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AMGA Rock Instructor

instructor_RI_B&WRockInstructorRock 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.

 

Program Information

  • Rock Guide Course

    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.

    Prerequisites:

    • Current AMGA member
    • Current CPR Certification
    • Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification or higher that meets the Minimum Guidelines and Scope of Practice for a WFR
    • Five years personal rock climbing experience
    • Confidence leading traditional and sport routes up to 5.9, at the time of the course
    • Familiar with basic knots, including: figure 8, bowline, clove hitch, munter hitch, mule hitch, prusik, flat overhand, double fisherman's and klemheist
    • Familiar with multiple types of mechanical and non-mechanical belay devices
    • Familiar with a variety of rappel devices on multi-pitch rappels
    • Familiar with LNT Practices
    • You have led 10 traditional climbs rated 5.10a or harder on various rock types (single or multi-pitch)
    • You have led or shared lead on 50 multi-pitch routes (10 of which are Grade III or longer)

    Format:

    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.

  • Rock Instructor Exam

    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.

    Prerequisites:

    • Current AMGA member
    • Current CPR Certification
    • Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) Certification or higher that meets the Minimum Guidelines and Scope of Practice for a WFR
    • Successful completion of the Rock Guide Course
    • Familiar with LNT practices
    • Confidence leading traditional and sport routes up to 5.10a/A0, at the time of the exam
    • Since completing the Rock Guide Course, you have led 10 traditional rock climbs rated 5.10a or harder on various rock types (single or multi-pitch)
    • Since completing the the Rock Guide Course, you have guided 25 days in diverse Rock Instructor terrain (10 of these days can be mock guided)

    Format:

    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.

    Expectations:

    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.

    Assessment Areas:

    • Screening of movement skills in rock terrain;
    • Technical skills assessment including the 45-minute rock rescue drill and the five-minute knot-pass drill;
    • Guided days assessment, which includes evaluation in the following nine areas: risk management, client care, technical systems, application, terrain assessment, movement skills, mountain sense, professionalism and instructional technique.

Rock Instructor Programs Schedule

Important Notes

  • Applications open on August 1, 2016 for all 2017 Programs.
  • For information on how to apply to a program and how applications are reviewed, click here.
  • For the 2017 application and notification deadlines, click here.
  • For the complete AMGA Course Schedule, click here.
Program Type Code Location State Dates Tuition Status Apply
Rock Guide Course R13 RGC 16 Brevard North Carolina 10/4/16 - 10/13/16 $2,500.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R18 RGC 16 Joshua Tree California 11/2/16 - 11/11/16 $2,500.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R20 RGC 16 Joshua Tree California 11/10/16 - 11/19/16 $2,500.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R1 RGC 17 Joshua Tree California 3/14/17 - 3/23/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R4 RGC 17 Gunks New York 4/25/17 - 5/4/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R5 RGC 17 Smith Rock Oregon 5/2/17 - 5/11/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R6 RGC 17 Boulder Colorado 5/16/17 - 5/25/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R7 RGC 17 Boulder Colorado 6/13/17 - 6/23/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R9 RGC 17 N. Conway New Hampshire 8/22/17 - 8/31/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R13 RGC 17 Boulder Colorado 10/3/17 - 10/12/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R14 RGC 17 Seneca Rocks West Virginia 10/3/17 - 10/12/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R15 RGC 17 Smith Rock Oregon 10/10/17 - 10/19/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R18 RGC 17 Joshua Tree California 11/2/17 - 11/11/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R19 RGC 17 Joshua Tree California 11/10/17 - 11/19/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Instructor Exam R19 RIE 16 Joshua Tree California 11/2/16 - 11/7/16 $2,500.00 Open Apply
Rock Instructor Exam R8 RIE 17 N. Conway New Hampshire 8/1/17 - 8/6/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply
Rock Instructor Exam R10 RIE 17 Boulder Colorado 9/26/17 - 10/1/17 $2,650.00 Open Apply

Course Director: Angela Hawse

The R13 RGC is limited to 6 participants, 3:1 ratio

Course Director: Erik Leidecker

Course Director: Jeff Ward

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Student Kate McHugh leading Western Saga during the 2016 RGC in Joshua Tree. Photo by Azissa Singh.

This is a small program that is limited to 6 students. Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Instructor Geoff Unger coaches a student on belay management from below during the 2016 RGC in the Gunks. Photo by Instructor Silas Rossi. 

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

A student leads the way during the 2016 RGC at Smith Rock. Photo by Instructor Pete Keane.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Looking over towards the Bastille in Eldorado Canyon State Park during the 2016 RGC in Boulder. Photo by student Devin Farkas.

Student Karen Hilton works her way up the Bastille Crack in Eldorado Canyon during the 2016 RGC in Boulder. Photo by student Brandon Phillips.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Students Jason and Mark lowering off of the East Ledge in Eldorado Canyon during the 2016 RGC in Boulder. Photo by student Brandon Phillips.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Instructor Mark Hammond teaches the knot pass during the 2016 RGC in Boulder. Photo by student Devin Farkas. 

This is a small program that is limited to 6 students. Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Students Arthur and Diane leading with Instructor Angela Hawse below. Photo by Instructor Alain Comeau.

This is a small program that is limited to 6 students. Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

A student follows during the 2016 RGC at Smith Rock. Photo by Instructor Pete Keane. 

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Exam Director: Angela Hawse

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, or other course expenses unless otherwise noted.