Kai Lightner has been one of the best competition climbers in North America for the past decade, but has decided to take a hiatus from comps.

Lightner has a number of gold medals to his name from regional, national and international comps and has climbed 5.14d.

Lightner wrote about his decision to leave comp climbing on social media. It read: “At the beginning of this season I had a choice to make: either choose between school and climbing or find a way to make both work. I knew that trying to juggle both was going to be very difficult, but my heart wasn’t ready to put either aside, so I took on the challenge. However, throughout the season I began to realize more and more that I wasnt quite prepared for what I was getting into. Trying to juggle the training and travel demands of my career while trying to enjoy my college experience was taking a severe toll on me mentally, physically, and emotionally which began to show in my competition results. So, I’ve decided to move in a new direction and take a hiatus from competition climbing. Although this has been my passion for the last 13 years of my life, I’m excited to pursue different passions in the climbing world while focusing on my academics. I LOVE climbing and I’m excited to explore a different side of it! Its always important for me to have fun and love what I’m doing. I’m excited to see what my future holds.”

A post shared by Kai Lightner (@kailightner) on

Last year, Lightner wrote about his journey here and said, “Yes, it is much easier to set average, easily attainable goals in life.

“However, it is far more exciting to aim high and challenge yourself to experience some of the amazing adventures our world has to offer.”

Lightner’s Comp Results
National/International Competitions
1st Place Open, Pan American Championship (Lead), November 21-26, 2018 (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
2nd Place Open, Pan American Championship (Combined), November 21-26, 2018 (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
1st Place Open, Steel Town Throw Down -National Cup Bouldering Series,September 21-22, 2018 (Pittsburgh, PA)
1st Place Open, TriState Bouldering Series Championship, March 9-11, 2018 (LIC, NY)
1st Place Juniors, Pan American Championship (Combined), October 30- November 5, 2017 (Montreal, Canada)
11th Place Open, IFSC World Cup (Lead), September 23-24, 2017(Edinburgh, Scotland)
10th Place Open, Adidas Rockstars (Bouldering), September 15-16, 2017(Stuttgart, Germany}
3rd Place Juniors, IFSC Youth World Championship (Combined), August 30-September 10, 2017 (Innsbruck, Austria)
3rd Place Juniors, IFSC Youth World Championship (Lead), August 30-September 10, 2017 (Innsbruck, Austria)
2nd Place Juniors, Youth Sport National Championship (Lead),July 13-16, 2017 (Atlanta, GA)
1st Place Open, Sport National Championships (Lead), March 10-11, 2017 (Denver, CO)
1st Place Juniors, Youth Bouldering National Championship,February 10-12, 2017 (Salt Lake City, UT)
2nd Place Open, Bouldering National Championship,February 3-4, 2017 (Salt Lake City, UT)
1st Place Open, USAC National Cup Series (Bouldering), The Dark Horse, January 20-21, 2017 (Boston, MA)
2nd Place Youth A, IFSC Youth World Championship (Lead), November 7-13, 2016 (Guangzhou, China)
2nd Place Youth A, IFSC Youth World Championship (Bouldering), November 7-13, 2016 (Guangzhou, China)
1st Place Youth A, Youth Bouldering National Championship, February 5-7, 2016 (Madison, WI)
6th Place Open, Bouldering National Championship, January 29, 2016 (Madison, WI)
3rd Place Open, Dark Horse Finals, January 22, 2016 (Boston, MA)
4th Place Open , Portland Boulder Rally, October 3, 2015 (Portland, OR)
8th Place Youth A, IFSC Youth World Championship, Aug 28- Sept 6, 2015 (Arco, Italy)
3rd Place Youth A, Youth Sport National Championship, July 9-12, 2014 (Kennesaw, GA)
1st Place Open, Sport National Championship (Lead), March 28-29, 2015 (Watertown, MA)
1st Place Youth A, Youth Bouldering National Championship, February 6-7, 2015 (Madison, WI)
12th Place Open, Bouldering National Championship, February 6-7, 2015 (Madison, WI)
2nd Place Youth B, Pan American Championship (Bouldering), November 26-30, 2014 (Mexico City, Mexico)
1st Place Youth B, Pan American Championship (Lead), November 26-30, 2014 (Mexico City, Mexico)
1st Place Youth B, IFSC Youth World Championship (Lead), September 20-23, 2014 (Noumea, NC)
1st Place Youth B, Youth Sport National Championship (Lead), July 10-13, 2014 (Atlanta, GA)
8th Place Open, Dominion Riverrock (Bouldering), May 16-18, 2014 (Richmond, VA)
1st Place Open, The Ring of Fire Final Round (Lead), May 3, 2014 (Watertown, MA)
1st Place Open, The Ring of Fire Round 1 (Lead), Mar 15, 2014 (Glastonbury, CT)
1st Place Youth B, Youth Bouldering National Championship, Feb 28-Mar 2, 2014 (Colorado Springs, CO)
4th Place Open, Dark Horse Round 2 (Bouldering), Dec 14, 2013 (Boston, MA)
4th Place Youth B, Youth World Championship (Lead), August 15-19, 2013 (Victoria, BC)
1st Place Youth B, Youth Sport National Championship (Lead), July 4-7, 2013 (Atlanta, GA)
8th Place Open, The Ring of Fire (Lead), May 2013 (Hadley, MA)
1st Place Youth C, Youth Sport National Championship, July 5-8, 2012 (Atlanta, GA) ,
1st Place Youth C, Youth Bouldering National Championship, Mar 2-4, 2012 (Colorado Springs, CO)
1st Place Junior, Triple Crown Bouldering Series, Sept 1-Dec 3, 2011(NC, TN, AL)
1st Place Youth C, Youth Sport National Championship, July 7-10, 2011(Atlanta, GA)
2nd Place Youth C, Youth Bouldering National Championship, Feb 18-20, 2011 (Boulder, CO)
1st Place Youth D, Pan American Youth Championship – (Sport), Nov 23-28, 2010(Ibarra, Ecuador)
1st Place Youth D, Pan American Youth Championship (Bouldering), Nov 23-28, 2010(Ibarra, Ecuador)
1st Place Youth D, Youth Sport National Championship, July 8-11, 2010 (Atlanta, GA)
4th Place Youth D, Youth Sport National Championship (Speed)
2nd Place Youth D, Youth Bouldering National Championship, Feb 13-14, 2010 (Alexandria, VA)
22nd Place Youth D, Youth Sport National Championship, July 10-12, 2009 (Sandy, Utah)
4th Place Youth D, Youth Bouldering National Championship, Feb 14-15, 2009 (Boulder, CO)
4th Place Youth D, North American Continental Youth Championship – Sport, Dec 5-7, 2008 (Montreal, Canada)
8th Place Youth D, Youth Sport National Championship, July 11-13, 2008 (Sunnyvale, CA)
22nd Place Youth D, Youth Sport National Championship, July 6-8, 2007, (Ann Arbor, MI)

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