Climbing season is upon us, so there is no better time to tell you a bit about one of our favorite organizations. The mission of the American Mountain Guides Association's (AMGA) mission is simple: To be the leader in education, standards, and advocacy for professional guides and climbing instructors. We are proud of our 15-year history of supporting that mission through our sponsorship of the important work done by the AMGA and their 4,000+ members.
The AMGA’s founders were hardcore climbers and skiers who understood the outdoor culture thoroughly. They realized the soul of these sports didn’t have to be compromised by organization. Organization could instead serve to bring the community together in a revolutionary way. It could provide mountain guides with resources, services, and credentials to boost their careers, but also with connections to each other and to the larger community of guides and clients across the country and around the globe.
The AMGA’s training courses, exams, and certifications are designed to certify individual guides with the skills necessary to effectively guide clients in Rock, Alpine, and/or Ski terrain. The International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) and the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) have endorsed the 400+ programs the AMGA runs each year, which opens the door for individuals with their certifications to work not only in the United States, but all around the world as well.
Speaking of the amazing AMGA guides, let's meet a few of them and hear what they have to say about GORE-TEX products providing them the comfort and protection they need so they can focus on the work at hand.
Mick Pearson, AMGA Rock & Alpine Guide | AMGA Instructor Team Member & SPI Provider | AIARE Course Leader | Professional Outdoor Educator/Leadership Training
"Being from the PNW, GORE-TEX is a mandatory item on our gear lists. If there is any chance of rain in the forecast, having both GORE-TEX pants and shells can save your life. Don't forget if there is a lot of wind in the forecast, having a GORE-TEX barrier is a lightweight solution for extra warmth!!"
Randy Hohf, AMGA Member
"My GORE-TEX PRO pants have kept me dry in all kinds of ski mountaineering weather. A reverse story, however, might illustrate how important it is to have quality GORE-TEX clothing. One rainy-wet snow day two years ago I skied all day with my son. He was wearing his Arcteryx Gore-Tex jacket, and I was wearing an older and cheaper jacket because my good one had worn out and I had not replaced it yet. By early in the day, I was soaked through while he was dry as a bone top to bottom at the very end of the day. Water was beading up on his shells while mine was just soaking through. You get what you pay for and GORE-TEX Pro in the top brands recommended by AMGA is the only way to go!!"
Paul Koubek, IFMGA licensed American Mountain Guide
“I've relied on GORE-TEX products for more than 25 years now, so I've been helped many times by this excellent material. One time that stands out in my mind was guiding an attempt on Cerro San Lorenzo on the border between Argentina and Chile in Patagonia - the weather had turned into full driving hail, and I tucked inside the hood of my jacket while ice pellets tried to fill by goggles - without such a robust material my inner layers would have been sodden, instead we escaped fine... Thanks GORE-TEX!!"
Kaan Cav, AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor
"Maybe not the first thing that comes to mind but having GORE-TEX Pro shell pants is really confidence inspiring when glissading. I've never had any of their products fail me whilst sliding around on the mountain, through pretty ice-y crust and snow!"
Jonathan Browher, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
"Nothing has proven more durable & waterproof for extended winter outings than a good pair of GORE-TEX pants. Excited about the freedom of movement & lightweight protection my Arc'teryx Beta AR pants have provided so far in winter sports & for those cold rainy days when I need to be outside!"
Miles Johnson, AMGA Member
"As a developer, I often use the “bad days” to hunt for new lines and problems. Having a quiver of GORE-TEX garments makes those rainy, windy, cold and brutal days into productive ones while also allowing me to maintain fitness in the great outdoors when otherwise I would be confined inside. The best thing about quality fabric technologies is that you can put your layers on and forget about them for the rest of the day and focus on being immersed in the environment and comfortable in uncomfortable conditions!!"
Brooke Warren, Guide for Alpine Ascents
"GORE-TEX is the only waterproof technology that allows me to be active while staying as dry as possible. Mount Baker might possibly be the wettest place to mountaineer, and I've worn gore-tex to guide people up and down the mountain in everything from misty fog to drizzling rain. I'm always grateful for that layer to keep the wet on the outside!!"
To learn more about the AMGA, their programs, and how to find a guide for your next adventure, visit amga.com