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Paul Swail

Date of Surgery: 11/7/2016
Update (March/2018): Paul has returned to guiding full-time.

About Paul

I currently live between Ireland and Chamonix.  After receiving my IFMGA carnet in August 2016, I underwent surgery pretty quickly so I could proceed onto a healthy career of mountain guiding.  At heart, I am a rock climber but I really enjoy skiing, alpine climbing and even some mountain biking – all of which I also need to do to make a living.

Career Background

I have been involved in the outdoors since a young age.  I mainly started exploring the mountains in Ireland but this soon took me further afield and at 16 I had my first trip to Chamonix and fell in love with the big mountains.  Since then, I knew I wanted a career in the mountains and this shaped a lot of decisions when it came to my career choices.  I qualified as an IFMGA guide in 2016, but have been involved in training in Ireland for over 15 years.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

I underwent an ACL reconstruction in November 2016.  I was unable to work on skis the season of 2017, to help my recovery and make sure my knee was strong enough for the summer alpine season.  My physio was really intense and I was extremely disciplined to make sure I would make a full recovery… and so far so good.


"A huge thanks to the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for the financial support, without which I know I wouldn't have been able to give it the time and focus it needed to repair, but also would have made it more difficult for me to earn a living to support my family, for a considerably longer period of time. "

- Paul Swail