American Mountain Guide Association SPI Climbing Instructor Certification Programs


AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

  • Gain the next level skills and training for becoming a climbing instructor professional.
  • 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, individual 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 after successfully completing the course.

 Contact us for registration packet and any questions.

Course location: Smith Rock State Park
Cost: $560


AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Exam

Those seeking certification may go on to take a scheduled two day SPI Exam at a later time following the SPI course, within three years after successfully completing the course. Participants 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, professionally, and in any natural setting as well as movement and lead skills assessment.

  • Completion of SPI Course required within 3 years prior.
  • 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: $350


SPI Courses 2022
March 12-14 
April 23-25
May 21-23
Sept TBD

SPI Exams 2022

March 5-6
April TBD
May 1-2
Sept TBD

You may request customized SPI Exam dates or locations


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
  • AMGA SPI Program Instructor

2021 Course Dates

If the listed dates above don’t work with your schedule, all courses can be arranged as a Private Guided Day Trip customized to your needs, on the day you choose.
Private Guided Day Trips