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  1. #1
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    Jan 2017
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    Where Should I Move? Seattle vs. Boulder

    Alright ya'll, so I'm finally graduating and getting the hell outta Texas. I'm an engineer and I've got a job lined up in both Seattle and Boulder and now it's time to make a decision.

    I want to know more about what the skiing / outdoors / quality of life is like between the two places. I have visited both somewhat extensively, but I want to know what it looks like living there 9-5. I was in Portland last summer and I loved being able to bike up in Forest Park after work to get away for an hour. Those small things make a huuuuge difference in QoL for me.

    Pros of Boulder:
    - Smaller population = easier to have high QoL
    - Job is more relaxed work atmosphere = powder day policy
    - Cheaper (barely)
    - Can rent a house with a garage!!
    - Outdoor community is large and in charge
    - SUN SUN SUN

    Cons of Boulder:
    - Small, lack of people my age (mid-20s), Denver is too far (I kind of like big city life)
    - Everything closes at 10pm
    - Job is full of older folks, not many my age - growth opportunity limited
    - Switching jobs would require me to move somewhere else to stay in the same field
    - I'm not a huge fan of skiing low angle pow all winter. I like long alpine missions better. I also don't want to die by facets.
    - I-70 is death by 1000 cuts.
    - Outdoor community is so large all the good stuff is always overcrowded. Is this true? Maybe somewhat?


    Pros of Seattle:
    - Larger population, more culture things to do
    - More existing friends up there (but not into outdoors)
    - Job has big growth opportunities, but I have to work much harder (9-7 not 9-5)
    - What's the skiing access like for backcountry?
    - Summer's are amazing

    Cons of Seattle:
    - Job commute is crappy (30-40min)
    - Cost of living is high as hell
    - City feels like it's overflowing
    - So gray allllll the time
    - Downtown scene isn't so pleasant like Pearl Street in Boulder

    I feel like I know more about Boulder than Seattle. I want to know what it's like doing skiing, mountain biking, gravel biking in the Seattle area. If I live in Fremont or similar is there anything I can do right outside my door?

  2. #2
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    Jan 2019
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    my advice - keep looking

  3. #3
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    Dec 2008
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    368
    I doubt there are a lack of 20 somethings in Boulder.

  4. #4
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    Oct 2003
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    Church of the Nifty Blue Chrysler
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    Salt Lake City. You're welcome. Or Portland. Skip the greater Seattle area, I've been here for almost two years, and it's been 1.5 years too long at this point.

    Access to outdoor recreation from SLC puts both Seattle and Bouldenver to shame. You're welcome to disagree, but you would be wrong.

    The blind embrace of growth and development in the greater Seattle area is truly appalling. But, if you're into that kind of thing (and some people are) then it might be your style.
    Set my compass North, I got Winter in my blood.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Stumptown
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    6,004

    Where Should I Move? Seattle vs. Boulder

    Sounds like Boulder is the pick for outdoor lifestyle, Seattle is the pick for advancing your career.

    Of the two I would pick Boulder. Seattle is not as much like Portland as people tend to think. It’s a full blown big city these days. Think SF.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2009
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    On Vacation for the Duration
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    Don't know about Boulder but the word in Seattle is to live close to where you work unless a few hours a day in your car is your thing.
    A few people feel the rain. Most people just get wet.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2012
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    Boulder.


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  8. #8
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    Jan 2017
    Location
    Austin, TX
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    I would love to be back in Portland, but unfortunately there are just no great job opportunities there for me.

  9. #9
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    Oct 2004
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    Seattle
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    All decent MTB will be a drive from Fremont. I see lots of bikes on cars heading out of the city when I'm heading home from work.

  10. #10
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    Sep 2008
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    Boulder is definitely homogenous as fuck, but if you find Pearl Street "pleasant" you might be fine.

    Front range winter skiing (and access from Boulder) isn't all that great unless you have a flexible schedule or don't mind meadow skipping. Spring (and sometimes summer) is pretty damn good though. If you run or climb Boulder offers a hell of a lot, but it's only adequate if you want your life to revolve around skiing.

    But I don't think your decision should come down to the skiing or even the place. I think career vs. lifestyle is what you need to figure out.

  11. #11
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    Nov 2002
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    EWA
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    15,231
    Spokane
    Kindness is a bridge between all people

    Dunkin’ Donuts Worker Dances With Customer Who Has Autism

  12. #12
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    Feb 2012
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    Aren’t there like 23 other threads out there discussing this?

    Maybe Denver vs Seattle instead of Boulder but same shit.


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  13. #13
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    Jan 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by I've seen black diamonds! View Post
    Boulder is definitely homogenous as fuck, but if you find Pearl Street "pleasant" you might be fine.

