We welcome you to join us for the IFMGA Conference/AMGA Annual Meeting. Some of the highlights include the Opening Night Event, Guides Parade, Climbing Day and Annual Meeting Main Event. The Main Event will feature food, drinks, silent auction, raffle, awards ceremony, as well as a slide show presentation by a special guest.
We hope that you will join us in all of the festivities and take advantage of the wonderful surroundings during your visit to Boulder, Colorado.
Schedule - detailed schedule can be found here - www.ifmga2010.com
The American Avalanche Institute (AAI), based in Wilson, WY has received final approval to provide Level 3 avalanche education.
This status allows AMGA students to take AAI Level 3 avalanche training programs in order to satisfy prerequisites for the Alpine Guide Exam, Ski Mountaineering Guide Course & Aspirant Exam, and the Ski Mountaineering Guide Exam.
AAI is running 2 Level 3 courses during the winter of 2011. The first course will be January 25-30, 2011 in Jackson, WY. The second Level 3 course will be February 12-17, 2011 in Salt Lake City, UT.
For details and an application, please see the AAI website at: www.americanavalancheinstitute.com.
It is time to start thinking about which programs you want to take in 2011. Many of you have already contacted the office inquiring about scheduling for 2011.
There are a couple of things you should be aware of when deciding on which programs to take in 2011:
The discipline specific schedules can be found at http://schedule.amga.com/ or by clicking on the following links:
There are still 2010 programs listed on both the Alpine and Rock Schedules, so be sure to double check that you are selecting the correct course or exam. All programs are designated with a letter, a number and the year (e.g., A1-10 or R6-11) and are listed chronologically. If you would like a hard copy of the 2011 schedule you may download by clicking here. Remeber that dates are subject to change so it is important to always check online for the most up-to-date schedule information before registering for any course or exam. Finally you must register for all programs via your member page at http://my.amga.com/.
As always, tuition payments are due In Full ten (10) weeks prior to the start of any course or exam. If payment is not received by that time your spot may be filled by the next qualified applicant. Furthermore, if you apply for a program within the ten (10) week payment deadline, then the full tuition payment will be collected at that time. If you wish to drop or transfer you must do so at least eight (8) weeks prior the start of any course or exam if you wish to receive a refund. And, as always, a $150.00 Application Fee will be deducted from any transfer or refund.
If you have questions about the schedule, availability, the application process, or AMGA programs in genral please contact the Program Director, Henry Beyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-271-0984.
Good Luck and thank you for participating in our training and certifications programs.
Greetings. As the first day of fall approaches, I want to take a moment of your time to let interested parties know about upcoming training opportunities in the Climbing Instructor Program. These trainings are for highly experienced guides and climbing instructors who would like to become AMGA licensed providers for the Single Pitch Instructor or Climbing Wall Instructor programs or both. To determine if you meet the prerequisites to join the Provider Pool and to get an overview of the process involved, go to the following links:
Adam Fox, AMGA SPI Discipline Coordinator, will be conducting these trainings.
A note to current SPI Providers: Attending Day 2 of any of these trainings will meet the requirement for maintaining Provider status. There will be a limited number of spaces available that will be filled on a first come basis. Another option for renewing is, on November 13, a one-day SPI Program Provider Refresher will be held in Boulder, Colorado in conjunction with the AMGA Annual Meeting. Contact me if you would like to attend any of these trainings.
These CWI trainings are aimed toward individuals who manage artificial climbing walls, have significant indoor climbing and teaching experience, and who have an interest in offering this AMGA certification program to their clients, staff or students. Both trainings have been scheduled around the dates of the Climbing Wall Association annual conference and the AORE conference.
Both the AMGA CWI Program and the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program have been recognized and endorsed as meeting the "training standards" of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA.)
Interested parties should contact Ed Crothers, AMGA Climbing Instructor Program Director, by email at: email@example.com or by phone at: 303-271-0984.
AMGA Climbing Instructor Program Director
Where: Squaw Valley, California
When: October 17-22, 2010
"Let's face it, climbing and mountaineering is potentially dangerous and though the goal of a particular climb or trip may be to get to the top, the ultimate goal is coming back so that you can go on to climb again in the future. A certified guide has taken the steps to assure that they have the best possible skill set to get up and down the mountain safely and successfully."
Boulder, Colorado, May 27th - The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is excited to announce the hiring of Leigh Goldberg to fill the newly created Access Director position. The Access Director position was formed in response to the expressed needs of the AMGA membership. By allocating the resources necessary to support a staffed Access Director, the AMGA feels it can more effectively do its part in representing the interests of the American mountain guide and climbing instructor communities.
