• Grand Prize - 2017 Banff Book Awards •
• Mountaineering History Award - 2017 Banff Book Awards •
"Jim Herrington captures the men and women behind the superhuman feats. His experience as a climber allows him access to their world, but his talent as a photographer is what brings them back to ours. In these portraits we are reminded that great climbers are still people, sharing the same humor motivation, and humanity as the rest of us.
— Alex Honnold
“We have all had good ideas but it takes a certain level of commitment, and dare I say it, obsession, to pursue an idea like this to its conclusion. We are indebted to Herrington for his persistence and vision, as we are left with a truly remarkable body of work. We rate this as a must-own book.”
— The Project Magazine
“The next two decades had Herrington vagabonding from California to Cumbria to Kathmandu to capture the world’s elder alpinists who had defined the sport earlier in the century. Herrington more than achieves his aims: to both inspire and provoke his readers to reflect on how we’re transacting our own lives, which end all too quickly. The stills—all black and white, all starkly honest—speak for themselves.”
— Outside Magazine
"Representing the fruits of a twenty-year photographic quest, Jim Herrington's stunning black and white portraits of climbing luminaries of the mid-20th century confer a quiet dignity on their aging subjects. He has somehow managed to capture in their eyes the visionary zeal of their youthful climbs. The photographer's tone might be summarized in a single word: respect, and you can't help feel that in the best of these shots something like the climber's soul has been revealed."
— David Stevenson, 2017 Banff Book Competition Jury
by Jim Herrington
Foreword by Alex Honnold
Essay by Greg Child
Nearly twenty years in the making, The Climbers by photographer Jim Herrington shares a stunning collection of portraits of icons in mountaineering — from Beckey, Cassin, and Diemberger to Messner, Robbins, and Wickwire, rugged individualists who, from roughly the 1920s to 1970s, used primitive gear along with their considerable wits, talent, and fortitude to tackle challenging climbs around the world.
In his foreword, climber Alex Honnold provides context for looking back at past achievements on rock, while writer Greg Child's personable and informative essay explores the history and accomplishments of both well-known and not-so-known climbers from this "Golden Age" of 20th century climbing. Yet it is Herrington's images-the result of his twin passions for climbing and photography-that pull us in, allow us to study the faces of these men and women who ascended bold, visionary lines, often in remote regions, far from the media spotlight. The portraits captured here reveal the utter humanity of obsession, determination, intellect, and, at times, frailty.
This one-of-a-kind collector's volume features a protective linen-covered slipcase; sixty original large-format, black-and-white photographs, all shot on analog film; and capsule biographies of each featured climber. Published by Mountaineers Books.
Jim Herrington’s photography has appeared on album covers, in international ad campaigns, and in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Esquire, and GQ, and has been exhibited in solo and group gallery shows in New York City, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and elsewhere. He began climbing in the 1970s and now divides his time between Owens Valley, California, New York City, and southern Europe.