbing areas you're looking at drive times over an hour. Socorro is probably the fastest access from the university area, around an hour and the selection is fairly small and I think mostly sport. The Sandia's have really enjoyable climbing, though watch for loose rock, but it's over an hour drive (unless you take the tram, $$ & probably longer approaches) and then usually another 30 min approach or more. There's some short cracks to climb at Whiterock with sport climbing as well; about 1:45 away. Tres Piedras is fun but goes at about 3 hrs travel. Sport climbing at Palomas Peak, up by the Sandias. The Jemez Mountains offer a good bit of climbing but are also on the order of 2-3 hrs drive. Just so you know my bias, I don't really like Albuquerque. Driving is terrible, crime is bad, way too hot in the summer and not enough snow in the winter. YMMV.


hirvimaki


Jan 3, 2007, 1:47 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
Driving is terrible.
I find the driving here fine. But I've lived in LA and NY.

shockabuku wrote:
Crime is bad.
I'm always confused by this claim, too. Never had a break-in - either car or house - and never feel unsafe walking around here.

shockabuku wrote:
Way too hot in the summer.
The summers are moderate. We'll have a couple of hot weeks, but nothing that even comes close to, say, Phoenix.

shockabuku wrote:
Not enough snow in the winter.
OK, you got me there. Not much snow to speak of, although this past weekend was the exception that proved the rule, I guess. The most snowfall in 24 hours ever recorded in ABQ.

The climbing community is open and friendly here and you can always find someone to go climbing with you - bouldering, sport or trad. I've always felt the climbing in the Sandias and up north in the Pecos to be easy access.

Just my 2 cents.

PB


slopjop


Jan 3, 2007, 2:08 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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Albuquerque is only 3.25 hours from Hueco Tanks. Great weekend warrior trip.


bled


Jan 3, 2007, 2:12 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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The Sandias in Alb offer many good multi-pitch routes as well as single pitch and top rope.
The approaches can be a bit of a hike, but there are some decent routes within a 10 minute walk of some parking lots at the edge of the city.

Don't forget that you gotta eat- you can't beat the chile in NM!


billl7


Jan 3, 2007, 3:23 PM
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Re: [bled] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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On Albuquerque:

* even though summer temps can be high in ABQ they aren't so bad 4000 feet higher in the Sandias;
* shock's times for climbing around ABQ look pretty good; add in El Rito at 2+ hours north of ABQ;
* recently, I did at least one local trad lead (i.e., day trip from ABQ) per month for 12+ months in a row; that is, typical weather doesn't completely shut down the rock climbing for the winter season;

Bill L

edited for clarity


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jan 3, 2007, 8:22 PM)


guanoboy


Jan 3, 2007, 3:25 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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I live in Logan. There are a few hundred limestone sport routes within 10-30 min. from town. If you aren't in to that the city of rocks is fantastic. Good mtn. biking an fly fishing here. Great backcountry, downhill, and cross country skiing. Great ice climbing around salt lake. Those are the pluses. Unless you're a mormon the town is effectively quite small - no bars!!! no real beer. These are some real problems. Sorry I can't speak about ABQ.


shockabuku


Jan 3, 2007, 4:46 PM
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Re: [hirvimaki] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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hirvimaki wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Driving is terrible.
I find the driving here fine. But I've lived in LA and NY.

Okay, it's also better than South Korea, Panama, Somalia and a bunch of other countries where I've lived and people die in unnecessary numbers in traffic accidents, but that doesn't make it fine.

hirvimaki wrote:
shockabuku wrote:
Crime is bad.
I'm always confused by this claim, too. Never had a break-in - either car or house - and never feel unsafe walking around here.

One out of 700,000 is an insignificant sample. Equally insignificant is the three friends of my wife's who've had their cars stolen or broken into, all of the mail boxes in my neighborhood being broken into, the bike my buddy had stolen at UNM (he said the highest on campus crime rate of any major university in the states), and oh, the first (and a double at that) murder of the New Year occurred about 1215 New Year's day. I'd ignore those things.


vincentprice


Jan 3, 2007, 5:26 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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I'm at Utah State now and the climbing and community is primo. I haven't been to the other place, so I just wanted to say that if you do move here, send me a message and I can show you around.

