Jimmy Chin is a climber, a National Geographic photographer, a filmmaker, and, as described by Vincent J. Musi in his introduction at the National Geographic Photography Seminar in January, a “total badass.”

Just a few weeks ago, Meru, the film that Chin and his wife, Chai Vasarhelyi, co-directed, won the U.S. Audience Documentary Award at the Sundance Film Festival. Their epic documentary chronicles the first ascent of the Shark’s Fin route on Mount Meru in the Indian Himalaya.

We were lucky to hear from Chin at the seminar, just before his film premiered at Sundance. You can listen to his whole talk and see clips from Meru in the video above. It might be 25 minutes long, but it offers a rare glimpse into adventure with the highest stakes, the closest camaraderie, and the most uncharted territory, into a world that is, as Musi says, “located somewhere between the summit of impossibility and the peak of madness.”

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Meru will premiere in theaters nationwide this summer. Learn more about the film and the climb on the film’s website and on Facebook.

Get the scoop from Jimmy Chin about making a climbing film that appeals to nonclimbers.

Hear more from Chin about how he pushes himself physically and creatively on Proof.

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