Remembering Kyle Mattingly

Kyle Mattingly

By John MacKinnon, AMGA Ski Guide I first met Kyle in the summer of 2007. He had recently relocated to Crested Butte from Lake City, Colo. He arrived in a whirlwind of long curly orange hair and mostly said “Hey Man!” to me as our paths crossed on Elk Avenue. One of my very first […]

Beacon Overload: Making Sense of Transceiver Multiple-Burial Functions


Photos, diagrams, & text by Bruce Edgerly “What happens if I press this button over here?” “How come this icon just disappeared for no reason?” “Why do I keep coming back to this victim that I already marked?” If you’re an avalanche instructor, rescue trainer, or just plain old beacon user, you’ve probably been at […]

7 signs that you’re working too hard

Do you run into any of these seven challenges running your business? A mountain guide service faces a few unique situations—mountain aside—that demand extra effort to keep the business on track. If any of these challenges do ring a bell (or an alarm), it might be time for you to give your business a kick […]

Annual Meeting: Arc’teryx-sponsored AMGA Round Table Meeting

Photo by Karsten Delap

By AMGA Staff (Updated 11/19/2014: For detailed minutes of the event, please check out the PDF link in the last paragraph.) More than 100 people showed up for the 2014 Arc’teryx sponsored AMGA round table, the 2nd night of the Annual Meeting. Unique in the series of round table discussions, guides and aspiring guides had […]

The Adidas Sky Climb Jacket: Made for the Mountains

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American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide Jonathon Spitzer recently tested the Adidas Sky Climb Jacket while guiding multi-pitch rock in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and for personal climbing adventures elsewhere in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah. He found the jacket to be extremely durable, as well as highly water repellent, breathable, and functional for guiding. AMGA: What […]

Pinned: Mark Smiley on Becoming Fully Certified

Mark Smiley becomes an American Mountain Guide

Congratulations Mark Smiley! He took eight years to become an American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide, starting spring of 2006 and finishing spring 2014. We asked Smiley a few questions about his journey. AMGA: What was the process like for you? Mark Smiley: It was long and frustrating at times. It feels really good to be finished […]

Annual Board Meeting Highlights-Membership Update, Hess New President

Sunday, November 2, 2014 TO: AMGA Membership FROM: AMGA Leadership RE: AMGA MEMBERSHIP UPDATE – Annual Meeting Conclusion AMGA Membership: The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit that inspires and supports a culture of American mountain craft, concluded its Annual Meeting on Sunday, October 26, 2014. The AMGA is the premier source […]

Art Mooney & Mark Houston Win 2014 AMGA Awards

During our Annual Meeting, at the Main Event, we announced the 2014 recipients for the AMGA Awards. Mark Houston received the Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award and Art Mooney received the Outstanding Guide Award. Congratulations to the both of them! Neither could make the event, so they were kind enough to send videos of their […]

How to navigate the wilderness with a lawyer & insurance policy

Don Pachner wilderness insurance presentation

Need to understand insurance provisions in contracts for guiding in the wilderness? Download Don Pachner’s Annual Meeting presentation: AMGA Ins Provisions in Contracts 2014 What you will take away from this class: Recognize and understand the basic insurance requirements found in many contracts, agreements, licenses, and permits; Understand how to negotiate insurance requirements of your contracts, […]

Insuring Foreign Operations of Guides & Guide Services

Don Pachner's Annual Meeting presentation.

For those of you who are interested, you can download Don Pachner’s October 23 presentation during the Annual Meeting: AMGA Insuring Foreign Operations 2014 from These are the take aways from this class: Recognize and understand insurance considerations when guiding outside the U.S. Understand what practices and procedures you need to draft and implement before insuring foreign operations. What […]