Jim Herrington talks about his 20 year project The Climbers

JACKSON, WY —Jim Herrington spent 20 years traveling the world to document, in stunning black and white portraits, the last surviving legends of mountain climbing’s golden age.

“Fred Beckey” – The Climbers by Jim Herrington

Herrington’s photobook, The Climbers, features portraits of prominent climbers from mountaineering’s earlier years including Fred Beckey, Royal Robbins, Reinhold Messner in addition to local Teton names like Glen Exum and John Gill.

“Color can be a bit distracting,” said Herrington when describing his style. “Black and white allows a little imagination to come in.” The photos continually beg viewers to look into subjects’ eyes with intense curiosity making the book not only a historical record but a comment on obsession and how we choose to live our lives.

“They had spent most of their life being obsessed with something, as I did with this project, so it started getting philosophical overtones as time went on,” said Herrington. “You see people on the other side of something after they’re past their prime. They are in a more reflective state, and it makes me question my time and what I’m doing in the present.”

The Climbers has won the Grand Prize at the Banff Film & Book Festival in addition to the Mountaineering History Award. Additionally, the project has led Herrington to be the keynote speaker at both the Banff Film Festival and the Vancouver Film Festival.

Herrington will be presenting his photobook, The Climbers, at the Teton County Library. Check out the library’s calendar for a full listing of summer events.

Thursday, July 19, 6:30-7:30 in the Teton County Library Ordway Auditorium.

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