Thursday, January 3, 2013

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Programs with JHMG in Boulder

Jackson Hole Mountain Guides is offering the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Programs in Boulder. The SPI program is an excellent way to begin a guiding career whether used as an entry point into the AMGA guide program, or whether it teaches and validates the skills to lead larger climbing groups at a high standard.

I've spoken with many current and aspiring guides regarding the Single Pitch Instructor program developed by the American Mountain Guides association. The verdict? Whether individuals used the course or exam to see whether they were cut out for guiding, or whether the individual was a full IFMGA guide, the program has many merits. In fact, nearly everyone with whom I've spoken has found the program very valuable.
The curriculum stands alone, so that it serves current and aspiring climbing instructors very
well. Those that pass the assessment operate at a very high standard in a single-pitch environment teaching newer climbers. The level of efficiency and security is noted by climbers who have been involved in the sport for decades.
But the curriculum also segways nicely into the guide program. The skills developed and assessed in the instructor program are called for in similar and more complex ways in the Rock Instructor Course and Advanced Rock Guides Course. For this reason, I highly recommend the SPI program for individuals who are not yet established in the industry. It is more approachable and involves less commitment, and gives aspiring guides a head start on the Rock Instructor Course and Exam.
Flowchart for AMGA Guide Progam - from the AMGA website
As an individual who entered the AMGA program through the previous program - the Top Rope Site Manager certification, I see a nice evolution. The previous program was outstanding in creating a standard for guides operating in top rope terrain. There were many tools and skills involved that were very helpful in the single pitch environment, but occasionally added a little complexity. More secure, more savvy, more efficient? Absolutely. But for the large pool of individuals interested in single pitch education as an end goal, the Top Rope Site Manager certification may have had too high of a standard. The current Single Pitch Instructor Program keeps the curriculum a little more approachable and a little less daunting, although it still surprises and challenges many highly-experienced climbers and guides.

Following the AMGA curriculum, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides offers the 27 hour course and 18 hour assessment. If you are preparing for an assessment, we also offer an Exam Review Day. Custom courses and exams are also available - call 303.532.5184 or email boulder@jhmg.com for details. Learn more about the AMGA Certification Program here.

2013 Spring Programs *special offer: 10% discount to current AAC members*
SPI Course: April 26-28, $475
SPI Exam: May 4-5, $325
Exam Review Day: $150-$200
custom date courses and exams always available

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