AMGA Multi-Pitch Instructor

New in 2020 – the Multi-Pitch Instructor Course & Exam prepares candidates to guide multi-pitch climbs up to 4 pitches in length (not to exceed 400 ft total) that are not remote in nature, and have simple approaches and descents with minimal short-roping. This program has an emphasis on providing a great client experience while adequately managing risk for both the client and the guide.

To get your Multi-Pitch Instructor Certification, you must complete:

  • The 3-day SPI Course
  • The 2-day SPI Assessment (Note: SPI Cert must be valid at the time of the MPI Course and Exam)
  • The 10-day Rock Guide Course
  • The 8-day Multi-Pitch Instructor Course and Exam
  • Have a current CPR Certification
  • Have a current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification  or higher that meets the Minimum Guidelines and Scope of Practice for a WFR

 


 

Program Information

UPDATES AND FAQS ABOUT THE MULTI-PITCH INSTRUCTOR COURSE & EXAM: HERE

  • SINGLE PITCH INSTRUCTOR COURSE

    Single Pitch Instructor Course

    Prerequisites:

    • You are a Professional Member of the AMGA.
    • You have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
    • You are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.
    • You have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.
    • You are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
    • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional rock climbing routes (any grade).
    • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.

    The above prerequisites are absolute minimums. Learn more HERE.

  • SINGLE PITCH INSTRUCTOR ASSESSMENT

    Single Pitch Instructor Assessment

    Prerequisites

    • You are a current member of the AMGA.
    • You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course.
    • You have led a minimum of 40 traditional routes, most of which should be 5.6 and on a variety of rock types.
    • You are able to comfortably lead 5.6 traditional routes, which means you place protection.
    • You are able to comfortably climb 5.8 on top rope.
    • The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the assessment prerequisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate take time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment (6-12 months).
    • You do not need First Aid training to take the course or assessment. However, it is your responsibility to hold appropriate medical certification for the location that you are working in.

    Learn more HERE.

  • ROCK GUIDE COURSE

    This is the entry-level course for the Rock Guide and Alpine Guide programs and the Rock Instructor Certification. The Rock Guide Course (RGC) was designed for aspiring guides who have a strong rock climbing background and for instructors who are interested in improving their skills and increasing knowledge. The RGC trains aspiring guides on routes up to Grade III and 5.9 while emphasizing risk management and client rewards. You are expected to arrive with a strong recreational climbing background with an acquired knowledge of knots, belaying, anchors, protection strategies, and climbing systems. It is assumed that you can lead the climbs listed on the submitted resume and that you are physically, mentally, and emotionally prepared for a week of outdoor activity.

    Prerequisites:

    • Current AMGA member
    • Current CPR Certification
    • Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification  or higher that meets the Minimum Guidelines and Scope of Practice for a WFR
    • Five years personal rock climbing experience
    • Confidence leading traditional and sport routes up to 5.9, at the time of the course
    • Familiar with basic knots, including: figure 8, bowline, clove hitch, munter hitch, mule hitch, prusik, flat overhand, double fisherman's and klemheist
    • Familiar with multiple types of mechanical and non-mechanical belay devices
    • Familiar with a variety of rappel devices on multi-pitch rappels
    • Familiar with LNT Practices
    • You have led 10 traditional climbs rated 5.10a or harder on various rock types (single or multi-pitch)
    • You have led or shared lead on 50 multi-pitch rock routes (10 of which are Grade III or longer)
  • MULTI-PITCH INSTRUCTOR COURSE & EXAM

    FORMAT

    The Multi-Pitch Instructor Course & Exam includes instruction, coaching, debriefing, and assessment. The program is 8 days in length. There are 5 days of instruction and course work and a 3-day assessment.

    The Course portion of the program includes:

    • Principle-based learning routed in giving candidates strategies for problem-solving through coaching and practical application in simulated guide/client scenarios

    The Exam portion of the program includes:

    • 2 days of guiding route objectives
    • 1 day of objective skills assessing proficiency with the AMGA Rock Rescue Drill, and climbing movement at the 5.9 standard

    ASSESSMENT AREAS:

    • Screening of movement skills in rock terrain
    • Proficiency with the AMGA Rock Rescue Drill
    • Guided days assessment includes evaluation in the following nine categories: Risk Management, Client Care, Technical Systems, Application, Terrain Assessment, Movement Skills, Mountain Sense, Professionalism, and Instructional Techniques.

