AMGA Single Pitch Instructor (SPI) Course.

You also can become a rock climbing guide.

The Climbing Life Guides is proud to be a provider of the American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor Program. Come with us for both the SPI Course and the SPI Exam in Joshua Tree National Park. Details, prerequisites, and information on how to apply can be found at the official website of the American Mountain Guides Association.

Our SPI courses and Assessments are conducted by Nelson Day, an AMGA certified Rock Guide. When you take your SPI Course or SPI Assessment with Nelson, you are learning from the highest certified AMGA SPI Provider operating in Joshua Tree National Park.

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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

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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” such as, stoppers/nuts, SLCD's, tri-cams, etc.
    6. Assorted 24” and 48” runners (must have at least one 48” runner)
    1. 10 or more non-locking carabiners
    2. 3 or more locking “HMS/Pearbiners”
    3. 6 or more locking carabiners, (the more, the better)
    4. Manual braking belay/rappel device, such as the “Verso”, “ATC” or “Pyramid”, etc.
    5. Releasable assisted braking device, such as the Petzl “GriGri” or Trango “Cinch”
    6. 2 Prusik loops (1m of 6mm Nylon Accessory Cord)
    1. 2 cordelettes (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 or “semi static” (gym line) rope 9-11mm, 30m+, for setting up anchors and fixed lines
    4. Approach Shoes (This is added by TCLG, separate from the climbing shoes listed above)

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!

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

  • 2018 Course Dates:

  • 2018 Assessment (Exam) Dates:

  • 2019 Course Dates:

  • 2019 Assessment (Exam) Dates:


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.



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