Office Staff - '08
Seasons Greetings
In This Issue
Scholarship Program '09
2009 Contract Courses
An Eye at the Top of the World
Ski Season Benefits

I hope this email finds you well and gearing up for a great winter season.

First, I would like to give a big thanks to all of our members.  You are the AMGA and we greatly appreciate your support and contribution to this organization.

We have some exciting news this month.  'Tis the season for scholarships -  now is the time to apply for a 2009 AMGA Scholarship.  Also, with the new year approaching we understand there may be some difficulty fitting an AMGA Program into your schedule.  If so, consider a  2009 Contact Course.

Lastly, hear what's shaking from  one of our board members and learn about some  member benefits perfect for the winter season.
Scholarship Season
  The AMGA is  ready for scholarship season and we hope you are too!  Similar to last year, we have one general application with additional questions for specific scholarships. 

We will be accepting applications November 1, 2008 through January 31, 2009 via EMAIL.  In the first week of February, all applications will be submitted to the AMGA scholarship committee. We plan on having all scholarships awarded by March 9, 2008.  
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, 2009!  Scholarship information, process and application is available on our website....
AMGA 2009 Scholarships
Arc'Teryx Scholarship (Ski Discipline)
Backcounrty Access Scholarship (Ski Discipline)
Black Diamond Scholarship (Any Discipline)
Chad VanderHam Memorial Fund (Ski Discipline) ~ due 1/1/09
Jim Ratz Memorial Scholarship (IFMGA Certification)
Julie Cheney Culberson Educational Fund: (Women's scholarship)
Mammut Scholarship (Any Discipline)
Marmot Scholarship (Any Discipline)
Mike Hattrup/XO Net Scholarship (Ski Mountaineering Discipline)
Montrail Scholarship (Rock and Alpine)
Mountain Hardwear Scholarship (Any Discipline)
Osprey Scholarship (Any Discipline)
Patagonia Scholarship (Women's Scholarship)
Petzl Scholarship (Any Discipline)
The North Face Scholarship (Alpine Discipline)
Walker Family Foundation Scholarship (Any Discipline)
W.L. Gore Scholarship (Any Discipline)

Application Process - Things to keep in mind!
Please e-mail the application - along with a climbing resume - to Katie Kelly at Your application will be reviewed by a team of AMGA representatives.

You must be enrolled in an AMGA program for your scholarship application to be accepted.

There is one general application that applies to all scholarships. However, you must submit a separate scholarship application for each program you are enrolled in.

In regards to handling 2009 winter ski guide courses, scholarship applicants will be asked to pay upfront and if awarded a scholarship, the AMGA will reimburse you.

FYI - When applying to the Chad VanderHam Scholarship - please remember to submit a 5 minute video on You Tube about who you are why you love skiing.  Application for this scholarship is due Jan. 1, 2009.
Check out last years winning video by Adrian Ballinger.  Click on the following link:  
Don't miss this opportunity. Applications are due January 1, 2009. Please send your application to and visit for more information.
2009 Contract Courses
If an AMGA Program doesn't fit your schedule consider taking a contract course...

A. Ballinger - Ski

SKI Guide Course
Provider: Crested Butte Mountain Guides
Contact: Jayson Simons-Jones
Location: Crested Butte, CO
Dates: February 23-March 6
Cost: $2,000

Provider: Sierra Mountain Guides
Contact: Howie Schwartz
Location: Donner Pass, Eastern Sierra
Dates: March 4-15
Cost:  $2,200

Provider: University of Utah
Contact: Nate Smith
Location: SLC, UT
Dates: March 12-23
Cost: Contact Nate Smith

Rock Instructor Course
Provider: Fox Mountain Guides
Contact: Adam Fox
Location: Looking Glass Rock, Linville Gorge, NC
Dates: April 21-30
Cost: $1,800

Provider: Sierra Mountain Guides
Contact: Howie Schwartz
Location: Eastern Sierra, CA
Dates: June 19- 28  & Oct 2-11
Cost:  $2,000

Provider: Colorado Mountain School
Contact: Simon Fryer
Location: Boulder, CO
Dates: April 18-27; May 2-11; June 8-17; Sept. 6-14
Cost: $2,000

