High Sierras
American Mountain Guides Association e-Newsletter
November 2009
In This Issue
Annual Meeting Recap
What's Happening with the CGF?
2010 Scholarships
New Rock Instructor Course Standards
CGF Red Rocks Permit
Level 3 Avalanche Training
Scholarships Awarded at AORE
BCA Video Series
Product Blowout

Greetings from the AMGA office.  I hope everyone is doing well and as excited as we are as winter fast approaches.  We made it back from the Annual Meeting in Moab and have lots of things to discuss.  We'll touch on a few key issues here but let you read about the rest in the upcoming Mountain Bulletin.  In addition to the Annual Meeting happenings, you can read about avalanche training, scholarships and a huge product blowout.  So grab a cuppa, sit back and enjoy.
2009 Annual Meeting in Moab
Another year, another successful Annual Meeting; we'd like to jeffwardthank everyone who made it out to Moab.  We had a great turnout for all the events and managed to raise over $5,000 for the AMGA and another $5000 for the Craig Luebben Memorial Fund.  A special thanks to everyone that volunteered their time to help set-up for events, run Professional Development Clincs and organize the Guide's Olympics to name a few.  Keep your eyes peeled for the Fall Mountain Bulletin for a blow-by-blow account of the weeks activities.
What's Happening with the CGF?
roundtableSeveral of you attended the Round Table Discussion on Access as well as the Board of Directors meeting in Moab to both listen and voice your opinion on a highly sensitive topic.

After much discussion among the Membership, the Board, and Professional Advisors it seems the AMGA needs to refocus its attention and come up with a sound plan for addressing the short and long-term issues around access.

A decision was made by the Board to send the proposal back to CGF for revisions, and to consider it again in the near future.

In the meantime, our plan is to generate a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) and answers.  These will be built as the dialog progresses, and will be posted on the AMGA website and sent out via email correspondence to the membership.  For those who were unable to attend the Moab meetings and for those with questions still remaining, we hope the FAQ's will help to increase your understanding of the issues and the solutions we are examining. 
Scholarship Season
We are now accepting applications for 2010 Scholarships.  Similar to last year, we will have one general application with additional questions for specific scholarships. 

We will be accepting applications through January 31, 2010 via EMAIL.
**The one exception is applications for the Chad VanderHam Memorial Fund Scholarship must be received by January 1, 2010.** 

So, if you are interested in applying for the various scholarships offered through the AMGA, please keep in mind that you will need to submit all required information by January 31, 2010!  2010 scholarship information can be found on our website - http://www.amga.com/programs/scholarships.php.


Doug Parker & Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Scholarship

We are pleased to announce a new Scholarship for 2010.  The Doug Parker & Roger Baxter-Jones Memorial Scholarship will be available to any Guide enrolled to take a Rock Guide, Rock Instructor or Alpine Guide Exam, or taking the Ski Mountaineering Guide Exam for their IFMGA pin.  Special thanks to the Parker, Sage and Bostwick families; it is their generous donations that allowed this scholarship to be established.  More details can be found on our website -
New Rock Instructor Course Standards
You will be able to read about this at length in the upcoming Mountain Bulletin, so for now we'll provide the basics.  The RIC, with its new modifications, will sit between the Climbing Instructor track and the Guide track and serve two purposes:

It will serve as the preliminary course for those members interested in becoming AMGA Certified Rock Instructors (with it's new modifications).  The SPI course and assessment will not be required to take the RIC, however the RIC will serve as an excellent next step for those who are AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructors and wish to move into multi-pitch terrain, but without the commitment of becoming a full rock guide.

The RIC will continue to be one of two avenues for those members wishing to enter the Guide track in the Rock and Alpine disciplines.

The new standards are as follows:

  • You must have 5.10a recreational climbing experience.
  • You must be comfortable leading 5.9 trad climbs on a variety of rock types
  • On the RIC you will be learning to guide on climbs up to 5.9 in difficulty and Grade III in length.
  • On the RIE you will be expected to guide two clients on climbs up to 5.9 in difficulty and Grade III in length
  • Grade IV or longer climbs will not; I repeat; will not be required for the RIC or the RIE.

