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Mankato native Jimmy Chin: A life of adventure

National Geographic adventurer Jimmy Chin to speak on campus.

By Tanner Kent, Free Press Staff Writer [published in The Free Press, Mankato, MN, 11/1/2011]

Jimmy Chin has skied down Mount Everest, jugged up the side of El Capitan and faced peril at the hands of desert marauders in Chad, waterfalls in Borneo and avalanches in Wyoming.

He’s photographed some of the remotest locations in the world, towering points inaccessible to anyone without world-class rock-climbing skill. He’s surfed in Mexico, trekked through border regions of Pakistan and, over the course of countless expeditions, is one of the adventuresome few who can claim — with a straight face — to have walked where none other has before.

But there’s a piece of Chin that still misses home. He's returning to Mankato Wednesday, Nov. 2, for a multimedia presentation in Minnesota State Mankato's newly renovated ballroom. Chin will present his show at 7:30 p.m.

“Living a quiet life in Mankato, being able to go home every day — that would be great, too,” said the 37-year-old, speaking by phone from California where he found some rare free time between photo shoots, movie projects, climbing expeditions and corporate presentations.

“I honestly really miss Mankato. There’s a certain part I miss a lot.”

His photographs from a lengthy assignment about the close-knit climbing culture at Yosemite National Park won him the May 2011 cover of National Geographic. The self-taught photographer who specializes in adventure photography has had photos appear in GQ, Outdoor, Men’s Journal and countless climbing magazines.

He’s participated in several movie shoots. He gave an interview earlier this year after nearly being buried alive while skiing down a narrow pass in the Grand Teton Mountains and getting caught in an avalanche.

Now living in Jackson Hole, Wyo., Chin grew up in Mankato to parents who worked at Minnesota State Mankato.

Now, Chin is a member of the North Face athlete team, a National Geographic Emerging Explorer and an artist whose work is acclaimed around the world.

For the complete Free Press story see Tuesday's print edition, or go to the e-edition at

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