    PREREQUISITES

    General Requirements

    • Current AMGA Member
    • Current CPR Certification
    • Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification or higher that meets the minimum guidelines and scope of practice for a WFR

    Training Level Requirements

    • Current Certified Single Pitch Instructor (successfully completed both the SPI Course & the SPI Assessment)
    • Current Apprentice Rock Guide or higher (minimum successful completion of the RGC)

    Technical & Movement Requirements

    • Confidence leading onsight traditional and sport climbs up to 5.9 at the time of the program
    • Mastery of basic knots including figure 8, bowline, clove hitch, munter hitch, mule hitch, prusik, flat overhand, double fisherman, klemheist and auto-block
    • Mastery of mechanical and non-mechanical belay devices
    • Mastery of raising systems and mechanical advantage
    • Advanced knowledge of LNT practices

    Resume Requirements: Applicants are required to document the below requirements in the resume template provided by the AMGA during the application process. The same climb may be used to fulfill multiple requirements

    • Since completing the Rock Guide Course, led 25 traditional rock climbs (single or multi-pitch)
      • 15 of which are rated 5.10a or harder
    • Since completing the RGC, led or shared lead on 15 rock climbs that are 3 pitches or longer 
    • Since completing the SPI Assessment and the RGC, worked 20 days in Apprentice Rock Guide terrain (this may include Single Pitch Instructor terrain)
      • 5 of these days must be on multi-pitch rock routes and include a documented supervising guide


Multi-Pitch Instructor Programs Schedule

  • For information on how to apply to a program and how applications are reviewed, click here
  • For the complete AMGA Course Schedule, click here
  • Application Deadlines are still being set. The listed application and notification deadlines are TENTATIVE.
  • Tuition prices are still being finalized. The exact price will be listed before applications open.
Program Type Code Location State Dates Tuition Status Apply
Rock Guide Course R1 RGC 24 Joshua Tree California 3/5/24 - 3/14/24 $3675.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R2 *RGC 24 Red Rock NCA Nevada 3/17/24 - 3/24/24 $4525.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R7 *RGC 24 Smith Rock Oregon 5/7/24 - 5/14/24 $4525.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R8 RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 5/29/24 - 6/7/24 $3675.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R9 RGC 24 Smith Rock Oregon 5/29/24 - 6/7/24 $3675.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R11* RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 6/10/24 - 6/17/24 $4525.00 Applications Under Review*
Rock Guide Course R14 RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 7/22/24 - 7/31/24 $3675.00 Applications Under Review*
Rock Guide Course R15 *BIPOC RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 9/4/24 - 9/11/24 $4525.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R16 *Veterans* RGC 24 Leavenworth Washington 9/5/24 - 9/14/24 $3675.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R17 RGC 24 North Conway New Hampshire 9/10/24 - 9/19/24 $3675.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R19 *RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 9/16/24 - 9/23/24 $4525.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R22 RGC 24 Brevard North Carolina 10/1/24 - 10/10/24 $3675.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R27 RGC 24 Smith Rock Oregon 10/15/24 - 10/24/24 $3675.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R28 RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 10/18/24 - 10/27/24 $3675.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R32 RGC 24 Joshua Tree California 10/29/24 - 11/7/24 $3675.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R26 *WMNS RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 10/8/24 - 10/15/24 $4525.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R4 RGC 24 Gunks New York 4/2/24 - 4/11/24 $3675.00 Space Available! jesse@amga.com
Rock Guide Course R34 *WMNS* RGC 24 Boulder Colorado 9/17/24 - 9/24/24 $4525.00 Open Apply
Multi-Pitch Instructor Course/Exam R13 MPI 24 Boulder Colorado 7/12/24 - 7/19/24 $4525.00 Applications Under Review*
Multi-Pitch Instructor Course/Exam R24 MPIC 24 Smith Rock Oregon 10/5/24 - 10/12/24 $4525.00 Open Apply
Multi-Pitch Instructor Course/Exam R25 MPI 24 Seneca Rocks West Virginia 10/3/24 - 10/10/24 $4525.00 Open Apply

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Instructor Team*: Paul Rachele, Mike Abbey

*Staffing is subject to change throughout the year based on AMGA programming needs and instructor availability

Instructor team member Tim Brown going over descending technique with Joe Fratianni and Andrew Bogaard on top of Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree NP.

Course Director: Eric Whewell

Instructor: Micah Lewkowitz, Alan Rousseau

This is a 2:1 ratio program.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Photo by Jason Antin

This is a 2:1 program.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Instructor Team*: Pete Keane, Time Brown, Jeff Ward, Lindsay Fixmer

*Staffing is subject to change throughout the year based on AMGA programming needs and instructor availability

AMGA student following on Skyridge, photo by Steve Schwortz.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

 

Instructor Team*: Matt Hartman, Paul Rachele

*Staffing is subject to change throughout the year based on AMGA programming needs and instructor availability

Course Director: Jeff Ward

Instructors: Chris Wright, Ian Nicholson, Evan Stevens

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

AMGA Student following on Skyridge. Photo by Steve Schwortz

Course Director: Eric Whewell

Instructor: Keith Garvey

This is a 2:1 Program.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Course Director: Eric Whewell