Alpine Guides Course
Provider: Colorado Mountain School
Contact: Simon Fryer
Location: Boulder, CO
Dates: April 18-25; May 16-25; June 13-22
Cost: $2,000

Provider: Sierra Mountain Guides
Contact: Howie Schwartz
Location: Eastern Sierra, CA
Dates: June 5-14
Cost:  $2,000
An Eye at the Top of the World
Longtime Marmot athlete,  Marmot Design Board Member and AMGA Board Member Pete Takeda sold the rights to his 2006 Eye on Top of the Worldbook, AN EYE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD this year, after long contract tailoring and negotiation.

Producer Steve Schwartz acquired the property after looking at AN EYE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD when the book was released. Steve who was developing Cormac McCarthy's THE ROAD (release date is in November of 2008) at the time saw the opportunity as a great fit. Schwartz is an avid weekend rock and ice climber and former Board Member of the American Alpine Club.

This film will be produced by the team that is bringing THE ROAD to the big screen--Steve Schwartz, Paula Mae Schwartz and Nick Wechsler. Nick Wechsler is one of Hollywood's most celebrated producers. His films include SEX, LIES AND VIDEOTAPE...THE PLAYER...NORTH COUNTRY...DRUGSTORE COWBOY, etc. The script is being penned by Ryne Douglas Pearson, who most recently co-scripted KNOWING, a thriller starring Nicolas Cage which will be released in March, 2009. Ryne was a rock climber earlier in his life.

P. TakedaPete will act as a co-producer, having input into many of the steps involved in story development, production and principal photography. He is consulting right now on the script development.

During pre-production and principle photography Pete will work on the actual climbing. The film will be a work of fiction, set in the present--it will take off from the true story of the mysterious disappearance of the plutonium-powered spy device, and will strive for an authentic portrayal of climbing and climbing culture. Climbers will recognize this as the work of

Visit the following links for more information:
Membership Benefits for the upcoming Ski Season
Protect yourself this ski season! In sure your "knees" with ORI
Ski season's approaching and many of us will be hitting the slopes.  The problem is, sometimes the slopes hit us back.  HARD.  

This message is to remind you of our new insurance offering,Outdoor Recreation Insurance (ORI).  OA. Ballinger - SkiRI is very affordable personal accident insurance for skiers, climbers and paddlers. Benefits are paid directly to you for accident-related medical and ambulance expenses.  There's also a lump sum payment in case of accidental death.

Q:  I'm enrolled in a health plan, so why should I get ORI accident coverage?
A:  Three unavoidable truths:
1.    Health plans all have significant cost-sharing provisions (deductibles, co- insurance, and other copayments).  
2.    Health plans have annual "out-of-pocket maximums" (your maximum share of costs) that frequently range from $4,000 to $10,000.
3.    It's VERY easy to incur out of pocket expenses up to that maximum responsibility.

ORI's "Snow" policy costs only $75 per year, which works out to around $6.25 per month.  
Paying off $6,000 in out-of-pocket expenses for a knee repair would cost you $500 per month.  

Q:  I don't have health insurance, why should I get ORI accident coverage?    
A:  Same reason you go skiing with an avalanche beacon, probe and shovel.  You may not need this gear, but you're very glad to have it if things go bad.  Even a simple injury can lay some pretty heavy debt on your shoulders.  

Remember, as an AMGA guide, your children (aged 14 and older), spouse and clients are also eligible for ORI coverage . . . and that's better for you.  

Click on our AMGA web link for more details about the program:

Dynafit Special
Calling all Dynafit Enthusiasts
Winter is knocking on the door!
Many backcountry destinations are alreadys dusted, the days are slowly shorter and colder, and we're getting all fired up for another great season.  Little reminders that it's time to check out this season's latest and greatest new gear.

Whether a randonee racer, a backcountry skier, or an AT Freeride fanatic, Dynafit has the best backcountry ski gear.

To get you even more informed and excited, Dynafit has recently launched the new 08-09 Dynafit North America microsite.

Check it out!

Happy Holidays from the AMGA.
Best wishes,

Katie Kelly
American Mountain Guides Association