Max started climbing in Summer 2006 at the University of Houston climbing wall; he was instantly hooked and started working at Texas Rock Gym.
He first climbed outdoors in Fall 2006 at El Potrero Chico in Hidalgo, Mexico. After one week of lead climbing on real rock amidst rock falls, poisonous snakes, swarms of bees and climbers from all over the world he knew that he wanted to make climbing a big part of his life.
Upon return Max met Dave Wearden, a seasoned outdoor climber and later on Max’s business partner, who mentored Max in many of the technical and safety aspects of climbing.
Max realized there was a disconnect between the indoor and outdoor climbing information available within the Houston community and has developed an avid interest in connecting the two via knowledge and instruction so that a love and respect for the outdoors might be fostered.
Climbing has allowed Max to pursue passions for traveling and teaching, enabling him to climb and lead trips in California, New York, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Nevada and Texas as well as Mexico, Chile, Colombia, France and Japan.
Max continues to learn and grow as a climber and has spent thousands of hours refining his expertise in the technical aspects of different climbing disciplines including sport climbing, trad climbing, ice climbing and mountaineering.
Working nine years at Texas Rock gym as a Senior Staff Supervisor, Head Route Setter, Climbing Instructor, Wall Maintenance and Gear Inspector and Corporate Team Building Facilitator has left Max well versed on the inner workings of a rock gym. Climbing training programs and operating procedures created by Max for Texas Rock Gym are still in use today.
In January 2010, Max and Dave Wearden created Lost Soles Climbing, which specializes in consulting for both outdoor and indoor climbing, guided outdoor climbing trips, climbing equipment retail and climbing shoe repair. The company mission of promoting fun and safe climbing culture has allowed Max to spend thousands of hours leading, teaching and climbing with clients both outdoors and indoors. In addition to numerous private clients, corporate clients have included Space City Rock Gym and Lifetime Fitness gyms in the Houston area.
Max is a catalyst for organizing Houston-wide climbing-focused events including climbing movie nights, climbing clinics, climbing competitions and climbing trips. The first Reel Rock to come to Houston was hosted by Lost Soles Climbing in 2012, and in 2013 Max spearheaded a city-wide project to include all the area climbing gyms in hosting the Reel Rock in beautiful downtown Jones Plaza.
Max has participated in the burgeoning Houston climbing scene from many facets and is experiencing firsthand the implementation of successful business strategies and contributing to positive growth via community involvement. Max helped construct the wall panels for the current Texas Rock Gym facility in 2003. He also works part time on the construction team with Outdoor Escape and helped build the real rock climbing training walls for the U.S. Special Forces at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, CO. He is experienced with metal lathe and concrete shaping for real rock style climbing walls.
Max has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Certificate of Corporate Entrepreneurship from the University of Houston.
He is currently Wilderness First Responder certified and CPR/First Aid certified.
Max’s students have placed in several indoor and outdoor climbing competitions in Texas.
Max has mastered and offers the following technical courses:
Max offers personal training and coaching for climbers of all ages. Each regimen and program is uniquely designed for individual clients, focused and maintained so that climbing goals are met. In addition to skill and technique, Max focuses on fitness and health, a combination that allows climbers to break through plateaus and further their abilities.
“We engaged with Max to help improve the general fitness, flexibility and strength of our two children Serena (13) & Tristan (10) who showed interest in taking up climbing, and what a great decision that was. We are in our 2nd year working with Max and our children enjoy the twice weekly sessions as each are presented with more challenging exercises but build up within the pace of the children. As parents we have appreciated Max’s ability to listen, notice, inspire, encourage and sometimes adapt to our children’s needs and more importantly its all within a safe environment, its positive to say that Max is completely committed.
We would have no hesitation in recommending Max to anyone needing the help and encouragement from a dedicated personal climbing instructor. You will find he certainly knows what he’s doing and who can partner with you to achieve your goals.”
– Richard & Stela Board
“I've been climbing with Max going on 7 years now. He taught me how to lead sport, then multipitch sport anchors, then how to trad climb. Took me on my first climbing trips outdoors and passed on the passion to climb to me. We've now been on quite a few climbing trips together over the years and he's always been a great teacher and climbing partner.
Climbing has become a huge part of my life which has greatly changed it for the better by improving my mental focus and keeping me motivated to stay extremely fit while creating amazing experiences being out in nature. And that is truly all thanks to Max. As a new climber (especially in Houston) it can be hard to find good direction and experienced climbing partners and luckily Max provides both.”
– Dennis Shaver
“I started training with Max with zero experience in climbing. He analyzed my strength and capabilities at the first session and was able to create a routine for me to help me progress at a pace I was comfortable with.
Not to say that he didn’t ever push me. There was a lot of sweat and whispered cursing on my part, but in the end I thank him for it because now all I want to do is climb. Max taught me what I needed to know, both physically and mentally, to go up from one level to the next.”
– Jay Dacon
“When I first started climbing with Max, I was top roping up to a hard 5.9. Now, after the first six months of training, I redpointed on lead my first 5.11a.
Overall, I'm stronger, more confident and have better climbing intuition -- it's the single best investment I've made in taking my climbing to the next level.”
– Tamara Smith