Forest McBrian

Forest is an IFMGA licensed mountain guide and holds a degree in English and French.  When he is not climbing or skiing he spends his time writing essays and short stories. Forest also works as an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association. He is co-author of the ski touring guidebook from Mountaineers Books, Backcountry Ski and Snowboard Routes: Washington. You can read about his 34 day ski traverse with Trevor Kostanich along the crest of the North Cascades here, or listen to the Dirtbag Diaries episode here.

About Borealis Mountain Guides

Borealis offers professional guidance and instruction in all forms of mountain travel. We believe that mountains bring out the best in us, and that there is always more to learn—about the mountains and about ourselves.  We meet or exceed industry standards in training and certification for guiding, medical response, and environmental stewardship. 

Core Values and mission

Borealis delivers custom guiding and education in order to foster intimate life-long relationships with the mountains and to promote its core values of joy, compassion, kindness, and liberation.


About mountain guiding

The work of a mountain guide is to bring people into the mountains, and to help them learn how to move over rock, snow and ice in a wilderness setting. A guide must manage risk in a dynamic environment, and must strike a balance between persistence and prudence while trying to reach the summit. The guide's work takes many forms:

  • Teaching skills courses on rock and ice climbing, glacier travel and crevasse rescue, and ski touring.

  • Guiding climbers of all levels on ascents chosen for pleasure, for challenge, or for educational value.

  • Guiding skiers up and down complex, glaciated mountains.

  • Guiding long traverses and expeditions in remote areas, on foot and on skis.

  • Teaching courses on avalanche safety.


The western tradition of mountain guiding began in the Alps of France and Switzerland over two hundred years ago, and has spread to alpine mountains all over the world. In the Northwest, these activities frequently take place in a wild setting, far from roads and human settlements. A guide strives to be a resource for all those who love mountain travel, and to provide a rich experience with reasonable risks to clients of all abilities. If you would like to learn more about guiding, drop us a line or visit