Oh, we've got a great new climbing gym here now too for the off season.
-Matt


nedsurf


Jan 3, 2007, 6:16 PM
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Re: [hirvimaki] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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whats the trad climbing like in the sandias regarding the rock. I hiked up to the summit via the La Luz trail while visiting. There looked to be many fairly tall walls with good lines. Is it chossy or good granite fun?


shockabuku


Jan 3, 2007, 9:12 PM
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Re: [nedsurf] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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I found that it was surprisingly good compared to what I expected based on discussions with people who I thought had climbed here and the article that either Climbing or Rock and Ice ran about 2 years ago. I don't think that the routes get much traffic so things tend to hang around. There is a bunch of loose stuff up there, so it pays to be careful, but there's also plenty of good climbing. It doesn't seem to be a lot of classic crack climbing, mostly following discontinuous cracks combined with face climbing.


matttt


Jan 3, 2007, 9:30 PM
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Re: [guanoboy] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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guanoboy wrote:
no bars!!!

Mad


billl7


Jan 3, 2007, 9:42 PM
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Re: [shockabuku] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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Towards ABQ traffic: Except for making left hand turns on a red turn signal, I think the driving is okay. Folks certainly aren't as generally aggressive as in, say, Seattle. On the other hand, driving under the influence is a real problem in NM. You might check out auto insurance rates if you have an auto. I was shocked at the difference between WA and NM premiums. edit: it was only a handful of years ago that ABQ got rid of drive-up liquor windows!

As for ABQ crime: I suspect that NM doesn't score well compared to other states. Consider that something like 1/3 of the children here live in homes beneath the poverty level. Still, I consider myself as number 2 in shock's sample of 700,000 folks.

Getting back towards the context of the original post, I have not climbed much elsewhere besides NM so can't really give a comparative assessment of Sandia granite. Seems like there is enough good rock out there for the selective climber but then I do wear a brain bucket. Smile

Bill L


(This post was edited by billl7 on Jan 3, 2007, 9:44 PM)


billl7


Jan 4, 2007, 6:41 AM
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Re: [shockabuku] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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shockabuku wrote:
... and oh, the first (and a double at that) murder of the New Year occurred about 1215 New Year's day. I'd ignore those things.
You should have, at least for this one in this context. Today's paper states that the suspect is from California, drove out here for vacation, likely didn't know the 2 women and shot them - probably in a fit of road rage - and is also wanted in Texas for questioning about a homicide in Lubbock.

... just some random ass hole who shit on the world on New Years, while he happened to be vacationing here. Kudos to the ABQ Police Department for tracking him down.

Bill L


kyote321


Jan 4, 2007, 7:21 AM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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i live in albuquerque. driving distance to sport climbing are far. bouldering is close and adventure trad is close. lots of culture and non-white people.

logan has a grip of climbing close by, esp. limestone. lots of white people going to church and drinking 2/3 beer.

i've been tempetd to move to utah many times for the climbing and the snow. but, i do like the culture here. i doesn't feel like the rest of the bland, mall-riden american west. i drive to utah in the summer.


(This post was edited by kyote321 on Jan 4, 2007, 7:23 AM)


matttt


Jan 4, 2007, 12:11 PM
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Re: [kyote321] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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thanks for the input, all comments had some merit. i like the sound of the sandias...but logan is close to the city, the tetons and s. utah. is logan as a town really that bad, i have heard rumors...


camhead


Jan 4, 2007, 12:51 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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Is Logan that bad? It depends on what you are used to and looking for in a town. I grew up there, and decided a while back that it has most of the bad elements of small and large communities, and none of the good elements of either.

Here are some of my complaints about the community:

-terrible urban planning. The big box retailers have landed, and are dominating. Logan was notoriously strict on alcohol licenses for locally owned restaurants, but completely bent over backward for Chilis, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesdays, etc.

-no microbreweries. Actually very few decent local restaurants at all.

-two locally owned bars, and one private club are your options for nightlife. All three are pretty lame, in my opinion.

