AMGA Courses


Single Pitch Instructor Course and

SPI Course – October 4-6, 2024

SPI Assessment – October 11 & 12, 2024

Instructor: IFMGA/AMGA Guide/Provider John Kear

Location: Taos, NM

Mountain Skills is looking for SPI instructors living in the Taos area with 5 years climbing experience.

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 re-certifies the SPI certification for another three years.
  • How to Apply (to register, you must first follow the steps below)

    Step 1: Join the AMGA (or log-in to your existing account)

    Step 2: Apply to Your Course or Assessment

    • Sign in to your myAMGA account.
    • Click the “Apply for a Program” tab.
    • Select the discipline and course type you are applying to.
    • Select the specific program you are applying to and click “apply.”
    • Confirm your prerequisites.


SPI Course


  • 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 prerequisites are absolute minimums. Without having at least this amount experience you are unlikely to make best use of the training.

Cost $675

SPI Assessment 


  • 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.
Cost $475

Register here


Required Equipment List for Participants in an SPI Course or Assessment

Climbing equipment:

• UIAA/CE approved Climbing Helmet
• UIAA/CE approved Climbing Harness  with belay loop
• Climbing shoes or approach shoes in which the candidate can climb up to 5.7
• Nut removal tool
• Standard “lead climbing rack” such as, stoppers/nuts, SLCD’s, tri-cams, etc.
• Assorted 24” and 48” runners (must have at least one 48” runner)
• 10 or more non-locking carabiners
• 3 or more locking “HMS/Pearbiners”
• 6 or more locking carabiners, (the more, the better)
• Tube-type Belay/rappel device, such as the “Verso”, “ATC” or “Pyramid”, etc.
• Releasable assisted braking device, such as the Petzl “GriGri” or Trango “Cinch”
• 2 Prusik loops (1m of 6mm Nylon Accessory Cord)
• 2 cordelettes (5m of 7mm Nylon Accessory Cord)
• One 50-60m “single” dynamic rope (9.5-10.5mm) suitable for leading and top roping
• One static or “semi static” (gym line) rope 9-11mm, 30m+, for setting up anchors and fixed lines

All gear will be inspected on the first morning of the course and is expected to be in good condition. Mark all of your gear!