It may not be the most ideal temperatures, humidity, nitrogen level etc. Well we figured we would rather deal with tourist crowds than climber crowds, and it seemed to work pretty well for us since there had been no traffic at all on almost every climb we were on. After all, we are tropical animals staying right on the Equator, we have to make use of our super capability of withstanding extreme heat. Having said that, congratulations and good job once again to Lien and Qx! Super proud of you guys! The SPI is a three full-day course that equips climbing instructors to facilitate rock climbing in single-pitch settings proficiently.
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Professionalism, programming, pedagogy, anchors. Highly recommended! It presents the most current, internationally recognized standards for technical climbing systems used in single pitch rock terrain. Included are chapters on effective teaching in the outdoor environment, risk management, professionalism, and rescue.
Visit him at verticaladventures. Jason D. Visit him at alpineinstitute. Front cover photo by Bob Gaines. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, except as may be expressly permitted in writing by the publisher.
FalconGuides is an imprint of Globe Pequot Press. Photos: Bob Gaines unless credited otherwise. Warning: Climbing is a dangerous sport. You can be seriously injured or die. Read the following before you use this book.
This is an instruction book about rock climbing, a sport that is inherently dangerous. Do not depend solely on information from this book for your personal safety. Your climbing safety depends on your own judgment based on competent instruction, experience, and a realistic assessment of your climbing ability.
Consult your physician before engaging in any part of the training program described by the authors. There are no warranties, either expressed or implied, that this instruction book contains accurate and reliable information. There are no warranties as to fitness for a particular purpose or that this book is merchantable. Globe Pequot Press, the authors, and the American Mountain Guides Association AMGA assume no liability for accidents happening to, or injuries sustained by, readers who engage in the activities described in this book.
Contents Acknowledgments Chapter 2: Professionalism Pre-Program Preparations Chapter 3: Programming Permitting Chapter 5: Baseline Equipment Harness Chapter 6: Knots and Hitches Loop Knots Chapter 7: Protection and Anchoring Rock Assessment Chapter Risk Management at the Crag Rockfall Top-Managed Sites Chapter Rappelling Teaching Rappelling Employment Resources Student Lead Belay Training We would also like to thank those who gave us feedback throughout this process.
Thanks to our fellow guides and mentors who have taught us so much over the years. Bob would like to give a sincere thanks to John Long for the many insightful conversations while working together on the Climbing Anchors books. And finally, we would like to thank our families. Jason would like to thank Krista, Holly, and Caden for supporting all of his endeavors.
And Bob would like to thank his wife,Yvonne, for her help with the photography. Ed and Ron provided most of the technical support for this text from the AMGA, and John and Julie patiently worked to put it all together.
Special thanks to Casey Shain for the excellent job on the layout and design. Thanks to the instructors, guides, and volunteers who took time out of their busy schedules to pose for, shoot, and donate photos for this project. Jason would like to thank Tim Page, James Pierson,. Hanging on by your fingertips, high above the ground, gives us a sense of focus and freedom that few other activities provide.
We love the feeling of the warm sun on our backs while we stick the perfect jam or pull the crux move. We relish in our movement over the stone and the beauty of our surroundings. We love the element of exploration that comes with the sport and the anticipation of a trip to a new crag or the ascent of a new route.
And we adore both the acquaintances that are made on the rock as well as the enduring friendships that are built within a climbing partnership. We love it all so much that we have a desire to share it with others. And while we wish to share this with others, we have to understand that the role of the climbing instructor comes with a great deal of responsibility.
People can get hurt or even killed in this sport. The SPI course was designed to help capable recreational climbers transition into capable and effective climbing instructors.
The course—and this text—focuses on the technical skills required of an instructor as they are applied in all forms of single pitch climbing instruction. In addition to this, the course addresses the essential educational and environmental tenets required to teach climbing.
Instructors are expected to demonstrate the technical and educational proficiencies necessary to instruct a variety of single pitch rock climbing skills in a secure and effective manner to both groups and individuals. The SPI course is intended for recreational climbers who are already proficient in both toprope and lead climbing.
It was designed to benefit those who wish to facilitate outdoor climbing programs for groups such as those offered by guide services, camps, schools, universities, climbing clubs, therapeutic groups, churches, and climbing gyms. Those who wish to teach climbing in the outdoors tend to have a higher success rate obtaining employment as climbing instructors with this training and certification.
About the American Mountain Guides Association AMGA The American Mountain Guides Association is the organization that oversees guide and instructor training in the United States, while also supporting and advocating for climbing instructors, guides, and accredited guide services. The organization is dedicated to supporting these groups through excellence in instructor and guide education, through the development of standards to ensure the quality of services provided to the public, and by serving as a resource for access to and the protection of the natural environment.
As a group, the AMGA. Front row, kneeling: Margaret Wheeler and Doug Robinson. Betsy Winter. The AMGA is grounded in a powerful tradition that continues to evolve with the ever-changing arena of mountain guiding and climbing instruction. The organization offers a series of training courses and exams designed to certify guides and climbing instructors to highly respected and internationally recognized standards. The goals these guides developed were written in a bar on the back of a napkin and became known as the Moose Bar Charter.
Early presidents such as Doug Robinson, Alan Pietrasanta, Ian Wade, and Dunham Gooding spent much of their time trying to expand the ranks of the guides involved, while also overseeing the development of certification courses for guides and accreditation programs for guide services.
Unity among guides and guide services became especially important in the mids. At that time a worldwide liability insurance crisis shook the guiding industry to its core. After steps were taken to secure affordable insurance appropriate for climbing schools and guide services, independentminded guides began to see that there was great value in working together as an association.
Admission into this organization would allow American guides access to the European Alps while recognizing that AMGA programs met an international standard. In the late s, under the supervision of Mark Houston, both as technical director and then as president, and with help from Jon Tierney and others, the AMGA developed the Toprope Site. Manager program. Today the AMGA continues to develop its programs to meet changing standards and to support the growing community of guides and climbing instructors in the United States.
In addition, the organization has become a resource for land managers and outdoor industry leaders by promoting land stewardship, world-class training, and sustainable practices to protect our natural resources. The AMGA is the post-graduate school of guiding, and it is where professional climbing instructors and guides go to develop their skills in order to attain the highest level of training and certification.
Some of the disciplines have multiple levels of certification. In each of the disciplines, the guide level is the highest level of certification. The Single Pitch Instructor certification was designed for those who wish to work in a single pitch setting and as an entry-level program for those who wish to continue on to gain a higher level of training and certification.
If you are interested in working solely in a single pitch setting, then there is no reason to continue on to a higher level of training. However, if you do wish to work on multi-pitch rock terrain, in the alpine, or on skis, then additional courses will be required in order for you to be adequately trained. Following is a breakdown of the different types of certification available from the AMGA and the terrain guidelines for the certifications:. AMGA Rock Guide Rock Guide certification is designed to apply to all Rock Instructor terrain, but it also includes climbs of much greater length, including big wall and aid climbs, and climbs where significant short-roping is appropriate for the safeguarding of clients on either approaches or descents.
AMGA Alpine Guide certification is designed for guiding glaciated and non-glaciated peaks, approaches, and climbs, with no limitation with respect to season or elevation. It includes rock climbs, peak ascents, waterfall ice climbs, and expeditionary climbing.
But it is a misperception of what the AMGA is and what it does. Association guidelines seldom dictate which technique an individual is required to use. Instead, AMGA program instructors evaluate their students on the application of the techniques that they have learned.
In other words, one student might accomplish the exact same goal using a completely different technique than another student, but both might still be acceptable. There are a lot of right ways to do things. Some ways may be more efficient and some ways may be more effective.
The goal of an AMGA instructor is to find the best and most efficient way based on the circumstance. In the Single Pitch Instructor curriculum, there are a handful of prescribed techniques that are taught. However, the bulk of the material is driven by concept.
A concept is a general idea of how something should work. For example, you may wish to set up a toprope with an anchor that selfadjusts to a variable direction of load. There are a number of ways to do this. You could use a quad or a magic-x with load limiting knots, or an equalette.
Instead, what matters is that you achieved a self-adjusting system, which is conceptual in nature. In the SPI curriculum there are a number of concepts.
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Course
AMGA SPI Course
AMGA Rock Instructor Course Manual