Leigh joins the AMGA with a background in Marketing, Consulting and Public Relations. She has served organizations and brands in the Outdoor Industry as a Consultant and formerly with Backbone Media. Leigh graduated cum laude in Sociology from Princeton University.
Leigh's first priority is to develop a Strategic Plan that outlines short and long-term goals pertaining to access for the AMGA. She will also serve as point of contact for the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), regional representatives, state and federal land managers, and other key groups and agency officials. Leigh will address current and emerging land use policies, budget planning, external operations and outreach.
"I am thrilled and honored to have this pivotal opportunity to heighten awareness of the guiding profession in America and improve commercial access for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors," said Leigh. "We recognize that working to increase national and regional access to the most inspiring public lands in our country is vital to the continued growth of the American guiding profession."
The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is excited to announce that Chrysler Group LLC's Jeep brand has joined the AMGA as its newest Diamond Partner.
As a Diamond Partner, Chrysler Group LLC will include the AMGA as part of the Chrysler Affiliate Rewards program. As a result, all AMGA members can now receive a significant discount on Chrysler, Jeep, Ram Truck, or Dodge Vehicles. Additionally, a large percentage of Diamond Partner funds are filtered directly to AMGA members via scholarships, subsidies, and program development support.
"We welcome the opportunity to partner with Jeep brand in this exciting new venture. A partnership will educate a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts about the value of the mountain guiding profession and will build authentic brand equity for both stakeholders while raising the standard for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States" says Betsy Novak, Executive Director for the American Mountain Guides Association.
AMGA members will receive an email with detailed information on the Chrysler Affiliate Rewards program in the near future. If you would like to become a member of the AMGA, please visit http://my.amga.com/signup
Built on nearly 70 years of legendary heritage, Jeep is the authentic SUV with class-leading capability, craftsmanship and versatility for people who seek extraordinary journeys. The Jeep brand delivers an open invitation to live life to the fullest by offering a full line of vehicles that continue to provide owners with a sense of security to handle any journey with confidence. The Jeep vehicle lineup includes Commander, Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot, Wrangler and Wrangler Unlimited. To meet consumer demand around the world, all seven Jeep models are sold outside North America and all are available in right-hand drive versions and with gasoline and diesel powertrain options. Chrysler Group LLC sells and services vehicles in approximately 120 countries around the world.
AORE, the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, awarded two AMGA sponsored Professional Development Scholarships at it's 2009 Annual Conference. Emily Armes received the AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Course Scholarship and Sam Braband received the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course Scholarship. The conference provides a forum for outdoor recreation professionals and educators to meet once a year to discuss ideas, network and participate in professional development opportunities. This year it was held in Minneapolis, MN at the beginning of last month.
For more information on AORE Click Here.
Last month, local guide services and air taxis joined forces to lobby Alaska senators against a possible fee increase (from $200 to $500) that would unfairly targets climbers attempting Mt. McKinley and Mt. Foraker. The increase would make climbing in the national park impossible for some climbers and significantly damage local businesses that provide guiding and other services to visiting climbers. This effort was supported by the American Mountain Guides Association, Access Fund, and American Alpine Club.
To read letter Click Here.
AMGA Certified Alpine Guide and IFMGA Aspirant Caroline George writes of experience on the PETZL website.
"As I flew back to Seattle from a summer of guiding in Europe in early August, I was really excited to explore a little more of the Cascades and check out some the routes we were going to do. I called my friend Willie Benegas to see what his plans were...."
Please Click Here to read more.
Boulder, Colorado – On Sunday, August 9, 2009, AMGA Instructor Pool member, Certified Rock Guide and former member of the AMGA Board of Directors, Craig Luebben died of injuries sustained while climbing in North Cascades National Park. Craig and Willie Benegas were climbing and training together for an upcoming AMGA Alpine Exam at the time of the incident. On the 9th the pair were attempting to climb the Torment and Forbidden Traverse, starting the traverse on the SE Face of Torrent via the Taboo Glacier. At the bergshrund, with Craig leading and Willie belaying, Craig attempted to bypass the remnant ice hanging above the bergshrund by ascending rock on the right, and then traversing left on to the ice for the exit moves. According to Wille, at approximately 0630 as Craig transitioned from the rock to the ice, a block of ice described as being the size of a car calved off taking Craig with it, resulting in a 30 foot fall. While not struck by the initial block, Craig was pelted by debris as he hung from his rope. Willie managed to get Craig to his belay stance in the bergshrund, stabilize and treat his injuries, and contact rescue personnel. Despite Willie’s heroic efforts and a swift response from NCNP SAR personnel, Craig succumbed to his injuries.
