AMGA SPI Course

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

Are you a recreational rock climber looking to make your first steps into the guiding world? Taking your Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) course is a great place to start! From institutional anchor construction to client and single pitch site management, building well rounded skills to confidently step into the industry is a highly sought after quality. This 3 day program gives participants all the necessary tools to take their recreational base knowledge into the field as a budding guide. With 27 hours in the field, you’ll receive focused instruction and feedback on your skill progression. If you have aspirations of working towards your Rock Guide or Multi Pitch Guide (MPI) the SPI is designed to integrate into future programs.

Participants registering for the SPI course must meet the following prerequisites before taking the course (from the SPI page on the AMGA website):

  • You are a Professional Member of the AMGA
  • You have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags
  • You are at least 18 years old at the time of the course
  • You have at least 12 months prior climbing experience
  • You are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro)
  • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional rock climbing routes (any grade)
  • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope

We are fortunate to have several excellent rock climbing venues close to our Seattle headquarters.

  • North Bend – Located 30 minutes outside of Seattle.  This large dense rock climbing area is home to over 400 routes of high quality metamorphosed volcanic rock .  The climbing at the “Exits” is heavily feature with hand holds, crimps, jugs, slide pulls, and plenty of foot holds.  Situated at the foothills of the Cascades,  climbers can expect phenomenal views between pitches.
  • Mt Erie – Located 1 hour north of Seattle.  Mt Erie is one of the most gorgeous cliffs to climb at in the state.  The crags on Mount Erie are scattered on the south slope of a mini-mountain overlooking the Puget Sound.  Panoramic views take in the waters around Deception Pass, the San Juan Islands, the Olympics, and several of the Cascade volcanoes.
  • Leavenworth – Located 2.5 hours northeast of Seattle.  Perhaps the densest climbing area in Washington State, with a wide range of sport and traditional climbing from single pitches to over 800ft tall cliffs.  The bulk of the climbing is found in the two canyons west of the town of Leavenworth in Icicle Creek and Tumwater Canyon.  The rock in Leavenworth is a metamorphic granite that is highly featured with crimps, jugs, and cracks for your hands and feet to use.
  • Vantage – Located about 2 hours and 15 minutes southeast of Seattle. The climbing area is known as the Frenchmen Coulee and has over 600 routes on flowing basalt columns.   This stunning crag is perched over the Columbia River basin.  The rock tends to fracture in “dinner plates,” creating juggy incut holds on sporty routes. While it is a bit of drive from Seattle, the views and sunny weather are well worth it!   There is also free dispersed camping adjacent to the crag and lodging options nearby.

 

Prerequisites:

  • You are a Professional Member of the AMGA.
  • You have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
  • You are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.
  • You have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.
  • You are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
  • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional rock climbing routes (any grade).
  • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.

The above prerequisites are absolute minimums. Without having at least this amount experience you are unlikely to make best use of the training.

Reading List

This is a highly recommended shortlist and we would be happy to pass on a longer reading list for those interested. These links will bounce to Amazon.com with reviews.

Climbing Anchors
John Long, Bob Gaines
Rock Climbing: Mastering Basic Skills
Topher Donahue, Craig Luebben, Mountaineers Outdoor Experts, Mountaineers Books

The training prior to the climbs was excellent. The glacier travel, cramponing and crevasse rescue practice was more extensive than I have received on some major expeditions!

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