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Carrie Higgins

Date of Surgery: 8/22/2019
Update (10/2020): Carrie has returned to instructing.

About Carrie

I am from the UK and started snowboarding age 14 at the local snowdome. I was hooked after my first lesson and saved up my paper round money to pay for more lessons and lift tickets. After some practice, I went to my first freestyle night and became an instant park rat. I rode every week with my friends, it’s all I thought about and all I wanted to do. I did my first season in Morzine, France age 17, and that is where it all really started for me, there was no way I could go back to riding fake snow in a dome, my heart belonged in the mountains. After another ski bum season age 19 in Whistler, Canada, and a bunch of traveling, I decided I never wanted to miss winter again. I took a 12 week instructor course at Lake Louise, Canada, where I passed my CASI 2.

Career Background

I worked at Lake Louise, Canada for 3 seasons. During this time, I also coached women’s park day events as well as helped out with the local snowboard shop RudeGirls ride days that Banff put on for the girls in the community. During my last season at Lake Louise, I took my CASI 3 and only passed 2 of the requirements (teach and pedagogy). I did my first southern hemisphere season at Perisher in Australia. After another winter in Australia, I headed to Niseko for my first Japanese season. I retook by CASI 3 at the end of the season but unfortunately did not pass again. I returned to Australia for another season at Perisher where just 3 weeks in, I tore my ACL. In the future, I hope to pass my CASI level 3, take my AST2 and I would love to get into the coaching side of instructing more. I want to do more touring and eventually guide, working for a cat/heli ski company would be the absolute dream.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

I tore my ACL on July 16, 2019 and had surgery on August 22, 2019. My surgery was done in Canberra Australia with Dr. Porter who used a hamstring graft. I started physio 5 days later and I returned to the UK 4 weeks after surgery to continue my recovery. I’ve been working closely with my physio through my rehabilitation as well as putting in the hours at the gym and home. I am currently 8 months post surgery and feel stronger than pre-injury already.


"No words will ever be enough to explain just how grateful I am for the financial support the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has provided me. When I tore my ACL, I hoped my travel insurance would come through, however, they did not. My only option seemed to return to the UK and go on the waitlist for surgery through the NHS which was likely going to take another 6 months. I had been living oversees for 5 years, working a dream job, living my dream life and in one fall my whole world seemed to be falling apart. I didn't have a family home to return to in the UK, I couldn't stay in Australia because of my visa, I could no longer work and could no longer do any of my favorite things for potentially a really long time. I remember getting the email to say that my application had been successful. It was the most surreal feeling, I couldn't believe it. I felt like I had won the lottery, like the luckiest person alive. I sat on the sofa and just cried, I was so happy, so relieved. Thanks to the generosity of the foundation, I had surgery in Australia just 5 weeks after tearing my ACL and underwent 6 months of physiotherapy. Anytime I struggled, I just had to remind myself how incredibly lucky I am, it's still surreal and I will be forever grateful for this gift."

- Carrie Higgins