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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


8:00am - 5:00pm


3 Days

Maximum Ratio:


Minimum Age:


Meeting location:

Neptune Mountaineering
633 S Broadway St.
Boulder, CO 80305


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).


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