Ice Instructor Course
The Ice Instructor Course is a fundamental component of the alpine guide education and certification process and places strong emphasis on the tools used to guide and instruct ice routes up to grade 3 in length and the management of ice instruction areas. All candidates enrolled in the Ice Instructor Course must have first successfully completed the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.
For information on if and when you need to take the Ice Instructor Course Click Here.
The course area often includes, but is not limited to, non-glaciated, alpine and ice terrain in the Rocky Mountains, Canada and the north east.
The Ice Instructor Course is 5-days in length.
Prerequisites for Ice Instructor 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 4 years of ice climbing experience.
- Provide personal ice climbing showing each of the following:
- You have led or shared lead on at least 20 different waterfall ice climbs.
- 10 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 ice protection including all styles of ice screws. This may include traditional rock protection, including pitons.
- 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 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 Ice instructor 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