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Discussion Starter #1
I am a junior in high school and I am starting to narrow down my college list and I am going to apply to Montana State University and the University of Montana. I was just wondering which one is closest to some whitewater and skiing but the kayak scene is more important to me. Also, I will probably be studying film and I know both of them have film schools but if any of you would recommend one over the other your input is welcome!

Thanks!
Caleb
 

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The one that is in Missoula,cannot remember which of the 2 that is, is walking or biking distance of the Missoula play park. The Alberton gorge is but a short drive away. The Lochsa is not too far. I am sure theres more that I don't know of. I have paddled out of Missoula several times, mainly in summer, don't know anything about the other institution.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The one that is in Missoula,cannot remember which of the 2 that is, is walking or biking distance of the Missoula play park. The Alberton gorge is but a short drive away. The Lochsa is not too far. I am sure theres more that I don't know of. I have paddled out of Missoula several times, mainly in summer, don't know anything about the other institution.
Awesome, that's helpful. I should have clarified, the University of Montana is in Missoula and Montana State is in Bozeman.
 

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Missoula

I spent a week in Missoula and had so much fun on the gorge. The suck holes on the eddy lines were six and 8 feet in diameter. You could do Stern squirts and disappear. I think the Clarks Fork was running at 30,000.

The Lochsa is a short drive. Pipeline is my Favorite Park and play wave surfwave in the west.

Big water class IV is the best.

I can't comment on the mountain biking. But the kayaking deafly puts Missoula head and shoulders above.
 

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If you want focus on kayaking and of course "college" I would seriously consider Portland. You are probably gonna get better education in Portland and learn to paddle from some of the best boaters in the world. I went to school in Bozeman , it was great and I have no regrets, but I would have benefited from a bigger city scene. Sophisticated mustaches and skinny genes, they're really neat. JK.. But seriously.. if you want to run the shit and go to school..PNW all the way! Don't mess around with overrated skiing and kayaking in Montana.
 

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During class it will not be peak run-off so you should really focus on other aspects like education and skiing which favors MSU. Can't speak to the film programs at the two schools specifically but in general UM has more of an arts vibe going.

If you are sticking around for the summer Bozeman has better access to Big Timber Creek, Clarks fork of the Yellowstone, Henry's fork of the Snake and a peppering of other volume runs. Missoula has a playwave in town that is prime at high water and front surfable at low flows. Alberton gorge is runnable year round but best in mid to late summer after peak and the Lochsa and other classics are within easy striking distance. Missoula has a more dirtbag hippie vibe and a much better live music and food scene. Bozeman has more yuppies and cowboys.
 

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If you want focus on kayaking and of course "college" I would seriously consider Portland. You are probably gonna get better education in Portland and learn to paddle from some of the best boaters in the world. I went to school in Bozeman , it was great and I have no regrets, but I would have benefited from a bigger city scene. Sophisticated mustaches and skinny genes, they're really neat. JK.. But seriously.. if you want to run the shit and go to school..PNW all the way! Don't mess around with overrated skiing and kayaking in Montana.
How's the scene near Tacoma, WA? I think I might be heading there for college.
 

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It's solid. Check out ProfessorPaddle.com. You'll be faced with a drive over an hour for staples such as the Skykomish, Snoqualmie, and Green River. There's a lot more going on if you're looking for more creeks etc. but your drive time increases (4 hours to Hood River and BC is to the north). Things slow down in August but besides that you've got year round paddling options. Ask the folks at ProfessorPaddle.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you want focus on kayaking and of course "college" I would seriously consider Portland. You are probably gonna get better education in Portland and learn to paddle from some of the best boaters in the world. I went to school in Bozeman , it was great and I have no regrets, but I would have benefited from a bigger city scene. Sophisticated mustaches and skinny genes, they're really neat. JK.. But seriously.. if you want to run the shit and go to school..PNW all the way! Don't mess around with overrated skiing and kayaking in Montana.
I am looking at many schools in the PNW as well, montana's schools just have slightly better film schools from what I have researched but I am also looking at U of O, Western Washington, and Willamette
 

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It's solid. Check out ProfessorPaddle.com. You'll be faced with a drive over an hour for staples such as the Skykomish, Snoqualmie, and Green River. There's a lot more going on if you're looking for more creeks etc. but your drive time increases (4 hours to Hood River and BC is to the north). Things slow down in August but besides that you've got year round paddling options. Ask the folks at ProfessorPaddle.

I talked to the folks a PP and they helped a bit, where in PNW would there be the best/closest WW?

Right now I am looking at (including BC area) UBC, Evergreen State, Lewis & Clark, PSU, UPS, Simon Fraser, WSU Vancouver, UoW, West. Wash, and Whitman.
 

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Just a little shout out to Boise and Boise State.

Hard to beat being able to paddle the Payettes (about 35 minutes from the university) 11.5 months a year. Boise whitewater park, super close ski hill...
 

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Frankly, the boating during the majority of the school year is not that spectacular in either Bozeman or Missoula. Starting sometime in early April, things start to run around Missoula, but school ends mid-May, so that's only a few weeks. The Alberton Gorge does run year-round (except when it's frozen over) but really, it won't blow your mind from a whitewater perspective. During late spring and early summer, however, I am pretty sure I would take Missoula over Bozeman for sheer variety of stuff within reasonable striking distance.

In terms of other factors between Bozeman and Missoula, Bozeman EASILY wins the skiing contest, and probably wins the mountain biking contest, too. Other than that, Missoula wins on all fronts including social scene, restaurants, bars, music, and access to more cool places (e.g. North Idaho boating is right next door, cool parts of Canada are a lot closer, etc.) The town itself is just more fun. I think everyone living in Bozeman would probably even agree with that.

But if boating is your goal, and if you want more boating during the school year, you should definitely go to the Pacific Northwest or the southeast somewhere.
 

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First off, I'm not a kayaker, so this is my perspective from a general boating and outdoorsman's perspective.

In terms of other factors between Bozeman and Missoula, Bozeman EASILY wins the skiing contest, and probably wins the mountain biking contest, too. Other than that, Missoula wins on all fronts including social scene, restaurants, bars, music, and access to more cool places (e.g. North Idaho boating is right next door, cool parts of Canada are a lot closer, etc.) The town itself is just more fun. I think everyone living in Bozeman would probably even agree with that.
Skiing is FAR better near BZN for sure, boating and biking are probably more what you make of them... but the social scene? Depends totally on your scene. They are very, very different towns. It's really like comparing apples to oranges. I know Missoula is one of the last places I'd find my self in this region (except maybe Billings, but that's another matter...). I'm not saying this via some sort of town rivalry, you'd just have to experience each to understand how different they are and where you'd fit IMHO.

The two also have very different climates. Missoula is much more closely related to the PNW and Bozeman to the Rocky Mountain front/ plains.

Film wise, I've heard MSU has a very good film school, relatively small but it seems they pride themselves on small classes and individual attention.... I'm not a film guy, that's just what I hear... There is a large film fest every year (HATCH) that seems to draw some pretty big names and there are lots of films actually filmed in the area so getting hands on experience might be easier, but you'd probably get better beta on that via the school.
 
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