For the world’s top adventure athletes, the line between triumph and tragedy is razor thin. In the pivotal moments when life hangs in the balance, what drives the greatest to continue pushing to redefine what is humanly possible, to stare down fear and risk it all?
Now from Academy Award®-winning executive producers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin EDGE OF THE UNKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN premieres on Sunday 25 December 2022 at 21:00 on National Geographic (DStv 181, Starsat 220).This epic 10-part series ventures inside the minds of pioneering adventure athletes, captured at the peak of their powers as they recount their personal stories of transcendence on the journey to perfect the mastery of their craft.
Through intimate interviews and archival footage from the world’s top big wave surfers, climbers, big mountain snowboarders, polar explorers and kayakers, EDGE OF THE UNKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN gives viewers a front-row seat to adrenaline-filled adventures, uncovering how athletes adapt and evolve, even after being confronted by fear, devastating personal loss, and Mother Nature at her harshest. Witness how some of the world’s top athletes prepare mentally, physically, and emotionally for their high-stakes endeavours.
“We’re honoured to be able to tell these stories about some of the greatest adventure athletes of our time pushed to their psychological and physical limits as they battle to redefine what is possible,” said Vasarhelyi and Chin. “Each episode reveals that even top athletes must face their fears to survive and achieve the seemingly impossible. It’s a rare look behind the curtain at the painstaking preparation required by each of these 10 athletes and what they are willing to risk to accomplish transcendence in their sports.”
Episodes include the following:
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Before Free Solo
In preparation for his impossible climb featured in “Free Solo,” renowned mountain climber Alex Honnold (@alexhonnold) trained in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Witness the never-before-told story of Honnold’s “secret solo” and preparation for his generation-defining climb.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: The No Fall Zone
Angel Collinson (@angelcollinson) is one of the most accomplished big mountain freestyle skiers in the world. While in Alaska, Collinson had a fall that sent her tumbling 1,000 feet down the side of a mountain. Collinson looks back on the accident and reflects how it triggered an awakening and a new phase of her life.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Fight or Die
Professional white-water kayaker Gerd Serrasolses (@gerdserrasolses) was filming in Chiapas, Mexico, when he nearly drowned running a 50-foot waterfall. Knocked unconscious, he survived three and a half minutes underwater and was revived by his teammates. Now, Serrasolses looks back on his experience and shares how it forced him to re-evaluate risk.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Return to Life
Legendary climber Conrad Anker (@conrad_anker) has been pushing the limits of mountaineering for the last 30 years. While hanging from the side of Lunag Ri, the tallest unclimbed peak in the Himalayas, at an altitude of 20,000 feet, Anker suffered a heart attack. Witness as he recounts what he learned from that trip and his astonishing self-rescue.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Riding the Avalanche
Episode Premieres Tuesday, Sept. 13, at 10/9c
In 2016, big-mountain freeride snowboarder Travis Rice (@travisrice) was riding in the backcountry of Alaska when he was catapulted into an avalanche. Rice reflects on the near-fatal mistake that forced him into unknown territory and shares how the traumatic event has shaped his approach to big mountain riding and life.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Will Power
Mountain athlete Will Gadd (@realwillgadd) was attempting a first ascent of the over 130-metre frozen waterfall Helmcken Falls in British Columbia. Gadd recounts twists and turns that came between him and his goal to ascend the hardest mixed ice and rock climb in the world.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Eaten by Jaws
French surfer Justine Dupont (@justinedupont33) is one of the best big wave surfers in the world. At “Jaws,” a surf break in Hawaii notorious for its over 15-metre waves and perfect tubes, a violent wipe-out sent her to the hospital. With the gift of hindsight, she explores how this enormous setback allowed her to regroup and return to reach new heights professionally.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Live Another Day
On a climb close to home, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, National Geographic photographer and professional mountain sports athlete Jimmy Chin (@jimmychin) was caught in a massive class four avalanche. How did he survive, and how did it change him? Watch as he unpacks the event and the transformation that it triggered within himself.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Deadly Waters
In 2010, expedition kayaker Ben Stookesberry (@benstookesberry), along with his long-time kayaking collaborator Chris Korbulic (@ckorbulic), embarked on a two-month expedition through Africa with legendary adventurer Hendri Coetzee that left them changed forever. Over a decade later, they look back on this fateful trip and ponder what they learned from it.
Edge of the Unknown with Jimmy Chin: Hunted in the Arctic
Polar explorer Sarah McNair-Landry (@sarahmcnairlandry), along with her brother Eric, attempted to be the first to kite ski over 3200-kilometres across the Northwest Passage in the brutal freezing winter. Years later, she looks back on the crucial decision she was forced to make during their expedition while being hunted by an apex predator.
EDGE OF THE UKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN is part of a diverse line-up of four unscripted projects from the acclaimed Vasarhelyi and Chin as a result of their first-look deal announced in 2019 following the success of Academy, BAFTA and multiple Emmy Award-winning film “Free Solo.” The dynamic unscripted slate directed by the pair and produced by their production company, Little Monster Films, includes two feature documentaries, THE RESCUE and TOMPKINS, along with EDGE OF THE UNKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN and a series titled PHOTOGRAPHER.
EDGE OF THE UNKNOWN WITH JIMMY CHIN is produced by Little Monster Films for National Geographic. For Little Monster Films, Pagan Harleman and Anna Barnes are executive producers, and Gene Gallerano is supervising producer. For National Geographic, Chris Kugelman is executive producer, and Matt Renner is vice president of Production. Alan Eyres is senior vice president of Production and Development. How to tune in:
DSTV: Channel 181
StarSat: 220 on DTH, 220 on DTT (249 on DTT in Uganda)