Willie suffered minor injuries to his leg and is expected to make a full recovery.
Our deepest condolences and sympathy go out to Craig’s wife Silvia, his daughter Giulia, and his many friends around the world. Craig’s passing is a tremendous loss to the AMGA community and the climbing world. If you would like to send your thoughts and prayers along to the family please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or PO BOX 1739, Boulder, CO 80306 and we will make sure to pass them along.
Betsy Novak, AMGA Executive Director, recently received some air time on KGNU. KGNU is an independent radio station in the Front Range. Betsy was interviewed for a 3 minute section on Colorado non-profits.
To listen Click Here
Boulder, CO - June 22, 2009
Background: at the January 2009 Board of Directors meeting, a CGF proposal for funding from the AMGA triggered a discussion within the BOD about the long term future of the CGF and the AMGA. As a result of this discussion, the Board created the AMGA-CGF Subcommittee, which was charged with the following goal:
"The goal of the ad hoc committee will be to work together to investigate and create a strategic plan for the future relationship of the AMGA and the CGF."
The committee members included the ED of both organizations, legal counsel from both organizations, and board members from each organization. In addition, the committee was directed to have representation from both guides and guide services.
The committee met for two days in Boulder at the end of May, 2009, and created a series of recommendations for the AMGA Board of Directors. These recommendations were presented at the June BOD meeting, and the Board gave the committee authorization to continue its work.
What follows here is both a summary of the committee's process and findings thus far. Going forward, the committee will continue working on this issue, and the AMGA will host a Round Table discussion at the October 2009 Annual Meeting.
In my role as President of the AMGA, it is of utmost importance to me that we have the input of you, our membership, in this process. I hope you will get in touch with any comments, questions, or concerns; and I encourage you all to participate as we move forward!
Committee members: Margaret Wheeler, Betsy Novak, Scott Schell, Dale Remsberg, Keith Garvey, Jeff Ward, Cameron Banko, Peter Gould, Martin Volken
The committee created the following goals for this session:
As a committee, we began by writing the mission statements of each organization on the whiteboard, and decided they are indeed compatible.
"The AMGA is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States."
"The CGF is a non-profit guide cooperative supporting AMGA and IFMGA certified Guides by providing access and insurance in the US."
The committee then identified a list of potential issues that may arise in working towards the stated goals:
The discussion and priorities created by this exercise of examining mission statements, goals, and issues, led the committee to create the following:
"The AMGA/CGF Subcommittee unanimously agrees that improving immediate access for individual guides and guide services is crucial to the long term health and success of the AMGA. This is based on three principles:
The committee further recommends:
In the short term, there should be collaboration between the two entities in obtaining permits for the immediate use and benefit of the membership. In the long term, the AMGA will continue to advocate credential based access at the state and national level. "
The committee then conducted a brainstorming session for possible ideas and solutions.
In the process, this quote emerged:
"Guides need guide services and guide services need guides, and the AMGA needs guides and guide services; as an organization we must work to promote and represent both credentialed guides and guide services!"
With this in mind, the committee drafted the following proposed outline:
The future relationship - in general terms - of the AMGA and the CGF was then expressed as follows: The AMGA is the policy arm (for access), the CGF is the insurance/permit arm. The committee then compiled the following proposed specifics:
Year One Draft Plan
Years Two and Three Draft Plan
In addition to the specifics above the committee further proposed the idea that the CGF move towards the following form: AMGA and AMGA Bureau (currently called the CGF)
Going Forward: What questions need to be asked - and answered?
With these questions, the AMGA-CGF Subcommittee concluded its two-day session. The information given above was then presented to the AMGA board as an update. As part of the update, the following letter from Martin Volken was presented to the BOD.
"The AMGA is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States."
"The CGF is a non-profit guide cooperative supporting AMGA and IFMGA certified Guides by providing access and insurance in the US."
It seems that the mission statements are compatible, but I feel strongly that the mission statement of the AMGA needs to be amended to include the word access and the mission statement of the CGF needs to be amended to include accredited guiding services. Inclusive access focus is and has been a sign of our times and needs to be addressed now. Ideally this is how the revised mission statements would read:
The AMGA cannot rely on the idealistic notion that providing a high quality education to young guides is enough. Without taking concrete steps in clearing the path to access the long term survival of the AMGA is threatened. On the IFMGA stage the access system will (and does already) appear antiquated. Access is what allows formative guides to become professionals. Professionals get up in the morning and go do their job. There is no way around this. Without improved access the "product" the AMGA sells is an incomplete and therefore less relevant product. Irrelevant products do not have longevity. We need to be careful here.
