Awards1Guide of the Year winner Keith Garvey and Lifetime Achievement winner Bela Vadasz
at the 2008 awards Awards Ceremony in Smith Rocks, Ore.

The AMGA honors, recognizes, and congratulates various individuals and outdoor companies for their commitment and contributions to the profession of mountain guiding at its Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony.

Guide of the Year Award
The AMGA awards the Outstanding Guide Award each year to a guide who:

  1. Has made a significant outstanding contribution or achievement to the mountain guiding profession;
  2. Exhibits qualities of loyalty, integrity, and moral courage worthy of emulation;
  3. Is a member of the AMGA;
  4. Is known as a person of ability and strong character.

Past recipients include:

  • 2017: Marc Chauvin
  • 2016: Emilie Drinkwater
  • 2015: Pete Keane
  • 2014: Art Mooney
  • 2013: Joey Thompson
  • 2012: Marc Chauvin
  • 2011: Angela Hawse
  • 2010: Willie Benegas
  • 2009: Alain Comeau
  • 2008: Keith Garvey
  • 2007: Rob Hess
  • 2006: Tim Connelly
  • 2005: Mark Houston and Kathy Cosley
  • 2004: Miles Smart

Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award
The Lifetime Achievement in Mountain Guiding Award honors outstanding Americans who:

  1. Are citizens of the United States, who have been actively identified with mountain guiding and have made contributions of significant value to the mountain guiding profession for at least 30 years;
  2. Exhibit qualities of loyalty, integrity, and moral courage worthy of emulation;
  3. Are individuals of ability and strong character.

In memory of Craig LuebbenAwards2

Past recipients include:

  • 2012: Matt Brooks
  • 2011: Dick Jackson
  • 2010: John Fischer
  • 2009: Craig Luebben
  • 2008: Bela Vadasz
  • 2007: George Hurley
  • 2006: Rod Newcomb
  • 2005: Jim Ratz
  • 2004: Tom Hargis

The Presidential Gold Medal Award
The Presidential Gold Medal honors people who have contributed significantly to the mountain guiding profession, whether directly to the AMGA or indirectly by supporting a cultural or environmental project that furthers the profession. Awardees may be recognized for an important single endeavor, but more often it recognizes a person’s lifetime of service or a conclusion his/her distinguished career. The Presidents Council of the American Mountain Guides Association choose recipients either on the Council’s initiative or based on recommendations. The medal may be awarded to an individual more than once, and may also be awarded posthumously.

Matt Brooks, president and founder of Brooks-Range Mountaineering Equipment was awarded the AMGA Presidential Gold Medal in 2010.Awards3

All past recipients received awards in 2010:

  • 1979-1985: Doug Robinson
  • 1986: Allan Pietrasanta
  • 1986-1990: Ian Wade
  • 1990-1994: Dunham Gooding
  • 1994-1995: Matt Culberson
  • 1995-1997: John Cleary
  • 1997-1999: Mark Houston
  • 1999-2000: Ramsay Thomas
  • 2000-2001: Phil Powers
  • 2001-2006: Dick Jackson
  • 2006-2008: John Bicknell

The President’s Award
Each year the AMGA President honors a guide or guides for an outstanding achievement or a lifetime of work. We present this award at the Annual Meeting Awards Ceremony.






2013 awards by Kiitella.

Dawn Glanc received the 2008 President’s Award for her team’s efforts on The Big Expedition for Cancer Research – Unclimbed Mountains to be Conquered.Awards4

Past recipients include:

  • 2012: Joe Vitti
  • 2011: Emilie Drinkwater
  • 2010: Heidi Kloos
  • 2009: Craig Luebben
  • 2008: Matt Farmer, Dawn Glanc, Kevin Mahoney, Bayard Russell
  • 2007: Pete Abolson
  • 2006: Doug Coombs and Chad Vanderham
  • 2003: Bruce Andrews

Industry Award
The AMGA presents the Industry Award to the outdoor company that has provided outstanding support to the AMGA and its guides through scholarships, product, and sponsorships of professional American mountain guides. Recipients:

  1. Partner with the AMGA to provide product and educational support;
  2. Establish a scholarship in its name for guides pursuing AMGA certification courses and exams;
  3. Sponsor various AMGA exams by subsidizing exam costs and providing product to exam graduates.

Alex Kutches, President, and Christian Folk, Grassroots Marketing Manager, from Outdoor Research showing off their 2012 AMGA Industry Award.Awards5

Past recipients include:

  • 2012: Outdoor Research
  • 2011: Five Ten
  • 2010: GORE-TEX®
  • 2009: Black Diamond
  • 2008: The North Face
  • 2007: Marmot Mountain
  • 2006: Mammut
  • 2005: Black Diamond
  • 2004: Marmot Mountain
  • 2003: Marmot Mountain
  • 2002: Patagonia

Awards6AMGA Executive Director Betsy Winter presents Laura Sanders, Five Ten VP – Global Sales Director and Charles Cole, Five Ten Founder/President with the 2011 AMGA Industry Award.

Moab Awards 2009

Silvia and Giulia Leubben accept an award for the Craig Luebben, who died in a tragic accident in 2009.