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Bjorn Nilsson

Date of Surgery: 6/4/2018
Update (3/2019): Bjorn has returned to Snowbird ski patrol full-time.

About Bjorn

I live in Salt Lake City, Utah. I was born and raised in Ostersund Sweden where I learned to appreciate the outdoors due to great teachers in school and a great environment. We had a small ski hill just nearby where I grew up, with a rustic old T bar lift. Me and my friends grew up together on that hill, racing and having fun night skiing in the winter time. This is where my passion for skiing and love for the outdoors sprouted, I believe.

Career Background

I came to SLC in the mid 80’s to find out if the conditions were as good in Little Cottonwood as a friend of mine had told me. Not only were the snow conditions fabulous but also the people in this canyon hit a spot in my heart. Down to Earth people who loved skiing and wasn’t hungry for some career adventure in the “real” world. After a year in Alta, I decided to pursue a ski patrol position with Alta ski patrol. There was a lot to learn in this relatively new environment, but a lot of superb teaching and coaching from senior patrollers made me feel very comfortable in this new setting. A few years into patrolling, I got involved with the avalanche dog program and eventually raised 3 avalanche search/rescue dogs over 20 years time. So much work, but even more satisfaction from having learned so much from these dogs and also being available as a top notch resource for rescue operations. I am currently patrolling at Snowbird.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

A couple of years ago, I started to experience some pain in my hip. I didn’t think much of it since I had torn my hip flexors numerous times in the past and developing some scar tissue. Well, the pain got worse and an x-ray showed no cartilage left in the right hip. If I were to continue skiing and working on skis, a full hip replacement surgery had to be performed. I approached the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation with my case and I was shortly approved for full financial assistance for my hip replacement surgical procedure. On June 4, 2018, I had my surgery which went incredibly well and far above my expectations in regards to trauma, pain and recovery. I was literally back to work in 4 weeks, not even thinking about the new hip…absolutely remarkable!


"Due to this absolutely fantastic, generous and passionate foundation, I can now continue my career as a ski patroller, currently working with the Snowbird Ski Patrol. I hope to keep doing this great rewarding work on the ski slopes until I retire. Thank you so much for your help! Love to ski, live to ski!"

- Bjorn Nilsson