After losing his sight at the age of 35 to a rare eye disease, Trevor Thomas decided to turn his own disability into a position of advocacy and strength. He pursues his passion of climbing some of the world's tallest peaks, and continues to rock climb, participate in long-distance hiking, and adventure races.
An accomplished long distance hiker, Trevor became the first blind person in history to complete an unassisted, solo end-to-end thru-hike of the entire 2,175 mile Appalachian Trail (AT) in 2008.
In 2009, he reached the summit of Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak on the East Coast, and Long's Peak in Colorado. In 2010, he completed the 2,654 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) with members of his team, Team FarSight. He climbed Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous U.S, and in doing so became the first blind person to stand on top.
Trevor is one of Ahnu's sponsored athletes. He is also a motivational speaker and is working on a biography about his life experiences.
Trevor's guide dog, Tennille, a 2 ½ year old black Lab, is the only guide dog in the world trained for both city and trail. A graduate of Guide Dogs for the Blind in Marin, CA, she has been trained to aid Trevor in town and he works with her to refine her skills to help him in the backcountry. She has proven herself to be a great teammate and companion.
Tennille has trekked in Greyson Highlands, VA, South Mountain, NC, and has completed several hikes in the Muir National Forest. Her first summit was Mount Tamalpais ( Northern California); her second was Mount Rogers (Virginia). They are currently training for her first thru hike: the Mountain to Sea Trail in North Carolina.
Check out Guidedogs.com for information about this wonderful organization.
JOURNEY THROUGH THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL…In Trevor's own words.
"A thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail (the AT) is a huge undertaking for anyone, let alone a blind person. For those who think they can make the trek, there are many resources available to them. Unfortunately, none of the material was available in either Braille or audio format for a blind person. I was fortunate that my local outfitter had completed a thru-hike of the AT and he believed that I had a chance of doing it - however slim. Thus, my research consisted of many months listening to him recite from his own personal trail journal. He helped me select gear that would work for me on the trail. I spent quite some time assembling and disassembling my pack and tent, along with learning to use a cook stove and water filter.
The one thing I had going for me is that the AT is the best marked and most traveled of the long trails in the U.S. My outfitter told me it would be nearly impossible to be totally alone when hiking the AT because of all the other hikers on it. I relied on that heavily, and hoped that what I'd heard about AT camaraderie was true. My plan was simple. When I met someone on the trail, I would take out a copy of my trail guide, explain that I was blind and was thru-hiking the trail, and ask them to confirm that I was headed in the right direction. The rest of the time I read signs with my fingers so that I could find water and shelters.
Of the thousands of hikers who attempt a thru-hike each year, nearly 90% drop out for one reason or another. As I went further up the trail, there were fewer and fewer of my fellow hikers headed to Maine. I relied on those chance meetings, knowing that any day, I might have to end my trek.
My thru-hike started as a way for me to regain my independence afer losing it to blindness, but along the way I found that people considered what I was doing to be inspirational; it gave me a chance to educate those that I met both about blindness and about being blind."
Trevor loves our Men's Greenbrae. In fact he has them in several colors! You'll find him in our new Men's Coburn boots as well.
An all-day hiker for outdoor enthusiasts to explore in all weather conditions. This mid-height hiking boot is equipped with a breathable eVent® waterproof bootie, wicking away moisture for optimal foot comfort. Tough, full-grain and waterproof leathers create a modern take on a classic silhouette. This rugged hiker is designed to provide athletic underfoot performance with all terrain lugs for go anywhere comfort.
This rugged trail-runner is ready for anything. With a Vibram® outsole, Numentum® technology, and a breathable upper, it's will keep you stable on all types of trails. Medial and lateral stability, an anti-stone bruising plate and a mid-foot shank keep your foot protected from roots, rocks, and ruts in trails so you can think about more important things – like which fork in the trail you came from.