Derek MacDonald

Snowboard Shredders Coach

Derek MacDonald brings 10+ years of experience as a dual discipline certified ski and snowboard coach. He competes in Freeride World Qualifier events and spends as much time in the backcountry on his splitboard as he can.

Derek believes that pocket PB&J’s are a staple of any day spent on a snowboard. The Massachusetts native grew up sliding on snow in Vermont’s Mad River Valley at Sugarbush and Mad River Glen where he fell in love with both the ski and snowboard industry at a young age. He would go on to spend most weeknights of his childhood and adolescence at Ski Bradford in Massachusetts, whether in uniform for the ski school or just lapping the terrain park. 

After attending the University of Vermont, where he majored in snowboarding and minored in both marketing and communication, Derek moved to Wyoming to work for NOLS. He has a tremendous passion for leading people outside and has consistently sought opportunities to do so. He served as the Outing Club’s Program Coordinator at UVM and also worked for Ski The East to get a behind the scenes look at managing events like the freeride tour and to catch a glimpse of the marketing machine responsible for fostering a community of the most dedicated fun-havers on snow (ice). He would go on to eventually spawn his own public speaking career discussing personal leadership, mental health, and the outdoors. He also works as a freelance writer and content marketer.

Derek started leading backcountry trips seasonally in Wyoming in 2014 and eventually moved to Jackson full-time in 2017. Like many east coast transplants, Derek moved in search of big mountains and opportunities to further his career in the snowboard industry as an athlete, coach, and marketing professional. 

In his time not spent on a snowboard or spent thinking about snowboarding, Derek contributes to the management team at Roadhouse Brewing and serves on the Board of Directors for Carving The Future. The content marketer, snowboard coach, and marathon runner is happiest chasing sunrises in the backcountry with several cups of coffee and his snowboard. You can hear about Derek in his own words from an interview he did with the Occupation Wild podcast. You can find him @_derekmacdonald or at


Education, Professional Degrees, and Certifications: 

  • B.S. Public Communication - University of Vermont ‘16

  • Spring Semester In The Rockies - NOLS ‘14

  • Wilderness First Responder 14’, 16’, 19’

  • Exum Guides Splitboard Mountaineering Course ‘18

  • American Association of Snowboard Instructors L2

  • Professional Ski Instructors of America L1

  • American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education L1 + Companion Rescue

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Training and Workshops


Personal Philosophy or Statement:

“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” - Albus Dumbledore

The beautiful thing about self-awareness is that we are always in position to not only turn on our own light, but the light of others as well.