Information About the AMGA
The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is the United States’ largest non-profit mountain guide association. It was founded in 1948 by Horace Mann. The AMGA also serves as a forum for continuing education and knowledge transfer among its members.
The AMGA provides certification for all employees who work for them. Its international recognition means that any American who wishes to become a member of the organization can do so easily and can then apply for either a certificate or continuing education and upgrade their status at any time. Several other professional mountain guides associations offer similar benefits; however, the AMGA has been longer than most others. It is internationally recognized as an equal partner in the adventure industry, providing opportunities and benefits for its members.
Members of the AMGA are eligible to receive financial benefits, including discounted membership fees and discounted insurance rates. They are also entitled to attend conferences, educational meetings, and conferences abroad and receive a Special Recognition Certificate. The AMGA also offers training, ranging from the basics of climbing and camping to advanced mountaineering techniques. There are special training programs for children as young as six years of age.
The AMGA is particularly noteworthy because it encourages women and men to climb while maintaining male mountain guides’ strong presence. For example, even though most American mountaineers are men, many of the best-known mountaineering routes are located in regions dominated by men. The existence of a female climber on some of America’s most dangerous mountain ranges raises awareness, and the AMGA works diligently to ensure that female climber have equal access to high mountain ranges. The organization also works with other organizations to promote environmental conservation and outdoor sportsmanship.
Several guiding organizations in the United States are not part of the AMGA. Some non-AMGA members offer their services as professional mountain guides, yet the association does not formally recognize them. These companies include Black Mountain, Bear Mountain, Big Earth, and The Mountaineers Institute. Their guiding services are not offered for free; however, some charge a nominal fee for their expertise.
The AMGA is based in Denver, Colorado, and is a national nonprofit organization. While there are many small mountains guiding outfitters and companies operating in the north-central part of the state, three guiding organizations are located in the northern part of the United States: The Black Mountain Range Foundation, The Mountaineers Institute, and Great Northwest Mountaineering. All three of these organizations have guiding offices in March, and all three provide expert, friendly, and knowledgeable service to visitors from all over the United States and Canada.
The United States Department of Interior’s Bureau of Land Management manages most public lands in New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. The AMGA provides technical support to these companies and offers educational training to its members in basic management practices. Because the AMGA has helped create many wilderness units and backcountry parks within the states, it is often invited to participate in meetings where state and federal policies and programs are being developed and enhanced. For example, in January 2021, more than twenty mountain biking and hiking organizations attended a workshop in the small town of Boulder, Colorado. At this workshop, policy decisions were made regarding public land management, off-road vehicles, and future resource management strategies.
Applicants must pass an American mountain guide exam to become a member of the AMGA. There are many different kinds of tests available, and all Applicants must be prepared for different kinds. Once accepted, AMGA members are guaranteed continuing education credit throughout each calendar year. Becoming a full-fledged member of the AMGA is not easy. It takes dedication and commitment to upholding one’s commitments to fellow members.