AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor Program (SPI) is 
designed to enable instructors to ‘proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting’. The SPI Course is not a ‘climbing’ course. It is an instructor-training course for current, proficient and active rock climbers and for climbing instructors who currently teach rock climbing who wish to gain the SPI Certification. The SPI is the second stage of the AMGA’s Climbing Instructor Certification Program and will significantly help candidates who wish to work toward the next stage, the AMGA Rock Instructor Course (RIC). The course teaches many instructor specific topics such as professionalism, teaching techniques, risk management, group site organization, climbing site conservation/LNT and assistance/rescue skills. The SPI Program is a three-day (27 hour) training course and separate two-day (16 hour) assessment. 


A candidate meets the pre-requisites for the SPI course if they: 
1. Have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags. 
2. Are at least 18 years old at the time of the course. 
3. Have at least 12 months prior climbing experience 
4. Are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro). 
5. Have traditionally lead climbed a minimum of 15 rock climbing pitches (any grade). 
6. Are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope. 

The above pre-requisites are absolute minimums and most candidates exceed them. Without having at least this amount experience one is unlikely to play a constructive part on the course or be able to make best use of the training. If one is unsure of their skill levels we suggest hiring an AMGA/IFMGA certified guide to evaluate and enhance their skills and experience prior to enrollment in an SPI program. 

spi course overview

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

Testimonials - 
"I thought the course was totally worth it, even as a very competent climber who already knows quite a few systems, has built many anchors, and climbed a good deal of trad multi pitch. I still managed to learn a lot." - C. Hinchcliffe (June 2016 SPI student) 

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