Jimmy's Open Road


    Team BNE


    Victor, ID


    Public Television: Season 9

  • ON DVD:



“Never think that you won't be questioning your decisions. Because you will....[Just] commit, and then figure it out.”


Action Sports Art


Choices Doubt Family Fear Pressure Struggle Chance Education Courage Individualism Opportunity Hard Work Passion


Being Physically Active Being Creative


back up plan, career, climbing, commitment, death, justification, living out of a car, loss, mountain climbing, music, odd jobs, parents, photography, photos, proud, questioning, rock climbing, skiing, swimming, violin


Deciding to live out of the backseat of a Subaru might not appear to be a turn in the right direction—but for Jimmy Chin, it was a defining choice that would lead him to become the plucky mountaineer, photographer, and skier he is today. So, how did this once-homeless Ohioan become a world-renowned expedition photographer? Well, Jimmy didn’t always know that his life work would entail suspending off the cliffs of Mount Everest. In fact, growing up in a family that emphasized traditional career pathways, Jimmy always thought he’d become a doctor, lawyer, or businessman: “I literally thought those were the only 3 options,” he says. But soon after college, a chance session with a friend’s camera became Jimmy's ‘Aha’ moment, and he quickly realized he had an irrepressible passion for photography. He packed his vital possessions into his car, made a living chamber out of the backseat, and started taking pictures. The gamble paid off. In a few years, he had led some of the most daunting photography expeditions ever attempted, capturing breathtaking moments from the sandstones of Mali to the peaks of Mt. Kilimanjaro. He now spends his days snapping up photos for commercial clients like National Geographic, The North Face, Patagonia, Rolex, and beyond . As for the time in his life when he lived out of his car? Well, sleeping on snow-covered summits in the middle of nowhere sometimes makes him long for that roomy backseat—but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

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