Alpine Guide Exam
The goals of the 10-day Alpine Guide Certification Exam are to assess alpine climbing guides at the AMGA and IFMGA international standards and to further the general education of the exam candidates.
During the exam candidates will be expected to carry out guiding assignments given by the examiners. Candidates will serve as guides to the examiners and to the other candidates on routes chosen for their complex guiding challenges. Candidates acting as a guide will be responsible for: route planning, client orientation, camp craft, risk management and normal guiding practices. Route or tour assignments will usually be given the night before. Client profiles will also be explained. Candidates will be responsible for obtaining information regarding the assigned route and alternative routes if the original objective proves infeasible.
The first 9 days of the exam are conducted on routes chosen by the examiners. Alpine terrain includes glaciated and non-glaciated peaks, approaches and climbs, with no limitation. It includes rock climbs, peak ascents, and waterfall climbs. The final day of the exam will include a personal debrief and exam evaluation.
In order to receive AMGA certification as an Alpine Guide you must:
- successfully complete the 10-day Rock Instructor Course
- successfully complete the 10-day Alpine Guide Course
- successfully complete and pass the 10-day Advanced Alpine Guide Course and Aspirant Exam
- Pass the 10-day Alpine Guide Certification Exam
Prerequisites for Alpine Guide Certification Exam:
- You are a current Individual Member of the AMGA.
- You have successfully completed the Advanced Alpine Guide Course, which requires that you have passed the Aspirant Exam.
- Please provide documentation of course completion on program application.
- Provide documentation of completed recommendations from Advanced Alpine Guide Course evaluation.
- Provide an updated alpine climbing resume showing each of the following:
- Since completing the Advanced Alpine Guide Course you have mock guided/guided 10 days in diverse alpine terrain.
- Since completing the Advanced Alpine Guide Course you have led or shared lead on at least 5 different alpine routes. You have led or shared lead on at least 5 alpine routes rated grade IV or longer.
- You have led or shared lead on at least 10 traditional rock climbs rated 5.10 or harder
- That you have led or shared lead on 10 traditional rock climbs rated 5.10 or harder.
- You have a current Wilderness First Responder certification or better.
- You have completed an AAI Level III, AIARE Level III, or CAAT Level II avalanche course.
An AMGA Certified Alpine Guide should be able to:
- On-sight guide 2 clients at a 5.10a level up to grade V in an alpine rock environment in rock shoes.
- Move efficiently and quickly with 2 clients in alpine terrain by transitioning between short-roping and short-pitching techniques.
- Climb traditional and sport protected climbs at a 5.10 level fluidly and comfortably.
- Climb Waterfall Ice 4 fluidly and comfortably.
- Move over 4th class and easy 5th class terrain fluidly and comfortably in mountain boots.
- Ability to comfortably employ Classic (French) crampon and ice axe techniques on terrain up to 50 degrees.
- Demonstrate a mastery of short roping and transitions in technically demanding terrain.
- Demonstrate a good knowledge of industry standards for equipment. Implement improvised rescue in vertical terrain.
- Demonstrate a good understanding of avalanche terrain and management techniques.
- Apply the appropriate guiding assessment, assessing potential hazards, and managing risk to an appropriate level.
- Show a complete understanding and practice of Leave No Trace techniques.
Many thanks to The North Face for their sponsorship of the Alpine Guide Exam.