American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch  Instructor Course & Certification Programs

American Mountain Guide Association SPI Climbing Instructor Certification Programs
Climber ascending a route at Smith Rock above the Crooked River A climber sits in a buttress while teaching another climber skills to become an AMGA certified climbing guide

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

  • Gain the next level skills and training for becoming a professional climbing instructor.
  • First course in the AMGA sequence of the professional climbing instructor and rock guide training and certification progression.
  • Prerequisite skills and personal climbing resume required to apply.
  • Three day hands on course.

Setting the Standards of the Industry

The AMGA SPI course curriculum is designed to fit the needs of private climbing schools, guide services, collegiate climbing programs, aspiring climbing guides, and therapeutic outdoor program professionals.

The course addresses fundamental educational and environmental principles as they relate to teaching climbing to diverse populations. It covers the technical skills, risk management considerations necessary that apply to the varied single pitch terrain found throughout the US.

SPI Certification

Those seeking certification may go on to take the separate two day field exam following the course at any time within three years of successfully completing the course.

Contact us for registration packet and any questions.

Course location: Smith Rock State Park
Cost: $595

Climber demonstrating top rope climbing skills and gear as part of the SPI examClimber smiling and gripping a rock edge while ascending a route at Smith Rock

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Exam

Those seeking certification may go on to take a scheduled two day SPI Exam within three years after successfully completing the SPI course. The exam tests participants' performance and knowledge of industry standard practices. Those who attain certification are expected to demonstrate the technical and educational proficiencies necessary to instruct a variety of top rope rock climbing skills with both groups and individuals efficiently, decisively, safely, and professionally. Participants will need to demonstrate these skills in any natural setting as well as movement and lead skills assessment.

  • Completion of SPI Course required within 3 years prior to exam.
  • 2 day intensive, pass/fail assessment of instruction and technical skills.
  • SPI Certification is good for 3 years, re-exam required.
  • Current AMGA Professional membership required.

Exam location: Smith Rock State Park
Cost: $375


SPI Courses 2024

March 21-23
May 4-6

SPI Exams 2024

March 29-30
May 10-11
Sept TBD

You may request customized SPI Program dates or locations. Minimum of 3 participants to run an SPI Program.

Our AMGA SPI Program Providers

Our lead clinic presenters have 50+ combined years of professional guiding experience at Smith Rock. They are psyched to share their personal and professional knowledge and experience and present and practice these essential skills with you!

Jim Ablao

  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
  • AMGA SPI Provider, CWI Provider
  • AMGA SPI Certification Provider Trainer

Gabe Coler

  • IFMGA American Mountain Guide

Course Dates

If the listed dates above don’t work with your schedule, all courses can be arranged as a Private course on the dates you choose. Minimum of 3 course participants.
Private Guided Day Trips

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Our AMGA Accreditation helps assure our clients receive the highest professional standards in our industry.
Our AMGA Accreditation helps assure our clients receive the highest professional standards in our industry.