The opening of Beau Weiher’s BASE jump video begins with a first-person descent from one of his BASE jump landings. You can hear Beau say, “yeah, buddy,” before chuckling the way people do when their happiness can only be expressed through laughter. Beau Weiher is the Adrenalist that actually quit his job in order to continue BASE jumping full-time. We here at The Adrenalist wanted to hear his story and decided to investigate.
After reaching out to Beau and hearing why he’s chosen to embark on this path, we had to share his words with our readers. If you’re ever looking for the embodiment of The Adrenalist lifestyle, Beau might be the leading candidate; one who offers a nice respite from the frenetic pace of contemporary society.
This past winter, Beau worked as a construction laborer near Durango, CO. But after a little calculation, he realized he was paying more money to remain in that position than if he were to cut ties entirely and pursue his dream of BASE jumping full-time. Check out our exclusive interview with Beau.
Adrenalist: What prompted your decision to switch: to quit your job to devote yourself to BASE jumping full-time?
Beau Weiher: “I began to realize each person is a product of how they spend there days. The only way to become a good carpenter is to spend a lot of time doing it. After buying some warm clothes, replacing broken tools and maintaining a vehicle I needed specifically for work, I realized I was paying to be a carpenter.”
It immediately became apparent I would lose nothing if I could re-evalute my needs. Simply put: I’d rather be a broke base jumper than a broke carpenter.”
A: How are you actually living? Did the selling of all your stuff give you enough capital to live out this dream of backcountry BASE jumping? And if it did, how much longer can you live like this before you have to take up some work in order to pay for it?
BW: “I realize I cannot coast on my small savings forever. Many people fear that if they quit their job to chase a dream, they will starve, freeze to death and never find a job again. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in finding a job that ‘keeps the dream alive’ is to be honest and upfront with your goals from the start. Take any position, show up early, and leave on good terms. You won’t starve.
In order to accomplish my goals, I eliminate any expenses that do not contribute to my plan. Since my last video, I have sold my truck and stopped paying for fuel and insurance. This may seem extreme to most; however, it has allowed me to become the person I want to be. Before selling my truck, I arranged a place to live where I could walk to a BASE jump and trade chores for both rent and food, yet still have the week to play. I thought, ‘if I can pull this off, why would I need money?’ If you can’t make sacrifices for your dreams, you should probably choose bigger dreams.”
A: Are you making money from BASE jumping?
BW: “I’ve never expected to make any money BASE jumping. BASE jumping is payment enough. I’ve sold everything I’ve ever owned and because of it, I have things you cannot buy.”
A: What about BASE jumping spoke to you specifically?
BW: “BASE jumping can mean many different things to different people. For me, BASE gives me something to work towards. Rewards in BASE depend solely on the amount of effort and preparation involved in each jump and adventure.”
A: Do you consider yourself an adrenaline junkie?
BW: “Oftentimes, people ask if I am an ‘adrenaline junkie.’ I tell them the amount of calculation required for a BASE jump leaves zero room for that type of mindset. If you are not completely calm, you increase the chances of doing something unplanned.”
A: What are you working on now?
BW: “My goals with BASE now revolve around the backcountry. I like skiing and climbing terrain you otherwise couldn’t without a parachute. If big mountain skiing is the game, progression lies in bigger mountains. Skis not only make the BASE jump possible, but allow access to and from the exit point, which is awesome too. With this in mind, I believe there are millions of opportunities in almost every mountain range. I love the San Juan’s (in southeastern Colorado) for their small cliffs on top of massive mountains. It makes for canopy rides between 2 and 3 minutes.
With so many wild mountains out there, I plan to do whatever it takes to stay in them and keep learning about them.”
A: What advice would you give someone in your position? Someone who would love to devote most of their time to BASE jumping, or [insert sport of your choice] but is also scared at the financial insecurity it involves? Is money a concern at all now, or do you not even worry about it?
BW: “My advice to anyone in a similar situation is to waste no time at all. Do not spend money you do not have. Be kind to each person you meet and remember their name. Everybody dreams. For that reason, if you go about your own dreams with honesty and kindness, others will naturally feel good in helping you along the way. It’s that simple.”
There you have it. We admire how Beau is always looking to DO:MORE even in the face of an unknown future. His advice to be honest about your dreams, for both yourself and others, doesn’t just apply to BASE jumping or action sports, but to all parts of life.
We want to thank Beau for speaking with us and sharing his experiences. You can follow Beau Weiher on Vimeo or check out his Facebook page for more pics from his adventures in backcountry Colorado.