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Jimmy Chin is a world-class climber and an ace behind the lens—a combination of skills that has propelled him around the world to capture images of the remote and extreme.
Chin was born in Minnesota in 1973. His attraction to the climbing lifestyle began when he was an undergraduate studying Asian studies at Carleton College in Minnesota.
During breaks he and his buddies would pile into the car and head for famed crags in places like California's Joshua Tree National Park. The freedom of the open road combined with the mental and physical challenges of the climbing "got me totally hooked," he says.
After college Chin moved to Jackson, Wyoming, where he patched together a living from a string of odd jobs as he skied, climbed, and traveled the world. Four and a half years ago, he picked up a camera to document his adventures.
After returning from a trip to Pakistan, Chin sold a few of his photos and realized he had a career. "I didn't make a lot, but at the time I thought it was a ton of money," he says. "Obviously, I enjoyed my lifestyle, and I really enjoyed shooting too. It was a no-brainer."
Today Chin's portfolio and climbing skill regularly land him gigs with the likes of National Geographic magazine and National Geographic Adventure, the North Face outdoor equipment company, Climbing magazine, Outside magazine, and Men's Journal.