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Jimmy Chin


Jimmy lives a life of art and adventure, combining a career as a commercial photographer, National Geographic photographer, documentary filmmaker and a 14 year veteran of The North Face Athlete Team. He is one of the most sought-after and recognized adventure sports photographers and filmmakers working today.

In the past decade, Jimmy has collaborated with, filmed and photographed some of the world’s most progressive athletes and explorers while participating in break through expeditions around the planet. He has climbed notable first ascents in the Karakoram, traversed the Chang Tang Plateau in Tibet on foot and skied first descents in the Himalayas. He is one of the only people to ski Mount Everest from the summit and climbed the much coveted first ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Meru.

 As a director and cinematographer, Jimmy has directed documentaries, TV and commercial projects for The North Face, National Geographic, Apple, Chase, Pirelli, Working Title, and RSA Films. Jimmy's previous film, Meru, won the Audience Choice Award at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and made the 2016 Oscar shortlist for Best Documentary. In 2019, he received the highest honor available to a documentary filmmaker, winning an Academy Award for Best Documentary for Free Solo, which documented Alex Honnold's stunning rope-less climb of El Capitan in Yosemite.

Jimmy splits his time between New York City and Jackson Hole, Wyoming with his wife, Chai Vasarhelyi, their daughter, Marina, and son, James.


  • First ascent of the Shark’s Fin on Meru
  • Mt. Kinabalu, FA V 5.12 A2, Borneo
  • Free solo of the Grand Traverse, Grand Teton National Park, 12 hours car to car
  • First ascent of Chiru Mustagh’s Southeast Ridge, 21,000 , Xinjiang, China
  • First American ski descent of Mt. Everest, South Pillar Route
  • First ascent and ski descent of Tai Yang Peak, Xinjiang, China
  • Winner of the 2015 Sundance US Documentary Audience Award

Connect with Jimmy:

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On these assignments you cant drop the lens. You cant break the camera. The whole thing hinges on the same you-cant-screw-up philosophy.

Jimmy's Director's reel


Somewhere between the summit of impossibility and the peak of madness.

WATCH Jimmy's NatGeo Keynote


Discover more about the RXR Team:

Previous Athlete // Adrian Ballinger

Next Athlete // KATE COURTNEY