Pro climber pushes envelope

Photo Courtesy Jimmy ChinReading Time: 2 minutes

To most people, climbing and skiing down Mount Everest is a risk people deem too dangerous. For Jimmy Chin, editorial photographer and professional climber, it’s like walking down a sidewalk.

Chin spoke at UVUSA’s Speaker Series Event April 13, in the packed Grande Ballroom.

The Minnesota native, grew up with Chinese parents who wanted him pursue a career in nothing else but being a doctor, lawyer, professor or businessperson. After college, Chin decided to take a year off to climb and ski, much to his parent’s dismay. Chin thought he’d only take a year off and come back and focus on building a career. “I had this wild side,” he said.

Chin began his mountaineering and climbing and picked up his first camera in Yosemite National Park. Chin took what he learned in Yosemite and wanted to explore the world. He used the money he made from selling his first photo to buy his first camera.

In 2002, Chin was invited to go on a big National Geographic Magazine expedition and practiced participatory adventure photography. The project turned into an hour-long National Geographic feature. Since then, Chin’s photography has been featured in National Geographic Magazine and the New York Time’s Magazine.

According to him, it’s difficult for non-climbers to perceive when climbers push the envelope and take risk.

“Risk is a relative thing in the sense of some terrain that people see pictures of us in, and say ‘that looks insane, that’s so dangerous.’ For us it’s like walking down the sidewalk. It’s hard to put your personal sense of risk onto what other people are experiencing.” he said.

Outdoor recreation major and rock climber, Andrew Pledger calls Chin one of his personal heroes. “He’s basically doing the job that I want to do. He’s done really impressing things, from [climbing] Meru, to skiing off Everest,” said Pledger.