When certification is an integral part of, or basis for, obtaining a permit to guide, AMGA certified guides are required to operate only within the confines of the type of certification and terrain limitations applicable to their type and level of certification.
There currently exist a number of ways in which guides can legally access terrain to practice their profession. These include; working as either an employee or subcontractor for a guide service which holds a permit to operate commercially on public lands; or, individual guides holding permits, either granted to them on the basis of their certification, or on some other basis; and last, where permits are not required.
In all cases where permits are issued to guide commercially, these permits are granted on a basis in which the individual guide’s AMGA certification either is, or is not, an integral requirement for the granting of that particular permit. In some areas, Joshua Tree National Park, for example, guides may gain permits by either working for an AMGA accredited guide service, or by being AMGA certified.
This section outlines the type of terrain on which an AMGA Certified Guide is allowed to guide, when that guide’s certification is an integral requirement for obtaining a permit. AMGA guides are allowed to work outside of these limitations when their certification is not an integral requirement for acquiring a permit.
As a member of the IFMGA, the AMGA is expected to support the policies of the IFMGA as detailed in the IFMGA Platform and by IFMGA member associations.
Many IFMGA associations (but not all) allow Aspirant level guides to guide under the direct supervision of an IFMGA Mountain Guide. The AMGA defines Aspirant level as having passed the Alpine, Rock and Ski Mountaineering Guide Aspirant Exams.
Guides who violate these guidelines may be subject to a review, and may be disciplined by the AMGA.
The SPI will be able to proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting. For the purpose of the SPI Program a single pitch climb is one which:
The SPI Program does not cover multipitch guiding. These skills are taught in the AMGA Rock Instructor Course. SPI’s that guide clients in multipitch terrain would be guiding outside of their terrain guidelines.
Rock Instructor Certification is designed to apply to most “cragging” rock climbing areas in the US, such as Joshua Tree, Eldorado State Park, or Cannon Cliff. Approaches and descents are generally straightforward, climbs are not in a remote setting, routes are generally short and do not involve technical snow, glaciated terrain or significant short roping in either the approach, the climb or the descent.
Certified Rock Instructors are permitted to conduct their profession on all rock routes which:
Rock Guide certification is designed to apply to all Rock Instructor terrain, but also includes climbs of much greater length, including big wall and aid climbs, and climbs on which significant short roping is appropriate for the safeguarding of clients on either approaches or descents. Rock Guide certification is not, however, applicable to terrain, which is alpine in nature, that is, remote, or involves technical snow or technical glaciated or icy terrain.
Certified Rock Guides are permitted to conduct their profession on all rock routes which:
Alpine terrain includes glaciated and non-glaciated peaks, approaches and climbs, with no limitation with respect to season and elevation. It includes rock climbs, peak ascents, waterfall climbs and expeditionary climbing.
Alpine guides are allowed to conduct their profession on all alpine and rock terrains which:
YDS Grade V or longer rock routes in alpine settings are allowed to AMGA guides who hold both Alpine and Rock Guide Certification.
AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide certification is designed for guiding either ski tours or ski ascents/descents, on nordic, alpine touring or snow board equipment.
Ski Mountaineering Guides are permitted to conduct their profession on all terrains which:
IFMGA Mountain Guide status is awarded to guides certified as Rock Guide, Alpine, and Ski Mountaineering guides. IFMGA Mountain Guides can guide on any climbing or skiing terrain without limitation.