Pro climbers' income?

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Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 9, 2017 - 11:49am PT
I've always wondered what kind of income so-called "pro" climbers make. I know many sponsored climbers are just getting free shoes/ropes/whatever, which helps a little, but it don't pay for Sprinter vans and oceans of diesel fuel for the endless road trip, let alone post send brewskies, health insurance, etc. Just wondering about the financial realities of this life style. I know Bachar did pretty well as the sole Boreal rep for years. Of course, Honnold must be bringing in six figures. But these are outliers, the best of the best. What about your second, third tier crushers? Anyone got the inside scoop?

Don't worry. I have zero illusion of switching careers. I'm happily retired after reading tens of thousands of crappy essays, although I still have a touch of the PTSD. (shudders...the horror....)

BAd
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Nov 9, 2017 - 11:55am PT
I think I make around $125 a year with medical, dental, vision, six paid weeks of vacation, and I get a pension too.
xCon

Social climber
909
Nov 9, 2017 - 12:54pm PT
including all the gear their constantly pawning off?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Nov 9, 2017 - 01:27pm PT
I think I make

The only people that I know that might say that would have to call their accountant to find out,
and the answer would be a considerable multiple of $125K.
caughtinside

Social climber
Oakland, CA
Nov 9, 2017 - 01:38pm PT
I think it's more like a fun internship than a profession.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Nov 9, 2017 - 02:21pm PT
Reilly,

I just don't know. It varies. Depends on how much OT I feel like working.
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
Nov 9, 2017 - 02:29pm PT
I suspect we all know the difference by now, between pro climbers & Large Pizzas?
T Hocking

Trad climber
Redding, Ca
Nov 9, 2017 - 02:38pm PT
Disney starting wage with free use of apparel and gear. :)

Credit: T Hocking

Credit: T Hocking
Bad Climber

Trad climber
The Lawless Border Regions
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 9, 2017 - 03:21pm PT
Heh. This is turning out as well as I'd hoped. Keep 'em coming, you rogues, scoundrels, and ne'er-do-wells!

BaaaaaAAAAAAhhhhad
Robert L

climber
Nov 9, 2017 - 03:31pm PT
The top Patagucci ambassadors get at least 30k USD per year.
Perks include free use of a chalet in Chamonix.
But they pay for their own flights, food, and lift passes.
To afford their own land with a house or cabin on it, they live very simply, or need a second family income, royalties from a few books, and slideshow revenue.
Selling their photos only earns a few hundred bucks per go.
Other perks include free gear, but they don't always get their choice of colour.

Ueli got most of his money from non-climbing sponsors.
This included free loan of a serviced and insured Audi.
Out of his sponsor earnings he had to pay for some of his own promotion, such as having to pay for photographers recapturing his solo speed ascent of the Grandes Jorasses.

Source: Mech Engineer, in the supposed loop, who looks after the Grands Montets uplift.

Bullsh!t Klaus. Pro-level climbers that don't/didn't come from rich families dolling out fistfulls of coin: House, Cordes, Steck, Messner, Rebuffat, Bonatti, Ozturk, Dash, Kellogg, Swanson, Blanchard, Caldwell, Copp, Kennedy, Prezelj...
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Nov 9, 2017 - 03:46pm PT
Nice Disney shot.
Here’s my view today.

Credit: zip
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Nov 9, 2017 - 03:54pm PT
According to that short film about Brad Gobright, Alex Honnold has a net worth approaching the million bucks, and that was before soloing El Cap.

But you're right, he's definitely an outlier.
seano

Mountain climber
none
Nov 9, 2017 - 04:32pm PT
A friend of mine was a professional mountain biker, and based on his experience, I would say "not many, or not much." A few cyclists lived comfortably, a handful got by, and most of the rest worked other jobs to pay the bills. This is in a sport with 100% markups on $10k bikes. Climbing? You may make enough to live, but not enough to retire.
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Nov 9, 2017 - 04:55pm PT
I think I make around $125 a year

You must be one of the worst pro climbers out there then. I could get paid that little to climb.

Six weeks paid vacation=$14.42

Pension on $125...say 3% per year and you climb for say, 20 years, your pension would be $83.65 per year.

Now the Medical/health/vision...say $1500/mo...THAT is your real benefit...so adding it all up...you are STILL well below the poverty level.
zip

Trad climber
pacific beach, ca
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:16pm PT
^^^^

Well done.
clinker

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, California
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:26pm PT
According to that short film about Brad Gobright, Alex Honnold has a net worth approaching the million bucks, and that was before soloing El Cap.

But you're right, he's definitely an outlier.

Wow, a "Pro" climber finally broke through the grass ceiling!
Robert L

climber
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:32pm PT
A friend of mine was a professional mountain biker

A dear friend is the reigning XCO olympic and world champs gold medallist.

When he started out, he was allowed the time to train and race while being paid as a member of the Swiss military. Things blossomed, and he now makes good coin and owns a nice house in Chur.

Mountain bikers contracted to race on UCI registered teams make minimum $60k per year. Gwin is on over $500k. Todd Wells owns houses in Durango and Tuscon. Batty drives a Porsche lent to her by a dealership. Henderson/McConnell made enough with Trek Factory Racing to put a deposit on a nice enough house in Canberra.
Jody

climber
Occupied Territory
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:34pm PT
Wow, a "Pro" climber finally broke through the grass ceiling!

Nice! LOL
Robert L

climber
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:36pm PT
Now the Medical/health/vision...say $1500/mo...THAT is your real benefit...so adding it all up...you are STILL well below the poverty level.

Quite a few Patagucci Ambassadors have to pay for medical insurance out of their own pocket.
seano

Mountain climber
none
Nov 9, 2017 - 05:55pm PT
A dear friend is the reigning XCO olympic and world champs gold medallist.
Gold medalist. My friend was top 10 at worlds, but not top 1, and racing in the US, not Europe. There's very little money in second-tier sports, and climbing, like mountain biking, is a second-tier sport.
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