Niwot paraclimber Trevor Smith ascends at IFSC World Championships

Photo by Adam Payne and Sytse van Slooten

Trevor Smith participated in the 2018 IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria in Sep. 2018

Trevor Smith is no stranger to climbing mountains, literally. Born without a right hand, Smith has worked his way to become one of the best paraclimbers in the nation and he doesn’t plan on stopping there.

At just 17 years old, he has already competed in the International Federation of Sports Climbing World Championships, twice. What’s even more impressive is that he picked up the sport just three years ago.

“Last year was definitely a real eye opening experience for me,” said Smith, who placed second in 2018. “It kind of showed me like how good I could be and how I could push myself.”

As life goes, the road hasn’t always been up for Smith. A fourth-place finish this year following a second-place spot a year ago left the Niwot senior frustrated. High expectations and hopes of standing on the podium will only fuel the fire for Smith.

“After reflecting on it a little bit, I definitely know it will give me more motivation to train harder and to work my weaknesses and spend more time on things I should have before the championships,” said Smith. “I just know after I got off that wall I looked at that move I fell off of and I have that move ingrained in my head right now. It’s very frustrating.”

The IFSC World Championship, which took place just three weeks ago in France, offered a rough final course. Although difficult, Smith admits it was within his limits and he will use the experience as motivation.

Smith does plan on taking a little time off before preparing for nationals next year, but not too long. He also hopes to improve his outdoor climbing game while continuing to train. The ceiling is high for him and he remains optimistic for the future.

“Being able to find a way to motivate yourself and keep going on it and keep pushing yourself is something that this sport has definitely taught me, because anything is possible,” said Smith. “It’s just a matter of how hard you’re willing to push yourself.”