Jimmy Chin

Professional Mountain Athlete, National Geographic Photographer, and an Academy Award-Winning Film Director
Jimmy Chin Speaker
  • A versatile artist and athlete, equally respected for his climbing and skiing achievements and for his work in photography and filmmaking
  • Achievements include: the first successful American ski descent from Mount Everest and the coveted first ascent of the famous Shark's Fin on India's Meru Central
  • An Academy Award-winning film director, New York Times Best Selling author, and has been featured in prestigious publications such as National Geographic, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Outside Magazine

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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 Chai Vasarhelyi, their daughter, Marina, and son, James.

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Speaker Video

Jimmy Chin Speaker Reel

Jimmy Chin - Brightcove - Power of Empathy

As a Speaker, Jimmy has lent his story and experience to a variety of audiences, addressing global tech leaders, financial institutions, nonprofits, and creative agencies. His talks take you on his own personal journey from a young kid in Minnesota who just wanted to climb Yosemite and capture images to a world-class climber and filmmaker. He relays the many lessons he’s learned navigating the world's most challenging climbs and sharing the stories of other accomplished adventurers.

Speaking Topics:

  • Leadership + Teamwork
  • Risk Management 
  • Preparation 
  • Exploration + Adventure 

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booksLatest Books

Jimmy Chin Book

There and Back: Photographs from the Edge