When Trevor Thomas lost his sight in the mid-2000s, he at first felt that his lack of vision meant his loss of independence and that he would forever have to rely on others for many of life’s most basic tasks. Then a friend introduced him to hiking, and Thomas, who took on the trail name of “Zero-Zero” in reference to his level of vision, began learning and developing ways to navigate rugged terrain.
Since those first wary steps, Thomas has become an accomplished long-distance hiker and has achieved a number of significant firsts. In 2008, after 18 months of preparation and creating custom resources, he set out on a solo northbound thru-hike of the AT. Six months and two days later, he finished his journey. He has since thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, John Muir Trail, Mountains to Sea Trail, Long Trail, Colorado Trail, two passes of the Tahoe Rim Trail twice and more, and he has also bagged summits including Mount Whitney, Mount Rose, Mount Friel and Mount Elbert. In total, he has hiked more than 20,000 miles to date, and he’s currently considering a second thru-hike of the AT in 2018 as a 10th anniversary celebration of his original long-distance trek.
Thomas founded Team FarSight Foundation in 2014 as a non-profit geared toward providing people with significant or visual impairments or total blindness with the tools to succeed in a world designed for sighted individuals. The organization has developed numerous hiking programs for this demographic, including a Blind Ambassadors program developed in conjunction with The Perkins School for the Blind with contributions from Boy Scout Troop #3 in Manchester, Massachusetts. Members of the volunteer Team FarSight also often accompany or resupply Thomas during long-distance hikes. Since fall 2012, guide dog Tennille has joined him as a constant companion, giving Thomas newfound independence while also ensuring he never has to hike alone.
*Photo credit: Trevor Thomas.