LGBTQIA2S+ SPI Programs by Mountain Hardwear





In collaboration with Mountain Hardwear and guidance from Lila Leatherman at Lamella Consulting and Nikki Smith, this course offers a unique opportunity to learn in a queer and trans-centered learning environment. From our SPI Provider to students, this course aims to create an entry point for future instructors and guides. We hope to continue to increase the visibility and mentorship of LGBTQIA2S+ guides and instructors, this is just a small piece of that puzzle. 


This year, we will be furthering our partnership with Nikki Smith, athlete, photographer, and community leader, to facilitate a Friday evening community conversation during the three-day SPI Course. Additionally, we will be offering an assessment. Email: [email protected]

  • Dates: Exam May 5-6, 2023; Course May 8-10, 2023
  • Location:  Red Rocks, NV 
  • Provider: TBA

The application period begins March 15, 2023  / closes March 31, 2023

  • Who can apply to this course?

    This course is designed for anyone who identifies as a member of the LGBQTIA2S+ community.

  • What are the prerequisites for an SPI Course?


    • 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. Without having at least this amount of experience you are unlikely to make best use of the training.

  • What are the prerequisites for an SPI Assessment?


    • 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.

  • What else is required?

    • Current professional membership ($120)
    • Climbing resume
    • Meet the pre-reqs
  • Are scholarships provided?

    Yes, we will provide a full scholarship to participants. Thank you to our sponsor, Mountain Hardwear, for providing these scholarships.