AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Exam

SPI Exam

Being SPI certified is a great first step into the world of guiding.  More and more companies, institutions, and agencies are requiring that their instructors have some American Mountain Guide Association training.  Our Boulder, Colorado based AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Exam is offered numerous times over the course of the year.  Our examiners bring out the best in the candidate, and give the candidate a comfortable and stress-free assessment.

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Assessment


Course Details


During the exam, the candidate must show the examiner they have the technical and instructional skills to pass the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Exam.  The SPI Exam is broken down into four distinct evaluation sessions; climbing movement, technical skills, teaching ability and group management skills.  Candidates are evaluated by the AMGA marking system categories as explained below.

Exam Categories:

  1. Risk Management
  2. Client Care
  3. Technical Systems
  4. Application
  5. Terrain Assessment
  6. Movement Skills
  7. Mountain Sense
  8. Professionalism
  9. Instructional Technique

To gain SPI Certification candidates must:

  1. Successfully pass the SPI Exam
  2. Hold current AMGA Membership at Associate level or higher
  3. Hold current First Aid Certification

For more information about the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program, click here.


1) You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course or AMGA Top Rope Site Manager Course.
2) You have trad lead climbed a minimum of 40 rock climbing routes. A large number of these should be at 5.6 grade and hopefully on a variety of rock types.
3) You are capable of comfortably lead climbing 5.6 traditional routes (leader placing protection). You will demonstrate your leading ability on a variety of routes on the assessment.
4) You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.


8:00am - 5:00pm


2 Days

Maximum Ratio:


Minimum Age:


Meeting location:

Boulder Rock Club
2829 Mapleton Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301


The SPI Assessment will take place at a single pitch climbing area where there are a selection traditional lead routes in the 5.6 range and top roping routes in the 5.8 range. The assessment will examine all aspects of institutional single pitch climbing that the Single Pitch Instructor may encounter.

Sample Itinerary:

Day 1:

Will look at climbing movement and all aspects of technical systems from anchoring to assistance skills and general climbing competence.

Day 2:

The examiner may arrange for volunteer novice clients (non-paying) for the candidates to instruct in a group setting.


With a sixteen-bed lodge available exclusively to Colorado Mountain School students, SPI candidates are welcome to reserve a bed, but should be aware that there course meets each morning in Boulder - approximately a 50 minute drive from our logde.  Our lodge is located in downtown Estes Park with a full kitchen, WiFi and hot showers. Lodging must be book separately for $30/night.  Please call our office for reservations.


All of our courses can be run as private outings.  If you're interested in a course, but it doesn't fit into your schedule, please check out our private guiding options.