New and Exciting, that's for that very original view Lucky Luke.
Al- I think it is more the type of crowd this sport attracts. Look around and ask, and you'll see we are mostly engineers, doctors and scientists. Usually those types have plenty of cash on hand...
Back to the topic instead of LL's drivel I definitely notice this. I'ld even say most ice climbers are lumped into 1 of 3 categories:
1) Business professionals that can afford the gear (despite paying off high education loans).
2) Hard working blue-collar folks like Firemen/Military who spend their earned vacation time wisely.
3) Climbing Bums who earn low wages working retail but enjoy lots of pro-deals on equipment and climb after or before work 150+ days a year, outside.
Oh, then there is us, the evil "guides", or "Guides"... not sure which one LL has me classified as...