Lots of good advise so far....but call me crusty, this whole "just do what love" garbage is just garbage.
Get a trade that lets you work close to where you want to ride. look for union jobs, or jobs that have a good pension (or better yet, retirement contribution program).
I am a nurse, I work 4 on 5 off. The job lets me be mobile, I can easily work in or near ski towns ... and more importantly, I can shred. I do what I love 5 out 9 days, the other 4 days I just pay the bills.
I seriously wanted to work in the industry when I was younger, wanted to be spancered, or get a video segment, or even rep some cool shit .... I will tell you, self sponsored is the way to go!!! If you want to ride, you dont want to work in the industry. IMO
JoeStrummer-"No avy training but I've watched K2 so many times I think I know what to look for."