• American Mountain Guides Association American Mountain Guides Association


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Mission Statement

The American Mountain Guide's Association (AMGA) is the premier source for training, credentials, and services for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States.


For over 25 years, the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) has been dedicated to supporting the guiding community through excellence in education, standards and certification to enhance the quality of services provided to the public, while serving as a resource for accessing and protecting the natural environment. As a group the AMGA presents a strong, unified voice for high standards of the professionalism of guiding and climbing instruction in the United States. The AMGA is an organization grounded in powerful tradition that continues to evolve with the ever changing arena of mountain guiding and climbing instruction. We offer a series of training courses and exams designed to certify guides and climbing instructors to the highly respected, internationally recognized, standards of the AMGA.

The AMGA is our nation's sole representative to the 21-member International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA), the international governing body responsible for guiding standards and education around the world.

The heart of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is its membership. Spread across the country, AMGA members represent an incredible variety of educators, outdoor enthusiasts, and environmental stewards. Just about every aspect of mountain guiding and instruction is represented through the AMGA's vast member base: from the glaciated high-altitude peaks of the Alaska Range to the big walls of Yosemite, from the diverse climbing areas in the Rockies to the world class ice and rock climbing of the East Coast you will most likely find AMGA trained and certified guides or climbing instructors. These professionals could work in any part of the industry from instructors who teach on climbing walls and single pitch cliffs to guides guiding long rock routes, alpine climbs, and ski mountaineering trips. As a collective group, the AMGA is closely connected to almost every issue that faces the industry and our treasured crags, peaks, powder covered slopes, and frozen waterfalls.

Guiding in the mountains has been a profession in the U.S. that spans back to the start of the nation. Only in 1979 did a group of 12 guides decide that it was time to formalize an organization to represent the greater guiding community. As a result, the American Professional Mountain Guides Association was born. Over the next few years the "P" was dropped and the AMGA developed and grew throughout the United States.

The organization sharpened its focus of supporting the guiding profession by providing representation for land use access, education, training, and examination based on international standards for guiding. In 1997, the AMGA achieved one of its most notable accomplishments with acceptance into the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations, IFMGA/UIAGM. As a member of the IFMGA, the organization's educational and certification programs meet the international standards recognized by more than 20 nations worldwide.

Today the AMGA continues to develop its programs to meet changing standards and 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

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