Top 10 Richest Climbers
Climbing is a dynamic and challenging sport that is competitive across the world. Despite its popularity, climbers aren’t among the top-paid athletes in the world, as sports like baseball and American football have some of the world’s richest athletes. However, that hasn’t stopped these climbers from reaching net worths in the millions.
Who Are the Richest Climbers in the World?
- Yvon Chouinard
- Reinhold Messner
- Tommy Caldwell
- Sasha Digulian
- Magnus Midtbø
- Alex Honnold
- Hazel Findlay
- Alex Megos
- Chris Sharma
- Adam Ondra
1. Yvon Chouinard
Yvon Chouinard is the richest climber in the world, with a net worth of $1.2 billion. Yvon is a rock climber who has modest origins, living in his car in his early career. Not long after, he founded the outdoor company Patagonia after creating climbing gear for himself and his friends in the 1970s. Forbes has listed the Patagonia brand as worth nearly $3 billion. Chouinard has no desire to be a rich man, and so he chose to give Patagonia to a trust so that all profits would be put towards fighting climate change. He has a wife and two children.
2. Reinhold Messner
Reinhold Messner is a world-famous Italian mountaineer with a net worth of $1-1.5 billion. Messner owns two castles and was the first person to climb all fourteen peaks in the world that measure 8,000 feet. Messner has a controversial history, as his brother died during one of their shared hikes, and as a result, he has faced several legal battles throughout his lifetime. Despite those tragedies and expenses, Messner has amassed massive wealth from his popularity, notoriety, and his own work. Messner has written essays and books about his experiences, and several others have written about him.
3. Tommy Caldwell
Tommy Caldwell is a record-setting rock climber whose net worth is $8 million. Caldwell makes $1 million annually and was named the “best all-around rock climber” in the world by National Geographic. He was the first climber to scale Yosemite’s El Captain Dawn Wall. Caldwell has a few different revenue streams from both his history as a climber and his current projects, including a rock climbing gym. In 2015 he released a book called The Push, which he co-wrote with his climbing partner. Caldwell is a native of Colorado and currently resides there with his wife and children.
4. Sasha Digulian
Sasha Digulian has a net worth of $4-6 million. Digulian is a competitive climber who has won several notable competitions, including winning the World Champion female overall and placing in the Bouldering World Championships. Sasha was the third woman in the world to climb 9a and 5.14d-grade routes. Most of her money comes from her corporate partnerships. Digulian has a variety of media and corporate sponsorships, including Red Bull, Adidas, and Tiger Balm. She holds regular climbing clinics and retreats to help teach climbing and regularly takes speaking engagements. Diglian is also a writer and has a strong social media presence.
5. Magnus Midtbø
Magnus Midtbø is a celebrated Norwegian rock climber with a net worth of $3 million. Midtbø is a 17-time Norwegian climbing champion and has placed in several world championships. Midtbø retired from climbing in 2017 after a nearly 15-year career. Now, most of his income comes from his self-titled Youtube channel, which covers a variety of sporting content. He also owns an apparel shop called Rungne that sells climbing equipment and prioritizes sustainability. Midtbø also co-founded a gym, travels the world, and coaches climbers. Even though he’s retired from climbing, it’s still a big part of his life.
6. Alex Honnold
Alex Honnold has a net worth of $2 million. He has made his fortune through professional rock climbing as well as movies and documentaries. He likes to climb high mountains, and he created a virtual reality experience where users could “climb” these mountains with him. He mostly does solo climbs, which allows for virtual experiences and has boosted his wealth. He makes roughly $200,000 annually; this can shift depending on the products and partnerships he takes on. Honnold has a wife and a child and is one of the richest and most entrepreneurial climbers actively climbing.
7. Hazel Findlay
Hazel Findlay is a British climber with a net worth of $1-5 million. Findlay has been climbing her entire life and works as both a life coach and a climber. She is the first British woman to have climbed the Yosemite Dawn. Her “Strong Mind” coaching is aimed at helping people overcome the mental struggles they may face while rock climbing and in life. She has regular speaking engagements and online courses through Strong Mind. The Strong Mind online platform has over 1,400 students and subscribers. Through her program Strong Mind, Findlay has several corporate partnerships, a podcast, and free course options.
8. Alex Megos
Alex Megos is a German climber with a net worth of between $1-5 million. Megos has placed in the European championships several times. He also competed in the Tokyo Olympics. He is sponsored by Patagonia, Petzel, Tenaya, Friction Labs, Kleeter Retter, and several other major corporate climbing brands. Megos is still actively competing and has a strong social media presence. He is not currently married and resides in Germany. He plans to continue his rock climbing career, which will likely increase his net worth over time. Some of his notable ascents include “Fight Club” and “First Round Minute.”
9. Chris Sharma
Chris Sharma is one of the most popular climbers in the world and has a net worth between $1 million and $4 million. Sharma started climbing as a young child. His money has come from owning climbing gyms in Spain and California, winning climbing competitions, and from various sponsorships. Sharma also created an HBO series called “The Climb” with Jason Mamoa. While he doesn’t currently climb competitively, he still does deep sea climbs, which is a form of climbing that relies on water at the bottom of the climb to catch the solo climber if they fall. Sharma is married with two children.
10. Adam Ondra
Adam Ondra’s net worth is $1 to 3 million. Ondra is a Czech climber with several world championships and is considered one of the best in the world. He has an annual income of $100,000. Ondra has won world championship medals in both boulder and lead. Ondra is sponsored by several corporate brands, including Montara and Volkswagen. He also has several corporate partnerships, including Mammut and Euroholds. As with many climbers, he owns his own climbing gym and offers classes there. He started competing internationally at 16 and has won countless titles, including gold and silver medals at World Championships.
- Lynn Hill - $1-5 million
- Margo Hayes - $1-5 million
- Janja Garnbret - $1-5 million
Who is the richest climber in the world?
Yvon Chouinard is the richest climber in the world. He founded the outdoor company Patagonia after creating climbing gear for himself and his friends in the 1970s. Forbes has listed Chouinard’s net worth at $1.2 billion and, at one point, listed the Patagonia brand as worth nearly $3 billion. In 2020 Chouinard gave Patagonia to a trust so that all profits would be put towards fighting climate change. Chouinard has a wife and two children.