Sunday, July 22, 2pm
Known more for his portraits of music legends such as Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson and the Rolling Stones, for 20 years Jim Herrington traveled around the world documenting a different kind of legend.
Jim Herrington will present his new photography book The Climbers, the culmination of a two-decade project to track down and document the surviving legendary climbers of the early-to-mid 20th Century ‘Golden Age’ of climbing. These are the men and women from around the world who were vertically active between the 1920s and 1970s and who were at the cutting edge of an activity mostly unknown to the general public of the time.
Jim’s talk and slide show will begin with a brief encapsulation of his 35-year photography career, including his foray into the worlds of music and showbiz. He will move on to the climbers, detailing the stories of the climbers and their era as well as describing his unusual efforts to locate and arrive on the doorstep of these aging legends. The travels and travails he undertook to complete this far-flung project are not without anecdotes of despair, humor and adventure.
What is it like to be 98 years old and to look back at an uncompromising life spent in the “useless” quest of first ascents, usually far from home and hearth? The momentum and vigor of youth is not an ideal recipe for introspection, but one’s final years certainly suffice. Herrington learned as much about himself as he did his subjects during the project – the cost and reward of obsession and how to live in the present.
Herrington will recount what it was like to step into these climber’s homes, their lives, and their history. Seemingly time-traveling from the classic mountaineering literature he devoured as a young boy into the living rooms of these aging legends, this is his rogue’s gallery, a sampling of, and an ode to, an era.
The Climbers, published in October 2017, received the Grand Prize at the 2017 Banff Film & Book Festival.