2013 AMGA Award Winners

The American Mountain Guides Association is proud to announce its’ 2013 Award Recipients:

The Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award: Kathy Cosley

An AMGA member since 1986, Kathy received her B.A. in French Language and Literature in 1985. 1987 and 1988 were busy years for Kathy, not only did she complete her Master’s degree in Romance Linguistics from the University of Washington, but she also became the first American woman to climb both the Eiger’s North Face and Patagonia’s Cerro Torre. After a year of teaching French and Spanish, she decided to devote her energies to making guiding her life’s career. She has been guiding full time, on her own, and with her guiding partner Mark Houston, as well as many other others, since 1989. Kathy received her AMGA Rock Guide’s certification in 1990, and her Alpine Guide’s certification in 1991. Kathy was the first guide, of any sex, to be both Alpine and Rock certified by the AMGA. And in 1998, after receiving her Ski Mountaineering Guide certification, Kathy became the 1st american women to become IFMGA. Kathy has also served proudly on the AMGA board.

Criteria for Award: The Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award recognizes and honors outstanding Americans, who, by their efforts over a period of years, have made contributions of significant value to the mountain guiding profession. Their extraordinary dedication reflects highest credit upon themselves, the AMGA and the United States of America.

Outstanding Guide Award: Joey Thompson

An exemplary guide, Joey’s has spent the decade chipping away at his full certification for Alpine and Rock courses. His commitment to the guiding craft, along with his passion to learn makes Joey an ideal AMGA member, and a mentor to future guides. Born in Cheektowaga, New York but quickly migrated west to bigger terrain. In his youth, Joey climbed and skied the country looking for the next big adventure. He spent years honing his craft in Yosemite, Moab, Valdez, Red Rocks, and put up numerous first ascents in the Arizona desert. When he grew tired of living in his pickup truck, he trained hard and became a member of ski patrol in Summit County, Colorado. In July 2002, Joey began training with the American Mountain Guides Association, and has never has never looked back. Next year Joey aims to receive his IFMGA pin after completing his Ski Mountaineering exam.

Criteria for Award: The American Mountain Guides Association Outstanding Guide Award is awarded annually for the most outstanding mountain guiding achievement in the profession of mountain guiding for the year.

Presidents Award: Majka Burhardt

Each year the AMGA President honors a guide for an outstanding achievement or a lifetime of work. Majka Burhardt has a passion for creating unusual connections. As an author, professional climber, filmmaker, and entrepreneur, Majka has spent two decades exploring the globe—usually by hand and foot—and her stories of challenge, humanity, and the fine line between extreme and acceptable risk continue to inspire audiences around the world. Majka has been guiding since 1999, and, in 2003, was the fourth woman in the United States to become certified by the American Mountain Guides Association. Majka’s latest project, The Lost Mountain, is a collaboration of scientists, conservationists, and adventurers unified in an effort to survey the biodiversity and conservation needs, to raise awareness, and to build partnerships for the conservation of Mt. Namuli in Mozambique. The study and resulting media (film and radio) will also showcase Malawi’s Mt. Mulanje and the critical role both mountains play in the survival of East African biodiversity and the advancement of the livelihood of the region’s rural population.

The AMGA is also sad to say goodbye to Board Members Pete Keane, Lou Patterson, Scott Soden, Evan Stevens, and Jim Pearson. Thank you for your years of service and support.

Our 2013 award recipients will receive their awards on Saturday, October 26th, at the AMGA Annual Meeting held at Upslope Brewery. (5:30pm)

About AMGA: The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit that inspires and supports a culture of American mountain craft. As the leading organization of America’s most vibrant, inspiring community of climbers and skiers, the AMGA offers cutting edge knowledge and hundreds of years of collective experience that you won’t get from any other climbing organization. AMGA guides and staff are the experts in the business of being a guide. The AMGA spent 30 years setting standards for American guiding, protecting the guiding environment, and organizing a powerful, unified community of climbers and skiers. And will spend the next 30 supporting future generations of guides and clients.

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