Overview:

The AMGA SPI Course is the not just the quintessential course for aspiring guides.  It is also a course that many recreational climbers take to ensure that when they take friends and family out climbing, they are doing so in a manner that is consistent with professional standards.   Regardless of your ultimate goal, this course is packed with valuable information and techniques for even the most seasoned climber.

Developed to fit in the AMGA Rock Program and greatly improve the instructor’s skill sets, the three day SPI course covers all the required skills sets for managing a single pitch site from the base or top of the cliff.  Candidates can either access the top by non-technical terrain or by leading.

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 was developed to fit in the AMGA Rock Program.

Benefits:

  • 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 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.

Prerequisites:

  • A genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
  • At least 18 years old at the time of the course.
  • At least 12 months prior climbing experience.
  • An active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
  • Have trad lead climbed a minimum of 15 graded rock climbing pitches (any grade).
  • Are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.
  • Must be an active member of the AMGA.

Time:

8:00am - 5:00pm

Duration:

3 Days

Maximum Ratio:

6:1

Minimum Age:

18

Meeting location:

Neptune Mountaineering
633 S Broadway St.
Boulder, CO 80305

Lodging:

Colorado Mountain School offers a 16 bunk lodge that is conveniently located in downtown Estes Park (1 hour north of Boulder) and features a full kitchen, WiFi and hot showers. Reserve a bed now for just $40 per night (plus tax).

Notes:

Upon successful completion of the SPI Course, candidates that meet exam prerequisites are eligible for the AMGA SPI Exam.

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

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

Price Includes:

  • AMGA Certified Guide and Program Provider
  • Digital AMGA Course Manual

Price Excludes:

  • Climbing Equipment
  • Park Entrance Fees (where applicable)
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Gratuity
  • Misc. Charges
    • Rescue Fees
    • Helicopter Rides
    • Trip Insurance
  • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School
Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
60m Dynamic Rope

9.5-10.5mm; suitable for leading and top roping

1

Sterling Evolution

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Alpine Quickdraws

24” (shoulder-length) runners with 2 non-locking carabiners per runner (Alpine Draws).

4-8

CAMP 11mm Express Dyneema

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Approach Shoes

These are “hiking” shoes specifically made for approaching and descending from a climbing venue where scrambling is necessary, or even for climbing an entire route. They have sticky climbing rubber on the bottom and a formed fit to influence better climbing abilities while scrambling. Consider high-tops for additional ankles support if needed. Regular hiking boots or athletic shoes may be acceptable for many climbs.

1

Men: La Sportiva TX3 Men
Women: La Sportiva TX3 Wmn

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Autoblock

This is a small sewn loop to assist in rappelling. The #1 choice on the market is the Sterling Hollowblock, or the Sterling Autoblock.

1

Sterling Auto Block

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Belay Gloves

Leather gloves, either full fingered or fingerless. These protect your hands from rope wear when belaying or rappelling and keep your hands warm at belays.

1

CAMP Axion

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Belay/Rappel Device

Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

1

CAMP Piu 2

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Climbing Harness

UIAA/CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

1

CAMP Laser CR

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Climbing Pants, Shorts or Capris

For all seasons, cotton, loose-fitting (or tight, stretchy) pants are usually acceptable for rock climbing. Shorts are acceptable during the summer - though shorts expose the knees and shins to abrasions. New climbers are encouraged to wear pants or capris. A synthetic material (like in softshell pants) may be required by your guide due to potential rain storms.

1

Men: Rab Vapour Rise
Women: Rab Upslope

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Climbing Rack

1-2 sets of cams, 1 set stoppers.

1

Black Diamond Camalot, CAMP Pro Nuts

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Cordelette

5m section of 7mm diameter nylon cord. 7mm nylon is the standard for rock climbing, while 6mm cord is acceptable for certain applications in alpine climbing and ski mountaineering due to the lower forces involved.

2

Sterling Cordelette

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Double-length Sewn Runner

48" or 120cm. Used for rappelling, making leashes, and improvised rescue.

1-2

CAMP 11mm Express Dyneema

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
First Aid Kit

Your guide will have an emergency First Aid Kit. You should bring a small kit including blister prevention and care products such as a role of athletic tape and Moleskin. Your kit should also contain a few Band-aids, some Tylenol and Ibuprofen.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Food

Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, and/or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

1

Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Lightweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

2

Men Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve
Women Rab Merino 120 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

Neptune Mountaineering

Optional
Locking Carabiners

Pear shaped carabiners are most versatile - screwgates or twist locks are acceptable.

6+

CAMP Guide Lock

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Long/Short Sleeve T-shirt

Cotton &/or Synthetic/Merino Wool; Bring a variety of short-sleeve or tank tops, and a few long-sleeve. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts can be nice for the crack climbing days. Synthetic shirts are not required for rock climbing, but some may prefer the feel and quick-dry performance.

1

Rab Route Tee

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Mechanical Pencil

Great for taking notes in the field.

1 Optional
Midweight Baselayer Top

Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

1

Men Rab Merino 160 Hoody
Women Rab Merino 160 Long Sleeve

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Non-locking Carabiners

Most climbers prefer wire-gated carabiners due to their light weight, among other useful characteristics.

10+

CAMP Nano 22

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Nut Tool

For removing rock protection.

1

CAMP Nut Tool

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Prussik Cord

1m of 6mm nylon accessory cord. Tech cord (kevlar, spectra) is not acceptable.

2

Sterling HollowBlock

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Releasable Assisted Breaking Device

Belay/rappel device that applies force to the rope to assist with breaking.

1

Petzl Gri-Gri, Trango Cinch

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Rock Climbing Helmet

UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

1

CAMP Titan

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School

Equipment
Rock Climbing Shoes

Technical rock shoes are required. For beginning climbers, having a looser fit is advisable. In this case, loose means that toes are touching the front of the shoes when standing, but are not forced against the front of the shoe. In colder weather, thin socks inside climbing shoes are a great option. On long routes, rock shoes should be comfortable enough to wear for day.

1

La Sportiva TC Pro

Neptune Mountaineering

Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Smartphone

Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

1 Optional
Softshell/Fleece Jacket

Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

1

Men: Rab Alpha Direct
Women: Rab Alpha Direct

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sports Bra

Provides support and allows for full range of motion

1

North Face Beyond the Wall

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Static or Semi Static Rope

9-11mm, 30m+, for setting up anchors and fixed lines

1

Sterling HTP

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Sun Hat

A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

1

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing
Sunglasses

"Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

1

Julbo Stunt

Julbo

Equipment
SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

Travel size.

1

Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Water Bottles

1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

2

Nalgene, Hydro Flask

Neptune Mountaineering

Equipment
Waterproof Shell Jacket

Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

1

Men: RAB Latok
Women: RAB Latok

Neptune Mountaineering

Clothing