The Advanced Alpine Guide Course is the 3rd step in the alpine guiding education and certification process. The Advanced Alpine Guide Course is designed for skilled climbers who wish to further develop their skills and techniques used while instructing and guiding in a glaciated alpine setting. The course covers the tools used when guiding and instructing on routes up to and including Grade V in length. It also covers management of 3rd and 4th class terrain, technical descents, management and movement of multiple clients and small team rescue skills. Emphasis is on effectively managing risks and maximizing client rewards.
All candidates must have successfully completed the Rock Instructor Course and the Alpine Guide Course in order to be considered for enrollment into the Advanced Alpine Guide Course.
The course is held in major glaciated, alpine ranges including, but not limited to, the North Cascades, the Bugaboos, European Alps, Canadian Ice Fields and alpine ranges of Alaska.
The Advanced Alpine Guide Course and Aspirant Exam is 12-days in length. The final 3-days of the course will be the aspirant exam.
The Aspirant Guide Program is designed to serve as an intermediate step in the process of becoming a certified guide. The Aspirant Exam occurs as an integral part of the AMGA advanced level courses and is specific to the discipline of the course. It is intended to help determine that a candidate’s guiding skills meet the minimum standards appropriate for guiding and serves as preparation for the final certification exam. The standard for the Aspirant Guide Exam is at a level appropriate for guiding clients professionally with only indirect supervision. Furthermore, the essential skills and abilities of the Aspirant Guide need to be comparable to those of a full guide. The Advanced Alpine Guide Course will be divided into two components:
During the Advanced Alpine Guide Course candidates will be expected to carry out guiding assignments given by the course instructors. The majority of course time is spent with students leading ascents and descents in complex alpine environments. Candidates will serve as guides to the instructors and other course participants. During the 3-day Alpine Aspirant Exam candidates will be assessed and examined on their ability to perform specific objectives on terrain and in conditions appropriate to the alpine discipline. The Advanced Alpine Guide Course is now pass/fail in nature.
Skills that are a prerequisite to enrollment of the course will be assessed during the first few days of the course. If candidate does not perform at the required level for course entry they will be dropped from the advanced course at that time and will be required to retake the entire course at a later date. Skills that are an integral part of the course curriculum will be examined at the exam certification level towards the end of the course, after the candidate has had opportunity to practice them. If a candidate demonstrates acceptable performance on any of the assessment drills early in the course they can be checked off as “Pass”.
Many thanks to First Ascent for their sponsorship of the Advanced Alpine Guide Course/AE.