AMGA Women’s Rock Guide Course sponsored by The North Face

b8d4023a-ff4e-4791-9441-28f2b72a9a01-thumbnailTomorrow’s Guides: Fostering More Inclusive Communities in the Mountains

The North Face sponsors the first AMGA Women’s Rock Guide Course to help recruit more women into the profession of rock guiding.


Historically, professional rock guiding has been a male-dominated field – and it’s time to change that. We are excited to offer, along with  The North Face , the first Women’s Rock Guide Course – a professional rock guide training course specifically for female students and taught by women of the AMGA Instructor Team.

The grant is a part of The North Face Move Mountains grant program, an annual grant within The Explore Fund, dedicated to bringing more female outdoor explorers into positions of power by providing funding and a storytelling platform to advance their work and inspire others. This grant award is one of five that will be announced throughout 2019 to advance causes of women leadership within the outdoor industry.

The AMGA Women’s Rock Guide Course will run in September 2019 with Angela Hawse, Margaret Wheeler, Karen Bockel and Erica Engle as the Instructor Team in Boulder, CO. The application deadline for participants is March 17th, 2019. 

Ready to Apply? There are two main parts to this process:

1. Apply to the R26 WMNS RGC 19 (How to Apply to an AMGA Program)

2. Complete the Scholarship Application Form 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I apply for this course?

This course is designed for anyone who identifies as a woman and would like to continue their education as a rock guide. The following are required in order to apply for the course: 

-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)

For more information on the Rock Guide Course and AMGA Rock Programs, click here.

  • Can I apply if my requirements are not completed by the time I apply for the course? (ie. I don’t have a WFR yet)  

You can still apply to the program but please note that priority enrollment is reserved for those that meet all pre-reqs at the time of the application deadline. To ensure you don’t receive an “incomplete application,” upload proof of your WFR/CPR registration to your myAMGA profile as a placeholder until you receive your actual certification card. If you are offered a “conditional enrollment” you will still have to meet all applicable payment deadlines and if you are unable to complete the missing pre-req, you will forfeit your spot on the roster and any funds you have contributed.

  • What happens if I don’t get into the Women’s Rock Guide Course?

We will transfer your application (and applicable fee) to another program or offer a space on another program if we have one.

  • What is the evaluation process like? Is it first come, first serve?

Applications are never reviewed first come first serve. Rather, once the application deadline comes we review all applications for that period in bulk and offer spots to the most competitive candidates. Check out more details on what we look for in applications and how they are reviewed here.

  • Is this program exclusively for U.S. citizens?

All of our programs are open to all. However, AMGA does not have ability to help with international travel requirements and we always need to note that depending on where you are coming from the training may or may not be recognized in your home countries. ie. if you take a course in the United States, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (or other applicable association) may still require you to do an equivalency test or perhaps even take their full entry level program etc.

  • Once accepted in the program, by when does the $2,850 tuition fee need to be paid by? On or before the course date? Or by application deadline?

A deposit of $500 is due within two weeks of being offered enrollment to the program. The remaining tuition balance is due no later than 10 weeks prior to the start of the course.

  • If I am accepted into the program, is it certain I will get the fee reimbursed? Or it depends on our development during the Rock Guide Course?

Your reimbursement/scholarship is not contingent on your performance. You are able to attend the course because you meet the requirements. Your reimbursement will be issued once you submit the scholarship requirements.

  • What will I need to do in order to receive the scholarship?

First you need to apply for the scholarship here. Once you are accepted and awarded the scholarship, you will receive a contract that outlines the requirements due within four weeks of completing your course. The requirements can include but are not limited to: photos, blog content, video, social media, etc.

  • Once I complete the Rock Guide Course, what does that mean for me?

When you complete the RGC, you are considered an Apprentice Rock Guide within the AMGA educational field and there is a corresponding scope of practice attached to your training level. Learn more about scope of practice here. The RGC is also the entry level program into other Mountain Guide Programs and you will be able to apply to the Rock Instructor Exam, Advanced Rock Guide Course, Alpine Guide Course and/or the Ski Guide Course.

  • Are there any plans on developing this all Women’s Rock Guide course in 2020?

If we get a high level of interest in this course and are able to run the program with a full crew, we will definitely continue putting women’s specific programming on the schedule. We’d also be interested in expanding this model to other disciplines (alpine and ski). In terms of the scholarship support, that will be dependent on future sponsorships – we hope we can continue to get this funding and further support from our corporate sponsors to increase financial support and scholarship opportunities across the board at AMGA. If you want to continue to see women’s specific programming on the schedule, please email us! [email protected] and [email protected] 

  • Does the AMGA have any other kind of scholarships in case I cant apply for this one now?

Every year we have scholarships available for Mountain Guide Programs. Scholarships are normally open in May, awarded in August, and available for the following year. To see the list of scholarships and how to apply please visit: