Professional Climber Jimmy Chin On Living Out Of His Car, Surviving An Avalanche & Taking Big Risks

Photo: Jimmy Chin

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Jimmy Chin is an adventurer, artist, and filmmaker whose awe-inspiring photos have graced the pages of National Geographic and Outside magazine, not to mention the feeds of his 1.7 million Instagram followers. He's directed and starred in Meru, a moving documentary following his attempt to conquer the most daunting mountains in the world, and has been named one of the most influential climbers in the world.

Considering his career in the clouds, you'd never guess Jimmy grew up in the cornfields of Minnesota, where he dreamed of one day moving to the mountains he'd seen on family vacations. In the early stages of his career, he lived out of his car and chased the peaks and climbers that inspired him. It wasn't until one of his mentors passed him a camera on an expedition that he realized he had a knack for photography and framing.

Over the decades to come, his camera earned a place in his pack as he took risks to get to the top, with a few stumbles along the way. A class-4 avalanche sent him 2,000 feet down a mountain at 80 mph and showed him the veil between life and death. Extreme weather events forced him to power through days of climbing on a third of an energy bar. All of these experiences helped him hone his definition of risk—something he credits as the foundation of any meaningful experience.

In this episode, Jimmy opens up about it all and delivers one of our favorite definitions of wellness to date along the way.

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