We also need to be very clear that the existing guide services - large or small; provide a strong backbone to the current American mountain guiding culture and the current mountain guiding economy. Many guiding service owners need to come to terms with the fact that they cannot block the natural progression of professional guiding in America unless they want to come across as protectionists. The independent guides in turn cannot realistically live without the guide services, since they provide a lot of work for them, The individual guides also need to admit that one cannot expect a guide service owner to jeopardize the hard earned value of his or her business. In reality independent guides and guiding service owners have much to gain from each other and need to work together to find a solution to the looming access issue.
All parties involved would have to agree that access is one of the keys to professionalizing mountain guiding in America. One simply cannot talk about professional guiding without giving the young guide the freedom to exercise his or her newly acquired profession. I am sure that many discussions and hurdles will have to be overcome in order to implement this vision, but this is not the biggest issue at hand right now. The most crucial element right now is that the governing body of the AMGA can rally behind this vision on a very fundamental level. The AMGA should be willing to invest some resources into improving access and the CGF is the logical organization to turn to.
Ultimately, though, we will need to prove our relevance to people who do not climb or ski. This may seem like an odd thought at first, but unless we can do this, we will always live a club-life existence. The fact that the increasingly urban population is becoming more and more detached from the natural environment may work to our benefit. Environmentalism is a hip and slightly overused word, but at least conceptually resource protection is dear to millions of American citizens who do not climb and never will. The National Forest Service is running out of funds, which makes their land management job trying to say the least. The NFS was built on resource extraction and this era seems to be coming to an end.
Eco tourism seems to be one of the logical alternatives. It is clear that the Forest Service and the National Park Service needs a new source of income and the old model of road building for the sake of resource extraction is obviously out of date and not sustainable.
If managed carefully, mountain tourism seems to provide a solid sustainable economic cycle and this is what the government, the NFS, the communities and the citizens want. In part this has been demonstrated successfully by some of the communities of the state of Colorado.
The mountain guiding community can be the connecting link between the Forest Service, the recreating public and the much needed relevant environmentalism in our mountain lands. By relevant environmentalism I mean policies that actually foster a connection between the public and the environment the public is trying to protect. Professionals who help in providing this link ought to be educated to the best possible standard. This is where the AMGA should come in. This would most likely make sense to the recreating pubic - even if they do not climb mountains.
If we can insert ourselves effectively into a bigger picture that truly benefits the greater good of the public, we will very quickly become truly relevant.
After this presentation (and much discussion), the Board created a proposal as follows:
"This AMGA/CGF Subcommittee will continue its work on the restructure. In the short term the immediate goal is to determine which structure the CGF should take to fit in with the long term goals of access for guiding in the US as stated by the Subcommittees report of 6/06/2009.
The committee was expanded, and now includes: Peter Gould, Jim Pearson, Scott Soden, Keith Garvey, Dale Remsberg, Margaret Wheeler, Betsy Novak, Scott Schell, Jeff Ward, Clint Cook, Cameron Banko, Majka Burhardt, Martin Volken
After serious discussion, the board voted in support of this proposal. In doing so, there was general acknowledgement that this task is a huge one, and that the AMGA must take an active role to involve as many aspects of our guiding community as possible throughout the process. As a committee, we look forward to hearing your thoughts, comments, and ideas.
Please contact Margaret Wheeler, Betsy Novak, or Scott Schell with your thoughts, comments and suggestions!
Margaret Wheeler, AMGA President
Betsy Novak, AMGA Executive Director
Scott Schell, CGF Executive Director
Purpose: Training and certification at the AMGA is extensive and rigorous regardless of the discipline. The skills certified guides possess, though at a high standard, must continue to develop and evolve. With advances in equipment, changing knowledge of materials and subsequent evolution of technique, it is imperative that all certified members of the AMGA continually adapt and progress with the changing times. Even the most physically talented and technically skilled guides risk losing their guiding edge without continuous skill development. In consideration of this, the AMGA will implement a continuous professional development expectation.
As the only professional trade organization for mountain guides in the US, it is important that the AMGA set the bar for the state of the art on a continuous basis. The AMGA now has the expectation that all active certified members will partake in continuous professional practice, as well as physical and technical development.
