Jim and John Morrison

BROTHERHOOD: Jim and John Morrison Conquer
More Than Mountains

The pieces for an Iridium Go satellite hotspot were sprawled across Jim’s kitchen counter one midweek afternoon in August. Designed to communicate from the world’s most remote places, John had used the hotspot in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Jim would bring it with him to the Himalaya. At one point, John was six days away from land and convenience. Soon, Jim would be living and climbing above 21,000 feet for two weeks.

The brothers look alike—with crew-cut reddish-blonde hair, tall, lean and strong. Their genetics favor endurance. “They both have incredible mountain sense,” said Glen Poulsen, who has been a climbing and ski partner of the Morrisons for about three decades. “They’re mutant athletes. They have such natural balance and ability and physical prowess. It’s genetics.”

John, age 47, is three years and a few months older than Jim, who’s 43. But many mistake Jim for being the elder. John is outspoken, and Jim is laid back. They both warm up easily and they smile when they talk about their boyhood. The brothers say if you were to send them both into a shop to buy a T-shirt, they’d likely come out with the same one. As any pair of siblings can relate, they have had a profound influence on each other’s lives. In the early 1990s, they both moved to Tahoe with the same goal: To ski… 

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