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AMGA Rock Instructor

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Rock Instructor Exam | Important Update

2019 is the final year of the AMGA Rock Instructor Exam. Over the past several years AMGA has seen a significant decrease in the number of students applying to the RIE (numbers have been dwindling year to year and in 2018 we had two RIEs scheduled and both were canceled due to lack of interest/applicants). On the flip side, we have seen a large increase in the number of students pursuing the Advanced Rock Guide Course/Assistant Exam, which has a greater Scope of Practice than the RIE and is a higher level of training.

2020 | Multi-Pitch Instructor Update

In 2020 the RIE will be replaced with the Multi-Pitch Instructor Course & Exam – Read Updates and FAQS HERE


Rock Instructor Program Information

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.

  • 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 rock 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 completed 15 paid guided multi-pitch traditional routes
    • Since completing the Rock Guide Course, you have completed 25 total paid or mock-guided trad routes in diverse Rock-Instructor terrain
    • 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)

    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

Program Type Code Location State Dates Tuition Status Apply
Rock Guide Course R27 RGC 20 (A) Joshua Tree California 11/9/20 - 11/18/20 $2,950.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R27 RGC 20 (B) Joshua Tree California 11/9/20 - 11/18/20 $2,950.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R36 RGC 20 Smith Rock State Park Oregon 11/2/20 - 11/11/20 $2,950.00 Waitlist Waitlist
Rock Guide Course R1 RGC 21 Joshua Tree California 3/9/21 - 3/18/21 $2,950.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course *R2 RGC 21 (B) Red Rock NCA Nevada 3/15/21 - 3/22/21 $3,700.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course *R2 RGC 21 (A) Red Rock NCA Nevada 3/15/21 - 3/22/21 $3,700.00 Open Apply
Rock Guide Course R4 RGC 21 Smith Rock Oregon 4/7/21 - 4/16/21 $2,950.00 Open Apply

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.

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.

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, equipment, or any other associated program costs unless otherwise noted. 

  • AMGA’s COVID-19 Operating Plan is updated periodically and as needed due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will be updated to include winter programming specifics soon.  

  • AMGA has extended our relaxed cancellation policy through winter 2020-2021

  • It is strongly recommended that you purchase Trip Insurance to protect your tuition investment and other associated costs with your program.

APPLICATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 1ST

 

This is a 2:1 student to instructor ratio program.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, equipment, or any other associated program costs unless otherwise noted. 

AMGA’s COVID-19 Operating Plan is updated periodically and as needed due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will be updated to include winter programming specifics soon.  

  • AMGA has extended our relaxed cancellation policy through winter 2020-2021

  • It is strongly recommended that you purchase Trip Insurance to protect your tuition investment and other associated costs with your program.

APPLICATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 1ST

 

This is a 2:1 student to instructor program.

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, equipment, or any other associated program costs unless otherwise noted. 

  • AMGA’s COVID-19 Operating Plan is updated periodically and as needed due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will be updated to include winter programming specifics soon.  

  • AMGA has extended our relaxed cancellation policy through winter 2020-2021

  • It is strongly recommended that you purchase Trip Insurance to protect your tuition investment and other associated costs with your program.

APPLICATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 1ST

 

Program tuition does not include food, lodging, transportation, equipment, or any other associated program costs unless otherwise noted. 

  • AMGA’s COVID-19 Operating Plan is updated periodically and as needed due to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It will be updated to include winter programming specifics soon.  

  • AMGA has extended our relaxed cancellation policy through winter 2020-2021

  • It is strongly recommended that you purchase Trip Insurance to protect your tuition investment and other associated costs with your program.

APPLICATION DEADLINE DECEMBER 1ST