American Mountain Guides Association
eNewsletterMay 2012
Greetings from Boulder,

Here's your monthly update on all things AMGA. Below you can read about 2012 programs, The June Board Meeting, The IFMGA Spring Meeting, guiding opportunities in Idaho, and much more.
AMGA Board and IFMGA Meeting updates
AMGA Climbing Instructor Program

The First Quarter of 2012

This year is off to a good start. Overall, the CIP has experienced a 16.4% increase in the number of participants over this same time period last year. There was a 5.6% decrease in the number of programs run. At first glance that may seem odd, but it is indicative of something we having been working toward over the past several years - higher ratio courses and assessments. It is our belief that the educational experience is enhanced when there is a diversity of experience and skill among the participants, resulting in participants learning not only from their instructors, but from their peers as well.


The biggest spike in numbers is in the Climbing Wall Instructor Program with a 38.8% increase in participants over last year. Of the programs run, 63.3% were hosted by colleges or universities and 36.7% by commercial climbing gyms. This increase represents the strongest growth within the program since 2009.


Single Pitch Instructor Program numbers were good with a 16.4% increase in the number of participants on courses, but a 25.4% decrease in participation on assessments. The decrease in participants on assessments in the first quarter of the year has occurred on two other occasions in the past, so I am not too concerned, but it will be a trend to keep an eye on.


Both a CWI and SPI Provider Training were held earlier this year; the SPI in J-Tree and the CWI in Boston. Mark Vermeal, Nate Emerson, and Steve Schneider completed the J-Tree training as SPI Assistant Providers and will likely become full Providers before the end of the year. Jeremy Devine, Holly Libert, Jon Crefeld, Gary Dunn, Rob Baumgartner, and Sean Cahill attend the CWI training and are all in the process of working through the remainder of the training process. Congratulations to all these folks and I look forward to working with all of them.


Finally, there have been some updates in the CIP Provider Pool. Charlie Townsend was recently added to the list of SPI Provider Trainers. It will be great to have Charlie in the role of mentor and teacher to people interested in becoming SPI Providers. Also in the SPI world, Massey Teel and Gabe Coler have completed the training process and become a licensed SPI Providers. In the CWI world, Justin Moynihan, JC Norling, Jamie Struck, and Gavin Heverly became CWI Providers in the last few months. Nicely done, and a big thanks to all these folks for all their effort and commitment to the AMGA CIP Program.


One final note: In mid-June, Falcon will be releasing a book by long time AMGA SPI Provider, Bob Gaines, titled Toproping. After being reviewed by Adam Fox, SPI Discipline Coordinator, we will be encouraging participants on SPI programs to use this as a supplement to the current SPI Course Manual. For those of you who have taken the SPI course in the past, Bob's book can serve as a great resource.


That's it for now. As always, if you have questions or interested in becoming involved in the CIP, feel free to contact me in the office.


By Ed Crothers, AMGA CIP Director

Advocacy Update


Guest Guiding Opportunities in Idaho


Erik Leidecker of Sawtooth Mountain Guides has been working with the State Outfitter Guide Licensing Board to pursue a streamlined method for applying for the Idaho guiding license for IFMGA or AMGA certified guides. We are happy to report that it is up and running.


This from Eric: "It's important to remember that in Idaho a guide cannot operate independently.  They have to be employed by a guide service.  So unfortunately this doesn't necessarily mean more access for individual certified guides.  But it does allow for easier guest guiding.  And it makes it easier for a certified guide, should they want to work for a guide service in Idaho, to get their guide license. 


Say a certified guide has clients that want a guided trip in Idaho.  He/she would first have to contact the appropriate guide service (such as Sawtooth Mountain Guides, Sun Valley Trekking, JHMG, Exum, Payette Powder Guides, Sun Valley Heli Ski, High Mountain Heli Ski, etc.) and see if an arrangement can be made.  Then the guide would apply for a license from the state, which would entail:


  • Filling out this form (looks complicated, but it's actually easy): 
  • Attaching copy of appropriate certification certificate (Rock Instructor, Rock Guide, or Alpine Guide for "technical mountaineering" category; or Ski Mountaineering Guide for ski category). 
  •  Attach copy of current WFR/CPR
  •  Pay licensing fee of $135
  •  Have employing outfitter send an email to the IOGLB stating intent to hire.


