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



    • Baker Botany 101

      by Brooke Warren People often ask if it’s boring to climb the same mountain over and over again. Honestly, it doesn’t get boring, because the route is constantly evolving and it’s amazing to witness the life cycle off the flora and fauna throughout an entire season. While summiting a mountain is a laudable goal, it’s […]

    • Dear Alpine: Foggy Glacier Glasses

      Hey Alpine, My glacier glasses get so foggy when I’m hiking up the Muir snowfield that it’s like my eyeballs are in a sauna.  How can I beat the steam and get my visibility back?   Help! Sincerely, Blinded by the Exertion  *** Hi Blinded, We’ve all been there!   Heavy breathing and eyewear are not a match […]

    • Guide Skills: What’s in the Kit?

      By Trevor Husted As part of our Guide Skills Development Series, this next post focuses on the essential items to include in your first aid kit if you are guiding an alpine climb. Have you taken an opportunity to look into your med kit lately? Perhaps question why something is even in there or maybe […]

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