-not much in the way of arts, culture, music, given the size of the town and university. There is little in the way of alternative cinema, very few good bands come through for concerts. The university sometimes puts on some good events, though.

-no decent climbing shop. The Trailhead had long just scraped by with a minimal selection, and even general outdoors shops in town are really mediocre given the size of the community. The new climbing gym is good, though.

-Police and law enforcement are just as you would expect in a "good ol'boy" small town. Ever heard of DUI metabolites? Logan is one of the few places in the nation that actually aggresively enforces them (bascially, get pulled over, an officer can insist that you submit to a blood test, if you have used Marijuana in the last month or so you get a DUI, possession, or worse. This has happened to at least three friends of mine.) Just something to be aware of.

-Traffic sucks. There is no getting around this. It was only about 5 years ago that Logan got its first left turn lights. There is no quick bypass of the town either for through traffic.

-Last year, Logan had the worst air quality in Utah. It is a small valley that gets the worst temperature inversions I have ever seen. Even Indians in the mid-1800s noted that the valley held fog for months on end. Add this to few pollution resrictions, and you have some shitty air.

-the religious environment. I will not touch this with a ten foot pole.



Advantages? Low crime rate, awesome outdoors environment, cool people in the university, excellent school in general, close to good climbing, cheap rent, andd one ofthe nation's only free county-wide bus systems. Plus, Logan is close to Idaho, so if you want to go buy out of state beer illegally, it is only 20 minutes away.

PM me if you need more info.


chouca


Jan 4, 2007, 1:37 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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I'd pick Logan. I'll take an uptight conservative, temperate, low crime, clean place over an uptight PC, very hot in summer, high crime, grimy city with some amazing sunsets.

The cholos have run of ABQ, and most locals are so used to it they barely notice anymore. Prostitution is visible on Central Ave. just east of downtown 24/7. Crime is decentralized, so you can get jacked even if you avoid certain zip codes. Rent and groceries are very expensive, and the local job opportunities ain't so hot outside of the U of NM, government/military, or Intel.


matttt


Jan 4, 2007, 2:17 PM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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sounds like more votes for logan...this is a tough call because few schools offer the program I am going in to, so my options are limited. I live in one of the great(IMO) cities in the west in terms of outdoor rec. and the city in general, so leaving is going to be hard. Unimpressed but atleast its not new jersey(no offense to you garden staters...). out of curiosity how often do people from logan go to big and little cottonwood canyons, how long of a drive?


camhead


Jan 4, 2007, 4:46 PM
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matttt wrote:
sounds like more votes for logan...this is a tough call because few schools offer the program I am going in to, so my options are limited. I live in one of the great(IMO) cities in the west in terms of outdoor rec. and the city in general, so leaving is going to be hard. Unimpressed but atleast its not new jersey(no offense to you garden staters...). out of curiosity how often do people from logan go to big and little cottonwood canyons, how long of a drive?

it is about 90 minutes from Logan to the Cottonwood Canyons. When I was there I never knew of many people going there a lot. There are trad climbers in town, but they keep to themselves. Sport is much more of a "scene."


matttt


Jan 4, 2007, 8:09 PM
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Re: [camhead] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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Sport is much more of a "scene."
Boo...thanks for the beta


esrever


Jan 13, 2007, 10:09 AM
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Re: [matttt] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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I just moved from Albuquerque to Logan last summer. I may be somewhat bias towards Logan being that I am a Mormon and about 60% of the population of Utah and probably 90% of the population of Logan are Mormon. That said, I prefer Cache Valley to Albuquerque, hands down. For a more detailed assessment:

ABQ.:

+ Palomas Peak, and the Sandia Peak Overlook with some great sport routes up the La Luz trail along the base.

The drive through the land of orange barrels and one of the most poorly planned cities for the amount of traffic to the rate of building urban sprawl, around and up the mountain through slow going Cedar Crest (I've been ticked speeding probably half a dozen times, once for going 5 over!), once actually reaching the relatively accessible climbing areas, tackling the brutal approaches. Also, much of the rock is very crumbly as has been mentioned.

