American Mountain Guides Association
December 2012
Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season from the AMGA!

Where there still isn't much snow around us here in Boulder, the riding is still pretty good (so long as you have a bright headlamp and some good gloves!).  In this issue you'll find updates in the Climbing Instructor Program, new opportunity for a scholarship to an avy course, advocacy update on the future of fixed anchors, Avy II courses from CMS and more.  Ho ho ho!
Climbing Instructor Program: 2012 report and what's new for 2013

By: Ed Crothers, Climbing Instructor Program Director 



Greetings All:


It has been another busy year in the Climbing Instructor Program. While all the numbers are not finalized for 2012, enough data is in to make a reasonably accurate comparison of last year to this year. Based on the total number of attendees taking Climbing Wall Instructor courses, and Single Pitch Instructors courses and assessments, the program grew by 2.9%. At first glance that number appears to indicate minor growth, however, the total number of attendees for 2011 was 1019 and 1049 for 2012. Clearly, the programs continue to be strong and in high demand. Individually the number of attendees on CWI courses was up 20.5% with SPI courses up 10.4% and SPI assessments down 6.6%. So congratulations to the 187 individuals who received CWI certifications and the 263 who received SPI certification in 2012. Being a number geek, I found it interesting that of the 263 SPI certifications, approximately 24% went to individuals who were renewing their SPI certifications.


Click here for the full report which includes:

What's new for fall 2013

Provider Training Opportunities 


2013 Scholarship Opportunity for Avalanche Education w/CBMG

Crested Butte Mountain Guides offers avalanche education scholarship through the


'Knox Frank Memorial Scholarship for Avalanche Education.'


Knox Frank loved the mountains. His passion, combined with his charismatic wit, was simply contagious. The only thing that made the mountains better for Knox was sharing them with friends, of which he had many.


knox frank
Knox boot packing up in the backcountry. 



The chosen winner will receive a FREE Avalanche Education package in Crested Butte, Colorado (an estimated total value of $1000 - $1500 depending on type of course chosen) and would include:

  • Enrollment in any scheduled AIARE Level 1, Level 2, or Refresher Course with Crested Butte Mountain Guides,
  • Lodging from Irwin Outfitting,
  • Breakfast/lunch food supplied by Izzy's Deli, and
  • Evening food and beverages provided by the Brick Oven Pizzeria and Pub.
Click here for scholarship qualifications and how to apply.

CBMG logo
Best Gift Ever: A New Ice Climbing Tower!!! 

Still don't have something for that special someone??? 


The 18m tower was built in 2010 and sits in Happy Valley up at the ski resort. The package includes the engineers stamped drawings,watering system, and all gear required to operate the business. A complete list is available. All intellectual property will also be included ( policies & procedures handbook, and all financial statements).

The buyer will have to negotiate the lease terms with Big White Resort and secure their own insurance. The current owners will be available for the first year of operation after the sale to help new owners if needed.

For more information on the ice tower visit or

For all inquiries contact;
Jim Ongena
Corporate Heights

Advocacy Update

By: Scott Massey


Greetings from the Advocacy Department! Part of the work that I do involves working with partner organizations, so the weekend before Thanksgiving I journeyed to Las Vegas again for the Access Fund's Future of Fixed Anchors Conference. It convened about 80 people, from route developers to local climbing advocates to folks involved in bolt replacement work, for the purposes of opening up the discussion on best practices regarding bolting. The first day had some great presentations including European hardware standards, land management policies regarding fixed anchors, and the metallurgical analysis of bolt failures in Thailand.   Day two convened in the sun at Spring Mtn. Ranch State Park for some hands-on time and demonstrations. Jim Taylor from the Appalachian Climbing School showed off some pretty innovative techniques with core-drilling, a great way of removing old bolts while creating a larger hole to use with a bigger, more sustainable bolt. Fixe Hardware and Climb-Tech were on hand with demonstrations of several of their products. The Thaitanium Project lads showed some glue-in tricks. Roger Brown, a volunteer from Yosemite who has replaced over 2,500 bolts by hand, showed some amazing technique by hand-drilling a "x 1 " hole in about 3 minutes, then removed the bolt and bored it to 3/8" x 2 " in about 4 more!

