Goodbye Matthew Hegeman

Matthew Hegemon

By Jonathon Spitzer, American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide There have been lots of stories and memories about my good friend, Matt Hegeman that I have read on social media. But this quote shared by a fellow Alpine Ascent’s guide really sums up Matt’s personality for me. Recently at a college commencement ceremony, Navy Seal Admiral McRaven […]

Remembering Jake Merrill

Text by Jill Heckathorn (Jake’s mother), photo by Katie Griffith Jake grew up playing on the water and in the mountains of Northwest Washington. His love and respect for the outdoors started young and drove his choices in education, professional work, and recreation. He attended Southern Oregon University for two years and graduated from Western […]

Dylan Taylor Reviews the Guide 10+ Adventure Kit Solar Charger

Goal Zero Review

Dylan Taylor, American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide, tested the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Adventure Kit Solar Charger (including the Nomad 7 charger) over the course of seven days in the North Cascades while teaching an Alpine Guide Course/Alpine Guide Exam. He has also used this kit on various extends trips, including an expedition to Afghanistan. AMGA: […]

What’s in a name? A lot when it’s for guide training & certification

By Patrick Ormond, American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide Q: How do you know that someone is a guide? A: They’ll tell you. One in a number of (bad) guide jokes, but it’s true, isn’t it? It is a truth we should embrace and actually expand upon when we interact with our guests and the public. The […]

Remembering Kyle Mattingly

Fallen Guides.Kyle Mattingly.Pic by John MacKinnon

By John MacKinnon, AMGA Ski Guide I first met Kyle in the summer of 2007. He had recently relocated to Crested Butte from Lake City, Colo. He arrived in a whirlwind of long curly orange hair and mostly said “Hey Man!” to me as our paths crossed on Elk Avenue. One of my very first […]

Beacon Overload: Making Sense of Transceiver Multiple-Burial Functions


Photos, diagrams, & text by Bruce Edgerly “What happens if I press this button over here?” “How come this icon just disappeared for no reason?” “Why do I keep coming back to this victim that I already marked?” If you’re an avalanche instructor, rescue trainer, or just plain old beacon user, you’ve probably been at […]

7 signs that you’re working too hard

Do you run into any of these seven challenges running your business? A mountain guide service faces a few unique situations—mountain aside—that demand extra effort to keep the business on track. If any of these challenges do ring a bell (or an alarm), it might be time for you to give your business a kick […]

Annual Meeting: Arc’teryx-sponsored AMGA Round Table Meeting

Photo by Karsten Delap

By AMGA Staff (Updated 11/19/2014: For detailed minutes of the event, please check out the PDF link in the last paragraph.) More than 100 people showed up for the 2014 Arc’teryx sponsored AMGA round table, the 2nd night of the Annual Meeting. Unique in the series of round table discussions, guides and aspiring guides had […]

The Adidas Sky Climb Jacket: Made for the Mountains

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American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide Jonathon Spitzer recently tested the Adidas Sky Climb Jacket while guiding multi-pitch rock in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons and for personal climbing adventures elsewhere in the Wasatch Mountains, Utah. He found the jacket to be extremely durable, as well as highly water repellent, breathable, and functional for guiding. AMGA: What […]

Pinned: Mark Smiley on Becoming Fully Certified

Mark Smiley becomes an American Mountain Guide

Congratulations Mark Smiley! He took eight years to become an American Mountain Guide/IFMGA Guide, starting spring of 2006 and finishing spring 2014. We asked Smiley a few questions about his journey. AMGA: What was the process like for you? Mark Smiley: It was long and frustrating at times. It feels really good to be finished […]