Ascent Alpine Skills Course – Sponsored by Eddie Bauer



Photo: Mike Poborsky


Over the last few years, the American Mountain Guides Association has reflected on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our association, recognizing areas of growth and creating an action plan. One of our key focuses is creating accessibility to our courses through various initiatives like the women’s Single Pitch Instructor Course and women’s Rock Guide Course. We recognize the need to serve larger communities and have worked to secure partners that share this vision.  With the support of Eddie Bauer, we have launched an Alpine Skills Course that will serve historically underrepresented communities within the American Mountain Guides Association.

This course is the entry-level program in both the AMGA Alpine and Ski Disciplines and will open doors for future guides. The five day course will run *TBD in Washington state, taught by Instructor Team members Forest McBrian and Erica Engle (American Mountain Guides/IFMGA Guides). *course dates are still being confirmed due to COVID 19

The application is CLOSED. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I apply for this course?

    This course is for anyone who does not fall into a dominant group at the AMGA. Historically women, people of color, LGBTQ2IA+, and people with various underrepresented identities have faced barriers to entering careers as guides and instructors. We would like to support underrepresented communities to pursue guide training and education at the AMGA. 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
    • For 2018/19 and on: successful completion of an AMGA approved Level I Avalanche Training and Avalanche Rescue Course
      • For details on the new avalanche education framework being introduced in the 2017/18 season, please click here.
    • Two years personal climbing experience on a variety of terrain that includes snow, rock and alpine
    • Confidence leading 5.6 in rock shoes, at the time of the course
    • Confidence on 3rd and 4th class terrain, in mountain boots, at the time of the course
    • Competence in overnight backcountry camping
    • Experience up to 10,000' in elevation
    • Familiar with basic knots, including: figure 8, bowline, clove hitch, munter hitch, mule hitch, prusik, flat overhand, double fisherman's and klemheist
    • Confidence placing traditional rock protection
    • Familiar with multiple types of belaying techniques, including plates and assisted braking devices
    • Familiar with ascending methods
    • Familiar with mechanical advantage systems
    • Familiar with LNT practices
    • Documentation of lead or shared lead on 5 rock climbs rated 5.6 or harder
    • Documentation of lead or shared lead on 5 ascents that include snow climbing
    • Documentation of 3 overnight backcountry trips

    For more information on the Alpine Skills Course, click here.

  • What does the scholarship cover?

    The scholarship amount covers $1000 of your course tuition and does not help with travel, food, lodging, etc.

  • 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 is the scholarship 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.

  • What happens if I don't get in to the Ascent Alpine Skills Course

    If you don’t get into this ASC, email our Guide Program Manager at [email protected]. We can transfer your registration to an ASC program in 2020, but please note that you wouldn’t be eligible for a scholarship as they will have been awarded.

  • Is this program exclusively for US 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.

  • If accepted in to the program, when does the $1,600 tuition fee need to be paid?

    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 in to the program, is it certain I will get the tuition reimbursed?

    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. 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 Alpine Skills Course, what does that mean for me?

    When you complete the ASC you are considered an Apprentice Alpine 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 ASC is also the entry level program into other Mountain Guide Programs.

  • Are there any plans on developing this specific ASC in 2021?

    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 specific programming on the schedule.

  • Does the AMGA have any other scholarships in case I can't apply for this program?

    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: