August 15, 2016
Kati Hetrick is a climber who frequents Red Rock just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. She has competed professionally in bouldering. Kati is an experienced dirt bagger and likes it that way. She has also founded the company RedPoint Consulting where she works to assist professional athletes in obtaining the best contract for their career. She is, without a doubt, a woman who loves climbing and wants to do everything within her power to help other climbers reach their full potential.
What inspired you to participate with So iLL’s video project “Take Hold” series?
As an athlete manager and producer I’m always on the lookout for interesting and unique storylines to pick up and cover, creating interesting content is a big part of my job. However, usually the story I’m looking for is about someone else, so to be approached about my story, was something out of my element to say the least.
I tend to shy away from the title of “professional athlete,” I’ve never been able to pay my bills through climbing alone so I don’t like to claim that I am, or have ever been, a professional in the sport. That being said, I know I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have rubbed shoulders and made a lot of great connections during my time competing in bouldering. Through those connections I’ve been able to- basically, make up a job that some really rad companies now pay me to do.
It’s been an entirely unconventional road into an entirely unconventional career that wouldn’t have happened without a handful of incredible people believing in me enough to give me a chance.
I think my story is about taking personal and professional risks and having a little faith in people; I hope my journey inspires people to do the same. I think that’s a story worth telling.
What is most rewarding being an athlete’s manager?
Any and every job can become horribly mundane if there isn’t some element of risk and reward involved, at least for me. In the past I’ve found myself moving from one career to the next in search of a challenge that keeps me on my toes and (when I do it right) makes me feel like a badass at the end of the day. I love negotiating for the best contract that I can get my athlete. Aside from the fact that it makes me feel like Jerry Maguire, I get the satisfaction of knowing I’m giving a company a product they won’t regret investing in and helping formulate a relationship I know will last.
Some of my favorite conversations are with new and old athletes alike looking for advice or help in their career; I’ve got a good head for business and marketing and a love for teaching. I got to where I am because someone much smarter than me offered me some advice which I took and I’m forever grateful for it. I hope more than anything that I get to have that type of impact on other people throughout my career.
Tell us what inspires you most about Red Rock.
When someone falls in love with a person you can’t really explain to anyone why. There’s just this cosmic, chemical phenomenal reaction that grabs you and you’re hooked. Red Rock has been that for me. I’ve never been able to explain to anyone why I love it so much. When I moved here I was in a pretty vulnerable place in life and someone once told me the desert could be incredibly healing. So to the desert I went and with the desert I fell in love. I suppose in that way it’s all very inspiring to me. It’s beautiful, accessible and forgiving. It’s also diverse and kind to both beginner and advanced climbers of any discipline. If Red Rock was a human they’d be quite the catch, so I feel pretty lucky.
Tell us about some of your other outdoor hobbies.
My dad was a big time surfer when I was growing up, and he also taught me the very delicate art of dirt baggery. We had a 15 passenger, heavy as a tank, van named Goliath that we would load up on weekends and drive down to the beach. It was our golden chariot to camping, waves, and freedom from homework.
The east coast is warm and humid half the year, so before we’d all go to bed on the van floor my dad would crank the AC until it was cool enough for us to fall asleep. About 2 or 3 hours in we’d all wake up in a sweat box sauna and start the whole AC routine over again, this went all night until sunrise. Mornings consisted of lukewarm oatmeal on the beach, afternoons were filled with sandy hair and salty skin from surfing, and in the evenings we poached hotel hot tubs.
This was my summer growing up and I loved it. I’m still not awesome at surfing, but I’ll always have a soft spot for it and consider it one of my favorite hobbies. I go back to that same beach every year.
Write a thank you letter to a friend who gave you an onion and garlic flavored piece of chewing gum at the top of the second pitch of a five pitch climb.
Dear “friend”, can you smell my breath from the third pitch? Jokes on you. -Kati
One day you wake up to find yourself invisible. What do you do?
Infiltrate the Chick-Fil-A sauce factory and find out what they put in their secret sauce, it’s crack and sugar….I’m sure of it.