To maintain active status in the AMGA, certified members are expected to satisfy the following minimum requirements: (please note that the requirements for maintaining Single Pitch Instructor and Climbing Wall Instructor certification are not included in these requirements as there are requirements specific to each one of these programs to maintain certification).
Methodology: As stated, this is an EXPECTATION of all certified guides. This program will be self monitored pending the development of the AMGA web site and the ability of certified individuals to post their CPD updates electronically. Once this has been developed, we will implement a system of oversight, most likely tied to the membership renewal process.
To Download A PDF Copy Click Here (PDF)
For information regarding equipment needed for a AIARE Level 2 Avalanche course as well as frequently aske questions Click Here (PDF).
Forest Service Outfitting and Guiding Special Uses
The FS has issued final directives on management of outfitters and guides. AMGA submitted public comment on the draft directives in February.
The FS will be conducting regional training sessions on the directives and their implementation in the first quarter of 2009. You should open a dialogue with you local forest or authorizing officer immediately.
Typical of the FS, implementation will be decentralized and conducted forest-by-forest.
The directives do contain a number of key issues and opportunities for AMGA members, but you will need to be vigilant and engaged. While these directives create a new permitting category and opportunities for priority use, at least initially they will not bring – and will likely exacerbate the lack of – consistency in the way the FS issues Special Use Permits.
Current holders of Priority Use Permits should be on ten-year permits. If you are not, push your authorizing officer for the full ten-year. At a minimum, you will need to be on a five-year to comply with the new directives.
Existing Temporary Use is going away. Many permittees have existed/relied on Temporary Use for years. The FS goal is to convert all Temporary Use to Priority use, based on needs or capacity analysis. If you have Temporary Use, you must apply by September 17, 2009 to have that use transitioned to Priority Use. This process will be conducted by your local, issuing forest or district.
New Temporary Use Permits:
The primary benefit for AMGA members under the new directives is the ability to apply for new Temporary Permits:
[Yes, the agency chose to use the same terminology. Temporary Use – as it has related to permittees holding or hoping to secure Priority Use – is going away. A new Temporary Permit has been created.]
The Directives call for each forest/district to create a new “pool” of days against which Temporary Permits will be issued:
Existing Temporary Use:
To apply, you need to send a letter (no form available) to your authorizing officer requesting “Transitional Priority Use” and your desire to have existing use transferred to Priority Use.
A key provision for AMGA under the insurance section of the Directives is the language on contract services. A permittee looking to contract for the services of a guide or outfitter to provide services on the forest with need to name that contractor in their insurance policy OR prove to the FS that the contractor has adequate insurance – covering the proposed activity – and that the insurance indemnifies the US government/lists the US government as an additional insured.
Perhaps the most important question for AMGA members is the ability of a business/permittee to hire contract guides. The intent of the directives and the Forest Service national recreation and Special Uses team is as follows:
To view the directives go to: http://www.fs.fed.us/specialuses/special_outfitting.shtml
You will find four links.
The first is the Federal Register notice explaining the process and the reasoning behind the final language. The next three links – 2709, etc. – contain the actual directives. These are presented as new language to be inserted into the existing FS Handbook on Special Uses.
When we stand on the summit of a mountain, we have the opportunity to contemplate the the daily grind of our lives with more detachment. Everyday obsurdities of existence are often seen with more clarity when we are not directly embroiled in the turbulence. Thus mountaineering can contribute to shifts in the way we live our daily lives. As mountaineers, and more specifically as mountain guides, we should from time to time reverse this process by reviewing our guiding practices, which we use routinely on the mountain, from below to gain more rational perspectives.
SHORT ROPING: Quesitioning the safety of a traditional guiding practice by Gottlieb Braun-Elwert
To download and read the entire article Click Here
Betsy Novak, Executive Director
American Mountain Guides Association
Boulder, CO – With unanimous support from all members of the Union Internationale des Assocations D’Alpinisme (UIAA) Training Standards Working Group and Pierre Humblet, the chair of the Mountaineering Commission, the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is proud to announce that its Single Pitch Instructor Certification Program (SPI) earns the highly respected international training label through the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation.
With the UIAA Training Label, the AMGA is able to prove that their training and assessment method for the SPI program have been independently examined by the UIAA and meets the common international standards for a national training and certification program. This makes it possible for professionals from different countries to recognize each other’s qualifications.
The AMGA SPI Program is the only internationally endorsed certification program in the United States that is recognized by and has met the minimum training standards of the UIAA. Land managers, insurance companies, educational institutions, guide services, and most importantly the general public nationally recognize the AMGA SPI Certification. It is the highest standard attainable for single pitch instructors in the USA.
