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9:34:26 PM
What would be the best base for climbing and skiing for extended work/study in Canada out of Vancouver and Calgary?

9:40:09 PM
Van 4 sure.

or Nelson, BC if you want to get away from the city.
2:48:52 PM
Alpinism & ice climbing = Calgary, 1 hour to the mountains
Rock climbing = Vancouver, 1.5 hours to Squamish

Both places have alpine / ice / rock / resort skiing / back country skiing within a few hours drive. West of the divide has better snow and avo conditions, and you will get more skiing done. East has better ice and a longer season, and a better alpine scene. The snow season however is shorter (a little more fickle), especially the avo conditions.

As previously stated, interior BC has the best snow - Nelson, Red Mountain (resort) and Revelstoke (BC) in particular. It's a good trip from either Cowtown or Van.

Where are your study options? SFU, UBC, UofC?

9:20:18 PM
Thanks for that info. I was hoping someone would say Vancouver. You didn't mention Whistler. Any reason?? I'm not quite up to the alpine and ice climbing and resort skiing is sufficient. It's looking like UBC but I'm still looking at SFU. Location is important - might be staying in Richmond area. Don't know anything about UofC. Have you spent a lot of time there? Are you from Canada?
9:30:47 AM
On 24/06/2006 kerroxapithecus wrote:
>You didn't mention Whistler. Any reason??
Great ski hill. Very busy though, especially weekends.

I visit BC every couple of years, to catch up with relatives on the Island. Lived over in Calgary for a while too, and go there to catch up with friends and climb. Skiing has taken a back seat for me over the last couple of years, so I tend to spend more time in Calgary when over that way.

Vancouver feels a bit like Sydney, whereas Calgary is a bit like Adelaide. Don't ask me to quantify that statement, but I guess it has something to do with relative populations and "how much trouble" you can get yourself into partying.

U of C does alot of research into the mountains. They have done testing on v-threads (which are ice climbing rap anchors), kineseology wrt alpinism and you can even study snow packs and avalanches as a civil engineer. They have an indoor climbing wall made of concrete and real rock, which you can lead trad, and a free bouldering traverse wall in one of the buildings. Students / Lecturers include people such as Raphael Slawinski and Valeri Babanov.

11:00:01 AM
I guess a ski 'hill' that close to a major city would be crowded but to be in such close proximity to work and skiing is something we can't have here. I'll get out to other areas of course.
Ok so you're probably an engineer of some sort but it's all gobbldygook to me. My area of study is somewhat different - nothing to do with outdoor sports. I just want the access for recreation. Thanks for the info.

3:05:24 AM
IMO Calgary as it's closer to the Parkway, Canmore and Jasper, IE, some of the best ice climbing in the world.

The Keeper
3:08:49 PM
Although I did a degree at U of Calgary I wasn't into the mountain scene at that point (no $ and no vehicle) I would probably recommend Vancouver. Calgary certainly has the facilities left over from the Calgary Olympics. Canmore is a happening place for the young, the restless, the bold and you will stumble across lots of ' the mob" as well as a few insurgent dens of groggy-eyed Kiwi. If you want high, long alpine routes it is the place - tons of chossy, polished limestone -wear a helmut the zingers are a feature of the climbing - either people, gravity or goats letting 'em go. Some better rock at Banff-Lake Louie - Back of the Lake and lots of ice climbing ie. Johnstone Canyon. Vancouver is culturally deeper and wider. Better music scene - I caught Coldplay there in January. The granite of Squamish will beckon and spoil you. The Chief is the motherland of climbing in terms of a single crag albeit the climbing in the Canmore region still contributes the overall alpinists. For $18 return you can get into Squamish by bus from the Vancouver bus depot. Good bus transportation system with LRT and it is being expanded to south. More diverse ethnically than Calgary so more variety in food - Calgary is cowboy country - beef, beef and more beef. Both places have a Mountain Equipment store but the one in Vancovuer is the cadillac of the system - you can even pick up copies of the Araps and Grampians guides or ROCK - so how evolved is that? For skiing you can zip into Whistler-Blackcomb - and you will find lots of Aussies accents at the ski lifts - the results of the Aussie-Canada youth employment agreement. Squamish is like Canmore - originally a forest industry town, it has evolved to become an outdoor rec centre - climbing is big of course, but it is prime time mountain biking and there is sea kayaking and a variety of other things. The interior crag of Skaha is but a few hours away - dry, hot, and rattlesnakes - you will feel right at home even with the legendary John Fantini hammering away at the local crag - he went up over some years back and has made it his home crag - you will feel like home. Great rock - gneiss with beautifull hard, little edges. The big granite walls of the Eldrid Valley are not far off as well. Now for the creme de la creme - the Bugaboos - granite spires - world class climbing destination - you will think you have died and gone to heaven. A bit more accessible from Calgary but still doable out of Vancouver but you have to grapple with the Trans-Canada highway. Vancouver is good because you can dyno yourself south as well into Smith Rocks, Oregon and if really adventurous, some pedal to the metal and shift driving gets into "the Valley". Vancouver has a more adventureous and interesting city centre - Calgary is a barren concret jungle after 5pm - when everyone heads back to the suburbs. UBC has a great campus out on Point Grey and SFU sites atop Burnaby Mtn. Former is older, bigger and has better library.
Calgary probably has a better Phys Ed and Rec program - which got a shot in the arm from the Calgary Winter Olympics - the speed skating Oval , bobsled/luge runs as well as the ski jumping facility - the scene of Eddie the Eagles exploits( a very crazy Pom).
Plus for Vancouver is that if your still hanging touch by 2010 you will be able to take canuck hubby and the kids to various Olypics venues - and watch those Aussies trying to do another Bradbury and the Kiwis showing them how it is done in curling.
Place will be slightly crazy but then again it only happens rarely - if you survived the Canadian incursions into The Sydney Olympics you will do alright in 2010. You can subsist cheaply on Kokanee in either location and indulge a latent passion for ice hockey which they play in Canberra and Perth and Melbourne. Enjoy and write home often.

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