Morgan McGonagle

    Morgan McGonagle

    Guide: Washington, Alaska

    Morgan grew up in Denver, Colorado and spent most of her childhood hiking, biking and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. She continued her mountain pursuits in the hills of New Hampshire and Vermont when she completed her BE in Mechanical Engineering at Dartmouth College, where she also competed in Division I rugby. She moved to Washington in 2019 and since has fallen in love with the jagged North Cascade peaks and lush green PNW forests. In the winter, Morgan ski patrols at Crystal Mountain in Washington and teaches avalanche education courses. While Morgan loves peaking mountains and skiing technical lines, she is particularly passionate about the accessibility and inclusion of avalanche education and winter backcountry sports. When she isn’t trekking many miles to find the tiniest bit of snow in the cascades, Morgan spends her time singing in a band with fellow patrollers, taking photos of her friends, dancing, sewing 5-panel hats, baking sourdough bagels and jumping into cold bodies of water.

    Take 5 with the Guide

    What was your first mountain?
    Mount Moosilauke!

    What’s always in your snack bag?
    maple syrup

    What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not guiding?
    knitting and sewing hats for me and my friends

    If you could be stuck with anyone (past or present) at base camp for a week
    my mom, she is very funny

    One piece of advice for aspiring mountaineers
    Get out and climb some stuff whenever you possibly can! Go climbing with people who have more experience than you and pepper them with questions. Eat up as much knowledge as you can from them!

    Significant Ascents

    Taquoma (Mt. Rainier) – DC, Ingraham, Emmons, Fuhrer Finger ski descent
    Kulshan (Mt. Baker) – Easton, Squak, Coleman-Deming, North Ridge, Park Headwall & North Ridge ski descents
    Klickitat (Mt. Adams) – Southwest Chutes ski descent
    Dakobed (Glacier Peak)
    Forbidden and Isolation Traverses, Eldorado Peak – 4-day ski traverse and ski descent
    Spearhead Traverse – 3-day ski traverse
    Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
    Denali West Buttress


    OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care, National Ski Patrol)
    AIARE Pro 1
    AIARE I/ II/ Rescue Course
    AIARE Instructor Training Course
    LNT Trainer


    • Diabetes in the Wild

      Submission By Morgan McGonagle I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was 12 years old. As a very active and independent 12-year-old, this was not a convenient diagnosis. I wanted to be outside as much as possible at the time and was planning to attend a summer camp where I would be away […]

    • Training for Mountaineering Webinar with Steve House

      Alpine Ascents International hosted Steve House, founder of Uphill Athlete and author of the training bible for mountaineers and trail runners, Training for the Uphill Athlete, for a free webinar on February 20th. Steve covered the training approach that he used in his own career as a professional climber which he now uses to help […]

    • Self Love and Wilderness

      Submission by Avalon Qian. “Tag responsibly, keep the West wild.” I pause mid-mindless-instagram scroll. This is not the first time I have seen this sentiment in an instagram post or an article about leaving no trace: “Tag responsibly.” “Keep the West wild.” What does this tag mean? I understand the fear that wild places may […]

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