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Guides’ Courses

Upcoming Course Dates

In order to sign up for any AMGA Course or Exam you must become a member of the AMGA (Professional Level) as well as register for the course you would like on the AMGA website.  You MUST also fill out the online registration form in the Your Day menu and apply the SPI Course/Exam payment on the Shop page to become a student in the SPI Course/Exam you would like.  AMGA SPI Course is $575 and the Exam is $375.  Cancellation policy is 30 days for SPI Courses or Exams.

   AMGA SPI Course  2022 $575

  • April 1st-3rd
  • May 20th-22nd
  • June 10th-12th
  • July 15th-17th
  • September 9th-11th
  • October 14th-16th
  • December 2nd-4th

AMGA SPI Exam 2022 $375

  • April 27th-28th
  • September 21st-22nd
Price includes Mohonk Preserve/Minnewaska Day Pass fees.

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course and Assessment

instructor_SPI_B&WThe AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program is the only nationally and internationally recognized single pitch climbing instructor certification program. This course has been created to fit in the AMGA Rock Discipline training program, taking off from the AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Program and greatly improving the instructor’s skill sets and integrating into the next level of training, the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.

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.


  • 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 carbohydrate window and tried 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.

How to Apply

Step 1: Join the AMGA (or log-in to your existing account)

Step 2: Apply to Your Course or Assessment

  • Sign in to your myAMGA account.
  • Click the “Apply for a Program” tab.
  • Select the discipline and course type you are applying to.
  • Select the specific program you are applying to and click “apply.”
  • Confirm your prerequisites.


  • 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.

The above prerequisites are absolute minimums. Without having at least this amount experience you are unlikely to make best use of the training.

AMGA SPI 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.

Leave No Trace Trainers Course


LNTLogo_000Mountain Skills Climbing Guides is proud to have Leave No Trace Trainers and Master Trainers on staff. Our commitment to education is reflected in our desire to learn and pass on the principles that help keep our natural environment as impact-free as possible. We fully recognize that our obligation to the outdoors is to protect and preserve, and our obligation to our clients and staff is to model and teach low-impact skills.

Leave No Trace is an national and international program designed to assist outdoor enthusiasts with their decisions about how to reduce their impacts when they hike, camp, picnic, snowshoe, run, bike, hunt, paddle, ride horses, fish, ski or climb. The program strives to educate all those who enjoy the outdoors about the nature of their recreational impacts as well as techniques to prevent and minimize such impacts. Leave No Trace is best understood as an educational and ethical program, not as a set of rules and regulations.

About the Course

Course length is two full days with a required overnight camping in between. Trainer courses are designed for educators, guides, agency employees, and other outdoor professionals. Successful graduates of the Trainer Course gain the skills to teach Leave No Trace techniques and ethics to their clients, friends and family. Participants learn the concepts of Leave No Trace and prepare to teach Leave No Trace curriculum in a variety of settings: schools, camps, parks, wilderness and front country areas.