AMGA SPI Courses + Exams

Upcoming SPI Exam:

October 21-22, 2022 || Ogden, UT

WSU Student Price: $200 || General Public Price: $400

For registration details - email: 


  • 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.

Sample Itinerary

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


SPI and AMGA Program Overview

The participant will be able to articulate an understanding of the SPI Program, AMGA organization, programs, certification levels, history and mission.


Candidates will be able to describe the traits of a professional instructor and embody those traits as an instructor.


Participants will have comprehensive knowledge of equipment and materials used in single- pitch climbing instruction, and will be familiar with its use, care, applications, and storage.

Knots and Hitches

Candidates will demonstrate proficiency in tying and understanding of the application of the following knots and hitches: Figure 8 family, Overhand family, Double overhand on a bight (BHK), Ring bend, Clove hitch, Girth hitch, Bowlines, Münter hitch, Münter mule, Friction hitches (autoblock, Prusik, Klemhiest), Double fisherman’s bend, Flat Overhand (Patagonia Knot)


Candidates will demonstrate a thorough understanding of belay devices, techniques and communication. Candidates must also exhibit the ability to teach belaying clearly.

Protection and Anchoring

Candidates will demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of anchoring principles and risk management strategies for single pitch crags.


Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of different learning styles and proficiency in both instructing in a group setting and coaching on an individual basis.

Selecting the Climbing Site

Candidates will be able to research climbing areas and interpret guidebooks, topos and climbing web sites in order to select appropriate sites for institutional climbing. Candidates will be familiar with the various land management structures in the US and their varying permitting requirements.

Site Organization and Group Management

Candidates will demonstrate proficiency in site organization and group management in both top and bottom managed situations. Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of both the environmental and social issues involved in commercial guiding in single pitch settings.

Base-Managed Sites

Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of the rationale for working at the bottom of single pitch crags and proficiency in the skills required to operate in this setting.

Assistance Skills: Base-Managed Sites

Candidates will be able to perform a variety of assistance skills that may be required when working at the base of a single pitch crag.

Programming and Risk Management

Candidates will demonstrate an understanding of programming and risk management issues involved in single pitch instruction.

Lead Climbing

Course instructor completion of a single-pitch trad lead climb demonstrating sound leading practices and considerations for student belaying of lead climbs.

Top-Managed Sites

Candidates will comprehend the rationale for choosing to operate from the tops of crags and display proficiency in the skills needed to execute these systems.


Candidates will demonstrate proficiency at lowering clients and the use of appropriate back- ups.

Assistance Skills: Top-Managed Sites

Candidates must possess the skills to assist climbers from the top of a crag in a single-pitch setting.


Candidates will be able to set up and manage institutional rappels, employ appropriate back- ups and execute assistance/rescue techniques.

Climbing Movement

Candidates will understand the principles of climbing movement and be proficient in teaching climbing movement skills in a group setting and coaching individual clients.

Upcoming SPI Course:

TBD || Ogden, UT

WSU Student Price: $250 || General Public Price: $575

For registration details - email: 

The AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Course is 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 in beautiful northern Utah, 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.

Register Online Here


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The 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. The WSU Outdoor Program offers this course in Northern Utah.

  • The program is for current, active rock climbers who have a real desire to teach rock climbing to novices in a single pitch setting.
  • It significantly improves the instructor’s skill set and integrates into the next level of training, the AMGA Rock Instructor Course.
  • 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.

Time: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Duration: 3 Days

Maximum Ratio: 6:1

Students are responsible for their own lodging, transportation,and meals

There is a minimum of 3 participants required per course date. Please contact the Outdoor Program to confirm enrollment prior to making travel arrangements.

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

Price Includes:

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

Price Excludes:

  • Climbing Equipment
  • Food
  • Lodging
  • Transportation
  • Misc. Charges
  • Rescue Fees
  • Helicopter Rides
  • Trip Insurance
  • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of the WSU Outdoor Program

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