Date of Surgery: 2/22/2013
Update (6/2014): Evan has returned to guiding full-time.
Born and raised in a suburb of New York City, but somehow found a passion for the mountains in the rolling hills of southern New York. I learned to ski at a young age, and began climbing in my teens, and kept these pursuits in mind when attending Middlebury College in Vermont. I may have spent an equal amount of time skiing and climbing as I did in class, or more perhaps, which has probably set me up better for my career as a mountain guide. After college I found a job as an avalanche forecaster for the Utah Avalanche Center in the winter and began alpine guiding in Washington state in the summer. During this time I met my future wife on a climbing trip in Yosemite. Now we have taken over her family’s business of a backcountry ski touring lodge in British Columbia and spend our summers climbing the granite walls of Squamish, BC.
I currently work as a guide and operator of the backcountry ski lodge, Valhalla Mountain Touring, and also as an examiner and instructor for the American Mountain Guides Association, training and certifying the next generations of mountain guides. It is great to take part in that process and I try and give as much time to mentoring up and coming guides as possible, as it is something I lacked in my guiding career.
As far as the future is concerned, expanding our business and opening up a second lodge is high on our list. Being back at 100% so quickly after my injury is helping me to this path faster than I could have imagined. I just finished my first week back at guiding after my knee injury, and I couldn’t be happier, so many guests said it was their best week of backcountry ever, and that makes me so happy and proud of all of the hard work I have put in to getting to this point.
Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan
I had my ACL replaced with a piece of hamstring tendon and I had about 25% of my meniscus removed both in my left knee. I spent 7 days after surgery in Vail with 2x/day physio, and then I flew home. At home I was going to physio 3x/week, and then quickly began work with a friend who is a personal trainer. I worked with in the great guidelines of the Steadman Clinic, and was able to resume a somewhat normal life at about 3 months, which is when I returned to the Steadman Clinic for a follow up. At 6 months I felt about 90%, and that is when I was really clear to go back at it for my activities and began rock guiding again.
"I don’t know if I would be where I am right now without the Kees Brenninkmeyer Foundation. As a high level mountain guide and athlete, I was actively seeking out the best possible care and the KBF made this totally possible. For the first week after my injury, I literally spent every hour of the business day making phone calls trying to get into see a surgeon in Canada to start the process. Although it is wonderful that we have public health care in Canada, it doesn’t come without its flaws, and a non-essential/elective surgery like an ACL repair is one of the systems flaws. It took me a week straight of phone calls to even get the surgeon I wanted to repair my knee in Canada to answer the phone to tell me that it would be 3 weeks before I could even get an appointment to see the surgeon and probably 12 weeks before I could get surgery. In my mind the clock was ticking if I wanted to return to my career at full strength as soon as possible. During this time I received word that the KBF was going to support me and it was like the magical mystery doors all opened wide. I had an appointment with the surgeon in less than 2 weeks, and not just any surgeon, one of the best in the business, better than any care I would have received in Canada. All of the frustration and despair was instantly turned the other direction. "
- Evan Stevens