Rob Coppolillo reviews the Falcon Guide’s AMGA Single Pitch Manual

Here is an excerpt from Rob Coppolillo’s review of Falcon Guide’s AMGA Single Pitch Manual. To read the full review, please visit Elevation Outdoor’s website by clicking here.

Falcon Guides has just published Rock Climbing: The AMGA Single Pitch Manual (click through to purchase it at the American Mountain Guides Association site–it’s cheaper than Amazon and free shipping, too!), the latest in its “How to Climb” series. Written by longtime guides Bob Gaines and Jason D. Martin, both certified in the rock discipline by the AMGA, the book spells out in ample detail the Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) curriculum.

The SPI course and certification are specifically geared towards training climbers for the demands of top-rope and single-pitch instruction. Venues like Boulder Canyon, Joshua Tree, Red Rocks’ Calico Basin, and Leavenworth are all ideal single-pitch terrain. The program attracts everybody from camp counselors looking to refine their management and execution for relatively simple top-roping with kids to aspiring guides looking to begin their career in the mountains. My first certification was an SPI and it was a great way to begin progressing through the AMGA coursework towards rock, alpine, and ski certs.

The 256-page book builds upon the older AMGA course handbooks (which were distributed only to SPI students during their courses) and presents it to anyone interested, in a clearly written format with complementary color photos. Basic gear choices and use, rope-work, protection placement, and more complicated anchor rigging are all covered in clear, concise detail. For the beginning practitioner, this is all useful stuff–though for the more experienced it will be review, as it’s been covered well in other titles, by Falcon Guides and elsewhere.