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in The Gear Critic
Posted November 25, 2008
in Events Forum
Posted November 18, 2008
Edited November 18, 2008 by Jason_Martin
Join us for a lecture and discussion series at the American Alpine Institute headquarters in Bellingham.
November 19th -- An Introduction to Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding
This clinic is about how to get into backcountry skiing or snowboarding. We'll discuss gear and equipment, skiing techniques, and where to go in the Mt. Baker area. Space is limited, so first come, first serve!
December 10th -- Avalanche Awareness Seminar
An introduction to avalanche awareness in the backcountry.
January 21st -- Backcountry Skiing in the Pacific Northwest
A slideshow hosted by AAI guides.
To find out more log onto:
The American Alpine Institute is located at:
1513 12th Street
Bellingham, WA 98225
All programs start at 7:00.
Posted October 16, 2008
The student assessment was last weekend. I'll post here next time I need students.
Posted October 8, 2008
We'd probably have to start at the very beginning. You know with things like, "this is a rope."
Just kidding. I'd love to get out climbing with you sometime though...it's been a long time since we got together to do something in the mountains.
Posted October 7, 2008
The American Alpine Institute is running an American Mountain Guides Association Single Pitch Instructor Exam this weekend in Leavenworth. We are currently seeking individuals who would like to play the role of student for the exam candidates on Sunday. Primarily we are interested in climbers who haven't spent a great deal of time outdoors. The exam candidates will provide a day's worth of climbing instruction to those who are interested under the supervision of an AMGA Certified Rock Guide for free.
The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor Course and exam is the first in the AMGA sequence of climbing instructor and guide training programs.
The SPI course was designed to help capable recreational climbers transition into capable and effective climbing instructors. The course focuses on the technical skills required by an instructor as they are applied in all forms of single pitch climbing instruction. In addition to this, the course addresses the essential educational and environmental tenets required to teach climbing. Those seeking certification may go on to take a two day field examination following the course. Certified Single Pitch Instructors are expected to demonstrate the technical and educational proficiencies necessary to instruct a variety of single pitch rock climbing skills in a safe and effective manner to both groups and individuals
To read more about the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor course and exam, please click on the following link:
If you would like to participate in this guide assessment as a mock student and to obtain some free training, please call me during business hours at the American Alpine Institute at:
Posted September 29, 2008
It’s that time of year again!
The Equipment Shop at the American Alpine Institute is hosting the Annual used gear sale this Thursday and Friday, October 2nd and 3rd.
We’ll have used Hilleberg and Mountain Hardwear tents, helmets, gaiters, crampons, ice-axes, boots and much more at up to 70% off!
In addition to the great deals on the usual used gear we’ll also have brand new Petzl Meteor Helmets and Adjama Harnesses, I/O Bio Wool Underwear and garments, Injinji Socks, all Petzl Ropes and Grigris, MSR Reactor and XGK stoves, and OR Bivy Sacks all at 30% Off.
Doors open at 10 am! Get here early! Please keep in mind that the sale is limited to in-store purchases only and all sales are final.
I feel like the Past 24 Hours section is too short. It used to be that you could look at quite a few posts at once. Now one has to click and then click and then click and then click and still you haven't seen all the posts in the last 24 hours...
Posted September 15, 2008
Send 'em on over...
After seeing this thread, we decided to do an "article wrap-up" on our blog at AAI. This is a page that covers a number of the articles that we've written over the last year that might be pertinent here. To see it, click on the following link:
in the *freshiezone*
Posted September 11, 2008
Edited September 11, 2008 by Jason_Martin
Posted September 10, 2008
We are regularly posting short instructional articles on the American Alpine Institute Blog:
in Climber's Board
Posted August 21, 2008
I would say they should do a 12 or 13 day course with one of the local guide services. They'll learn faster this way...
I wish I'd done it. I messed around for a long time before really nailing things down...
Full disclosure first:
I'm a climbing guide.
