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Memorial Funds

The AMGA works with families and private contributors to establish funds that perpetuate the memories of our fallen comrades. If you would like to support one of the listed memorial funds, or would like to learn more about establishing an endowment, please contact Betsy Winter at betsy@amga.com.

Christine-BoskoffChristine Boskoff Memorial Fund

On December 4, 2006 Christine Boskoff, owner of Mountain Madness, American Mountain Guides Association member and her climbing partner, Charlie Fowler, were scheduled to return from a personal climbing adventure on Genyn Peak in the Sichuan Province of China. Unfortunately, they were apparently swept to their death by an avalanche high on the peak.

The AMGA has set up an endowment fund to honor Christine and promote women taking AMGA programs. The endowment will be used to create a women’s scholarship or scholarships for all AMGA programs. Her success as a climber and guide service owner inspired many and we are honored to continue this inspiration in her name.

Julie Cheney Culberson Education Fund

The quintessential mountain guide, Julie Culberson was adept on rock, snow, ice, and at high altitude. She safely guided numerous clients up the highest peaks on several continents. Even with her nearly perfect record of success, perhaps her most distinguishing characteristic as a guide was her enormous capacity for client care. Julie was strong, compassionate, and loved sharing the mountains with people.

This fund has been established in her memory to help support and promote the mountain awareness and guiding education of women guides and aspiring women guides.

Scott-FischerScott Fischer Memorial Fund

Scott Fischer died in the 1996 Everest Tragedy and was the owner of Mountain Madness. In honor of Scott, his friends have established a memorial fund in his name through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). The intent of this fund is to support candidates taking training and certification programs through the AMGA.

Charlie-FowlerCharlie Fowler Memorial Fund

On December 4, 2006 Christine Boskoff, owner of Mountain Madness, American Mountain Guides Association member and her climbing partner, Charlie Fowler, were scheduled to return from a personal climbing adventure on Genyn Peak in the Sichuan Province of China. Unfortunately, they were apparently swept to their death by an avalanche high in the peak.

Charlie served as an AMGA examiner in the Rock discipline and was a true inspiration as a climber. The Charlie Fowler Memorial Fund has been created as a way to honor him and his family and in remembrance of his dedication to the guiding and outdoor community. The intent of this fund is to support candidates taking training and certification programs through the AMGA.

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Friends of Rick Gaukel Everywhere (F.O.R.G.E) Memorial Fund

Rick was a true educator at heart. He loved the energy and feeling that he would get from really pushing his mind and body to the limits. Rick could easily dispel tension or stress in any uncomfortable situation with his humor, wit and humility. He could philosophize about anything, while being vulnerable with his emotions, struggles and growth. His openness and lighthearted nature put people at ease and created a safe space for sharing deeply about anything and everything. Rick’s friends and family have created this scholarship to support people who embody Rick’s passions and qualities and who aspire to become an AMGA splitboard guide. The recipient of the scholarship will receive full-tuition to the ski program.

 

Craig-LuebbenCraig Luebben Memorial Fund

Craig was deeply dedicated to education. From formal guiding, instructional books, and classes to informal tips at the crag, countless hours teaching family and friends, and philosophizing over a beer, Craig spent his live expanding the perspectives of those around him.

For the past 18 years Craig has been a part of the American Mountain Guides Association starting in 1991 when he became an AMGA Certified Rock Guide. In 1998-2004 he served on the AMGA Board of Directors where he lobbied hard and tirelessly to raise the standards for American Mountain Guides. The AMGA was fortunate to have Craig join the Instructor Pool in 2001 where he influenced the lives hundreds of aspiring guides.

Craig was a climbing pioneer who achieved first ascents on rock and ice in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, West Virginia, Canada, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Cayman Brac, Mona Island, France, China, Italy and Madagascar. He was the master of forbidding off-widths and helped revolutionize climbing by designing the Big Bro expandable tube chock. Craig authored a handful of featured articles, gear reviews, and technique pieces. He has written several instructional climbing books that have helped change the lives of many aspiring and highly experienced climbers. Craig influenced American climbers in so many ways. Craig’s passing is a tremendous loss to the AMGA community and the climbing world in general.

To honor Craig and his family, and in remembrance of his dedication to the guiding community, the AMGA has set up a scholarship fund in his name. The intent of this fund is to support candidates taking training and certification programs through the AMGA.

Doug Parker and Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Fund

Americans Doug Parker and Brit Roger Baxter-Jones were committed mountain guides, who both died at a young age in the mountains. Doug guided in Wind River Mountains for the Skinner Brothers, Pinedale, Wyo. He had quiet strength, subtle humor, and infectious love of the mountain life.

An early pioneer in Himalayan alpine style ascents of 8,000-meter mountains and a guide in Chamonix, Roger earned the tagline: “All the way with RBJ.” Roger was modest, thoughtful, and jovial, and he loved sharing the mountain experience with others.

Established by friends and family of Doug and Roger, this scholarship honors their memory and is open to a qualified guide who is enrolled in one of the following exams:

  •     Rock Instructor Exam
  •     Rock Guide Exam
  •     Alpine Guide Exam
  •     Ski Mountaineering Guide Exam only if it is the last exam for IFMGA certification
Jim-RatzJim Ratz Memorial Fund

Jim Ratz died in a climbing accident in Sinks Canyon on May 4, 2005 at the age of 52. Jim was an avid climber and enthusiastic supporter of the AMGA and its mission. He served on the AMGA Board of Directors beginning in 2000 and was the current Vice President at the time of his passing.

Ratz had a lifelong love affair with outdoor education and subsequently inspired many guides across the country. His vision for guiding in America incorporated his love of the mountains and passion for making a living while preserving these same mountains. In his honor, this grant has been established to help support guides who are finishing their IFMGA certification. The scholarship offers partial support for a guide who is enrolled in an AMGA exam that is the final stage of one’s IFMGA/AMGA training.

Chad-VanderHamThe Chad VanderHam Memorial Fund

In honor of Chad, his family and friends have established a memorial fund in his name through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). The intent of this fund is to support future aspiring ski guides pursuing training and certification in the ski discipline through the AMGA. The goal is to establish the necessary funds to support a perpetual scholarship for ski guide training.

Chad died in a skiing accident in La Grave, France on April 3, 2006 at the age of 32. Chad was an avid skier who found a second home in the European Alps. While in France, Doug Coombs became a close friend and mentor to Chad and soon he honed his skills for ski mountaineering and guiding. On March 11, 2006, Chad realized a dream and achieved his AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide Certification and Aspirant Status.