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Old 01-27-2011   #1
Bellingham, Washington
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 20
Moving West for school. Suggestions.....

Im currently in school in Clemson, South Carolina. I'm really wanting to move out west to finish up my degree. I love the rivers around here but I'm ready to change the pace for a few years. I looking for a active town/city with a good university that has some solid IV-V creeking in the area and a nice mountain or two for snowboarding in the winter. Also will need to pick up a job fairly easily for housing.

Im pretty much open to anywhere out west. Some of the schools I've heard would be good options are the University of Nevada Reno, Chico State, University Montana Missoula. I'm not limited to these, like i said I'm pretty much open to anything. Opinions and suggestions would be great!


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Old 01-27-2011   #2
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vancouver, Washington
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Boise? Nice rivers and mountain

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Old 01-27-2011   #3
Denver / Coloma / Monterey, CO / CA
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Montana State in Bozeman: Great creeking and snowboarding and it's a fun town to boot.
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Old 01-27-2011   #4
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at my house, Montana
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What program are you in? I'd recommend MSU over UM just for quality of education. UM is a well known party school and not the most rigorous in many fields. Of course, there are exceptions, but most of those are in fields which are better at MSU anyways. Disclaimer, I went to MSU and got my degree there, so yes I am completely biased, and worked at UM for 8 years.
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Old 01-27-2011   #5
Avon, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2005
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I personally would goto CU Boulder. It is a little closer to a city than you may want...however education is great. Are you in engineering?

Rivers are very close...mountains are a little drive, but are plentiful.

Go Hokies
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Old 01-27-2011   #6
Los Alamos, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 1983
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 168
What are you studying/planning to study?

That will make a big difference in recommendations.
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Old 01-27-2011   #7
Bellingham, Washington
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Business Management

How long is the boating season in Montana? I would assume the weather is pretty harsh most of the year, right?
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Old 01-27-2011   #8
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at my house, Montana
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Originally Posted by mikesong View Post
How long is the boating season in Montana? I would assume the weather is pretty harsh most of the year, right?
It depends. What is harsh? Butte is harsh, cold and windy in the winter. Bozeman is not harsh, but may be considered so by people not used to winter. They'll get one or two cold snaps a winter, maybe hit -20 for a day or longer. Missoula is getting close to the banana belt of Montana, it gets above freezing a lot in the winter, and our cold snaps are more like -10. But Missoula doesn't always have snow in town, so it can look ugly at those times. Fortunately our ski area is up quite a bit higher than town, but it is still warmer than MT ski areas, like Bridger. Bozeman has sunnier winters, Missoula is plagued by the cloudy inversions of Western Montana. Both summers are excellent.

I boated the Lochsa a week ago Monday, the Alberton gorge can be run year round as long as there is not ice. The main boating (runoff) season is mid April - mid July in a good year. Some stuff dies out sooner, others keep going. There is some dam controlled around, but not a lot, and it runs much longer. I think there's a lot of good creeking, but I don't know details since I don't kayak. The really good boating in Missoula is over in Idaho, which is just up the road. I'm pretty sure the Missoula boating beats Bozeman for available runs. I know since my ski body slowly fails and I've become a rabid boater, I wouldn't want to move back to Bozeman anymore.

Hmmm, business may be the one school that UM has over MSU. I don't know jack about MSU's but that is one UM program that is quite rigorous and I think is considered quite good. You'll have a better chance of winter boating without freezing to death in Missoula, but Bozeman has Beartrap which is dam controlled and fun all winter. Fun when I launched a year ago at 16 degrees, took out a 20. Pretty cold. More and more people are winter boating in Missoula, and the local kayak shop is all over SUP and surfing in certain spots even when the river is frozen. The shop is Strongwater
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Old 01-27-2011   #9
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BZN, Montana
Paddling Since: 2008
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It's 47 degrees in bozeman right now. Bridger has been awesome, big sky and moonlight are up the road. We stopped paddling in December this year. There are 2 dam release runs that go everyday of the year, plus the Gallatin runs pretty late, and it's closer, and more classic. I haven't been here in spring, but I hear it's good. Big Timber is the closest full on gnar run, but lots of other IV-V options as well. Idaho isn't too far...
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Old 01-27-2011   #10
Louisville, Colorado
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Gotta mention my alma mater Fort Lewis College, Durango CO. Managed to get a degree in Chemistry, a minor in Geology while skiing, climbing, biking, and boating my little heart out - sometimes with my professors. Ahh.......good times. Never had an issue finding a job there( tourism), and never been with out a job with my degree.

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