← Back to Testimonials

Max Tepfer (2nd Injury)

Date of Surgery: 7/30/2020
Update (5/2021): Max has returned to his career as a mountain guide.

About Max

I’m a mountain guide living in Bend, Oregon and have been climbing and skiing in the mountains since being introduced to alpine climbing through a mountaineering club in my high school.

Career Background

The path that brought me to this profession is a funny one. At no point did I sit down and tell myself ‘I’m going to become a mountain guide!’ Rather I kept following my passion for the mountains to work opportunities that nurtured it by allowing me both to work in the alpine environment and ample time to explore the mountains on my own. Currently I teach AIARE courses in the winter, guide rock climbing in the spring, Mt. Hood and the Grand Teton (among others) in the summer, and climb for myself in the fall. Companies that I work with to do this are Timberline Mountain Guides, Northwest Mountain School, Exum Mountain Guides, CAMP USA, and Cilogear Packs. I’m an AMGA Alpine and Rock Guide and at the time of my injury was enrolled in my advanced ski guide course/aspirant exam. When I’m able to fully return to skiing, I’m hoping to finish the ski discipline and become a fully certified mountain guide.

Treatment Procedure and Recovery Plan

I had my ACL repaired using a patellar graft. I’m currently six months out and am able to climb more or less normally. At nine months I’m allowed an ‘unrestricted return to sport’ and will be able to fully return to skiing, alpine climbing, and work. In the meantime, I’m able to return to my normal spring work schedule of guiding rock climbing in Red Rock, NV.


"Simply put, the support that the Foundation provides to mountain professionals is incredible. This is my second injury that the Foundation has helped me with and both were low points in my career as well as my life. The financial support and access to top-tier treatment that the Foundation provides is extremely impactful physically, emotionally, and financially in those difficult moments. When you’re completely reliant on your body to do your job, knowing that you’re getting the best possible treatment you can, goes a really long way towards reducing the real stress inherent in the treatment and recovery processes. My first surgery in 2015 completely resolved the chronic shoulder instability that had plagued me for years leading up to that point. Given how my knee feels at the 6 month mark now, I’m confident that the second surgery I had in July will also allow me to fully return to chasing my dreams around the mountains and sharing that passion with my clients."

- Max Tepfer (2nd Injury)