What We Do

The AMGA’s founders were hardcore climbers and skiers who understood the outdoor culture thoroughly. They realized the soul of these sports didn’t have to be compromised by organization. Organization could instead serve to bring the community together in a revolutionary way. It could provide mountain guides with resources, services, and credentials to boost their careers, but also with connections to each other and to the larger community of guides and clients across the country and around the globe. These are the ways we lead and promote the guiding community:

AMGA Programs: Courses & Certifications

The AMGA maintains the high standards of professionalism expected in American guiding and climbing instruction. We offer more than 300 internationally recognized training course, exams, and certifications designed to certify individual guides and climbing instructors and accredit climbing and skiing services. In 2012, 1,000+ students took a course through the AMGA’s 250+ climbing instructor programs, and 250 students took the 30+ guide track programs.

  • The Guide Program certifies alpine, rock, and ski mountaineering guides;
  • The Climbing Instructor Program certifies rock, climbing wall, and single pitch instructors;
  • The Accreditation Program endorses guide services or other organizations that offer climbing instruction, guided climbing, or ski services.

The AMGA’s 3100 members are a team of guides and professionals who share similar goals and together shape the future of guiding. As an organization, the collective voice of the profession is strengthened and the momentum of the craft accelerated. Clients, land managers, and outdoor industry leaders look to the AMGA for excellence, support, and viable solutions.


The AMGA and its guides are a resource for land managers. Our promotion of credential-based access ensures that public safety, resource protection, and the Leave No Trace ethic are always at the forefront. Our goals are to:

  • Preserve existing venues and obtain new access for AMGA programs.
  • Preserve existing guiding access across the United States.
  • Open new opportunities for access for certified guides and accredited businesses.
  • Facilitate opportunities for international IFMGA guides to guide in the United States.