AMGA Alpine Guide Course - Bishop, CA

I was fortunate enough to be accepted into the AMGA Alpine Guide Course in the Sierra. None of this would have been possible without the support of friends, family, and those who I have shared time with in the mountains. The path to full IFMGA certification is long and can be overwhelming in many ways, however one step at a time! Thanks again for everyone that helped make this a reality.

After a long trip on Denali I was able to get 12 hours of rest before getting picked up by my good friend and fellow guide Matt Sellick. We high tailed it down to California to start our course, and get some much needed sunny days. As with most of these courses, the participants come from many parts of the country (and sometimes world) and have varying experience. The AGC was perhaps the first course or exam I have taken in the AMGA program were every participant was at roughly the same skill level. It is always refreshing to climb with fellow guides!

The course was headed up by Geoff Unger, as well as his co-instructors SP Parker and Erik Leidecker. I felt that this instructor team complimented each other well and provided different perspectives and solutions to situations we face in the mountains. Besides that they created a very relaxed environment in which we could all learn and practice skills.

More than other AMGA programs I felt like this course was the most applicable for what I guide on a daily basis. Emphasis on transitions, short roping / pitching, bigger objectives with many variables, and moving quickly in alpine terrain.  I look forward to putting these new skills in my toolbox and using them this summer as the Cascade season ramps up.

Instructors: Geoff Unger, SP Parker, Erik Leidecker

Day 1: Intro to AMGA, guides pack, guides notebook, risk management discussion, professionalism, and intro to transitions (on ground) at Peabody Boulders.

Day 2: Short pitching on rock at Benton Crags

Day 3: Short roping on rock at Benton Crags

Day 4: Participant led objective: Crystal Crag, North Arete, 5.7

Day 5: Navigation, piton use, and equivocation hitch near Tom's Place

Day 6: Short pitching / short roping on snow at Ruby Lake, Rock Creek

Day 7: Student led objectives: Mount Abbot, North Face

Day 8: Mechanical advantage and crevasse rescue at Ruby Lake, Rock Creek

Day 9: Group and individual debriefs


Additional routes used on the course:

Peak 11,902, the Petit Griffon, Mount Mills, variations on Crystal Crag and Benton Crags.