AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Courses & Programs at Joshua Tree | The Climbing Life Guides

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Course.

You also can become a rock climbing guide.

Do you love rock climbing? Do you want to teach others how to enjoy it as much as you do? The Climbing Life Guides does more than just take individuals, pairs, families and small groups on guided rock climbing trips in Joshua Tree National Park. If you want to become an outdoor industry professional, we can also put you through an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor program so that you can start leading people on guided climbs, too. You’ll learn everything you need to know about serving as a climbing instructor during our AMGA SPI training and be able to pass your SPI assessment in no time.

All of the SPI courses and assessments available through The Climbing Life Guides are conducted by our director Nelson Day, who is an AMGA certified Rock Guide himself. In fact, you’ll be learning from the most highly-certified AMGA SPI provider operating in Joshua Tree National Park. This will put you on the certification track to becoming a certified rock climbing guide quickly and give you the tools you’ll need to guide others during their rock climbing adventures.

The SPI courses offered by The Climbing Life Guides span the course of three days. On the first day, you’ll get an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor program overview and learn the basics of rock climbing with an emphasis on equipment, knots, anchoring and more. The second day of your AMGA instructor program will focus on climbing sites, site organization, risk management and other aspects of rock climbing. On day three, your certified AMGA SPI provider will walk you through instructor demo lead climbs, rappelling, climbing movements and other things you’ll need to pass an SPI assessment. By learning from the best in the business in a place like Joshua Tree, you’ll set yourself up for future success as a professional rock climber and instructor.

Reach out to The Climbing Life Guides at (760) 780-8868 today to enroll in our AMGA Single Pitch Instructor program. More details about the Single Pitch Instructor program can be found at the AMGA website

Rates and reservation

SPI Course Overview (*)

  • 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

Rates and reservation

Required Equipment List

For Participants in an SPI Course or Assessment (*):

Climbing equipment:

    1. UIAA/CE approved Climbing Helmet
    2. UIAA/CE approved Climbing Harness with belay loop
    3. Climbing shoes in which the candidate can climb up to 5.7
    4. Nut removal tool
    5. Standard “lead climbing rack” (double 0.3-3 cams, a #4 is helpful)
    6. Two 48" (double length) slings - nylon preferred
    1. 6 or more locking “HMS/Pearbiners”
    2. Manual braking belay/rappel device, such as the “Verso” or “ATC” etc.
    3. Releasable assisted braking device, such as the Petzl “GriGri” or Trango “Cinch”
    4. 1 Friction ("Prusik") loop- I recommend the Sterling 13.5" hollowblock
    1. 1 cordelette (5m of 7mm Nylon Accessory Cord)
    2. One 50-60m "single" dynamic rope (9.5-10.5mm) suitable for leading and top roping
    3. One static rope 10mm or 3/8" 30m+, for setting up anchors and fixed lines. I recommend Sterling HTP or Safety Pro
    4. Approach Shoes & wrist watch

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!

Rates and reservation


The Single Pitch Instructor Course and Exam is offered on the following dates:

  • 2023 Course Dates:

    September 23-25
    October 21-23
    November 18-20
    December 16-18
  • 2023 Assessment (Exam) Dates:

    October 7-8
    November 4-5
    December 2-3
  • 2023 Course Dates:

    January 13-15
    February 10-12
    March 9-11
    April 6-8
  • 2023 Assessment (Exam) Dates:

    January 27-28
    February 24-25
    March 23-24
    April 20-21

Rates and reservation

SPI Course and Exam Rates

Please make sure you check the available dates. Click on your preferred option to reserve.

  • SPI Course

    Cost per climber.

    Three days


  • SPI Exam

    Cost per climber.

    Two Days


Become a Single Pitch Instructor to enter the rock climbing industry on the lead.

Leadership on the Lead.

Become a rock climbing industry leader.

Rates and Reservations

(*) Excerpted from the 2018 AMGA SPI Handbook.