AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

SPI Course Overview

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Nate A, Undisclosed location RMNP
Exemption from Training Extremely experienced candidates with many years of climbing experience can apply to the Climbing Instructor Program Director for exemption from training and take the SPI Assessment without completing an SPI Course. Before considering this option one should realize that ongoing training and having a chance to work with your peers in a course environment is invaluable for all instructors at anytime in their instructing career. Skills taught are instructor specific and many topics taught on the class are updated annually as new techniques, equipment and philosophies come to light. In the rare instance that an individual would opt to miss out the AMGA SPI Course, the candidate would apply via email to the AMGA CIP Director stating why you wish to miss the training and challenge the SPI Assessment. The candidate should submit a detailed climbing resume and cover letter explaining your background and why you feel you do not need to attend the SPI Course.

SPI Program Hours and Ratios The SPI Course is:

  1. A minimum of 27 hours, normally run as three consecutive nine hour days or day classes with evening sessions.
  2. SPI Courses will not exceed a ratio of six students to one current SPI Program Provider.
  3. The maximum number of students on any SPI Program will be twelve.
The SPI Assessment is:

  1. A minimum of 16 hours.
  2. The Assessment should be run over a two day period. Candidates that meet the Assessment pre-requisites can take the Assessment directly following the Course if they desire although this is not recommended.
  3. SPI Assessment will not exceed a ratio of six students to one current SPI Program Provider.
  4. The maximum number of students on any SPI Program will be twelve.
SPI Course Overview The following three day outline is the standard progression for the SPI Course. Your course may have a different daily schedule and it is acceptable for Program Providers to do this as long as the entire curriculum is covered in your course. Program Providers may add to the curriculum on your course but must not omit pieces. SPI Program providers must make it clear when they are teaching outside the curriculum and should not evaluate beyond the curriculum. The course is normally run over three consecutive nine hour days but as long as all the curriculum is covered over 27 hours the course could be run over separate weekends or even as a semester class.

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
Pre-Requisites for Single Pitch Instructor Course You meet the pre-requisites for the SPI course if you:

  • Have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
  • Are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.
  • Have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.
  • Are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
  • Have trad lead climbed a minimum of 15 graded rock climbing routes (any grade).
  • Are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.
The above pre-requisites are absolute minimums and most candidates have way in excess of the above. Without having at least this amount experience you are unlikely to play a constructive part on the course or be able to make best use of the training. If you are unsure of your skill levels we suggest hiring an AMGA/IFMGA certified guide to evaluate and enhance your skills and experience prior to SPI Program enrollment.