Jimmy Chin Climbs Yosemite, And Lives To Tell The Tale

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National Geographic

Jimmy Chin, a widely known for climber and photographer, recently spent 60 days in Yosemite, chronicling the the culture and cutting edge nature of climbing in the national park.

In his time there, he found a new generation of superclimbers who push the limits--ascending 1,500 feet above the valley unassisted.

Jimmy Chin, a widely known for climber and photographer, recently spent 60 days in Yosemite, chronicling the the culture and cutting edge nature of climbing in the national park.

In his time there, he found a new generation of superclimbers who push the limits--ascending 1,500 feet above the valley unassisted.

He gives this account to National Geographic magazine:


"Visiting a Yosemite climbing camp today, you're just as likely to meet a divorce attorney from Delaware as a wild-haired dirtbag. Walking through Camp 4 one morning, I hear a dozen languages-Czech, Chinese, Thai, Italian-and meet climbers from all walks of life. A young German engineer, grinning ear to ear, has just completed a five-day ascent of El Cap. A barefoot young woman from Denmark, with nose ring, dreads, a tattoo, walks a slackline-a tightrope strung three feet off the ground between trees. A mom and dad from Washington State teach their two kids how to climb. Rock climbing is no longer a fringe sport. It's mainstream. And unlike the early years, there are nearly as many women as men on the rock..."


More information on Jimmy Chin and Yosemite can be found in May 2011 issue of National Geographic magazine, on newsstands April 26th.

7 PHOTOS
Pushing the Limits to Capture Yosemite's Beauty
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Jimmy Chin Climbs Yosemite, And Lives To Tell The Tale (PHOTOS)

With no rope to save him, Dean Potter scales a route on Glacier Point called Heaven.



Mikey Schaefer/National Geographic

Barely holding on with a hand chalked for a better grip, Cedar Wright ignores burning muscles to pull himself across the roof of Gravity Ceiling, a route on Higher Cathedral Rock. "I'm giving it 199 percent," he says. "But I still thought I was calm and cool."



Jimmy Chin/National Geographic

Despite the obvious risk, this spot on the Regular Northwest Face route on Half Dome is a welcome reprieve for Alex Honnold, who became a rock star at age 23 when he first climbed the famed route without a rope. 



Composite of four images



Jimmy Chin/National Geographic

"It feels like I'm hovering in space," says Dean Potter, perched on a highline above Yosemite Falls. Gusting winds and blinding mist make it tough to balance on the inch-thick rope 2,600 feet above the valley, but a tether attached to his waist protects him from disaster.



Jimmy Chin/National Geographic

Leaping from Half Dome is illegal, but in Yosemite the sport of BASE jumping is soaring in popularity anyway. Climbers say it's faster (and more fun) to parachute into the valley than to hike all the way down the back of the mountain.



Lynsey Dyer/National Geographic

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