“I’m the laziest motivated person that I know!” — Jimmy Chin
He has participated in and documented breakthrough expeditions around the planet, from climbing first ascents in the Karakoram to skiing first descents in the Himalayas. He is one of the few people to both climb Mount Everest and ski it from the summit. Most recently, he filmed and directed the incredible feature documentary MERU, which is in theaters now and won the 2015 Audience Award at Sundance.
What is MERU? In the high-stakes game of big-wall climbing, the Shark’s Fin on Mount Meru is the ultimate prize. Everest is a cakewalk by comparison. Sitting at the headwaters of the sacred Ganges River in Northern India, the Shark’s Fin has seen more failed attempts by elite climbing teams over the past 30 years than any other ascent in the Himalayas. This movie is the story of one group’s journey to conquer it—a white-knuckle quest of friendship, sacrifice, hope and obsession. How Jimmy captured it on film while risking his life is almost impossible to fathom.
In this episode of the podcast, we talk about his origins, training, nutrition, gear, and MERU, of course.
Suffice to say, if you want a benevolent kick in the ass, the film MERU is your assignment. I saw it a few weeks ago, and all my family could say for minutes afterward was, “Whoa….” My refrain was, “Holy shit…,” which I muttered to myself at least 20 times in 90 minutes. It’s an amazing, terrifying, and inspiring edge-of-your-seat experience.
- Listen to it on iTunes.
- Stream by clicking here.
- Download as an MP3 by right-clicking here and choosing “save as”.
Want to hear another podcast with super athletes? — Listen to my conversation with Laird Hamilton, Gabrielle Reece, and Brian MacKenzie. In this incredible episode, we explore underwater training, strengthening your weaknesses, and advice for beat up athletes. Check it out.
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QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What other athletes or world-class performers would you love to hear on the podcast? Please let me know in the comments.
Scroll below for links and show notes…
Selected Links from the Episode
- Trango Towers
- Grand Teton National Park
- Yosemite National Park
- Meru Peak
- Exum Mountain Guides and Jackson Hole Mountain Guides
- Jimmy’s favorite gear: Five Ten Anasazi Climbing Shoes, DynaFit Boots, Armada Skis, and Black Diamond Skis
- Jimmy stays energized with Clif Shot Bloks, Hammer Nutrition Heed sports drinks, and Endurolytes
- On expeditions, Jimmy listens to The Glitch Mob and JosÃ© GonzÃ¡lez
- NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School)
- Patagonia Land Trust
- Valley Uprising
- Coming into the Country by John McPhee
- Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer
- Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman by Yvon Chouinard
- Musashi: An Epic Novel of the Samurai Era by Eiji Yoshikawa and Charles Terry
- A Guide to the I Ching by Carol K. Anthony
- Casamigos and Casa Dragones
- Jack Black 25 SPF Lip Balm
- Connect with Jimmy Chin
- How do you pronounce “MERU?” [08:22]
- How do you answer the question, “What do you do?” [09:18]
- What is a first ascent and a first descent? [11:55]
- Defining car-to-car time [17:25]
- Why an outdoor athlete may start spending more time at the gym [19:55]
- A typical week of training [21:06]
- Most common beginning rock climbing mistakes (and corrections) [27:42]
- Overcoming the fear of rock climbing [30:30]
- Jimmy’s gear (shoes, boots, skis) [32:00]
- Jimmy’s nutrition routine [33:11]
- What does Jimmy listen to when he’s on expeditions? [34:50]
- Goals for aspiring climbers [37:07]
- Finding a good mountain guide [39:42]
- Defining moments from Jimmy’s childhood [42:44]
- Jimmy’s parenting style [44:44]
- How Jimmy got started with photography [51:14]
- Lessons Jimmy learned from Galen Rowell’s work ethic [58:38]
- Dealing with fear and House of Cards [01:01:36]
- How Jimmy improved his writing skills [01:09:31]
- The first person who comes to mind when Jimmy thinks of success [01:11:52]
- The books Jimmy gives as gifts [01:13:25]
- Jimmy’s morning rituals [01:15:00]
- Drinks of choice [01:17:54]
- A purchase of $100 or less that had the most positive impact [01:19:03]
- What would Jimmy put on a billboard, and where would it be? [01:20:07]
- What advice would Jimmy give his 30-year-old self? [01:21:05]
- Chase Jarvis
- Laird Hamilton
- Doug Coombs
- Justin Boreta
- Jose Gonzalez
- Alex Honnold
- Conrad Anker
- Galen Rowell
- Dean Potter
- Steph Davis
- Timmy O’Neill
- Cedar Wright
- Peter Croft
- Ernest Hemingway
- John McPhee
- Jonathan Franzen
- Jon Krakauer
- Yvon Chouinard
- Carol K. Anthony
Posted on: October 20, 2015.
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Who was interviewed? Here's a very partial list: tech icons (founders of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Pinterest, Spotify, Salesforce, Dropbox, and more), Jimmy Fallon, Arianna Huffington, Brandon Stanton (Humans of New York), Lord Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Ben Stiller, Maurice Ashley (first African-American Grandmaster of chess), Brené Brown (researcher and bestselling author), Rick Rubin (legendary music producer), Temple Grandin (animal behavior expert and autism activist), Franklin Leonard (The Black List), Dara Torres (12-time Olympic medalist in swimming), David Lynch (director), Kelly Slater (surfing legend), Bozoma Saint John (Beats/Apple/Uber), Lewis Cantley (famed cancer researcher), Maria Sharapova, Chris Anderson (curator of TED), Terry Crews, Greg Norman (golf icon), Vitalik Buterin (creator of Ethereum), and nearly 100 more. Check it all out by clicking here.