Extracurricular Activities: the AMGA

The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) certifies guides in three disciplines: rock, alpine, and ski mountaineering. Each discipline typically has two 7-10 day courses followed by a week-long exam. Guides that become certified in all three disciplines also become internationally certified through the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA). SMG founder Kirk Bachman is a certified Alpine and Ski Mountaineering Guide,  and co-owner Erik Leidecker and guide Marc Hanselman are both fully-certified IFMGA guides. Erik has also become an instructor and examiner with the AMGA in the ski mountaineering program, teaching a number of ski guides courses and testing prospective ski mountaineering guides.
This spring, he spent some time in Valdez, Alaska, on a ski mountaineering guides exam. Check out a few pictures below:

Other SMG guides have begun the certification process, including Drew Daly and co-owner Sara Lundy. In addition to taking the courses and exams, a significant amount of experience and training is required. Drew and Sara both completed their Ski Mountaineering Guides Course and Aspirant Exam last spring, and before moving on to their final exams, both of them need to put in more time in glaciated terrain. Drew spent a week in Canada this winter, and Sara just returned from the North Cascades where she completed the classic Forbidden Traverse, followed by a ski descent of Mount Rainier. Take a look at her adventures below: