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Sarah Smith | The Feather Online

Feather students (left to right) Ethan Hamm, ’20, Megan LeBlanc, ’20, and Kyle Clem, ’21, were able to meet Jimmy Chin before his talk at Town Hall.

World renown photographer, film director, mountaineer and skier, Jimmy Chin, speaks at the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall to local citizens about the determination it took to film his Oscar-winning movie, Free Solo, Nov. 19. 

Chin loved the outdoors when he was little. Chin’s parents restricted him from skiing down that hill to focus him on his education and practicing the violin. He was only allowed to spend time outside and visit the hill as a reward for doing well in school. 

Once Chin graduated from college, he moved to the Bay area in search of a job. He tried following the desire of his parents but nothing in the professional realm excited him. He decided that taking a year to focus on skiing and climbing was the best idea for him, even though it disappointed his parents. 

Chin started getting into photography from one of his friends while climbing. He was handed a camera and took pictures while climbing in Yosemite. His passion for photography and cinematography grew from there and he went on to direct and film five movies.

Ever since 2009, the idea of free soloing El Capitan intrigued Chin’s friend, Alex HonnoldEl Capitan is located in Yosemite National Parks on the north side of the Yosemite Valley. It is considered to be the largest granite block of stone in the world, standing at 3,200 feet.

For six years, Honnold wanted to begin preparing for the climb but his nerves continued to get the better of him. In the early months of 2015, Honnold decided to start his two and a half year road of preparations for his free solo climb on June 3, 2017.

The video below highlights Jimmy Chin speaking at the San Joaquin Valley Town Hall

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