    Front range winter skiing (and access from Boulder) isn't all that great unless you have a flexible schedule or don't mind meadow skipping. Spring (and sometimes summer) is pretty damn good though. If you run or climb Boulder offers a hell of a lot, but it's only adequate if you want your life to revolve around skiing.

    But I don't think your decision should come down to the skiing or even the place. I think career vs. lifestyle is what you need to figure out.
    Hah! I meant pleasant as in relaxed and super walkable. I'm sure after a couple months I'll be so sick of going down there. Homogeneity is what I'm worried about. There's a bubble in Boulder, but there's also a tech bubble in Seattle so...

    Good to know about front range winter skiing. Do you know what Seattle has to offer on that front?

    Climbing is sort of more of a side activity to me. Gravel biking and ski touring are my #1's.

    What do you mean exactly about career vs. lifestyle? I don't think I can necessarily adequately answer that question at my stage in life...

  14. #14
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    Jan 2017
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    Quote Originally Posted by AK47bp View Post
    Aren’t there like 23 other threads out there discussing this?

    Maybe Denver vs Seattle instead of Boulder but same shit.


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    Sure, but Denver isn't even close to the same as Boulder. It'd be an hour commute to live in Denver.

  15. #15
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    Jan 2010
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    In the swamp
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    Sun vs gloom.

  16. #16
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    Nov 2016
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    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    Heyyo—

    I found myself in a very similar quandary last year when I graduated from PA school in Denver.

    Medicine is a bit different as we can work most anywhere.

    The options for me were Boulder vs Seattle vs Spokane.

    Decided against boulder for a couple reasons namely.

    - i70 (did that for 4 years and fuck that noise — it’s getting worse and no real solution is coming, sure train yadda yadda but that’s a long ways off, if at all)
    - front range outdoor CROWDING!! It’s a yugge problem. Everyone and their brother is moving to the front range because they “really like the outdoors”. This translates to no parking at trailheads and overcrowded trails/mountains.
    - cost, this may not reveal it self right off the bat but Denver and Boulder rely on this “quality of life” which translates to paying you LESS — because there are so many people who want to move to the front range. Also cost of living in Boulder proper is climbing so check yourself on the assessment that Boulder is cheaper as they will pay you less.

    As a pro Ned is great and Indian Peaks is the Gem of the front range if we were to work in Boulder we were planning to move to Nederland and commuting down the canyon.

    Why not Seattle — full discloser all our family is on the west side of the cascades and we grew up there.

    - COST - holy fuck Seattle is overbuilt and real estate is destined for a crash (this could be a good thing if you save your cash and come in right after the crash).

    - traffic at the local hills (vs to and at the hills), this is a real thing. Stevens, Alpy, and Crystal are all bloated from the crowds. Traffic is less when compared to 70 as there are 3 main thoroughfares divides up the hoards.

    Something I’d really question is can you deal with the grey. This causes a lot of people who did not grow up in it to struggle with pretty bad depression. I’ve always said the answer is skiing as it gets you up above the clouds and exercise will release plenty of dopamine to keep you right.

    We ended up in Spokane (I won’t turn this into another Spo thread) for a host of reasons but I’ll bullet point them out.
    - more sun, Colorado spoiled us and we realized the ball of fire in the sky was not an enemy.
    - no traffic or people
    - Idaho (nuff said)
    - BC (.end thread)
    - cheap — god its so cheap here, this means plenty of travel budget to ski rad places.
    - 3 ski hills <45 min away
    - 9 ski hills < 3 hours away
    - biking in town at 2 local spots with Super rad downhill close by
    - proximity to family in Seattle.
    - snow pack stability (still scarred from touring on facets for the last 4 years)

    Things we sacrificed:
    - rad lift accessed terrain within and hour (but really I’d say Boulder and Seattle don’t have this as traffic is pushing the resorts further from these towns).
    - close car accessed touring (you really need a sled)

    Honestly — I tend to agree with above posters. Look at a different city if you are prioritizing the outdoors.


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    SEA>DEN>Spokanistan
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    Something also that I didn’t dive into was the friendliness / ease of finding a community.

    Both cities offer a challenge here.

    -Seattle has a well known “freeze” which makes it difficulty to find a crew.
    - Boulder/Denver have this Native VS transplant culture that is fucking stupid. 4 years there and honestly made 2-3 quality relationships.

    - been in Spokane for 1.5 years now and already have a great crew of friends (easily 5-6 couples) that we ski, hike, backpack and drink beer with.



