AMGA Rock Guide Course - Smith Rocks, OR

This spring I took part in the AMGA Rock Guide Course located in Smith Rocks, Oregon.  Slowly I am building my capacity to obtain the Rock and Alpine certifications through the AMGA, as such these courses are key. Below is an overview for those that are aspiring to take the course.

Smith Rock was very conducive in terms of logistics, as there is $5 per night camping, potable water, and hot showers located a short walk away.

There were a total of 11 participants and 5 AMGA instructor team members. KC Baum was unable to stay for the entire course and was replaced with Chris Simmons for the remainder.

Each instructor was paired with 2 - 3 participants for the majority of the course. Often the third person would act as a "ghost," which essentially meant that they were managed as a shadow.

Instructors: Dylan Taylor, Olivia Race, Pete Keane, KC Baum, and Chris Simmons

Day 1: Intro to AMGA, guides pack, guides notebook, risk management discussion, professionalism, and intro to caterpillar technique (on ground) at North Point.

Day 2: Transitions - lowers, belayed rappels, and pre-rigged rappels. Afternoon practice at Cinnamon Slab area.

Day 3: Short roping / short pitching practice at Asterisk Pass and Chalk Therapy wall

Day 4: Instructor led demo of caterpillar technique in morning: Voyage of the Cowdog, 5.9. Followed by student led objective: Sunday Jinx, 5.8

Day 5: Student led objectives: Cave Route, 5.7, Living Blindly, 5.7, Mini Half Dome, 5.8 to lower

Day 6: Rescue skills practice at North Point

Day 7: Student led objectives: Monkey Face West Face Variation, 5.8 and Super Slab, 5.7

Day 8: Intro to parallel rope technique. Student led objective in afternoon: White Satin, 5.8

Day 9: Student led objectives with parallel rope technique: Thin Air, 5.10b and Round River Direct, 5.8

Day 10: Morning spend doing live drills of the 5 minute knot pass. Afterwards we did a group debrief and then individual debriefs.


Additional routes used on the course:

Sky Ridge, 5.8  - Wherever I May Roam, 5.9 - Moscow, 5.6 - Pack Animal, 5.8 -Cinnamon Slab area climbs - Fridays Jinx, 5.7 - Dirty Pinkos, 5.9+ - Birds in a Rut, 5.7 - Lusty Lady to Marsupial Traverse, 5.8 - Bunny Face, 5.7-  Stroke of Brilliance, 5.7 - Cosmos to Trezlar, 5.10a - Tale of Two Shitties, 5.10a


Photos courtesy of Pete Keane