Trailblazer Interview With The North Face Athlete Jimmy Chin

We are huge fans of Jimmy Chin. That goes without saying… Wait, I just said it.  Anyway, when we were given the opportunity to interview him we jumped on it. Huge thanks to Jimmy for being awesome enough to take the time and to The North Face for helping us reach him. - Tony

Check out our interview below:

How long have you been climbing for?  Over 20 years.

Which came first, photography or climbing?  The climbing!

Do you think climbing would be as satisfying to you without photography?  Climbing certainly satisfies a lot of my physical and mental drive to push myself in the mountains. Photography satisfies my thirst for creativity. I love both pursuits on their own, but it’s fun to combine them.

Climbing requires a lot of gear, how do you manage to also carry camera gear? Do you take much of it on your expeditions? Or do you just bring your Canon?  I throw the camera gear on top of the climbing gear. I need both to do what I do. I bring a stack of camera gear on expeditions. Most of the camera gear lives in basecamp and I pare down as I move further and further up the mountain.

What camera do you usually shoot with?  I shoot with both Nikon and Canon cameras. I like the Nikon D700 and the Canon 5D.

How do you stay fit between expeditions?  I like training in the mountains the best, but I am often on the road and have to hit the gym, go running or just do core workout etc in my hotel room.

Climbing is as much a mental exercise as it is physical. What do you do to train your mind?  There’s nothing like climbing to train your mind for climbing.

Do you follow a strict diet?  If so, can you elaborate? Yes, I follow a very strict diet….as in,  I eat everything, including a lot of chips and ice cream.

Which has been the most demanding climb or expedition of your life? Climbing Meru, skiing Everest, and making an unsupported trek across the Chang Tang Plateau in Tibet rank as some of the most demanding trips of my life….but also the most rewarding.

What motivates you? I love the mountains and I love being able to interact with the different landscapes on our planet. I am always motivated to try new things or refine my skills, whether that is shooting, skiing, climbing or surfing.

Do you have a favorite place in the world?  My home outside Jackson Wyoming.

What are you looking forward to most this year?  To more adventures both physically and creatively.

What North Face piece of gear is always with you?  On expedition to the moutains, it would be the Prism Optimus. For skiing, it would be the Enzo Jacket. I always have a Basecamp Duffel stuffed with gear and/or clothes with me when I am traveling.

Jimmy is the first in our monthly The North Face Athlete interview series here at Trailblazer. Be sure to stay tuned for Conrad Anker, Alex Honnold, and Kaitlyn Farrington.


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