MacKinnon, John

John MacKinnon, Instructor of Outdoor Studies and Avalanche ScienceJohn MacKinnon

Instructor, Outdoor Recreation Leadership & Avalanche Science


  • B.A. Geosciences, Williams College
  • M.Ed. Adult Education and Training
  • Colorado State University (To be completed in Fall 2017)

Professional Certifications and Associations

  • American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA)
  • American Avalanche Association (AAA)
  • AIARE Instructor Trainer Team
  • AMGA Ski Guide
  • AMGA Rock Guide
  • AIARE Level 3 Avalanche Certified
  • AIARE Level 1 and Level 2 Avalanche Course Leader
  • Wilderness First Responder


John MacKinnon, originally from the NYC metro area, began teaching at Colorado Mountain College Leadville in a 2010 Canyon Orientation course. His professional experience includes 10+ years as a climbing and ski guide in Colorado and the Pacific Northwest, 4 years as an Avalanche Forecaster in Crested Butte, CO, and he has taught AIARE avalanche courses since 2007.

John enjoys Leadville’s easy access to uncrowded, wild places. His passions include backcountry skiing, climbing, trail running, and exploring the Leadville high country with his wife, Reed and their dog, Hannah.

“I love teaching motivated students technical outdoor skills that they can apply in their personal and professional lives,” says John, who moved to Leadville full-time in 2013, “Furthermore, it’s really rewarding to watch my students develop into successful outdoor professionals.”