Zack McGill

    Zack McGill

    Guide: Washington

    Zack grew up in Durango, CO and began venturing into the mountains of the North and South San Juans at an early age. He studied Elementary Education and Communication at the University of Colorado in Boulder and worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School for 7 years – leading long expeditions (15-52 days) throughout the Southwest and Alaska. Colorado was where he began his guiding career working for several small guiding operations as well as the Colorado Mountain School before moving to Bellingham, WA in the spring of 2017 to work for Baker Mountain Guides. The North Cascades are home now and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon. 7 months out of the year, you can find him on skis teaching avalanche courses, ski guiding, or dreaming of shredding pow in between rain events. The remaining months, he works as a guide and instructor for everything from alpine rock to glacier mountaineering in the Cascades.

    Take 5 with the Guide

    Guilty Pleasure
    Science Fiction shows/movies. Except I feel zero guilt.

    What was your first mountain? When did you climb it? Who were you with?
    Mount Crested Butte when I was four with my folks. Thanks ski lifts.

    Most people don’t know that…
    I had a pet squirrel growing up.

    In another life I’d…
    Probably be doing the same thing.

    When you’re not guiding?
    I’m eating.

    Significant Ascents

    55+ Guided ascents of Mount Baker, WA via various routes (including the Coleman Headwall and North Ridge) and guided ski descents on all 12 of Baker’s glaciers.
    West Buttress, Denali, AK
    Antisana, Ecuador
    Cayembe, Ecuador
    North Face, Fisher Chimneys, Sulphide, Mount Shuksan, WA
    Chilliwack Slam (Spickard, Custer, SE Spire, Mox Peaks “Hard Mox”, Mount Redoubt), WA
    Emmons, Mount Rainier, WA
    Full Exum, Grand Teton, WY
    Angel’s Crest, Squamish, BC
    Glacier Peak, WA in 16-hour RT guided ultraneering.
    Picket’s Traverse (Whatcom, Challenger, Luna), WA
    West Ridge, Forbidden Peak, WA
    Alexander’s Chimney, North Face, Keyhole Ridge, Keyhole, Long’s Peak, CO


    Wilderness First Responder / CPR
    Leave No Trace Trainer
    AIARE Pro 2 Cert
    AIARE Course Leader
    AMGA Certified Ski Guide
    AMGA Rock Guide Course
    AMGA Alpine Guide Course
    AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor



    • The Ins and Outs of Going to the Bathroom and Feminine Hygiene in the Mountains

      Submission by Kristie Kayl. Going to the bathroom in the backcountry (no less on an open snow field) can feel intimidating, but with some strategy and practice there are effective ways to add privacy and make the process a breeze. The Request. The easiest way to ensure privacy is to simply ask the members of […]

    • Nutrition for Mountaineering Webinar with Alyssa Leib from UpHill Athlete

      Alpine Ascents International hosted Alyssa Leib, registered dietitian and resident nutrition expert at Uphill Athlete for an incredibly informative webinar on May 15th.  She covered the key fundamentals of performance nutrition, including what supplements to consider adding to your arsenal and what to skip, how to effectively fuel your training, considerations for nutrition at altitude, […]


      Happy Friday follow climbers! High pressure and fair weather dominated the PNW over the past week with temperatures in Seattle reaching 80 degrees. In the mountains warm temperatures, sunny skies, and calm winds allowed climbers all over the Cascades to take advantage of the nice weather. We had teams basking and rock climbing in the […]

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