Date of Surgery: 2/27/2018
Update (9/2018): Thomas is continuing his rehabilitation and is planning to return to skiing this winter.
I was born in Arlington Virginia before moving to Sussex, England age 11 with my family. I began climbing and skiing in my early teens, making trips out to the Alps and climbing on the local crags around the south coast of England. This passion grew and after graduating university I decided to pursue a life in the mountains which led me to move to the Alps. After spending my first winter season in Tignes, I was drawn to the legendary mountains above Chamonix where I took up alpine climbing and steep skiing with great enthusiasm. I combine guiding with my own projects in the mountains and I often travel for skiing and climbing. However, my home in Chamonix provides the ultimate adventure playground on my doorstop and I’m never short of inspiration or motivation for getting into the mountains here. I now have a 6 year old son who also loves being in the mountains whether it’s an open air bivi together or going out for a multi-pitch rock route or skiing.
I have been living in Chamonix, France now for 9 years where I work as an IFMGA mountain guide throughout the year. I have been able to earn a living from guiding since 2015 and I finished my qualification in 2016. I also receive sponsorship from some outdoor brands too. I love the day to day variety of guiding work and working with clients from different backgrounds. During the course of a year I’ll find myself guiding classic alpine 4000ers, long rock routes, heli-skiing, ski mountaineering and ice climbing. I’m a passionate alpinist and rock climber, but first and foremost I’m a skier. I have a particular passion for steep skiing and technical ski mountaineering. This has led me to ski first descents on mountains in the Alps, New Zealand, Baffin Island and British Columbia. I also specialize in coaching clients in steep skiing and using Chamonix as a base is perfect for that. I work as an independent guide and I’m totally reliant on my body for my income as well as pursuing my own goals as an athlete outside of guiding work. That’s why I was so devastated when I tore my ACL in January 2018.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
I underwent ACL reconstruction with hamstring graft on February 27th, 2018. I’m very grateful that I had a top surgeon at an excellent private hospital. I’m approaching the 6 month mark now as I write this in August 2018, and I’m starting to get back into some easy guiding work. I’ve greatly benefited from having extensive physiotherapy and a custom training plan that I have been doggedly working through. Since first tearing my ACL January 10th, I’ve spent countless hours in the gym, rehabbing at home, on the track, on the hill, at the climbing wall, dedicating myself as much as possible to the rehab and training. After missing most off the 2018 ski season and not being able to work for 6 months, I’m extremely happy to be back in the mountains and very grateful for all the support I’ve received. I’m going to continue working hard on my rehab program up until the start of the ski season in December when I should be ready to start ripping around again.
"When I tore my ACL I knew it would be a long and hard road back to a strong recovery. I knew that I needed to get the surgery sooner rather than later but I was faced with significant loss of earnings and medical expenses. The support of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation has made a huge difference to my recovery and quality of life and I cannot sufficiently express my immense gratitude. The support of the Foundation has ensured that I received the best possible care and physiotherapy treatment which has greatly helped the positive outcome of the procedure. Without surgery and intensive rehab I would not have been able to make a successful comeback. "
- Thomas Grant