To enter the program you must have a strong technical rock climbing background in a variety of rock types and climbing disciplines.
To get your Rock Guide Certification, you must complete:
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.
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.
The Advanced Rock Guide Course/AE (ARGC/AE) covers the tools used when guiding and instructing multiple clients on longer routes up to Grade V—management of 3rd and 4th class terrain, technical descents, simultaneous multi-client belaying, lowering and rappelling, management of transitions, and short roping and short pitching techniques. It emphasizes effective risk management while maximizing client rewards.
The ARGC/AE is a course and includes instruction, coaching, debriefing, and assessment. The assessment phase is known as the Aspirant Exam. The focus of the course is on principle-based learning, giving you the strategies for problem solving through coaching and practical application in simulated guide/client scenarios. Your guiding and instructional skills will be assessed during the Aspirant Exam portion(s) of the course. A final assessment will be based on your overall performance.
The Aspirant Exam is intended to help determine whether or not your personal skills meet the minimum standards appropriate for guiding. In addition, it serves as preparation for the final certification exam. The standard for the Aspirant Exam is at a level appropriate for guiding clients professionally with only indirect supervision. Finally, your essential skills and abilities as an aspirant guide must be comparable to those of a full guide.
The goals of the six-day Rock Guide Exam (RGE) are to assess and certify rock-climbing guides at the AMGA and IFMGA international standards and to further the general education of students.
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.
The longer routes (Grade IV and V) undertaken on the RGE require proficiency with multi-client belaying techniques, strong application skills, efficient climbing and protective systems skills and quick and accurate transitions. A strong emphasis is placed on expertise in short roping clients.
2020 Application and Notification Deadlines
|Program Dates||Course or Exam Code||Application Deadline||Notification Deadline|
|All programs with start dates between December 1, 2019 and April 30, 2020||S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S11, S12, I1, I2, I3, I4, I5, I6, A1, R1, R2, R3, R4, R5, R6, R7||Sunday, September 15, 2019||Friday, October 18, 2019|
|All programs with start dates between May 1, 2020 and July 31, 2020||A2, A17, A3, A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, A9, A10, A11, A12, R8, R9, R10, R11, R12||Sunday, December 15, 2019||Friday, January 17, 2020|
|All programs with start dates between August 1, 2020 and November 30, 2020||A13, A18, A19, A14, A15, A16, R13, R14, R15, R16, R17, R18, R19, R20, R28, R21, R22, R23, R24, R26, R27||Sunday, March 15, 2020||Early July, 2020|