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Elyse Parcell

Date of Surgery: 6/25/2018
Update (4/2019): Elyse just completed a heliskiing internship in Alaska and is planning to return to patrol next season.

About Elyse

I am a 5th generation San Juan Mountains resident. My family has been exploring southwestern Colorado since the late 1800’s, and I love to carry on this legacy. I spend most of my time skiing, climbing, and rafting around the Four Corners. When I am not in the outdoors, I like watercolor painting with my mom, cooking good food, and snuggling with one of the many hunting dogs in my family. In the future, I will study snow science and ski as much as I can before taking some time to do conservation work for the landscapes that I love.

Career Background

I started backcountry skiing and climbing while obtaining my BS in Environmental Biology at Fort Lewis College. After graduating, I began ski patrolling at Telluride Ski Resort. I have now been patrolling for four years. During my summers, I was a member of a wildland hotshot fire crew. I recently traded fire for water by becoming a river guide on the Cataract, Desolation, and San Juan River canyons. I will gain as much experience on snow, rocks and water as I can.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

After an odd landing while hopping off of my bike, I heard a pop, and it was confirmed that I had fully ruptured my ACL and torn my meniscus. I was scheduled for ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair surgery at The Steadman Clinic. My recovery involved six weeks on crutches and eight more months of slow recuperation. I did physical therapy with Mercy Sports Medicine in Durango and Balanced Physical Therapy in Telluride. After aggressively pursuing my rehab, I was able to get back on my skis at my nine-month target, during a heliskiing internship in Alaska. So far everything feels great, and I can’t wait for my upcoming Flaming Gorge to Hite river trip!


"Because of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, I have been able to continue my pursuit of a career in skiing and guiding. The costs of my operation that were not covered by insurance were very daunting for me and my family. And my jobs were unable to employ me in my physical condition. It was going to take years and a career-switch to pay off the bills. I was faced with a serious identity crisis until I came across the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. Their support with my surgery and physical therapy has allowed me to chase my dreams! I am so grateful for their assistance."

- Elyse Parcell