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  18. #18
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    Nov 2014
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    SLC
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    Quote Originally Posted by glademaster View Post
    Salt Lake City. You're welcome. Or Portland. Skip the greater Seattle area, I've been here for almost two years, and it's been 1.5 years too long at this point.

    Access to outdoor recreation from SLC puts both Seattle and Bouldenver to shame. You're welcome to disagree, but you would be wrong.

    The blind embrace of growth and development in the greater Seattle area is truly appalling. But, if you're into that kind of thing (and some people are) then it might be your style.
    shhhh

  19. #19
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    Sep 2008
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    Not Brooklyn
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    Quote Originally Posted by thejongiest View Post
    Hah! I meant pleasant as in relaxed and super walkable. I'm sure after a couple months I'll be so sick of going down there. Homogeneity is what I'm worried about. There's a bubble in Boulder, but there's also a tech bubble in Seattle so...

    Good to know about front range winter skiing. Do you know what Seattle has to offer on that front?

    Climbing is sort of more of a side activity to me. Gravel biking and ski touring are my #1's.

    What do you mean exactly about career vs. lifestyle? I don't think I can necessarily adequately answer that question at my stage in life...
    Never been to Seattle.

    I mentioned career vs. lifestyle because you're choosing between a 9-7 job with opportunity for advancement and a job that lets you ski on powder days with no opportunity for advancement. For a lot of folks that would make the choice, one way or the other, pretty easy. Plus Boulder has a fair number of tech and engineering jobs for a small city, but nothing that can compare with Seattle.

    Ski touring options near Boulder are more favorable than resort riding, but the persistent deep layer thing is no joke. Check out this site for an idea what winter vs. spring is like. One thing that helps make meadow skipping more consistently enjoyable for me is bringing my dog and avoiding avy terrain altogether. Dogs bring the stoke even when you're just wiggling your butt through low angle trees.

    In four years here I haven't found trailhead parking or crowding to be an issue, but I don't mind waking up early, actively seek less crowded places, often ski on weekdays, and don't mind long approaches when I have the time. This certainly isn't the undiscovered country, but even in Boulder, where everyone is training for something, you can avoid most people by avoiding the most popular spots on the weekend.

  20. #20
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    Sep 2018
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    1,404

    Where Should I Move? Seattle vs. Boulder

    Boulder is terrible. Nobody goes there anymore. Too crowded. Tell your friends. People should definitely not move there. Terrible.

    Eldorado canyon used to be cool climbing but the rock sucks now. All those euro based biking teams that train on the roads and gravel are just foolish, the biking sucks. Yeah, the mtn biking from town is just good, but you may have to drive 30 minutes to get to the really good mtn biking or 1.5 hours to regional class stuff. No good. The bouldering was world class but now there is chaulk on it. Unsightly. A ski area off the bus route from downtown is silly, and their parking lot closes by 9am on weekends. Useless. 8 or so high mtn ski resorts within 2 hours, but you have to pay attention to traffic timing so no one goes - too crowded. And Indian Peaks for backcountry just up the canyon is just too easy. Useless. And who wants to kayak through a downtown?

    Hell, the entire city is just overrun with world class athletes, olympians, world champions, world class outdoor athletes. You’ll get an inferiority complex. It’s terrible.

    Oh yeah it’s a university town so you have to constantly deal with stuff like great restaurants, culture, great musical acts, etc. Exhausting.

    And the sun is always out which costs a fortune in sunscreen. And If you like music, everyone says Red Rocks is the best venue in the country but it doesn’t even have a roof. Plus there are a bunch of mtn bike rides all around it so you’ll be all sweaty when you go to the shows.

    Boulder sucks. Stay away.
    Last edited by beece; 12-01-2019 at 03:01 PM.

  21. #21
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    Jan 2008
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    Big Sky/Moonlight Basin
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    Ogden


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    "Zee damn fat skis are ruining zee piste !" -Oscar Schevlin

    "Hike up your skirt and grow a dick you fucking crybaby" -what Bunion said to Harry at the top of The Headwaters

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Bottom feeding
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    7,533
    I think your bullet points describe it pretty well, but yeah there’s a lot of crazy shit in this thread, and yes we have a freeze, we hate everybody. Read “The Good Rain”, then decide. Are you a 12?
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Bozone
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    Personally, if I were 35 years younger I would be looking at SLC, Spokane, Boise, and Sante Fe.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    In the swamp
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    Yeah, Boulder sucks
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  25. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Seattle
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    If you live in Freemont it's only a short tour over Queen Anne to the Counterbalance when conditions are in.

    Dig a pit on relevant aspect though.
    Quote Originally Posted by Downbound Train View Post
    And there will come a day when our ancestors look back...........

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