            Some great discussion and networking was had, but most importantly, it really opened up the discussion about sustainability in bolting practices. With increasing regulation of fixed hardware, this seemed like a crucial first step towards crafting some generally agreed-upon hardware and technique standards that will be instrumental in the long-term sustainability of rock climbing in the U.S.




Another minor update for folks climbing Rainier this coming summer - climbing fees will be increasing a little bit, due to inflation. The last round was substantially greater. This year the increase will be 2.4%. In specific terms, adult permits will increase from $43 to $44. Youth permits will increase from $30 to $31.

2013 Level II Avalanche Courses with Colorado Mountain School 

CMS logo

Colorado Mountain School (CMS) offers AIARE Level II Avalanche courses.  This is a four-day field based course in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Lodging is available at the CMS lodge in Estes Park, CO. 

2013 Level II Course Schedule:
January 17-20
February 14-17
March 7-10
April 4-7

Be safe out there!!!


AMGA Board Meeting - January 2013
The January Board Meeting will be held in Boulder, CO on Jan. 25, 2013 at the Boulder REI.
Help Wanted
helpwantedIn an attempt to better serve our membership, 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.



Seneca Rocks Climbing School 

Position: In House Instructor 

Contact: Massey Teel


Seneca Rocks Climbing School is looking for an in house instructor for the 2013 season running from April 1st-November 1st.  SRCS is the oldest climbing school and guide service in the mid-Atlantic providing instruction and guiding at one of the most spectacular cliffs on the East coast.  This position will involve teaching and guiding students at Seneca Rocks and other crags in WV and VA.  The majority of this work will be multi-pitch but occasional single pitch days should also be expected.  The instructor will also be able to supplement income by working for the Gendarme, a retail shop that sells climbing equipment and outdoor goods/apparel.  Company housing available.  Applicants must have a valid WFR certification, reliable transportation and a desire and share the sport of climbing with students.  A solid understanding of traditional climbing techniques and multi-pitch techniques are also required.  Rock Instructor and/or experience guiding in multi-pitch settings a plus.  Those interested should send a resume and climbing/working log to Massey Teel via email 



Colorado Mountain Club (Boulder Group) 

Position: Director of Rock Leading School 

Contact: Rick Casey



The Boulder Group of the Colorado Mountain Club is seeking a qualified volunteer to be our Director of Rock Leading School (RLS) for the summer 2013 season and beyond. A full description of the course can be viewed at our website, The course consists of one evening lecture and three field trips, around early June. The Director has the responsibility of reviewing the curriculum and helping to organize the instructors, lecturers and assistants for the course. The RLS Director may be one of the lecturers and may fill in at the field trips as needed. As such, the Director needs to be an experienced rock climber and conversant with the latest climbing equipment and leading techniques. The Director reports to the BMS (Boulder Mountain Schools) Committee. The past RLS Director for the past several years, Clint Locks, was also an AMGA guide, and the CMC would be grateful if we are so lucky as to have another AMGA volunteer help us in this position. Although unpaid, the position offers excellent networking opportunities, as the CMC is the oldest and most established local hiking and climbing organization in the state (see The CMC is prepared to offer a one year free membership if the volunteer is not already a CMC member. If interested, please contact Brenda Leach via email, the current BMS Co-Chair.


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 acquiring 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. 

 American Mountain Guides Association

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In This Issue
Climbing Instructor Program Updates
Avy Course Scholarship w/CBMG
FOR SALE: Ice Tower
Advocacy Update
Colorado Mountain School: 2013 Avy Level II Courses
Board Meeting
Help Wanted
AMGA Merchandise
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