Alpine Guide Course
The Alpine Guide Course is the 2nd step in the alpine guide education and certification process and places strong emphasis on hands-on approach to the mechanics of guiding on alpine terrain. All candidates enrolled in the Alpine Guide Course must have first successfully completed the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.
The course area often includes but is not limited to non-glaciated, alpine terrain in the Rocky Mountains and the North Cascades.
The Alpine Guide Course is 10-days in length.
Prerequisites for Alpine Guide Course:
- You are an Associate Member of the AMGA.
- You have successfully completed the Rock Instructor Course. Please provide documentation of course completion on program application.
- You have at least 5 years of alpine climbing experience.
- Provide personal alpine climbing showing each of the following:
- You have led or shared lead on at least 40 different alpine climbs in at least 2 different areas (i.e. Cascades and Alaska).
- 10 of which should be on alpine rock routes rated 5.8 or harder and grade III or longer after the approach.
- 10 of which should be on different alpine technical snow, ice or mixed climbs.
- 5 of which should be on different ice climbs rated WI4 or harder.
- You are confident with basic knots, including: figure-8, bowline, clove hitch, munter hitch, mule hitch, prussik, klemheist, and double fisherman’s.
- You are able to place traditional protection and construct anchors
- You are able to employ Classic (French) crampon techniques on 40 degree hard, frozen, snow in ascent and descent.
- You are able to safely and comfortably lead crack and face climbs rated 5.6 in stiff mountaineering boots.
- You are able to safely and comfortably lead crack and face climbs rated 5.10a in rock shoes.
- You are comfortable using the hip belay method.
- You are competent reading a map and using a compass.
- You are familiar with Leave No Trace practices and techniques
- You are able to use more than one type of device on multi-pitch rappels.
- Provide a copy of current Wilderness First Responder certification or better.
Skills taught and developed during the Alpine Guide Course:
- Efficient travel through 3rd and 4th class terrain
- Short-rope and short-pitch techniques on snow and rock
- Techniques for managing multiple clients
- Track setting Navigation skills
- Macro and micro-route finding skills
- Evaluating anchor construction as it relates to guiding
- Choosing appropriate belay methods for rock and snow
- Efficiently organizing belay stances for multiple clients
- Descending with clients
- Escaping belays
- Managing client safety in 3rd and 4th class terrain
- Guide’s anchors in rock, snow and ice
- Time and pace management
- Small team rescues
- Improvised ascending methods
- Strategies for rappelling and lowering clients
- Safety management in guiding context
- Lesson plans
- Coaching tips and effective communication