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daendil


Jun 13, 2011, 12:23 PM
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Moving to Iowa....
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I am moving from Indianapolis to Cedar Falls, IA in a month, and am about to go into panic mode because I haven't been able to find a nearby gym and don't know of any close crags.

Anyone know of a decent place to train within a reasonable distance? How about outdoor climbing within a 3 hour drive of Cedar Falls/Waterloo? I am primarily a sport climber and am also interested in tr areas with walk up anchor access for family outings.

Thanks!

Billy D


potreroed


Jun 13, 2011, 9:05 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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You are screwed but don't panic.

Time to build your own training wall. Start small but design it so you can keep adding on and expanding.


poedoe


Jun 13, 2011, 11:21 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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Yeah dude, you might want to check mountain project or the routes area of this site before you go into panic mode. My guess is that the pictured rock area is about an hour from you, The palisades (in Illinois) are about another hour east of that. Theres a climbing wall at UNI but I don't know if it's open to the community. Theres also blue mounds several hours to the west, and if you care to drive 3 or 4 hours you can hit some great spots in wissconsin or minnesota. Seeing as you're already climbing in the midwest it shouldnt be too much out of the norm for you to take a good drive to climb.


mckbill


Jun 14, 2011, 4:41 AM
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Re: [poedoe] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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Billy D.,

I agree with Poedoe's recommendations, and I have a few other details to add:

Pictured Rocks near Monticello, IA is packed with sport climbs that are fairly easy to find from the main trail. This site and Mountain project have good info on most of the climbs.

Indian Bluffs is another place that is nearby (within a few miles of Pictured Rocks), but is not so easy to find, and once you find the parking area, it can be tough to locate the climbs. That said, there are some amazing sport climbs out there.

Mississippi Palisades is not set up for sport climbing. I think there may be one or two old bolted routes, otherwise there are a few top rope / trad routes that have anchor bolts only. Beyond that you need to setup top rope anchors with slings and trees.

Devils Lake in Wisconsin is about 3 hours 30 minutes away from Cedar Falls. Definitely not a sport place, but excellent climbing.

During the winter you should consider a visit to the Ice Silo, which is set up every year at a farm outside of Cedar Falls. This ice climbing activity is open to the paying public and it is worth the fee.

I don't know of many climbing gyms in the area, but can tell you that the University of Iowa's new recreation center is open to the public and features a climbing wall that includes bolts for lead climbing. If you cannot find anything open to the public in Cedar Falls you might want to try this place.

Good luck with your move.

--Bill McKirgan


daendil


Jun 21, 2011, 7:34 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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@potreroed: Uhhhh...thanks...I guess.... ;)

@poedoe & mckbill: Thanks for the info!!! Actually, there is much more outdoor climbing overall (and in closer proximity to home) in Iowa than in Indiana, though I'll be bummed to be further away from the RRG and NRG. Have either of you been to or heard of Backbone? I see that it has toprope and trad climbing, and I'm wondering if the TR anchors have walk-up access, which would be preferable if I decide to take the family.

I'll check out the UNI gym when I arrive, but my brother in law and I are already brainstorming plans for a woody... Cool

Midwest climbing FTW!!!!


(This post was edited by daendil on Jun 21, 2011, 7:35 PM)


healyje


Jun 21, 2011, 9:58 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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Talk about going from purgatory to hell from a climbing persecutive. I think you got about as good advice as there is to give. How long will you be Iowa?


daendil


Jun 22, 2011, 6:15 PM
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Re: [healyje] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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How long. Um....how does "the foreseeable future" sound??? My wife is from Cedar Falls, so we're heading there to be closer to the grandparents for a while. Cheyenne or Lander WY or somewhere in the CO Front Range is the 5-10 year plan. I'm from Lander, but I haven't been able to convince the wife to move there.....yet.... There's also that pesky "job" thing to consider, and with a 3 year old and another on the way, along with a good chunk of student loan debt, it's going to take some time to get there.

Until then, I'll make due with whatever the Midwest has to offer and the annual trip to Lander to climb at Sinks Canyon and Wild Iris!


alg437


Jun 22, 2011, 6:24 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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All the TR at Backbone is easly accessed. You will need some long slings to setup TR anchors off of trees, but you can easly walk to the top off all of the routes.


sycamore


Jun 22, 2011, 8:57 PM
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Re: [alg437] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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I lived in Iowa City for a few years before moving to Raleigh. I was actually closer to decent sport climbing back then than I am now. Wild Iowa (pictured rocks) is where I learned to climb, and has some great stuff. Indian Bluffs is basically just on the other side of the river, and is a little more bushwhacky, is cool too. You could have it a lot worse.


healyje


Jun 22, 2011, 11:23 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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Well, my condolences.

Three and a half hours to Devils Lake; twelve and a half to Eldorado; eleven and a half to Devils Tower. And I know there is a couple of areas in SW Wisconsin if you ask around.

Good luck to you and hope you get back to Wyoming...


poedoe


Jun 22, 2011, 11:27 PM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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It's been a while, but I remember Backbone being dirty (I mean most of the limestone in iowa is dirty, but backbone was excessive). There are also a good number of climbing clubs in iowa that take trips on a regular basis you could probably get in with. Also if you have more than 3 or 4 hours to drive the north shore of minnesota is fabulous, and in the winter sports some fantastic ice climbing.

In addition last time I was at the missisippi palisades(almost 3 years) all the routes have had bolted anchors put in so you don't have to sling trees anymore. In my opinion your next best bet is to head west to the front range in Colorado or vedawoo, but I'm more into trad climbing than sport.


dwads


Jun 29, 2011, 5:23 AM
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Re: [daendil] Moving to Iowa.... [In reply to]
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If you were going to be here this weekend I'd partner up with you at Pictured Rocks, where I used to climb a lot when I was in college. Things are different now; family, career, etc. but I still try to get out when I can. I'm in Decorah and I've climbed at several areas within two hours that are worth checking out. Feel free to contact me;
david@wadsworthconstruction.com
or
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000119265005


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