First descent of Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world
First descent of Papsura (Peak of Evil) in the Indian Himalaya
Summit and partial ski descent of Mt. Everest
Partial ski descent of Makalu, the fifth highest mountain in the world
Summit and new ski line on Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world
Ascent of Cassin Ridge and ski descent of the Messner Couloir on Denali
Numerous first descents in Kichatna Spires, Alaska
Descents of classic Chamonix lines including the Jager and Whymper couloirs
Jim Morrison cemented his reputation as one of the greatest ski mountaineers of his generation with a 2018 first descent of the Lhotse Couloir — one of the last remaining premiere high-altitude ski lines in the world.
But for decades before that landmark achievement, Morrison was amassing a lifetime of skiing experience that would pay off in the world’s highest mountains. From Chamonix to Alaska and the Indian Himalaya, Morrison has climbed and skied the world’s most demanding peaks, including a first descent of Papsura, a new ski line on Cho Oyu, and a summit and partial ski descent of Mt. Everest.
Morrison is a successful entrepreneur, owning and operating a luxury home construction business in Lake Tahoe. He gives back to his community as a board member of his local airport district and through involvement in environmental non-profits.
What MOMENT do you ski for?
The moment when things get serious and the exposure goes up. I love the moment when my feet leave the ground and I love the moment when you first drop in. The moment when your partner or friends are getting barreled in deep snow.
How do you recharge your batteries for the next challenge?
I find the best way to recharge is to spend time climbing and skiing powder with my friends at home.
What’s your favorite quote? Why does this quote resonate with you?
"Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing."
How do you conquer difficult situations?
Hard work and determination. I live for difficult situations and tend to thrive in the moment.
What sacrifices have you had to make to get to where you are today and were they worth it?
To say I’ve sacrificed is to assume that I’ve chosen my path at the expense of something else. Although I’ve experienced incredible loss in my life I’m living my best life possible today through skiing and climbing to ski. I feel very fortunate to be able to chase my dream lines across the globe and ski lines that I’ve worked my life to get prepared for.
How does your mindset (or attitude) influence your performance?
We got this! My attitude and mindset seem to set things up to allow for success and I’ve found that the right mindset is paramount to almost everything else.
What do you do when you aren’t skiing?
When I’m not skiing I’m trying to go fast outside. I love cycling, rock climbing, running, and I’m often trying to fit in more of those endurace sports into my business life. I’m passionate about my community and spend quite a bit of my time trying to enhance it.
What strategy do you use to overcome pressure and stress for optimum performance?
My best strategy starts with having a defined goal. Once I set my intentions on it I find my optimum performance comes when it’s down to the wire and the pressure is on. It would be fair to say wait ‘til the last second and then go for it!