AMGA SPI Program

AMGA SPI Program

AMGA Logo

American Mountain Guides Association Training

Denver Mountain Guiding offers American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) training. The AMGA training and certifications are the only nationally and internationally recognized certifications in the United States for Climbing Instructors and Rock, Alpine and Ski Mountaineering Guides. The AMGA is the sole representative in the US for the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) and Climbing Instructor Certifications (endorsed by the UIAA). The AMGA is recognized worldwide as the highest American standard of training and certification for instructors and guides. An AMGA certification is the standard in the United States.

SPI Logo

Single Pitch Instructor Program

The Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Program teaches climbing instructors to proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting. The SPI is the only internationally recognized single pitch climbing instructor certification program in the United States. The SPI Program consists of a 3-day course, followed by a 2-day assessment. After completing the course and then passing the assessment, you become an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor. The SPI is considered gateway training to other programs in the AMGA Rock discipline. To sign up for the below programs, call us at 303-884-2755 or email info@denvermountainguiding.com.

Benefits
  • It significantly improves the instructor’s skill sets and integrates into the next level of training, the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.
  • The program is for current, active rock climbers who have a real desire to teach rock climbing to novices in a single pitch setting.
  • The SPI Course is a 27-hour training course that normally runs as three consecutive nine-hour days or day classes with evening sessions.
  • The SPI Assessment is a minimum of 16 hours run over a two-day period.
  • Certification lasts for three years as long as the candidate keeps current AMGA Membership and First Aid Certification.
  • After three years current SPI’s can re-take the SPI Assessment to regain the SPI certification.
  • Taking any higher level AMGA Course also recertifies the SPI certification for another three years.
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.

Single Pitch Instructor Course Prep Day

This is an optional day to give instructors/climbers, who are registered for the SPI course, to get a full day overview of what will be covered in the 3-day course, and let everyone practice the skills taught in the course. It is a great way to learn the required skills for the course and test beforehand so you get the most out of the course. It is not required to sign up for the SPI course to sign up for this Prep Day.

When/Where

June 10th at 8am at Clear Creek Canyon

Cost

$100

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

When/Where

June 16-18 from 8am-5pm in Boulder and Golden, CO

Instructors

Ron Funderburke and Wes Calkins

Duration

3 Days

Cost

$500

Sample Itinerary
Day 1
  • Session 1: SPI and AMGA Program Overview
  • Session 2: Professionalism
  • Session 3: Equipment
  • Session 4: Knots and Hitches
  • Session 5: Belaying
  • Session 6: Protection and Anchoring
  • Session 7: Teaching
  • End of Day Debriefs
Day 2
  • Session 8: The Climbing Site
  • Session 9: Site Organization and Group Management
  • Session 10: Base Managed Sites
  • Session 11: Assistance Skills - Base Managed Sites
  • Session 12: Programming and Risk Management
  • End of Day Debriefs
Day 3
  • Session 13: Instructor Demo Lead Climb
  • Session 14: Top Managed Sites
  • Session 15: Lowering
  • Session 16: Assistance Skills - Top Managed Sites
  • Session 17: Rappelling
  • Session 18: Climbing Movement
  • Session 19: Review Sessions
  • Final Individual and Group Debriefs

Single Pitch Instructor Assessment Prep Day

This is an optional day to give instructors, who are registered for the SPI Assessment, to get a full day overview of what will be covered in the 2-day assessment. It is a great way to practice the required skills for the assessment beforehand. It is not required to sign up for the SPI assessment to sign up for this prep day.

When/Where

July 30th at 8am at Clear Creek Canyon

Cost

$100

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Assessment

The AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Certification is a great way to improve your professional climbing guide resume. It is becoming a minimum requirement when applying to work for local companies, and is a great way to further your education as an instructor to be a more effective and safe guide.

When/Where

August 5-6 from 8am-5pm in Boulder and Golden, CO

Instructors

Ron Funderburke and Wes Calkins

Duration

2 Days

Cost

$300

Exam Categories
  • Risk Management
  • Client Care
  • Technical Systems
  • Application
  • Terrain Assessment
  • Movement Skills
  • Mountain Sense
  • Professionalism
  • Instructional Technique
To gain SPI certification candidates must
  • Successfully pass the SPI Exam
  • Hold current AMGA Membership at Associate level or higher
  • Hold current First Aid Certification
Prerequisites for the assessment
  • You are a current member of the AMGA.
  • You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course.
  • You have led a minimum of 40 traditional routes, most of which should be 5.6 and on a variety of rock types.
  • You are able to comfortably lead 5.6 traditional routes, which means you place protection.
  • You are able to comfortably climb 5.8 on top rope.
  • The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the assessment prerequisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate take time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment (6-12 months).
  • You do not need First Aid training to take the course or assessment. However, it is your responsibility to hold appropriate medical certification for the location that you are working in.