Mayan Smith-Gobat

Mayan’s passion for climbing and the mountains runs deep. Born at the foot of New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mayan’s early childhood was spent living in the outdoors. “At age 16, I was unable to ignore the lure of the mountain and began alpine climbing, which soon developed into a fascination with rock climbing and skiing,” says Mayan. After leaving school, she dedicated herself to skiing, until 2002, when an extreme skiing accident left Mayan with a broken jaw and two broken feet. This caused Mayan to turn her boundless energy toward climbing exclusively – She never looked back!

Since 2001 Mayan has dedicated herself to climbing, both in competition climbing and outdoors. She quickly became one of NZ’s best climbers and began to expand her horizons, traveling to many international climbing destinations and becoming the first Kiwi woman to climb 5.14b/8c. Her focus soon shifted from bouldering and competition climbing to longer routes, traditional climbing and big walls.

Now Mayan is best known for achievements in Yosemite Valley, where she became the second woman to free climb the Salathe Wall 5.13b/8a+ (1000m) and brining the female speed record on the Nose (1000m) down to 4.43 hours. Mayan’s main motivation combines travel and culture with her love to push her limits in the vertical world – exploring remote places and developing new routes on large aesthetic rock faces.

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