The AMGA applauds the UIAA Training Standards Working Group, Pierre Humblet, and Steve Long for working with the AMGA for the past three years going through the lengthy review and assessment process of our SPI certification program. The AMGA would also like to thank the American Alpine Club for their continued support of our association. It is a great honor for our organization to receive UIAA recognition for the AMGA’s SPI program.
The American Mountain Guide’s Association (AMGA) is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States. The AMGA is the sole US representative of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA). The SPI program is for current, active rock climbers that have a real desire to teach rock climbing to novices in a single pitch setting. To find a SPI Course or Assessment near you go to the AMGA website, www.amga.com. For more information about the AMGA contact Betsy Novak, Executive Director, at email@example.com
The UIAA was founded in 1932. It started as a European organization, but now all continents are represented with 82 member organizations from 57 different countries. The UIAA is recognized by the International Olympic Committee as the international federation for mountaineering. Since 1964 climbers have been able to look for the UIAA Safety Label when they buy climbing equipment. The label means that products have been tested to the highest standards. Since 2004 the UIAA has also awarded the Environment Label to those who follow UIAA environmental guidelines when organizing activities in the mountains. For more information please visit www.theuia.org
AMGA members (including spouses and kids) and paying clients of AMGA guides are now eligible for personal accident insurance under the AMGA group Outdoor Recreation Insurance (ORI) policy. ORI is specifically designed for snow, mountain and paddle enthusiasts. Our policy provides activity-specific benefits for ambulance and medical expenses (including emergency helicopter ambulance) and also provides a lump sum payment in case of a covered accidental death. Only persons aged 14-64 may enroll.
Interested members and clients must click on the AMGA/ORI web link to enroll and pay the applicable one-time premium. If you access the ORI website from another URL address, the site will not allow you to create an account.
AMGA members will be asked to enter their 5-digit AMGA member ID number. In addition to annual coverage, daily rates have been developed and are available to paying clients of AMGA certified guides. In place of an AMGA member ID number, clients of AMGA guides or guiding services must enter their guide’s 10-digit phone number in the following format: XXX-XXX-XXXX. You may create a single account and enroll multiple clients. Otherwise, please instruct your clients that they may themselves enter the ORI website through the AMGA website and obtain coverage.
A summary is attached in PDF format, which explains how our new ORI coverage augments our existing insurance programs. You may also click through our AMGA/ORI Link and browse the site for additional information.
The North Face
Betsy Novak, Executive Director
American Mountain Guides Association
Salt Lake City, Utah – The North Face, the world’s premier supplier of authentic, innovative and technically advanced outdoor apparel, equipment and footwear, is the 2008 recipient of the American Mountain Guides Association’s (AMGA) Industry Award. AMGA Executive Director Betsy Novak will present the award to The North Face at this year’s Summer Market Outdoor Retailer Show.
The Industry Award is presented annually to an outdoor company that has shown outstanding support through scholarships, products, and sponsorships of professional mountain guides. The North Face has partnered with the AMGA to provide educational support for the past twelve years and became a Diamond Partner in 2004. The North Face is the official sponsor of all AMGA Alpine Guide Certification exams, helping to reduce tuition costs. The North Face provides one full tuition scholarship each year for an AMGA Alpine Guide course or exam. This scholarship provides financial support for mountain guides seeking training and certification in the United States.
“It is a great honor to present this award to The North Face for their significant and ongoing support of professional mountain guides in the United States. This award is a small token of our appreciation to The North Face for their exceptional and long-term partnership with the American Mountain Guides Association.” said Betsy Novak, Executive Director of the AMGA.
The American Mountain Guide’s Association (AMGA) is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States. The AMGA is the sole US representative of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA). For more information please visit www.amga.com.
The The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company's products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains. For more information please visit www.thenorthface.com.
After several months of intense brainstorming by a few members of the AMGA Board of Directors, a new mission statement for the AMGA was presented to the entire board for adoption at the recent June board meeting. By a unanimous vote the following mission statement was approved:
The American Mountain Guide’s Association (AMGA) is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States.
The American Mountain Guides Association offers comments and insights to the officials at the USDA Forest Service in help of the preparation of Proposed Directives for Forest Service Outfitting and Guiding. Attached is a (PDF) of the draft Directives.
Use on land and waters administered by the USDA Forest Service (FS) has historically fallen into three categories:
The Proposed Directives:
The key element in the FS proposal is the division of commercial use into two categories: Priority use and Temporary Use.
