Date of Surgery: 9/16/2013
Update (7/2014): Josh recently skied from the summit of Denali and down the Messner Couloir. He has made a full career return to guiding.
I grew up in Colorado and was introduced to the mountains at an early age through family camping and fishing trips. Then, at the age of nine, I was introduced to skiing and was instantly hooked. As I recall, “it was like sledding, but way more fun!”
Skiing soon became my main passion and central focus in life. My family only skied a few days each winter and I remember counting down the days till we got to go skiing, like it was Christmas.
In high school, I started my competitive skiing career, skiing for the Team Summit Freestyle Ski Team. I also started competing in Park and Big Mountain events, which lead to future aspirations of skiing professionally. I spent three years after high school pursuing this dream. During this time I lived in Austria, Breckenridge, CO and Jackson, WY, after which time, I decided to attend the University of Colorado where I earned a BA in Communication while working as a coach for the Freestyle Ski Team.
I got a job as a Mountain Bike Guide when I was 16. Little did I know, this summer job would turn into a career.
After college, I moved to the Pacific Northwest to begin working as an alpine guide on Mt. Rainier and in the North Cascades for International Mountain Guides. I spent two winters as a Professional Ski Patroller at Crystal Mountain, WA. I then immigrated to Canada to pursue certification through the Canadian Avalanche Association and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides.
I’m on track to become a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide. I am currently an ACMG Assistant Rock Guide and ACMG full Ski Guide. I live in Revelstoke, BC where I work as a Heli-Ski Guide for Canadian Mountain Holidays.
Treatment Procedure and Recover Plan
I had a history of shoulder instability and after several dislocations I was not going to be able to continue pursuing my dream of becoming a Certified Mountain Guide unless I was to have a surgical procedure. On September 16, 2013 I underwent a Later Jet procedure on my left shoulder, which involved a bone graft in addition to the repair of the labrum. I returned to work ski guiding several months after surgery. I have made a full recovery and returned to guiding rock and alpine climbing in the spring.
"What the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation did for me was nothing short of a miracle! Even as I write this, I shake my head as I think about the level of care I received and the generosity of the Brenninkmeyer family."
- Josh Smith