Minnesota native Jimmy Chin’s sense of adventure was first sparked in his youth during a family vacation to Montana’s Glacier National Park, where he was awestruck taking in the surrounding mountainscape. Since then, his adrenaline addiction has only grown: He’s scaled and skied Everest, trekked 300 miles across Tibet’s Chang Tang Plateau, and ascended Meru Peak via the treacherous Shark’s Fin — earning a Guinness World Record alongside his climbing comrades.
The 45-year-old’s career in adventure photography happened almost by accident, when he nabbed a friend’s camera to snap a photo of El Capitan in California’s Yosemite National Park; his pal submitted that shot to an outdoor clothing company, which opted to purchase the image. Emboldened, Chin bought his own camera and hasn’t looked back, his work since featured in such powerhouse publications as National Geographic and The New York Times. It’s only fitting that all these years later, El Capitan continues to captivate Chin, who earlier this year won an Academy Award for his documentary Free Solo (co-directed with his wife, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi), a vertigo-inducing account of climber Alex Honnold’s successful free solo ascent of the iconic granite monolith.
Yosemite National Park
May 10, 2016
Alex Honnold contemplates the vertical relief from Glacier Point to the valley below. About a year later on June 3, 2017, he free soloed the 3,000-foot Freerider route, graded 5.13a, on El Capitan.
March 28, 2015
Getu Valley, China
April 17, 2017