Main content

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Courses

  • April 1-3rd, 2022
  • April 22-24th, 2022
  • May 20-22nd, 2022
  • Check in with us about Autumn 2022 dates

The Basics

The American Mountain Guide Association's (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Course and Exam is considered the standard for rock leadership in single pitch environments. The SPI course is designed for strong recreational climbers with proficiency in top-rope climbing and moderate trad leading. The course is structured to train people looking to facilitate outdoor climbing programs for youth groups, camps, guide services, schools, universities, and climbing gyms. Those who successfully complete the AMGA SPI Course and Exam have a significantly higher rate of success in finding employment in the outdoor climbing field.  

This 3-day, 27+ hour course focuses on the technical, group leadership, and risk management skills required by an instructor-guide operating in single pitch rock environments. Additionally, the course addresses the essential educational and environmental tenets required to teach climbing, with opportunities for practice and feedback during the course. Following the course, students are equipped with the training necessary to prepare for participation in the two-day SPI Exam at any time within three years after successfully completing the course. While not all students are fully prepared for the certification exam by the end of the course, every participant will have the training to practice and prepare for an exam in the future and will leave the course with many new ideas and skills useful to both their professional and personal climbing pursuits. Additional course information can be found on the AMGA's SPI page HERE.  

Course Details

Course Leader:

  • Kel Rossiter will be leading the SPI Courses and Exams. You can learn about Kel and his experiences in the climbing world by clicking HERE.

Course Dates:

  • April 1-3rd, 2022
  • April 22-24th, 2022
  • May 20-22nd, 2022
  • Check in with us about Autumn 2022 dates

Course Cost:

Course Prerequisites:

  • You are a current member of the AMGA. Membership details HERE.  
  • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional routes, most of which should be 5.6 or above and on a variety of rock types.
  • You are able to comfortably lead and safely protect 5.6 traditional routes at the time of the course.
  • You are able to comfortably climb 5.8 on top rope at the time of the course.

Location/Climbing Sites:

  • Course areas may include Lower West Bolton, Upper West Bolton, Bolton Dome, Butchers Crag, and Prospect Rock. All of these are within a 30 minute to 1 hour drive from Burlington. Staying in the Waterbury/Stowe area is another good option. There are numerous lodging options in the area and several campgrounds. An excellent resource for investigating these climbing areas is the book/mobile app available HERE.  

Required Equipment:  In the big picture, you will need sufficient gear for setting up at least one top-rope site in a variety of types of scenarios. More specifically, this includes:

  • Climbing helmet, harness, and shoes
  • A 60-70m dynamic rope (bi-pattern preferable)
  • One 30+m static or two or more 15+m static rope sections
  • Traditional rock protection rack that is suitable for safely leading/protecting single-pitch climbs in the 5.6 range
  • Enough single length slings/draws for leading and one double-length sling
  • Releasable assisted braking device (e.g., "Gri-Gri" or similar)
  • "Plaquette/Guide" style assisted braking ATC
  • 3+ "Pearabiner/HMS" style locking carabiners
  • 6+ Additional locking carabiners
  • 10+ Non-locking carabiners
  • 2 cordelettes (5m x 7mm)
  • Notebook (Rite-in-the-Rain preferable) and a camera for recording course material
  • 40+L pack that is capable of comfortably fitting all of this gear plus other group gear

Course Confirmation/Payment:

  • A 30% deposit ($175.50) confirms your place on this course. The remainder ($409.50) is due 30 days in advance of the course. You can find all the details regarding how to make payment and payment policies on our Scheduling Page.
  • Adventure Spirit prides itself on its customized service—if you’ve got any particular questions, etc, please contact owner/lead guide Kel Rossiter at adventurespiritguides@gmail.com.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Scholarship:

  • Climbing is an excellent lifetime activity for all people across all ages and stages of life. Unfortunately, there are socio-economic and other barriers that prevent equal access to this activity. Similar barriers have existed for people looking to make the transition from climbing recreationally to climbing leadership in the professional context. In an effort to address this, we have scholarship opportunities available. Please visit this page for additional information.