Zack grew up in Rochester, New York and discovered his passion for the backcountry at 17 on a month-long trip into the Alaskan wilderness. Since then, he has made outdoor education and recreation his life’s work. He fell in love with the Adirondacks shortly thereafter and made it his permanent home in 2014. Over the past decade, Zack has been instructing students and clients in hiking, backpacking, canoeing, rock and ice climbing, ski touring and Adirondack mountaineering. In addition to his work with Guide ADK, Zack instructs field courses for NOLS, freelances with other local guide outfits and education centers, and can be found playing in the mountains or working on a growing homestead with Eileen and their two dogs, Bash and Stella.
From the moment Eileen moved to the Adirondacks in 2015, she knew she was here to stay. Nowhere had ever felt so much like home. Eileen’s introduction to the Adirondacks had been through family vacations and time spent at Camp Colby and Pack Forest, but it wasn’t until she moved to the region that she really began honing her outdoor skills. Seven years later, Eileen is an avid outdoorswoman that enjoys more outdoor activities than she ever dreamed of taking up. She now lives in Lake Clear on a (slowly) growing homestead with Zack and their two dogs. Eileen is excited to start a new adventure with Guide ADK and looks forward to helping everyone – but especially women and families – find a place of comfort, confidence, and joy in the outdoors.
A native of central New York, Alex grew up spending time outdoors with his family and friends. A love and curiosity for nature drew him to explore the outside world, and family camping trips introduced him to the Adirondacks. A former Eagle Scout, Alex spent much of his youth developing basic outdoor and leadership skills. He attended the NYSDEC summer camps at Camp Colby and Pack Forest and while there was able to witness firsthand the impact that outdoor education and experiences had on others. As an adult, the beneficial impact of time spent outside was reinforced to Alex, which inspired him to seek opportunities to share the many benefits of wilderness recreation with others. Alex is dedicated to creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds, experience levels, and skill levels to enjoy the outdoors, learn about respectful and responsible use of our natural resources, and eagerly explore the world around them.
After his first High Peaks hike up Cascade & Porter mountains in 2001, a 9-year-old visiting summer camper stubbornly declared with tears in his eyes, “I AM NEVER HIKING AGAIN!” Two decades later, Jacob Gittler is a six-time Adirondack 46er excited to share his love of hiking and the Adirondacks through Guide ADK. Gittler has developed extensive experience and knowledge of the backcountry. He has taken part in multiple National Outdoor Leadership School expeditions with focused areas in backpacking, mountaineering, and white water river travel. In 2016, he was elevated to Wilderness Director at Pok-O-MacCready Camps and has been leading countless hiking and backpacking trips in the Adirondack’s High Peaks with campers aged 6 to 16 in the years since. To help balance the weight of the world’s challenges, Gittler loves laughing, being jovial, shouting passionately about the New York Rangers, and sitting by a fire with those he loves most. Gittler cannot wait to share his love of the Adirondacks with you!