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Steve Banks

Date of Surgery: 11/4/2014
Update (9/2016): Steve has returned to guiding full-time.

photo_s-banksAbout Steve

As a kid growing up in Vermont, skiing was a way of life. I first became interested in ski guiding while in Colorado, and have since expanded into guiding expeditions with rock, ice and alpine climbing as well as skiing, both in the US and abroad. I have climbed, skied and guided across the globe including Alaska, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, France, Switzerland, Italy, Chile and Iceland and closer to home in Vermont, New Hampshire, California, Utah and Colorado.

Career Background

I am an AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide, I teach AIARE Avalanche Safety courses, was the Executive Director of the Crested Butte Avalanche Center (and am now on the BoD), worked 14 seasons on the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol and am currently the Director of Mountain Guide Operations for Irwin Guides in Crested Butte, CO. In the winter I manage and guide snowcat skiing at Irwin as well as in the backcountry. My summers are split between guiding in Colorado and the European Alps. I am also a part of the AMGA Instructor Team, helping to educate the next generation of mountain guides.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

I had a very random accident where a piece of glass cut all the tendons, nerve and artery in my left wrist. I had an immediate surgery to repair the damage, and 4 months later had to have another surgery to release scar tissue and allow the repaired tendons to move more independently. My recovery time was given as “a year or so”. At one year in, I am back skiing in (mostly) full capacity, but rock climbing, rope work and even typing are still a struggle. With the level of damage I incurred full recovery is unlikely, but I’m aiming for as close to 100% as I can get!


"Although I have personal health insurance, the out of pocket expenses, time away from guiding and level of physical therapy I needed created quite a financial burden. With the help of the KBF, I was able to focus on my recovery and not worry about the financials as much. I am extremely lucky to have a very experienced and talented Certified Hand Therapist in my town (and she’s a climber!) who continues to help me regain my strength and mobility in my hand. Without the KBF I would have been limited to much less PT than what I need to regain strength and mobility and get back to my guiding. "

- Steve Banks