Core elements of the Temporary Use category include:
The AMGA strongly supports Accountable Group Use and Streamlined Access. Under the Streamlined Access draft Directives, the AMGA supports:
The AMGA offers recommendations and insights on the following topics regarding this draft Directives:
The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is pleased to announce that Petzl America has joined the AMGA as its newest Diamond Level Partner.
As the Official Headlamp Sponsor of the AMGA, Petzl America will help keep dark nights in the mountain alight by providing headlamps to core members of the AMGA Instructor Team and to select Certified Guides. In addition to the headlamp provisions, Petzl will offer a one full-tuition scholarship to an AMGA member per year. "As a Diamond Partner, we will actively participate in promoting the highest standards of professional guiding through education and certification," says Mark Givens, Sports Division Manager for Petzl America.
Petzl's core values of safety, education, and innovation are consistent with the AMGA mission and the fact that Petzl has been supporting the AMGA since 1990 shows their level of commitment to the guiding profession in the United States. "We are very excited to name Petzl the Official Headlamp Sponsor of the AMGA. We hope that other companies will see Petzl's proactive approach as an opportunity to support working guides and instructors," says Betsy Novak, Executive Director of the AMGA.
Petzl has joined the AMGA as one of eight Diamond level Partners.. A large percentage of the Diamond level partnership funds go directly to AMGA members in the form of subsidized exams and full tuition scholarships.
Petzl America is the U.S. division of Petzl, headquartered in France. For over 50 years, Petzl has been developing innovative tools and techniques used by those entering the vertical world. Today, the Petzl brand is closely associated with adventure, exploration, rescue, and many notable exploits in the worlds of rock climbing and alpinism. Petzl climbing hardware and headlamps can be found in outdoor specialty shops and premium sporting goods retailers around the world. For more information, log on to www.petzl.com.
The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is an educational non-profit organization that supports the climbing and alpine community by training climbing instructors, skiing instructors and mountain guides. Using internationally accepted standards, the AMGA provides certification and accreditation to enhance the quality of services available to the public, while serving as a resource for accessing and protecting the natural environment. For more information please visit www.amga.com.
Please welcome New Partners to the AMGA The AMGA continues to grow our Corporate Partner Program and after meeting with current and potential partners at this winter's Outdoor Retailer Trade Show we would like to thank our core partners for their continued support and welcome on board new partners for 2008.
Petzl America signed on as the newest Diamond Partner of the AMGA and will become the official headlamp sponsor of our organization. Our Diamond Partners are committed to making a difference in the AMGA mission and the impact of its certified guides throughout the world. Diamond Partners contribute at least $10,000 each year and might sponsor courses and exams for an entire calendar year in a specific discipline, create a scholarship program in their company's name, or provide essential gear for the Instructor Team and programs by becoming a proud product sponsor of the AMGA.
Montrail came back on board for 2008 as a Benefactor Partner increasing their annual contribution to include one full-tuition scholarship open to candidates enrolled in any Rock or Alpine Program. Our Benefactors play a vital role in AMGA's continuing success by contributing at least $3,000 each year to our scholarship programs or extending our education, training, and certification activities. The AMGA counts on the critical mass of its Benefactor partners to enhance AMGA activities throughout the world.
Five Ten, Trango and Security National Insurance raised the bar by becoming Patron Partners of the AMGA. Our Patrons contribute at least $1,500 each year to support AMGA initiatives across a wide range of activities.
Atlas Snow-shoe Co., Kahru and Life Link have signed on as Supporting Partners of the AMGA. Becoming a Supporting Partner is a great way for individuals and companies alike to make a difference for the guiding community, Supporters contribute at least $500 each year to sustain AMGA's activities and programs.
We would like to give a warm welcome to all new AMGA Partners as well as a big thanks to all our current AMGA Partners. We could not do what we do without your support and generosity....!
An only child, Bela’s formative childhood years were spent exploring the Sierra with his father, Bela, and mother, Eva.
“My family immigrated when I was three and I grew up in San Francisco and I had a really good opportunity with my parents to visit the Sierra — a lot. … In 1959, I pretty much started skiing and backpacking and peak bagging with my parents, and so I just got that deep-rooted love for the Sierra.”
Around this time, the backpacking boom of the ‘60s was getting underway. A young Bela was able to tag along on harder core trips with his dad’s Austrian friends, who shared a lot of their mountain savvy with him. “They inspired me tremendously,” he recalls.
Common destinations included the Tuolumne Meadows high country, Cathedral Peak and Mt. Lyell in Yosemite.
