I just finished with a long-time goal of mine to take the AMGA alpine guide exam. The American Mountain Guide Association is the school where American guides become certified in the World wide guide standard. The AMGA program has three discipline components; rock, alpine and ski guiding. Each of these disciplines have three levels of increasing difficulty, the last being the exam. I completed the rock discipline six years ago. Now, after years of alpine climbing and guiding experience, with well over a thousand pitches of alpine terrain, I have finished the alpine exam. This leaves me to start the ski segment of the full AMGA certification.
The exam was a 10 days of full-throttle alpine climbing, in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest. We were 6 examinees. We had to demonstrate many techniques of climbing and guiding safely in very complex alpine terrain. I had the opportunity to take this exam because of the Randall Grandstaff Memorial Scholarship that was awarded to me by the AMGA and 5.10. First, I would like to thank Randall for the inspiration and 5.10 for supporting the AMGA and myself with this kind of scholarship.