The Ski Mountaineering Guide Course is the 2nd step in the ski mountaineering guide education and certification process. The Ski Mountaineering Course is designed for skilled skiers and climbers who wish to learn the skills and techniques used while instructing and guiding on complex glacial terrain. The course covers the tools used when guiding and instructing on glacial alpine routes. It also covers management of 3rd and 4th class terrain, technical descents, management and movement of multiple clients, and small team rescues. Emphasis is placed on effectively managing risks and maximizing client rewards.
All candidates must have successfully completed the Ski Guide Course in order to be considered for enrollment into the Ski Mountaineering Guide Course.
The course will include multi-day ski tours and peak ascents. The course areas include, but are not limited to, the Cascades, European Alps and the Chugach Range of Alaska.
The Ski Mountaineering 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 whether or not 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.
During the Ski Mountaineering 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 ski mountaineering environments. Candidates will serve as guides to the instructors and other course participants. During the 3-day Ski Mountaineering Guide Aspirant Exam candidates will be assessed and examined at the certification exam level on their ability to perform specific objectives on terrain and in conditions appropriate to the ski mountaineering discipline.
The Ski Mountaineering 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”.