By Henry Beyer, Program Director
Each year the ranks of AMGA Certified Guides grows. Students have earned an average of 50 Guide Track certifications per year over the past four years. And this year we expect that trend to continue. In fact, a few members have already earned certifications in the Alpine, Rock, and Ski disciplines since just before Christmas of 2013.
Chad Mickschl became the most recent AMGA Ski Guide by successfully completing a re-exam at the end of December. Mike Abbey successfully completed the Ice Instructor Course in January to earn his Alpine Guide certification. And Ryan Hammes and Justin Moynihan both earned their Rock Instructor certification in January.
The path to certification is challenging and often fraught with unexpected interruptions and hurdles. Ask any one of the roughly 350 AMGA members who hold a Guide Track certification, and they will likely tell you a tale of some misadventure or obstacle they overcame in order to earn certification. This is a good thing to remember for those of you who are on the path towards certification. Despite setbacks, certification is an obtainable goal.
A crucial skill for all guides to master is the ability to error correct. This not only pertains to a day of guiding, it also holds true during the process of becoming a certified guide. There are any number of situations that must be “error corrected” along the way to certification; injuries, family emergencies, insufficient funds, and not passing an exam are just a few I can think of. All of these may extend the time it takes to earn certification, but not one of them will keep you from it if you want it badly enough. So I urge you to enjoy the process, squeeze everything you can out of it, because if you do you will one day too be an AMGA Certified Guide.