People always ask me why I picked Salt Lake City as my home in the United States. Well, I like to call it base camp more than home, because Adam and I are often traveling and not at home very much when we are in the States. Yet I always use my friend Anna Keeling’s description of the Salty City: “Salt Lake City is a well-kept secret.” And it is.
The Wasatch range that looms high above Salt Lake City is home to some of the best climbing, mountain biking and inbound and backcountry skiing. After all, the license plate does say it: Best snow on earth!
We looked thoroughly at great places to settle as guides and professional alpinists and, frankly, we have found no better place: Salt Lake City offers an international airport, is only four to five hours away from world-class climbing, such as Indian Creek or Zion, offers all styles of climbing—from quartzite (Big Cottonwood Canyon) to Granite (Little Cottonwood Canyon, Lone Peak) to limestone (American Fork) to steep cobble stone (Maple Canyon) to ice in the winter—beautiful backcountry skiing among endless Aspen trees late into the season, one of the best climbing gym in the USA—Momentum Climbing—and hundreds if not thousands of miles of single-track mountain biking. With all these assets, it’s a no-brainer that the outdoor community here is huge, very talented and motivated. And to top it all off, the cost of living here is relatively cheap.
I could think of no better place to come back to after having spent time in Europe, or to travel to and from, especially this year. I’m pregnant, and I really want to climb but also do other things. Being in SLC has provided me with the perfect balance of climbing, biking and swimming. I have ridden both my bikes more this year than ever before and marveled at the beauty of the trails in the Wasatch. My top three have been the Wasatch Crest Trail, the Armstrong to Midmountain to Deer Valley trails in Park City and the amazing maze of trails in Draper. I have also ridden my road bike a lot. Both of these sports have been highly humbling, because I just can’t seem to get good at them quickly, which is frustrating, but also highly motivating.
I have also been climbing two to three times a week. Climbing hurts a little because of my pregnancy, so I do it enough to stay in climbing shape, but not so much that I might cry from pain at the end of the day. But climbing, moving my body vertically and learning how to be better on my feet so that I don’t use my core as much during pregnancy has been a new approach to my passion altogether.
If you’re an outdoor aficionado, Salt Lake City should be on your list of places to hit. Make sure you bring enough gear to indulge in all of the above. But remember, Salt Lake City is a well-kept secret—let’s keep it that way, shall we?
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