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Vince Anderson

Date of Surgery: 4/7/2017
Emergency Surgery: Clavicle
Update (1/2018): Vince has returned to guiding full-time.

About Vince

Vince is a third generation native to Colorado and has called the mountains his home for his entire life. When he is not out guiding and having fun, he makes his home in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Career Background

Vince earns his living as a fully-certified IFMGA professional mountain and ski guide. Vince is also involved training mountain guides as an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). In addition to his role as a professional guide, Vince is also passionate about climbing in his personal time. Most notably, he and climbing partner Steve House completed a new route on the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat (26,660′, ninth highest mountain in the world) in alpine style without oxygen in eight days during September of 2005. The two were awarded the Piolet d’OR (Golden Ice Ax) for their efforts, the first time for any North Americans. He has ice climbed competitively from 2001 to 2008, attaining sixth overall in the World Ice Climbing championship (Austria) in 2002.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

In April I received a surgical reduction and repair of my broken right clavicle (collarbone) from a bike accident incurred descending the Colorado National Monument on sandy roads. There’s now a thin titanium plate along the top of my collarbone.

My recovery was three pronged: 1) I managed to maintain aerobic fitness while the collarbone healed by riding my bike on a stationary trainer. After a week of complete rest, I started riding, mostly easy, about 5-10 hours per week. 2) As I began to heal, I began light range of motion recovery by moving my injured arm in various motions as directed by my doctor, until, eventually, after about 9 weeks I had no restrictions on complete movement. 3) Lastly, I regained my strength from the loss of use after the 9 week recovery by incrementally increasing resistance training appropriate for shoulder and arm strength and stability.

On a side note; my recovery was so complete, that, I was able to not only guide on Denali in June, but also guide on Mont Blanc in August as well as compete in multiple mountain bike races on a hardtail single speed bike. The races were all replete with lengthy bouts of jack hammering through rough descents and hard puling on the uphills on the single speed bike. I had zero problems with the collarbone, and was able to finish second in two races and first in two, including first overall among single speed racers in the six day Break Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race in August. I could not have been happier with my recovery. Since then, I’ve continued guiding rock climbs and have instructed two guides courses (one, an Alpine Guides Exam) for the AMGA.


"My acceptance by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation for financial assistance enabled my broken collarbone repair at the Steadman Clinic in Vail Colorado. The care I received and the quality of service provided by the Steadman Clinic was top notch! I’ve had previous orthopedic surgeries and have always been happy with it, though the way they went about their business at the Steadman Clinic raised the bar! I would not have been fortunate enough to receive care there were it not for the generosity extended by the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. I’ve had complete recovery and after breaking a collarbone into several pieces, I was able to get right back to work (with NO lingering problems) just 8 weeks after my surgery! I was back, guiding Denali carrying my normal 100 lb. load and the collarbone was not a problem. Thanks so much to the Steadman Clinic! As I said, this incredible care was possible for me only because of the assistance of the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. In addition to their unbelievable generosity, they were eager to help me out and extremely easy to work with. If you’re like me, you may have numerous revenues streams from various guiding and instructional work AND bookkeeping is not something that is in my wheelhouse. They made it incredibly easy for me to apply and let me know exactly what information they needed to process my application. It all took just a few days to complete. They could not have been better about prompt response and patience with my application challenges. I received their financial assistance seemingly immediately. They were so great! I’m deeply indebted to their gratitude and will be forever thankful for their help in getting my career back on track in a hurry after what could have been a lengthy if not permanent derailment. "

- Vince Anderson