The Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) curriculum is a three-day (27 hour) training course and a separate, two-day (16 hr) assessment designed by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). This program is designed to enable instructors to “proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting.” This program is for current, active rock climbers that have a real desire to teach rock climbing to novices in the single pitch or top rope setting.

Candidates should be passionate rock climbers that have their own equipment, regularly climb, and have been rock climbing outdoors for at least 12 months. Candidates include but are not limited to: college outdoor recreation leaders, experiential education program instructors, wilderness therapy staff, camp directors, youth leaders, climbing school instructors, and recreational climbers looking to improve upon their technical climbing skills and risk management. Minimum of 3 participants.

Please pay attention to the SPI Course Prerequisites. You meet the prerequisites for the SPI course if you:

  • You are a Professional Member of the AMGA.
  • You have a genuine interest in rock climbing and instructing novices on single pitch crags.
  • You are at least 18 years old at the time of the course.
  • You have at least 12 months prior climbing experience.
  • You are an active climber with traditional lead climbing experience (leader placing pro).
  • You have led a minimum of 15 traditional rock climbing routes (any grade).
  • You are capable of comfortably climbing 5.8 while on a top rope.

The above pre-requisites are absolute minimums.  Without having at least this amount of experience, it is unlikely that you will be able to take full advantage of the training this course provides.  If you are unsure of your current skill level, or are looking for assistance in preparing for this course, we suggest hiring an IMCS guide to evaluate and enhance your skills and experience prior to program enrollment.

SPI Assessment Prerequisites:

  • You are a current member of the AMGA.
  • You have successfully completed an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course.
  • You have led a minimum of 40 traditional routes, most of which should be 5.6 and on a variety of rock types.
  • You are able to comfortably lead 5.6 traditional routes, which means you place protection.
  • You are able to comfortably climb 5.8 on top rope.
  • The SPI Assessment can be taken directly following the SPI Course if the candidate successfully completed the course and meets the assessment prerequisites. However, it is highly recommended that the SPI Course candidate take time practicing and consolidating the skills learned on the course before assessment (6-12 months).
  • You do not need First Aid training to take the course or assessment. However, it is your responsibility to hold appropriate medical certification for the location that you are working in.

The advertised price for the AMGA SPI course and assessment is a group rate and includes the mandatory AMGA fees.  We need a minimum of three participants to run both the course and exam at this group rate. If we only have two participants we can arrange a surcharge to guarantee the course or exam will run.  Call the IMCS office to request more information on pricing and the number of participants in your group.

Full details on the AMGA SPI Program can be found here.

2018 AMGA SPI Course Dates
$525 Per person including all AMGA fees

  • Friday May 18 – Sunday May 20
  • Friday June 22 – Sunday June 24
  • Friday September 7 – Sunday September 9
  • Saturday October 6 – Monday October 8

2018 AMGA SPI Assessment Dates

$355 per person

  • Saturday June 2 – Sunday June 3
  • Saturday July 7 – Sunday July 8
  • Saturday September 22 – Sunday September 23
  • Saturday October 13 – Sunday October 14

Private and custom AMGA SPI courses are available for groups up to 6 people.