Rock Instructor Certification is designed to apply to most “cragging” style rock climbing areas in the United States. It is meant for guides or aspiring guides who work on routes that are Grade III or shorter. While these routes are multi-pitch, they are relatively straightforward and may not involve complex approaches and/or descents. Time factors, while important, are not as pressing on these routes.
You are expected to have 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.
To get your Rock Instructor Certification, you must complete:
During the Rock Instructor Exam you will be examined on climbs through Grade III and up to 5.10a/A0. You will learn or refine your skills in risk-management, industry standards, route finding, technical skills, terrain assessment, rescue scenarios, and client care.
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.
The RGC includes indoor and outdoor classroom time, practice sessions, and climbing on a variety of rock routes. Recreational climbing skills and judgment are screened as part of the daily activities. The course is designed to introduce some of the recommended methods common to rock guiding through sessions and practical application.
The goals of the six-day Rock Instructor Exam (RIE) are to assess and certify rock-climbing instructors who demonstrate a high level of expertise consistent with the standards introduced in the 10-day Rock Guide Course and to further the general education of the students.
During the exam you are expected to carry out guiding assignments given by the examiners. You serve as guides to the examiners and to the other participants on routes chosen for their complex guiding challenges. While acting as the guide, you are responsible for route planning, client orientation, risk management, and normal guiding practices. Route assignments and client profiles are usually given the night before. You are responsible for obtaining information about the assigned route as well as alternative routes if the original objective proves infeasible.
During the RIE you will be examined on climbs through Grade III and up to 5.10a/A0. While these routes are multi-pitch, they are relatively straightforward and may not involve complex approaches and/or descents. Time factors, while important, are not as pressing on these routes. A strong emphasis is placed on risk management while maximizing client rewards.
2016 Application and Notification Deadlines
|Program Dates||Course or Exam Code||Application Deadline||Notification Deadline|
|All programs with start dates between December 1, 2015 and April 30, 2016||S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S11, S12, I1, I2, I3, I4, R1, R2, R3, R5||September 15, 2015||October 15, 2015|
|All programs with start dates between May 1, 2016 and August 31, 2016||A1, A2, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, R4, R6, R7, R8, R9, R10, R11, R12||December 15, 2015||January 15, 2016|
|All programs with start dates between September 1, 2016 and November 30, 2016||A11, A12, A13, R13, R14, R15, R16, R17, R18, R19, R20||March 15, 2016||April 15, 2016|
Rock Instructor Programs Schedule
|Rock Guide Course||R17 - 15||Smith Rock||Oregon||11/4/15 - 11/13/15||$2,500.00||Waitlist||Waitlist|
|Rock Guide Course||R18 - 15||Joshua Tree||California||11/6/15 - 11/15/15||$2,500.00||Waitlist||Waitlist|
|Rock Guide Course||R20 - 15||Joshua Tree||California||11/12/15 - 11/21/15||$2,500.00||Waitlist||Waitlist|
|Rock Guide Course||R1 RGC 16||Joshua Tree||California||3/8/16 - 3/17/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R3 RGC 16||Shawangunks||New York||4/12/16 - 4/21/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R4 RGC 16||Smith Rock||Oregon||5/3/16 - 5/12/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R6 RGC 16||Boulder||Colorado||5/10/16 - 5/19/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R8 RGC 16||Boulder||Colorado||6/7/16 - 6/16/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R9 RGC 16||North Conway||New Hampshire||7/12/16 - 7/21/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R12 RGC 16||North Conway||New Hampshire||8/23/16 - 9/1/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R13 RGC 16||Brevard||North Carolina||10/4/16 - 10/13/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R18 RGC 16||Joshua Tree||California||11/2/16 - 11/11/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Guide Course||R20 RGC 16||Joshua Tree||California||11/10/16 - 11/19/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Instructor Exam||R19 - 15||Joshua Tree||California||11/6/15 - 11/11/15||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Instructor Exam||R7 RIE 16||Seneca Rocks||West Virginia||5/23/16 - 5/28/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Instructor Exam||R10 RIE 16||North Conway||New Hampshire||8/2/16 - 8/7/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
|Rock Instructor Exam||R19 RIE 16||Joshua Tree||California||11/2/16 - 11/7/16||$2,500.00||Open||Apply|
Course Director: Erik Leidecker
Course Director: Rob Hess
Course Director: Silas Rossi
Course Director: Geoff Unger
The R3 RGC is limited to 6 participants, 3:1 ratio.
Course Director: Angela Hawse
The R13 RGC is limited to 6 participants, 3:1 ratio
Exam Director: Amos Whiting
Exam Director: Angela Hawse
The R7 RIE is limited to 6 participants, 2:1 ratio