The facts second:
Most professional guides don't engage in un-professional activities like hogging routes. Yeah, there are a few bad apples out there, but for the most part guide services will discipline those who give the guiding industry a bad name. For the most part those who give guides a bad name only last a few years. Anyone who encounters a guide behaving in less than a professional manner should contact the guide's employer. Professional guides will always make room for the non-guided public. This is important because it not only helps to preserve the reputation of the company the guide works for, but it allows the guide to model appropriate behavior at the crag's for his or her students.
There is nothing wrong with the Mountaineers or other clubs. Volunteer instructors provide you with what you need to know to successfully climb easy to moderate routes. Like anything else, some of the instructors are good and some are not.
The biggest difference between a climbing club instructor and a professional climbing guide is the professional part. Climbing is an incredibly dangerous endeavor that has a variety of technical elements which change and evolve every year. Professional guides have engaged in training with such complexity that it could be considered analogous to a bachelor's degree. It is their job to know about these changes in technique. It is their job to be aware of new standards of gear safety or backcountry medicine. And it is their job to know how to teach climbing and mountaineering techniques in an incredibly concise, educated and non-judgemental fashion.
In short, it is not only the guide's job, but often his passion to provide you with the necessary skills to do whatever you wish to do in the mountains.
in North Cascades
Posted August 19, 2008
The person who did the traverse with Joe Stock in 15 hours and 40 minutes was Andrew Wexler. Andrew's mildly active on this website. He submitted a TR to cc.com on an ascent of the Cassin Ridge a few years ago.
Posted August 5, 2008
There is a gear anchor just below the boulder. In a rescue situation one should not worry about leaving gear behind.
If someone put bolts in on such an old line, someone else would just pull them out. The last thing we need in the Icicle is another bolt war.
in Rock Climbing Forum
Posted August 2, 2008
I did a bunch of rebolting in Red Rock Canyon. Greg Barnes at the ASCA donated all of the bolts. You should contact him about this.
If they can't help, check out the Anchor Replacement Initiative:
Those guys heard about some rebolting going on and wanted to help out.
In other words, the resources are there and you probably won't have to spend any money at all.
in Mount Rainier NP
Posted July 27, 2008
That's a very long survey to expect climbers to do before climbing or to do after when they just want to out to eat...
Posted July 25, 2008
I once took a wilderness first responder recert course with a guy who was studying how backcountry users read signs. He found that if you put something unusual in the sign, more people will actually read the sign and do what it asks.
I suspect that this is one of those tactics.
Posted July 22, 2008
Super cool guy. I spent some time with him in J-Tree a few years ago. Dude's got some great stories...
Posted May 15, 2008
We'll keep updating as we hear more...
Posted May 7, 2008
Hacksaws and crowbars are only needed for old or weirdly placed bolts. Glue-ins are the hardest to remove as you have to heat them up with a torch.
Tons of info on this can be found at:
in Personal Climbing Web Pages
Posted April 24, 2008
The American Alpine Institute recently started a blog with that includes news, conditions reports, and tips for climbers.
You can find the blog here.
Posted April 16, 2008
Bela's a guide in the sierra. His email should be on the AMGA website under ski guides...
Posted April 16, 2008
Edited April 16, 2008 by Jason_Martin
Anybody ever do Thunderbolt peak? What's the "classic" line on that thing?
Posted April 15, 2008
The American Alpine Institute is currently seeking guides to work in the alpine environment on rock, snow, and ice in the North Cascades of Washington. Pay is commensurate with experience. Newly hired guides and apprentices participate comprehensive guide training program in May led by Michael Powers, former AMGA Technical Director. These are summer jobs that can lead to additional work in the Sierra, Red Rock, Ouray, and Denali. Contact Dunham Gooding at email@example.com or 360-671-1505.
Jason D. Martin
AMGA Certified Rock Guide
Program and Expedition Coordinator
American Alpine Institute