“We’d do like an 1l-day trip from Tioga Pass to Devil’s Postpile by Mammoth,” Bela remembers. “When I got a little older, about 10, we’d do a lot of peak ascents along the way – Class 2 (off-trail scrambling), Class 3 peaks (hand/foot holds needed), until we had to turn back … We didn’t know how to use a rope, didn’t have a rope.”
During the 2007 Annual Meeting the Board of Directors elected to create individual logos for each certification category. These logos are in the final design stage and will be available soon to our certified members. Along with the new logos, the Board of Directors also decided to adopt a licensing agreement stipulating how the logos are to be used. The logo use policy can be found here.
When requesting a logo for a discipline you are certified in, you must first submit a signed copy of the licensing agreement which will be available soon as a PDF on the website. Once the office receives your request for a logo and a signed licensing agreement, the ofice will send you a a JPEG copy of the logo.
As mentioned before both the logos and the licensing agreement will be available soon. Please contact the office if you have any questions and/or comments.
As active members of the AMGA community it is important for all of use to be up-to-date on the latest changes taking place within our organization. In an effort to constantly improve, the Board of Directors in cooperation with the Technical Committee adopted a new Code of Ethics and instituted a set of Disciplinary Procedures. These steps are intended to raise the professionalism of our organization.
Please take a moment to look over these two documents. They can be found at, Code of Ethics(http://amga.com/about/code_of_ethics.php) and Disciplinary Procedure (http://amga.com/about/disciplinary_procedure.php).
The AMGA 2007 Annual Meeting in Yosemite, CA was a huge success! We had a great turnout ~ lots of good climbing, good food and good people. The atmosphere was productive and fun. It seemed that people enjoyed themselves and were genuinely excited to be there. The Professional Development Clinics went smoothly and the AMGA raised over $4,000 with the Silent Auction and Raffle. Overall the event was great and it would not have been possible without the help of a lot of folks.
First, we would like to thank our Title Sponsor, Patagonia and Opening Night Sponsor, Marmot. A big thanks goes out to OR, Arc'Teryx, Black Diamond, Gore, Brooks-Range, The North Face, Petzl, and Mammut .... we could not have done it without your support.
Also, we would like to thank Kyle and Cindy Lefkoff for their contribution to the this years meeting as well as their continued support of the AMGA.
Many thanks go out to Sara and Dave Bengston & Yosemite Mountaineering School for all their help and support in organizing this year's annual meeting and BOD dinner.
We were delighted that Lynn Hill was able to be the Presenter at 2007 meeting. Lynn presented a phenomenal slide show, Rocks Around the World ~ Tour and Technique, at our Main Event. Lynn's feats in Yosemite are legendary as well as her entire climbing history. It was a true pleasure having her join us in the Valley.
Thanks to Doug Nidever and his crew for organizing another incredible Guide Olympics.....I had the opportunity to participate and it was a definite highlight in my week.
Also, were would we have been without the gracious beer donations from New Belgium Brewery and Sierra Neveda. Cheers to you!
John Bicknell, Margaret Wheeler, Angela Hawse, Rob Hess, Phil Powers, John Race, Jim Williams, Keith Garvey, Pete Takeda, Jim Pearson, John Winsor, Peter Gould, Adam Fox, Dale Remsberg, Evan Stevens….We would also like to welcome Angela Hawse as the new AMGA Vice President.
Maury McKinney, Matt Brooks, Clint Cook, Dave Bengston, and Alan Jolley.
This years Award recipients were honored and celebrated at the Annual Meeting with a great turnout in a most inspiring venue, Yosemite National Park. The Lifetime Achievement in Guiding Award went to George Hurley for his 50+years career as a mountain guide. He is one of the few who has put more first ascents than anyone and has more loving clients around the USA than most will ever dream of….he’s an inspiration for all of us other guides and climbers.
The Outstanding Guide of the Year Award went to Rob Hess, an owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, AMGA Technical Director and IFMGA Certified Guide. As Technical Director and AMGA Director, in the 2006-7 season, Rob impressively lead the implementation of the AMGA's Training and Certification Program restructure. He did this with speed and urgency and with this, has left a legacy for all present and future American guides. This restructure will greatly benefit all candidates who aspire to become professional guides in the industry.
The President’s Award honored Peter Absolon, the NOLS Rocky Mountain director and former AMGA board member, in recognition of his guiding, climbing skills and love of the mountains. Peter died Saturday, August. 10, 2007 in a rock-fall accident at the Leg Lake Cirque in the Wind River Range. Peter was a passionate climber and will be dearly missed.
Gentleman of Leisure - Evan Stevens, Joe Vallone, Amos Whiting.