Top American Climber Can’t Afford To Compete

Alex Puccio is one of the best competitive climbers the United States has ever produced. The current U.S. women’s bouldering champion, she has won this title nine times straight.

Alex Puccio
Alex Puccio; photo by Andrew Magill – Flickr/Wikimedia Commons

But Puccio is having a hard time getting the support she needs to travel on the competitive International Federation Of Sport Climbing circuit.

The IFSC World Cup champion is determined by a combined top-five scores in competitions, necessitating travel to at least five competitions around the world.

For Puccio, one competition is close to her home in Boulder, Colo., but the rest require major trips.

“I just can’t afford to compete in the entire World Cup season all on my own anymore,” Puccio reports.


She has taken matters into her own hands, launching a fund-raiser on the website RallyMe to support her competition for the upcoming season.

The 2015 season is made up of 20 events in countries across the globe, from France to the United States to China.

She is asking for $10,000 to supplement her budget, presumably supported by sponsors such as Scarpa.

Fighting Chance

With support to travel the world, Puccio’s chances against international competitors look good. In her best seasons, she’s been ranked internationally 3rd (2011), 5th (2012), 3rd (2013), and she was ranked 5th for 2014.

She finished second at the 2014 Bouldering World Championships and defended her title for the 3rd year in a row by taking 1st place in the 2014 Arco Rockmasters bouldering competition.

"Sometimes we feel like giving up and don't want to go through the pain and suffering, but then we remember why we wanted to put ourselves through it in the first place." -- Alex Puccio, on her Instagram this month
“Sometimes we feel like giving up and don’t want to go through the pain and suffering, but then we remember why we wanted to put ourselves through it in the first place.” — Alex Puccio, via Instagram

“My main career goal is to become overall champion in the IFSC bouldering World Cups,” she wrote.

“What this means is that my results at each event are calculated and I am scored and ranked against the other women for the entire season. I have come very close in years past and I will not stop until I achieve my goal!”

Puccio has already raised more than $7,000. While we’d love to see her receive enough support from sponsors, gyms and USA Climbing to compete without the need of fund-raising, she’s ensuring a solid run at a title with the extra funds.

If you’d like to support her efforts, visit her RallyMe fundraiser and chip in.


Sean McCoy

Sean McCoy is the Editorial Director of GearJunkie, and 5+ other All Gear websites.

He has been writing about hunting, fishing, trail running, camping, skiing, and more for 15+ years.

Prior to GearJunkie, he was the chief photographer for the Virgin Islands Daily News and former Editor In Chief for GearJunkie. Based in Denver, Colorado, McCoy is an avid trail runner, camper, hunter, angler, mountain biker, skier, and beer tester.