There and Back: Photographs from the Edge - book cover
Photography & Video
  • Publisher : Ten Speed Press
  • Published : 07 Dec 2021
  • Pages : 320
  • ISBN-10 : 1984859501
  • ISBN-13 : 9781984859501
  • Language : English

There and Back: Photographs from the Edge

The Academy Award–winning director of Free Solo and National Geographic photographer presents the first collection of his iconic adventure photography, featuring some of the greatest moments of the most accomplished climbers and outdoor athletes in the world, and including more than 200 extraordinary photographs.
"An extraordinary work of art."-Jon Krakauer

Filmmaker, photographer, and world-class mountaineer Jimmy Chin goes where few can follow to capture stunning images in death-defying situations. There and Back draws from his breathtaking portfolio of photographs, captured over twenty years during cutting-edge expeditions on all seven continents-from skiing Mount Everest, to an unsupported traverse of Tibet's Chang Tang Plateau on foot, to first ascents in Chad's Ennedi Desert and Antarctica's Queen Maud Land.

Along the way, Chin shares behind-the-scenes details about how he captured such astounding images in impossible conditions, and tells the stories of the legendary adventurers and remarkable athletes he has photographed, including Alex Honnold, the star of his Academy Award–winning documentary film Free Solo; ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers; snowboarder Travis Rice; and mountaineers Conrad Anker and Yvon Chouinard. 

These larger-than-life images, coupled with stories of outsized drive and passion, of impossible goals with life or death stakes, of partnerships forged through incredible hardship, are sure to inspire wonder and awe.

Editorial Reviews

­­­­­­­"In There and Back, Jimmy Chin tells the story of his remarkable life through a selection of breathtaking photos accompanied by passages of insightful text. The end result is an extraordinary work of art."-Jon Krakauer

"Many of us will never risk our lives to see what Jimmy Chin sees, but in these pages, his photography will transport you to the razor's edge, challenging your perceptions of what humans can achieve."-Brie Larson

"Jimmy Chin is one of the most widely traveled and experienced adventure photographers on Earth, and this collection is an absolute tour de force. I read this book in a single sitting and finished feeling inspired to take on the world."-Alex Honnold

"Jimmy's photography takes you on a journey to places few have ever visited. No one else is capable of capturing such beauty while hanging by a thread from a towering rock face or skiing down the legendary slopes of Mount Everest. It is a pleasure to finally have all his most iconic images in one volume. I can't wait for you to get lost in the poetry he has unearthed at the most extreme corners of our planet."-Paul Nicklen

Short Excerpt Teaser


My parents used to say, "Of course we're worried. There's no word in Chinese for what you do."

As the kid of Chinese immigrants, I was told there were only three careers: doctor, lawyer, or professor. Climbing bum was not on that list. When I finished college, I was sure these traditional expectations didn't fit me, and I decided to make up my own way through the world. I would spend my twenties drifting between climbing destinations and living out of a stubborn 1989 Subaru Loyale. It was not the graduate program my mom and dad had hoped for me.

Despite their strict view of careers, my parents, both librarians, had unwittingly set me on this path by introducing me to an endless supply of books. The great adventures I read about spurred my curiosity about the world beyond my Mankato, Minnesota, backyard. Thankfully, my parents also instilled in me the work ethic and confidence to strive for a life I didn't even know I wanted-the life I discovered on sweeping granite walls, desert towers, and knife-edge ridges.

These places stirred a sense of awe and self-reliance in me. I found the best version of myself where the world fell away below me and the rules of life were simple-commit and embrace the struggle. While climbing in Yosemite, I picked up a camera and began capturing the places that I fell in love with and the sublime moments that I experienced. Taking photographs became a way to examine these places and share these moments.

I believe photography can expand our perception of the natural world, and of what humans can achieve in it. Over time, I hoped that sharing the beauty of our planet and our place within it would foster a sense of responsibility to protect and preserve these places, both for future generations to enjoy and for their intrinsic value.

Along the way, I found a second family in the adventurers who seek out the world's wildest places and devote their lives to accomplishing what others have never dared. The members of this tribe became my most cherished friends, partners, and mentors. I've been astonished, again and again, at what these individuals are capable of doing with vision and clarity of purpose, from Kit DesLauriers skiing from the summit of Everest to Alex Honnold free soloing El Capitan and beyond.

Being a witness to grand successes and epic failures, I discovered my own purpose: to share the stories of the people I found so inspiring. Every person I've photographed has helped shape me into who I am today. For that I will be forever grateful. This book is a record of our shared adventures spanning twenty years, and a celebration of the places that brought us together.