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Forrest McCarthy

Date of Surgery: 12/12/2011
Update (5/2012): Forrest McCarthy completed a 200 mile ski tour in Alaska.

About Forrest

Growing up I was an avid explorer who loved the outdoors. Long hiking trips in the northern Appalachia as a Boy Scout evolved into multi-week wonderings in the remaining wilderness of the West. A semester with Colorado Outward Bound laid the foundation for more technical pursuits. Today, I live in Jackson Hole and guide part-time. For my full-time job, I am the Public Lands Director for Winter Wildlands Alliance, a national advocacy group for backcountry and Nordic skiers.

Career Background

I spent my twenties climbing and skiing increasingly difficult routes and peaks. By thirty, I was guiding full-time — alpine rock for Exum Mountain Guides in Wyoming, scientific expeditions in the hinterlands of Antarctica, and laps on Denali for Alpine Ascents International. During these same years, many of the senior guides I worked with advised that if I wanted to guide, climb, and ski until old, it was best to pace myself and develop additional skills. I took this advice to heart.
In the mountains I have found happiness and the opportunity to share that happiness with others. I have also discovered additional ways to share that mountain experience and inspiration with others — including the written word. I will always honor my roots and stay actively involved within the working guide community. At the same time, I wish develop a professional skill set that includes writing and advocacy.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

I had corrective surgery to my elbow, as well as wrist surgery to relieve carpel tunnel syndrome. The elbow surgery corrected a childhood injury that was becoming progressively worse with age. My recovery time includes two months of physical therapy. Twice per week I spend an hour at Teton Hand Therapy, followed by 4-6 daily exercises. This summer I plan to guide part-time for Exum Mountain Guides. Next winter I hope to return to Antarctica.


"The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation provided financial assistance and access to the world-class orthopedic surgeons at The Steadman Clinic. Thanks to The Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation, Teton Hand Therapy and my wife I now have an elbow that is working better than it has in thirty-six years."

- Forrest McCarthy