What We Do

The AMGA’s founders were hardcore climbers and skiers who understood the outdoor culture thoroughly. They realized the soul of these sports didn’t have to be compromised by organization. Organization could instead serve to bring the community together in a revolutionary way. It could provide mountain guides with resources, services, and credentials to boost their careers, but also with connections to each other and to the larger community of guides and clients across the country and around the globe. These are the ways we lead and promote the guiding community:

AMGA Programs: Courses & Certifications

The AMGA maintains the high standards of professionalism expected in American guiding and climbing instruction. We offer more than 300 internationally recognized training course, exams, and certifications designed to certify individual guides and climbing instructors and accredit climbing and skiing services. In 2012, 1,000+ students took a course through the AMGA’s 250+ climbing instructor programs, and 250 students took the 30+ guide track programs.

  • The Guide Program certifies alpine, rock, and ski mountaineering guides;
  • The Climbing Instructor Program certifies rock, climbing wall, and single pitch instructors;
  • The Accreditation Program endorses guide services or other organizations that offer climbing instruction, guided climbing, or ski services.

The AMGA’s 4500 members are a team of guides and professionals who share similar goals and together shape the future of guiding. As an organization, the collective voice of the profession is strengthened and the momentum of the craft accelerated. Clients, land managers, and outdoor industry leaders look to the AMGA for excellence, support, and viable solutions.


As America’s voice for guides, the AMGA is ensuring our community is at the table and actively shaping a positive future for facilitated access in the United States. Powered by a partnership with The North Face, the Advocacy Team is strategically working to expand opportunities for the public to access public lands with a guide. We carry out this mission through four strategic pillars:

  • Contributing to policy-making processes at the national level
  • Engaging on local and regional access issues
  • Serving as an educational resource for land managers and AMGA members
  • Promoting stewardship initiatives