Climber, Photographer & Filmmaker

Jimmy Chin

At a glance:

Jimmy Chin is a pioneering mountain athlete, National Geographic photographer, Academy Award-winning director, and best-selling author. He has pushed the boundaries of climbing and skiing around the world while capturing stunning imagery in publications such as National Geographic Magazine and The New York Times. With his wife Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, he co-directed the award-winning documentaries Meru and Free Solo, and their latest, The Rescue, won the People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival.

Jimmy Chin is a professional mountain athlete, National Geographic photographer, Academy Award-winning film director, and New York Times Best Selling author.  His dual career as a world-class adventure athlete and artist is without precedent – he’s equally respected for groundbreaking climbing and skiing achievements in the mountains as he is for his stunning photography and filmmaking.  

Jimmy has been a professional climber and skier on The North Face Athlete team for over 20 years.   His travels have taken him to all seven continents and he has led cutting edge expeditions around the world.  In 2006 he achieved the first successful American ski descent from the summit of Mount Everest with Kit and Rob DesLauriers.   Five years later, Jimmy, Conrad Anker, and Renan Ozturk captured the coveted first ascent of the notorious Shark’s Fin, a granite wall on India’s Meru Central.

As a photographer, Jimmy’s work has been featured in National Geographic Magazine, The New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Outside Magazine and others.  His first book of photography, There and Back, became a New York Times Best Seller in 2021.   

Jimmy co-directs with his wife Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi.  The pair’s first film, Meru, won numerous awards including the Audience Award at Sundance.   Their follow up effort, Free Solo, captured the story of Alex Honnold’s historic climb in Yosemite and won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.  Jimmy and Chai’s latest documentary, The Rescue, chronicles the daring rescue of 12 boys and their coach from a cave in Thailand.  The Rescue won the People’s Choice Award at Toronto International Film Festival and was also shortlisted for an Academy Award.  Chin and Vasarhelyi are currently working on their first scripted feature, Nyad, about Diana Nyad’s swim from Cuba to Florida.

Jimmy lives in Jackson, Wyoming, with his wife, filmmaker Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, their daughter, Marina, and son, James.

  • Leadership + Teamwork

  • Risk Management

  • Preparation

  • Exploration + Adventure

Jimmy has always been able to inspire through his film work, but we were thrilled to see his talent for storytelling translate effortlessly as a captivating speaker.  

— Microsoft

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