As local as they come in the Sea-to-Sky, Jimmy Martinello has climbed, skied, hiked, biked, paddled and traversed all throughout the Coast Mountains for the past 27 years. He has become one of the most diverse adventurers in this region known for its prolific number of like-minded mountain addicts. Recognized for his spiritual connection to adventure and his humble attitude, Martinello is equal parts athlete, adventurer, photographer and family man who captures bold, passionate imagery while actively participating in a vast array of outdoor pursuits. Martinello calls Squamish, BC home, where he lives with his beautiful wife and two amazing children.
“Jimmy is an incredibly inspiring individual with a contagious, positive light that shines through everyone he is with,” says Olympian Julia Murray. “He’s always stoked to be with friends in the wilderness and he’s an incredible teacher of what it means to live life in the moment with the people he’s surrounded by in the epic setting he’s typically in.”
About his presentation:
Through stunning photography and video, Martinello walks us through his love affair with adventure and the unknown, while showing us how to maintain the fine balance between work, family and a life spent outside.
“With the world of technology and global media growing ever so fast, we sometimes get lost and caught up with it all and forget what’s really important,” he says. “You have to believe in what you’re doing, get rooted and be present to move into a future with a world of passion and support for our surroundings.”
Get your MULTIPLICITY tickets here.
Interview by Brian Peech
Finding balance in life and connecting with our environments, is that the crux of your MULTIPLICITY presentation?
For sure. Doing all these projects that take me away from spending time with my family, I’m definitely trying to find the balance between how much I’m away and how much I’m home. Because my little munchkins are growing every day and they’re only young once. I’m finding it harder now to step away for longer periods of time, because I’m really starting to realize the importance of family and how much I enjoy hanging out with my kids.
You can’t just throw the gear in the truck and take off anymore.
Yeah, I definitely have to balance the time and compromise. And be there so my wife can go and do the things that she loves to do, too. It’s definitely interesting to try to find the balance in it all.
A lot of your photography and personal adventures take you into some pretty dangerous situations. Do you ever struggle with that as a father?
Oh, big time. I’ve had a rough few years with a lot of injuries. I’ve had a ton of injuries throughout my life, some major ones. And it always gives me time to reflect. I definitely look a lot more carefully into the activities I’m doing now. There is risk, but I’m way more calculated now about what I do. I’ve definitely gotten myself into situations where I’m lucky to be alive.
Tell us about reconnecting with our environment?
I really want to talk about being in tune with your surroundings and the environment. I find more and more—with media, and computers and the whole digital world—people are aren’t really in tune with their environment; they’re looking more at life through their devices. I think we need to focus on making sure the purpose of our adventures is going in the right direction. A big reason why we’re going out there is to get away from it all and have that quiet time away from that digital noise.
“I don’t even own a cell phone. And the longer I can hold off on owning one, the better. Sometimes I don’t even want to pull out my camera; I just want to be in tune with being immersed in my surroundings.”
Do you find people are becoming more concerned with how their experiences are going to play out on their social media feeds, rather than really being in the moment?
Exactly. I mean, I don’t even own a cell phone. And the longer I can hold off on owning one, the better. Sometimes I don’t even want to pull out my camera; I just want to be in tune with being immersed in my surroundings, not worrying about getting stuff up on Instagram or Facebook. More and more, I’m focusing on being in touch, without getting too caught up with the media side of things. Often these days, as soon as people get back from a really awesome backcountry ski trip, they’re going on their phones and posting shit right away. I don’t want to get too down on that, but I want to talk about the real reason we’re out here: it’s the nature, and we shouldn’t lose touch with that.
Hold on, you don’t own a cell phone?
Yeah, I definitely get hassled lots about that. My life is so busy, and I want to focus on my children when I’m at home. I usually get up early to do my computer work, but when my kids are around I really try to focus on them.
How do you think people can start living more in the moment?
I think the most important thing is being honest with yourself, and being in tune with the real reason you’re out there.
What are some of the best places your photography has taken you?
For me, the more remote the better. I don’t always want to know what I’m getting into. We definitely do our research, but I really don’t like to have a super solid plan. I like to be open to the objectives as they present themselves. I really like going into places that people haven’t really explored. The more wild or untouched the environment is, the more I’m intrigued to go there.
“I don’t always want to know what I’m getting into. We definitely do our research, but I really don’t like to have a super solid plan. I like to be open to the objectives as they present themselves.”
How did you start on this path as a photographer?
When I got out of high school, I wasn’t sure what career path I wanted to take. I knew I wanted to get into mountain guiding, so I just started traveling six month of the year. I did that for multiple years, and I guess I just got into photography because I was going to all these beautiful places.
You shoot a lot of sports. How important is that diversity to you?
That’s actually another thing I want to talk about at the show. I think it’s really good for everyone to have diversity; it makes your primary pursuits more attractive. It’s good to step away from your main sport, whether you’re a pro skier or a pro mountain biker. And that goes for my photography, too. Sometimes I’m nervous going at it full time, because I don’t want to lose that drive by focusing on it too much. So diversity is really good, just to change it up sometimes, to get out of your element and try something new.
I think we’re seeing that more and more.
I personally enjoy that. I don’t really care to pursue one sport. I just really want to have fun, enjoy them all, and I really love going out and meeting people and seeing the enthusiasm. Especially where we live in the Sea-to-Sky, because the diversity is amazing and we have so many amazing things to do here.
You’ve been involved with the MEC Adventure Grant, can you tell us a bit more about that?
Yeah, they just started that grant this year. I was really excited to share that with people. I find that a lot of people out there are a little bit hesitant to take that extra step and apply for grants like that. But you’ve got to chase your dreams. If you really want it, you have to sometimes step out of your comfort zone and go for it. And this grant is great if you’ve got a unique adventure stirring up in your mind. It’s a great way to get some funding.
“I think it’s really good for the soul to have some sort of adventure in your life…. there’s got to be some way to release energy. We all have energy that gets build up inside us, in our minds, our spirits.”
Why is it important for people to take adventures?
Personally, it makes me really feel alive. I feel being out in the outdoors, that’s where we’re all really rooted when it comes down to it. I think it’s really good for the soul to have some sort of adventure in your life. It doesn’t have to be in the outdoors, but whatever it is, there’s got to be some way to release energy. We all have energy that gets build up inside us, in our minds, our spirits.
What do hope people take away from your presentation?
I just hope people come away with a really positive feeling about themselves, and believing in our community and togetherness. Just having a positive vibe and supporting each other—I think that’s really going to make our world a better place and create a good future for our children.
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