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If you had to choose

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

Well I've been pondering what I'm going to do when I get back to the states for a while and am stuck between a couple different thoughts.  I'll either play it safe and stay where I'm at because I got things pretty good or I'll take a chance and go west.  If I move west I'm planning on pretty much being a "working" ski bum.  I have a class A drivers licensee and I'm a pipe welder so I'm sure I could find something for work to keep me going.  I'm not looking to live in a ski in ski out condo and party every night.   I just want to be in the mountains. 

 

My thoughts are either Colorado, Wyoming, or Alaska.  I want a place that provides the skiing that Maine doesn't.  Alaska is my first choice because I love hunting and fishing but CO, and WY, both offer good hunting and fishing.  I guess what I'm trying to ask if you had nothing holding you back, no bills, and about 20 grand in the bank what would you do and why?

 

I'm not making any permanent decisions off advice just looking at pros and cons.

post #2 of 16

If it is just you this decision effects all of those options are open.  If there are any others involved, we are the wrong ones to be asking

 

If is just you, and you love hunting fishing and skiing; go North young man.  Alaska waits.  You may not like it, some don't.  If you don't go you will always wonder.

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

Ya it's just me I don't rotate back to the states until about feb-march and then I'm free to go as I please.  I was just wondering what other people would do in this sisuation and what part of which state they would choose.

post #4 of 16

Many good choices, almost can't miss.  Do a search here on the word Whitefish, as in Whitefish, Montana. It might be a little like Maine with similar cost of living, but bigger mountains.  You'll see pages of interesting threads. Maybe a nice alternative to AK for a fisherman and a snowrider if you decide to stay in the lower 48.   Next to Whitefish/Big Mountain ski area, 3000 acre Whitefish Lake, and Glacier National Park. http://farm4.hv-static.flickr.com/3271/3115759841_1c19b7632f.jpg

post #5 of 16

I would say Wyoming. Great mountains+ hunting and fishing and relatively low cost of living..

post #6 of 16

Wyoming has excellent hunting and fishing but if you want skiing in wyoming dont go anywhere but jackson hole, i live in laramie and to get anywhere decent to ski you have to drive 2+ hours to get to steamboat or 4+ hours to get to winter park and a little more to get to the frisco dillon area (breck keystone copper) dont get me wrong laramie's a great town for college and has good budget skiing around but not the place for a ski bum, if i could choose anywhere i would live in the frisco dillon area, the epic pass is somewhere around $500 to ski breck keystone vail aspen beaver creek and heavenly, sounds like all the skiing i would need in a year

post #7 of 16

I was surprised he left out Montana, but then I looked and he's a pipe welder.  He's more likely to find work maybe where there's oil?  Not a lot of construction going on here at the moment.  I noticed the "Parade of Homes" is about half or less of what it normally is this year.  (And I bet they scraped them up from two years of building.....)  I don't know about the cost of living by Jackson, can't imagine real estate being cheaper....  I know the pay is terrific up in Alaska, we have people going up there for it, then coming back here to live in the interim.  (Tells you something about the living maybe....) 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jamesj View Post

Many good choices, almost can't miss.  Do a search here on the word Whitefish, as in Whitefish, Montana. It might be a little like Maine with similar cost of living, but bigger mountains.  You'll see pages of interesting threads. Maybe a nice alternative to AK for a fisherman and a snow rider if you decide to stay in the lower 48.   Next to Whitefish/Big Mountain ski area, 3000 acre Whitefish Lake, and Glacier National Park. http://farm4.hv-static.flickr.com/3271/3115759841_1c19b7632f.jpg

post #8 of 16

Alaska sounds tempting, except for the lack of winter daylight hours and true bitterly cold temps..  I guess they ski more in the fall/spring up there.

post #9 of 16

I <3 the Big Mountain/Whitefish area.  I'd totally live there if I didn't work 4 states away.

post #10 of 16

I'd pretty much agree with snowyphil65 about Wyoming.  For a welder/pipefitter, most of the jobs are in the energy-extraction portions of the state and with the "possible" exception of Pinedale, there isn't a whole lot of skiing anywhere near those places.  I mean, I love Wyoming but if skiing is important to you there's really only one game in town (Jackson) and here in Jackson we don't have much of an economy beyond tourism.

 

I agree with the Alaska proponents.  That place is simply unbelievable for any kind of outdoors-related activity.  I would think you could find a job somewhere there, and the fishing/hunting really can't be compared with anywhere else in the US.  Sure, the winters are long and dark and some people can't take it, but you would never know if you fall in that category until you try it. 

 

If I had life to do over again, Alaska would be very high on my list.

post #11 of 16

Except that Alaska is in the same boat - there's only one game in town for skiing as well; and it would mean living in Anchorage.

 

Fall/spring skiing - not so much fall. It really doesn't get started any earlier than down here, but it sure as shinola gets darker earlier. Decent ski season goes from February to April.

post #12 of 16

Having lived in AK, I would say one of the negatives is how hard and expensive it can be to go somewhere other than AK. Sure, there is the fantasy of big lines in the Chugach. Yes, great fishing in Kenai, Seward, or heck just about any river or stream in SE AK. The bears are bigger, the moose are bigger, and so too are the fishies! However, someplace like WY, has lots of options. You have access to great skiing in JH or Grand Targhee. You can make road trips to Steamboat or other resorts in CO. UT is also an option. They have great fishing and hunting in these places too.

post #13 of 16

Toadman above makes some good points.  He did not talk about the heavily male weighted population though, and it is.

