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Feb 28, 2024

For all of his expeditions and cutting-edge climbs around the world, Graham Zimmerman’s story is one of balancing adventure and exploration with social responsibility and an examined life. His book, A Fine Line: Searching for Balance Among Mountains demonstrates that, and also serves as an ode to the friends and mentors he’s lost to the mountains.

Zimmerman became a professional climber at 24 years old. Now 37, Zimmerman is accomplished well beyond his years. He has made first ascents from Alaska to Pakistan, and in 2020 he received a Piolet d’Or for his climb on Pakistan’s Link Sar with Steve Swenson, Mark Richey and Chris Wright. He’s currently the Board President at the American Alpine Club and works for Protect Our Winters. 

In this episode, Zimmerman speaks to the need for systemic change when it comes to climate and social issues, and how climbers see those challenges through a unique lens. He reflects on his love for the mountains, and the sense of release and joy they provide him with.

Support for this episode of the Alpinist Podcast comes from the American Alpine Club.

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Host: Abbey Collins

Guest: Graham Zimmerman

Producer + Engineer: Mike Horn