AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guides Course and Aspirant Exam

KMG attempts to bring the highest level of customer service, the safest trips available, and the latest in guiding techniques to our customers.  In an effort to do this, KMG guides choose to go through rigorous training courses and examinations from the AMGA.  KMG guides are not “single discipline guides.”  They are professional mountain guides that train in all aspects of guiding.  For over 30 years, the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) has been dedicated to supporting the guiding community through excellence in education, standards and certification to enhance the quality of services provided to the public, while serving as a resource for accessing and protecting the natural environment. As a group the AMGA presents a strong, unified voice for high standards of the professionalism of guiding and climbing instruction in the United States. The AMGA is an organization grounded in powerful tradition that continues to evolve with the ever changing arena of mountain guiding and climbing instruction. We offer a series of training courses and exams designed to certify guides and climbing instructors to the highly respected, internationally recognized, standards of the AMGA.

KMG guides are continuing with the training process this spring.  Josh is already an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, the highest level of training available for guides working in that terrain.  As an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Josh can:

  • On sight guide 2 clients at a 5.10b/c level up to and through grade V.
  • Climb traditional and sport protected climbs at a 5.10+ level fluidly and comfortably.
  • Demonstrate a proficient short roping and transitions techniques in technically demanding terrain.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of industry standards in equipment
  • Create and implement improvised rescue in vertical terrain.
  • Use the right technique at the right time.
  • Demonstrate proficient terrain assessment, potential hazard, risk management, and client care.
  • Show a working knowledge of Leave No Trace Principles.

In an effort to gain his full UIAMG/ IFMGA licensee, Josh is headed to Canada to take the Ski Mountaineering Guides Course and Aspirant Exam.  The Ski Mountaineering Guide Course (SMGC)is the 2nd step in the ski mountaineering guide education and certification process. The course is designed for skilled skiers and climbers who wish to learn the skills and techniques used while instructing and guiding on complex glacial terrain. The course covers the tools used when guiding and instructing on glacial alpine routes. It also covers management of 3rd and 4th class terrain, technical descents, management and movement of multiple clients, and small team rescues. Emphasis is placed on effectively managing risks and maximizing client rewards.

All students on the course must have successfully completed the Ski Guide Course in order to be considered for enrollment into the Ski Mountaineering Guide Course.  Josh competed the SGC in his backyard on Red Mountain Pass.

SMGC Area:

The course will include multi-day ski tours and peak ascents. This specific course will be in based out of Pemberton, British Colombia.  Josh will be skiing in the backcountry around Whislter and Blackcomb ski areas as well as the Duffey Lake area.  Other SMGC areas include, but are not limited to the Cascades, European Alps and the Chugach Range of Alaska.

Course Length:

The Ski Mountaineering Guide Course and Aspirant Exam is 10-days in length.  The AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide certification is designed for guiding either ski tours or ski ascents/descents, on nordic, alpine touring or snow board equipment.

Ski Mountaineering Terrain Guidelines:

Ski Mountaineering Guides are permitted to conduct their profession on all terrains which:

  • includes as the main objective, either ski touring, off-piste and/or mechanized skiing/snow boarding
  • are on slopes 50 degrees or steeper
  • may employ use of short-roping techniques with the use of ice axe and crampons
  • requires travel on crevassed glaciers
  • have significant avalanche hazard
  • involve multi-pitch ice or rock

Follow along over the next 12 days on Josh’s SMGC in Canada!

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