With these improvements to the program the AMGA office would like to announce an incentive program for current AMGA Certified Rock Instructors that are considering pursuing Rock Guide Certification. We are pleased to announce that we will be offering a 10% discount on AMGA Rock Guide Courses and Rock Guide Exams for current AMGA Rock Instructors through to December 31st, 2011.  This discount cannot be combined with other AMGA discounts i.e. employee discount for Accredited Programs. 
CGF Acquires Red Rocks Permit
This week the CGF received great news on the permit front - Red Rocks!
Each year the BLM office managing Red Rock Canyon NCA runs a lottery for the temporary permits for the upcoming season.   They offer ten 10-day permits via the lottery system.  This year there were 33 applicants vying for the ten permits and the CGF was awarded one of them!
The permit structure allows for one ten-day block or two five-day blocks.  The CGF chose to go with the five-day format: one in the spring and one in the fall.  To comply with the permit requirements, the tentative dates have already been chosen.  They are as follows:

5-Day Spring Block:
April 29th to May 3rd, 2010

5-Day Fall Block:
October 14th to 18th, 2010
Any current CGF members who are AMGA Rock Guide or Rock Instructor Certified will now have the ability to work in this great venue for the upcoming 2010 season.  In order to best work with the land managers of the Canyon, the CGF will conducting a poll of intended use.   For those of you eligible, please give some thought to working in Red Rocks on those dates and the estimated number of client days you may have along with the routes you wish to guide.  Depending upon the level of interest, the CGF may need to run a lottery in the coming months to help disperse use and mitigate the concerns of land management.  As always, in order to participate in the lottery your CGF membership will need to be up to date.

Stay tuned for further information regarding Red Rocks and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.

You can reach Scott Schell at - cgfinfo@mac.com
Registration Now Open for 2010 AIARE Level 3 Avalanche Training
aiare_logo  AIARE Level 3 Course: Advanced Avalanche   Training for Professionals and Recreational Leaders

Registration is now open for the 2010 AIARE level 3 programs.  This course fulfills the avalanche skills and knowledge pre-requisite for AMGA Ski and Alpine programs.

For details and online registration, go to http://avtraining.org.  
E-mail benp@avtraining.org for questions.

2010 Schedule
January 11-17, 2010 - Snoqualmie Pass, WA
January 25-31, 2010 - June Lake, CA
March 1-7, 2010 - Silverton, CO

**These courses tend to fill quickly, it is highly recommended that you register sooner rather than later.**
Professional Development Scholarships Awarded
We recently recognized the winners of two Professional Development Scholarships at the AORE Conference in Minnesota. 

AMGA - Climbing Wall Instructor Course Scholarship - Emily Armes
AMGA - Single Pitch Instructor Course Scholarship - Sam Braband

Congratulations to Emily and Sam for receiving these scholarships.
Backcountry Access Video Series
Backcountry Access (BCA) has just released a three-part video series on avalanche rescue. These are broken down into very concise videos on beacon searching, probing, and shoveling technique. These are excellent teaching tools and can be found on the BCA education page:

BCA Education

For status updates on BCA's latest products - including the Tracker2 and Float 30 avalanche airbag - stay tuned to the BCA blog - http://www.backcountryaccess.com/blog - and BCA Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/backcountryaccess.
Product Blowout!
We still have a few items cluttering our shelves.  Below is what is available on a first come, first served basis. 

Marmot Approach Jacket  - XXL only - Black - $20.00 (8 available)
Marmot Approach Jacket - XL - Hedge - $49.00 (1 available)
Women's Champ Pants - 42 - Black - $100 (1 available)
Mammut Courmayeur Pants - 24, 48, 50 - Black - $110 (1 in each size available)

Also, we have some Annual Meeting Capilene shirts available for those who didn't make it to Moab or those who did but failed to purchase one.  The men's version is grey and the women's is a amposterlight green.  The image to the right is screened on the back and an AMGA logo on the front.  They are $30 each and we have the following sizes available -

                        Men's S (2 available)
                        Men's XL (3 available)
                        Men's XXL (several available)
                        Women's XS (2 available)
                        Women's L (1 available)
                        Women's XL (2 available)

Please email josh@amga.com if you're interested

Josh Harrod
American Mountain Guides Association