Jimmy Chin

Jimmy Chin

Alpine Climber

Jimmy Chin’s passion for exploration and photography has taken him on break-through expeditions around the world. Jimmy has worked with some of the best adventurers, climbers, snowboarders and skiers in the world on their most challenging expeditions and shoots. Climbing, skiing and often enduring death-defying situations alongside some of the best in the industry, Jimmy shoulders the camera equipment and documents the epic stories.

How To Pack A Backpack


Over the last 15 years, Jimmy Chin has focused on photographing and filming break-through expeditions around the globe. He works with some of the greatest adventurers, climbers, snowboarders and skiers in the world on their most challenging expeditions and shoots. Climbing, skiing and shooting alongside some of the best in the industry, Jimmy shoulders the camera equipment to document their epic stories.
Jimmy has been on The North Face Global Athlete Team for fifteen years, bridging the gap between athlete and storyteller. He is one of the few people to climb and ski Mount Everest from the summit. He has been profiled in National Geographic Magazine, VICE, Outside Magazine, People Magazine, Men’s Journal. He received the Rowell Art of Adventure award for his philanthropic work and excellence and breadth in adventure photography. National Geographic Society has awarded Jimmy multiple expedition grants and named him one of their inaugural “Emerging Explorers.”
On the other side of the lens, Jimmy has photographed for a wide variety of commercial and editorial clients. He serves as a photographer for National Geographic and has been awarded numerous honors and accolades for his work from PDN, Communication Arts, American Society of Magazine Editors, Lowell Thomas Journalism Awards. Jimmy recently shot an assignment about the Yosemite climbing culture and cutting edge of climbing which was featured as the cover story in National Geographic’s May 2011 issue.
As a director and cinematographer, Jimmy has worked on documentaries, television and commercial projects for NBC, Working Title, RSA Films, Woodshed Films, The North Face and National Geographic. Most recently, he produced and directed MERU, a feature documentary which won the 2015 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award. Meru will release in theaters world wide in August 2015.
Jimmy currently resides in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and New York City.

Quick Facts

Other Activities/Hobbies You Enjoy: Surfing, playing the guitar, filming, photography

Favorite Destination for Your Sport: Skiing in Jackson Hole. Climbing in Yosemite and Indian Creek

Favorite Movies: Whiplash, Senna, Man on Wire

Favorite Magazine: The New Yorker

Favorite Moment in Your Sport’s History:
Peter Croft soloing Astroman and the Rostrum in a day

Words to Live By: There is great power in the ability not to use it.

Three The North Face Items You Always Pack: Anamagi Jacket, Basecamp Duffel, Supernatural Jacket

Cause You’re Most Passionate About: International Campaign for Tibet / Machik

Proudest Moment in Your Career: Skiing Mount Everest / Climbing the Shark’s Fin on MERU / Winning the 2015 Sundance Audience Award

Favorite Climb: East Face of the Sharks Fin, Mount Meru. (Also my least favorite climb.)

Theme Music: Yo Yo Ma, Neil Young, Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Jose Gonzales, M83, Arcade Fire

Favorite Vice at Basecamp: Gummy bears

Favorite Trail: Teton Crest Trail

Training Nutrition: Lots of steak and ice cream

Favorite Places to Travel: Home / Jackson Hole Wyoming / New York City

Career Hightlights


  • Mt. Kinabalu, FA V 5.12 A2, Borneo
  • Meru-Sharks Fin, first ascent of East Face VI 5.10 A4 M7, India
  • Mt. Everest, South Col Route, Nepal
  • Mt. Kilimanjaro, Rongai Route, Tanzania
  • Kaga Pomori, FA IV; 5.11R South Face, Mali, Africa
  • Chiru Mustagh, first ascent Southeast Ridge, 21,000 ft., Xinjiang, China
  • Free solo of the Grand Traverse, Grand Teton National Park, 12 hours car to car
  • Tahir Tower, FA VII 5.11 A3, Kondus Valley, Karakoram, Pakistan
  • 15 one day ascents of El Capitan
  • Native Son, VI 5.9 A4, Pacific Ocean Wall, VI 5.10, A3+
  • Beatrice Tower, FA VII 5.10+ A3+, Charakusa Valley, Karakoram, Pakistan
  • Fathi Brakk, FA VI 510+ A3 WI4, Charakusa Valley, Karakoram, Pakistan

Ski Mountaineering:

  • Mt. Everest, South Pillar Route, first American ski descent
  • Tai Yang Peak, first ascent and ski descent, Xinjiang, China
  • Chang Zheng Peak (22,800 ft.), first ski descent, Central Rongbuk, Tibet
  • 12 ski descents of the Grand Teton
  • Ski traverse and descent of the Grand Teton, Middle Teton and South Teton 10 hours car to car
  • Denali, West Buttress, Rescue Gully

Film Hightlights:

  • “Samsara” (Athlete produced film documenting an attempt on Meru Sharks Fin. Telluride Mountainfilm award winner)
  • “180 South” (Feature Documentary/Woodshed Films)
  • “Lost on Everest” (Feature documentary project with David Breashears for Frontline about the ‘96 Everest tragedy)
  • “Traverse of the Chang Tang” (National Geographic Explorer)
  • “On the Edge: Mountaineering with Conrad Anker” (Outdoor Life Network)
  • “Higher Elevation: Kilimanjaro” (ESPN)
  • “Journey to the Hand of Fatima” (RUSH Channel)
  • “Summit on the Summit - Kilimanjaro” (MTV Documentary)
  • “On Assignment” (Featured in National Geographic Short Film)
  • “Meru” Producer / Director - Feature Documentary – Won the 2015 Sundance Audience Award


  • National Geographic and Microsoft Emerging Explorers Grant
  • Galen Rowell Memorial Photography Award
  • Lyman Spitzer Adventure Award: K7 Climbing Expedition
  • Polartec Grant Recipient: K7 Climbing Expedition
  • Rock and Ice Magazine’s Best Ascent of the Year Award
  • Outside Magazine’s Adventurer of the Year Award
  • American Society of Magazine Editors’ Best Sports Cover for National Geographic cover story
  • Sundance Feature Documentary Audience Award for MERU