It seems like a lot to take a couple clients to the City of Rocks for the weekend, for example, but the reality is that there is a certain amount of admin to deal with no matter where you guide anymore!  And it's a lot easier than getting equivalence in France!  But it does require that an interested guide establish a relationship with the appropriately permitted outfitter.  We (Sawtooth Mountain Guides) are happy to open up our permit to certified guides".


Many thanks to Erik for working hard to get this accomplished. If interested, feel free to contact him at


By Scott Massey, AMGA Advocacy Director  

Travel Discounts

Looking for a simple, turnkey solution to give your website online reservations? Well we've partnered with Unreasonable Adventures to help you do just that!

Why We Partnered with Unreasonable Adventures:

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A 50% off Discount!

Though they typically charge $80 per month for this service, because you are a member of the AMGA, you'll be getting a 50% discount...saving you $480 annually! Just use the Discount Code AMGAisRad when Signing Up!

A Free Trial and a No-Risk Guarantee!

Once you sign up for Unreasonable Adventures, you'll have a whole month to test it out for free! After that, they'll only ever charge you on the months in which you make there's never any reason to take it down during your off-season! We're confident that especially with the AMGAisRad discount it will be a smart decision, but if it's not the right fit for your business, you can cancel your subscription with them at absolutely any time.

What next? Click these links....

Unreasonable Adventures Homepage
Example An Outfitter Currently Using their Systems
Their Pricing Page

Further questions? Feel free to contact Unreasonable Adventures' Head of Partnerships at
Unreasonable Adventures
Help Wanted

helpwantedIn an attempt to better serve our Accredited Programs, Certified Guides and Corporate Partners, we will be offering space in the monthly e-Newsletter to share job opportunities. This benefit is available to any current AMGA Accredited Program, Certified Guide or Corporate Partner.  Postings must be submitted to  between the 1st and the 5th of every month in order to make the monthly e-Newsletter. Any postings submitted outside this time-frame will be deleted. Postings must be 200 words or less and will be reviewed and accepted or denied by the AMGA office staff. Please email with any questions.



Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing Schools - Now Hiring

Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing Schools have guiding opportunities open for those with a minimum of a Single Pitch Instructor certification. Year round positions are available in some locations.


Contact: Eric Waldron



We are currently taking applications for our school locations in NY (Gunks, Lake Placid), NH, NJ (Allamuchy), PA (Ralph Stover, Chickies Rock), and VA (Great Falls).

Applicants please email the following:
  - Location(s) you are interested in guiding
  - AMGA certification level
  - First Aid certification level
  - Climbing resume
  - Guiding or teaching resume

EMS Schools programs and information can be found at

Outdoor Prolink - Now Hiring

Outdoor Prolink is looking for help in their office with membership. The ideal candidate would need to know their way around outdoor ed, guiding, etc - we can train of course! 


Gareth Richards  


Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Expands Guest Guide Opportunities  

CONTACT:       Rob Hess, Chief Guide
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides
In early September, 2011, I notified AMGA certified rock guides of the opportunity to guest guide under JHMG's permits in Moab/ Indian Creek, the Red Rock, Cody and Boulder, Colorado. I am pleased to announce a further expansion of our guest guide program to include the world class City of Rocks outside of Almo, Idaho.
This opportunity is available only to AMGA certified guides and IFMGA-level guides. Guides wishing to climb under JHMG's guest guide program should submit a letter of interest along with a climbing resume, copy of current first aid and CPR cards, and a copy of the guide's AMGA certification card to Rob Hess at the email address shown above.
An Idaho guide's license is required and JHMG is now in position to expedite the process of aquiring a license for AMGA certified guides through Idaho Outfitter and Guides Association. Guides whose applications have been approved will receive a written acknowledgement and additional information about the program


Exum Mountain Guides - Guest Guide Opportunities  

The AMGA is excited to announce that we will be working with Exum Mountain Guides this summer to offer you the opportunity to work as a guest guide in Grand Teton National Park!


