The Rock Guide Course and Aspirant Exam is the 2nd step in the rock guiding education and certification process. The Rock Guide Course is designed to include all Rock Guide level terrain as well as climbs of much greater length including, but not limited to, big wall and aid climbs, and climbs where significant short roping is necessary to safeguard clients on approaches and/or descents. The Rock Guide Course covers the tools used when guiding and instructing multiple clients on longer routes up to Grade V in length. It also covers management of 3rd and 4th class terrain, technical descents, simultaneous multi-client belaying, lowering and rappelling, management of transitions, and short roping and short pitching techniques. Emphasis is placed on effectively managing risks and maximizing client rewards.
All candidates must have successfully completed the Rock Instructor Course in order to be considered for enrollment into the Rock Guide Course.
The Rock Guide Course trains guides in a broad range of skills essential to guiding in a variety of rock environments, including areas with long and complex routes. Course areas include but are not limited to, Red Rocks National Conservation Area, Black Canyon National Park, and Eldorado Canyon State Park.
The Rock Guide Course and Aspirant Exam is 10-days in length.
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 personal 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.
During the Advanced Rock 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 rock environments. Candidates will serve as guides to the instructors and other course participants. During the 3-day Rock Aspirant Exam candidates will be assessed and examined on their ability to perform specific objectives on terrain and in conditions appropriate to the rock discipline.
The Rock 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 a 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”.