+ Great weather. The summer heat isn't bad and is probably 10-20s cooler in the Sandias!

Strong winds and dust storms are a constant from about March-June.

+ Diverse people and culture; Old Town, all along the Rio Grande, and Santa Fe thrive with history, art, and interesting shops and authentic little restaurants.

Very liberal minded (on the east side of the tracks). While I can appreciate an open mind, I would have to say the majority have an extremely skewed outlook on most issues, and I don't think thats just coming from a conservative LDS perspective either. I worked for an Ad Agency off Central near UNM and got to know the area and people pretty well. I got to witness first hand or at least read about daily in the news some of what the previous posts have commented on; rampant gang activity, blatant prostitution, the highest DWI rate and one of the worst overall crime rates in the country. Personally, I had a bike stolen, my Jeep was broken into twice and my deck and 12" were stolen, my car was also vandalized at a trail-head In the Placitas (which was actually an epidemic all along the foothills), they smashed my sunroof, kicked in the grill and headlights, taillights and mirrors, and scrawled profanity on the hood. There is at least one meth lab bust on the news almost every night, one of which was on my block, and I lived in a supposedly nicer berb!

My brother who attended UNM for as long as he could stand has horror stories about the faculty, classes, and students, take your pick. Lobos, whether at a basketball or football game, are the worst, most belligerent fans ever!

+ Great food! I'm still jonesin' for that authentic green chili.

Beware of the tex-mex! I had the worst night of my life talking to Ralph and Earl on the porcelain phone after a bad chimmychonga from Sadies.

Among the lowest in the country for rate of pay or salary with poor job opportunity.

Logan:

+ I live at the mouth of Logan Canyon and can literally run each morning with my light pack of gear and light rope on my back to some real incredible climbing! Granted the more accessible lines are mostly sport but it is quality sport and beats the gym with the gorgeous environ, especially in the fall. I also have to admit I am still building my trad experience and am actually still looking for a steady partner since moving here before winter hit. I have already met some other cool locals who assure me I have only scratched the surface as to what is out there and what is relatively close, as mentioned in some of the previous posts.

+ My wife fully endorses USU as a graduate in Business. She has a successful commercial interior design business.

+ Forbes listed Logan among the top 10 fastest growing cities for small business which is a definite plus for me as a new small business owner. It was rated as the #1 safest cities in the country and among the top 5 most healthy. It is clean and clear. I don't know were the comment Camhead made about the Inversion comes from... it is typically crystal clear across the valley.

+ Utah snow! Beaver Mtn. isn't bad and it is mostly only locals and a small crowd that comes down from Idaho that are ever on the mountain. Powder Mtn. and Snow basin are also relatively close and don't have the draw from Salt Lake that Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons have. Park City is also a plus in itself with everything it has to offer. Deer Valley and the Canyons are fantastic skiing!

+ The trails here are awesome for running and Mtn. Biking. Also Moab, the playground of the Gods, is half a days drive away!

+ Beaver Lake is also nice and accessible if water sports are of any interest.

The drive to Salt Lake whether to work or play is a drag. The pass through Sardine Canyon is beautiful if not a little tricky in the winter and as mentioned by others, anal cops. Logan is a quite small college town that suits me as a family man and mild mannered adventurer.


sidepull


Jan 13, 2007, 10:44 AM
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Re: [camhead] Logan or Albuquerque? [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
Is Logan that bad? It depends on what you are used to and looking for in a town. I grew up there, and decided a while back that it has most of the bad elements of small and large communities, and none of the good elements of either.

Although you bring up some good, specific points I disagree with your broad opening statement. I think Logan still retains a real small town charm (although it has eroded some recently). If you keep your eyes open, there are a lot of high-brow cultural events brought to town through the university. But there is also a healthy sense of community and lots of nice neighborhoods.

The difficulty is that the OP wants a trad area and Logan is definitely for sportos. That said, it is an easy gateway for the Tetons and City of Rocks and other lesser known areas in Idaho. Overall, I'd take logan over alb any day, but I'm partial to 4 true seasons and pine trees rather than two seasons and saguaro.

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