The Tetons provide some of the most accessible and diverse climbing in the North America. One of its premier climbs is, naturally, the Grand Teton (13,770 ft), a remarkable ascent via many outstanding routes that all providing an exhilarating day in the mountains. While the Grand Teton is the most famous peak in the region, the range also offers dozens of other climbs that are both famous and challenging, all in a beautiful and dramatic landscape. 


The AMGA is proud to work with Exum Mountain Guides in this capacity, and Exum is proud to offer AMGA guides this opportunity. To apply to be a guest guide at Exum you must be an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide.  Click Here to find out how to apply. 

Blog - AMGA Ski Mountaineering Course in AK

See Rob Coppolillo's blog series on Elevation Outdoors;

-Preparing - Gear Review
-Day 4 - Skiing "RFS"
-Day 5 - Skiing Berlin Wall

 American Mountain Guides Association

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In This Issue
AMGA Board and IFMGA Meeting updates
AMGA Climbing Instructor Program Update
Advocacy Update
Travel Discounts
Help Wanted
AMGA Ski Mountaineering Blog
New Membership Director
AMGA Merchandise
New Office and Programs Coordinator
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AMGA hires new Membership Director

Ice Beard

The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) welcomes Baird Morrish as its new membership director.

Before joining the AMGA, Morrish worked in sales management and marketing in the outdoor and IT industries. Morrish developed business continuity initiatives to grow brand awareness and positioning for corporate partners in the IT industry, and worked in retail, manufacturing and as a whitewater kayak instructor and guide in the outdoor industry.

In his free time, Morrish plays an active role in organizing local river festivals, coaching in the local ski race program at Eldora Mountain and is involved with committees on recreational land use. He is an avid whitewater enthusiast and ski mountaineer and a beginner ice climber.


The Brisa

AMGA Merchandise

In addition to the Outdoor Research Radar Pocket Caps and Zip Hoodies we have now added a selection of Mountain Hardwear Wicked Lite T's to the list of AMGA merchandise.

The new t-shirts are available in men's (Small - Large) and women's (Small - Large) sizing and the following colors:
Men - Palm, Titanium, Green
Women - Greenery
All have a version of the AMGA t-shirt image on the front.

T-Shirt model

We also have some older items on our shelves that we need to clear out - quantities are limited and the sizes listed below are all we have. These items will be sold on a first-come first-served basis, so don't delay. Call 303.271.0984 x2 to place your order.

Marmot Women's DriClime Windshirt - Black w/AMGA logo embroidered on right chest area
Size Medium (1)
$25 + Shipping

AMGA T-shirt - Black/White Ringer or Green
Size Small Blue (3)
Size X-large Black (17)
Size X-Large Green (12)
$10 + Shipping

AMGA Embroidered Sweatshirts - Black, Blue or Green w/AMGA logo embroidered on left chest area
Size Small Blue Hoodie (1)
Size Small Green Hoodie (3)
Size Small Black Hoodie (3)
Size Small Blue Crew (3)
Size Medium Black Hoodie (6)
Size Medium Black Crew (1)
Size Large Black Hoodie (1)
Size Large Green Hoodie (6)
Size X-Large Back Hoodie (2)
Size X-Large Green Hoodie (1)
Hoodie $20 + Shipping
Crew $15 + Shipping 

AMGA hires new Office and Programs Coordinator 


Caroline Profile Image   

The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) welcomes Caroline McNally as its new office and programs coordinator.   

Caroline recently moved to Colorado where she's made the transition from being on the water to being in the mountains. Boulder was as far west as she could get when she landed the job as Henry Beyer's assistant in December 2011.

 As an aerospace engineer, her time before Boulder was split between Maine, Boston, Ohio and the Tahoe area. During which she spent most of her days racing sailboats professionally, testing sails, coaching and having an absolute blast. When she wasn't on liquid water, she was skinning up and sliding down the frozen stuff on two planks.

Caroline could not be more excited about the heightened level of involvement her new position with the AMGA brings. Where she is new to the guiding industry, her passion grows for it each day. She feels privileged to be working alongside the rest of the staff in the AMGA office and looks forward to the work that lies ahead.