Instructor: Keith Garvey

Weather and condition dependent, this program may also utilize Lumpy Ridge in Estes Park, Colorado. Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Course Director: Joshua Jarrin

Instructors: Kristin Arnold, Sheldon Kerr

Through our reflection on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) has identified affinity-based access as a key area of growth. Affinity programs are designed to create space for AMGA members from underrepresented groups within guiding, instructing, climbing, and skiing/snowboarding.
Although this program has historically received tuition assistance, this year, the program does not include any financial assistance. We are continuing to offer this program as we recognize the value of these affinity spaces to support members within the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community.
This course is designed for anyone who identifies as BIPOC and would like to continue their education as a rock guide.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 3, 2024

Course Director: Karen Bockel

Instructors: Mick Pearson, Mike Abbey

This program is only open to VETERANS of the US Military who wish to use their GI Bill funds to pay for the course. This course is run through the American Alpine Institute (an AMGA accredited business), who are accredited and approved to accept GI Bill funding.

In order to participate on this Alpine Guide Course, you must:

1) Be a veteran of the US Military

2) Apply to the program, pay the non-refundable application fee, and submit all of the required application materials (resume, WFR/CPR, and AMGA approved avalanche training certs) to show that you meet the prerequisites for the AGC

3) Email Jesse Littleton ([email protected]) proof of veteran status

4) Once your materials have been reviewed, you will be eligible to become enrolled in the course if space is available (like all AMGA programs, entrance is competitive and we may receive more applications than we have spaces available - meeting the prerequisites is not a guarantee of enrollment, please review the process for application review here.

5) If accepted into the program, you will be sent a document describing how to complete the enrollment process and use your VA benefits to pay for the program. You cannot be officially enrolled until you have completed the VA Benefits Survey and Enrollment Agreement through the American Alpine Institute.

If you have any questions about this course, the application review/enrollment process, how to use your VA benefits, or anything else related to this program, please contact Jesse Littleton ([email protected]).

Course Director: Paul Rachele

Instructor: Amos Whiting

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Course Director: Mike Soucy

Instructors: Micah Lewkowitz, Vince Anderson, Matt Hartman

This is a 2:1 ratio. Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Course Director: Christian Santelices

Instructor: Paul Rachele

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

AMGA Student following on Skyridge. Photo by Steve Schwortz

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted. 

Instructor team member Tim Brown going over descending technique with Joe Fratianni and Andrew Bogaard on top of Intersection Rock in Joshua Tree NP.

Over the last few years, the American Mountain Guides Association has reflected on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our association, recognizing areas of growth and creating an action plan. One of our key focuses is creating accessibility to our courses through various initiatives like the women’s Single Pitch Instructor Course and women’s Rock Guide Course.

At this time, this is not a tuition-assisted program, but we are hoping to secure partner funding similar to previous years. We will keep applicants udpated on the status of this. The program will run as a women's RGC regardless. 

This program is for anyone who identifies as a woman and would like to continue their education as a rock guide. 

Please note there are two parts to the application process. You must complete the Rock Guide Course Resume template and the Essay Application. More information will be provided when this application opens. 

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Instructor Team*: Silas Rossi, Erik Leidecker

*Staffing is subject to change throughout the year based on AMGA programming needs and instructor availability

Over the last few years, the American Mountain Guides Association has reflected on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our association, recognizing areas of growth and creating an action plan. One of our key focuses is creating accessibility to our courses through various initiatives like the women’s Single Pitch Instructor Course and women’s Rock Guide Course.

At this time, this is not a tuition-assisted program, but we are hoping to secure partner funding similar to previous years. We will keep applicants udpated on the status of this. The program will run as a women's RGC regardless. 

This program is for anyone who identifies as a woman and would like to continue their education as a rock guide. 

Please note there are two parts to the application process. You must complete the Rock Guide Course Resume template and the Essay Application. More information will be provided when this application opens. 

Course Director: Eric Whewell

Instructors: Joe Thompson

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

AMGA Student following on Skyridge. Photo by Steve Schwortz


Application and Notification Deadlines

  • The application deadline is when your complete application is due.
  • The notification deadline is the latest date you will be contacted in regard to your enrollment.
  • Applications received after the application deadline will be reviewed on a rolling admission.
    Program DatesApplication DeadlineNotification Deadline
    Programs with start dates of November 25 - December 31, 2023
    (S1 SGC 24 & I11 IIC 23)
    August 25, 2023September 1, 2023
    Programs with start dates of January 1 - May 31, 2024September 10, 2023October 12, 2023
    Programs with start dates of June 1 - August 31, 2024December 1, 2023December 15, 2023
    Programs with start dates of September 1 - November 15, 2024March 3, 2024March 28, 2024