 

South Central AK is real close to the end of the road, you can drive down to Homer and it is the end of the road.  The very best hunting and fishing are not in Anchorage, in fact the very best of either you will fly to.  The drivable hunting and fishing you can drive and/or hike to are just okay to good, which is pretty much off the charts in most of the world (I am looking at lamp made from full curl + sheep horns, I shot him less than 3 hours driving and hiking from my livingroom in Anchorage long ago but his grand kids are still up there).  Weather in Anchorage/Alyeska area is not that cold very often & days in December don't get much shorter than 6 hrs (think shortest hours at Alyeska were 9-3) & by March 21st it is 12 and growing rapidly.  As for getting bored with skiing Alyeska, would say that it is not much more likely than getting tired JH or Big Sky; you might, but if you put the skins on and you won't (the Chugach Mountains are bigger than the Alps, just nearly no ski lifts). 

 

Work should be there for a skilled tradesman, a Union might be required to get the good ones.  In a perfect world to work on a bush project for 6 months (think better hunting and fishing & and fewer ways to spend $);  6 months in the winter in town or Girdwood (Alyeska). 

 

Come home safe.

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

 

You all make some really good points.  Work is important to me because I like my gear to be at least somewhat new and I like to eat.  6'2" 230lbs I tend to eat a lot.  In a perfect world I'd get out from under the welding hood and be a hunting and fishing guide and a heli-ski guide in the winter.  Heck I'd be happy being a heli-pilot lol.


Quote:
Originally Posted by snowyphil65 View Post

Wyoming has excellent hunting and fishing but if you want skiing in wyoming dont go anywhere but jackson hole, i live in laramie and to get anywhere decent to ski you have to drive 2+ hours to get to steamboat or 4+ hours to get to winter park and a little more to get to the frisco dillon area (breck keystone copper) dont get me wrong laramie's a great town for college and has good budget skiing around but not the place for a ski bum, if i could choose anywhere i would live in the frisco dillon area, the epic pass is somewhere around $500 to ski breck keystone vail aspen beaver creek and heavenly, sounds like all the skiing i would need in a year


Where is the Frisco Dillon area?  If there is work and decent living around there it sounds like it could make for enjoyable winters.  I really don't care to much about resorts just the skiing quality of the mountain(s)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sibhusky View Post

I was surprised he left out Montana, but then I looked and he's a pipe welder.  He's more likely to find work maybe where there's oil?  Not a lot of construction going on here at the moment.  I noticed the "Parade of Homes" is about half or less of what it normally is this year.  (And I bet they scraped them up from two years of building.....)  I don't know about the cost of living by Jackson, can't imagine real estate being cheaper....  I know the pay is terrific up in Alaska, we have people going up there for it, then coming back here to live in the interim.  (Tells you something about the living maybe....) 

 


 


 


I always thought of Montana more as a hunting and fishing location than for skiing.  I'll have to take a look at what there is for work.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stranger View Post

Toadman above makes some good points.  He did not talk about the heavily male weighted population though, and it is.

 

South Central AK is real close to the end of the road, you can drive down to Homer and it is the end of the road.  The very best hunting and fishing are not in Anchorage, in fact the very best of either you will fly to.  The drivable hunting and fishing you can drive and/or hike to are just okay to good, which is pretty much off the charts in most of the world (I am looking at lamp made from full curl + sheep horns, I shot him less than 3 hours driving and hiking from my livingroom in Anchorage long ago but his grand kids are still up there).  Weather in Anchorage/Alyeska area is not that cold very often & days in December don't get much shorter than 6 hrs (think shortest hours at Alyeska were 9-3) & by March 21st it is 12 and growing rapidly.  As for getting bored with skiing Alyeska, would say that it is not much more likely than getting tired JH or Big Sky; you might, but if you put the skins on and you won't (the Chugach Mountains are bigger than the Alps, just nearly no ski lifts). 

 

Work should be there for a skilled tradesman, a Union might be required to get the good ones.  In a perfect world to work on a bush project for 6 months (think better hunting and fishing & and fewer ways to spend $);  6 months in the winter in town or Girdwood (Alyeska). 

 

Come home safe.

Anchorage was actually the area I was looking at because I have a couple friends from high school up there.  One is stationed with the military and the other is working on becoming a hunting and fishing guide.  That is another bonus of AK is that there is already people I know there.  Besides that I've noticed that the cost of living was higher than normal but so is the salary. I know if I can get in with CH2MHILL working on pipeline than I'd be happier than a pig in poop.  I had a buddy from tech school go up and work for them doing 6 weeks on and 2 weeks off.  The 2 off they flew him down to Anchorage and he was making killer money.  

 

 

As of now AK is still on top of my list but I still got lots of research to do and at least 5 months before I rotate back to the states so please feel free to chime in with your 2 cents.  Heck so far tonight I just added MT and Frisco Dillon area to my places to check out.

 

Thanks

 

 

 

 

 

post #15 of 16

Frisco/Dillon is right in the heart of Keystone/Arapahoe Basin/Breckenridge/Copper Mountain Colorado.

post #16 of 16

...And that's why we have almost no lift lines, folks.....  I need to whistle for that guy who was looking for a place with no lines to come see this. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Out2Pasture View Post


I always thought of Montana more as a hunting and fishing location than for skiing.  I'll have to take a look at what there is for work.
 

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