The Single Pitch Instructor Program teaches climbing instructors to proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting.
Spring through Fall
Intermediate and advanced
Many people are introduced to rock climbing on single pitch cliffs across the country. A vast majority of them take part in group climbing trips such as those sponsored by schools, churches, climbing gyms, scout groups, or summer camp programs. Many will hire an instructor from a guide service for their first climbing adventure or take a course from a nationally recognized organization. Through the Single Pitch Instructor Program, the AMGA seeks to ensure that a high standard of climbing instruction, risk management, and enjoyment is provided in these programs. The SPI program also seeks to foster appreciation and protection of the finite resources of single pitch crags. These high standards are achieved through experience, personal qualities, training, and credentialing.
The AMGASingle Pitch Instructor Program is designed to enable instructors to“proficiently facilitate and instruct the sport of rock climbing in a single pitch setting”. The program is for currently active rock climbers who have areal desire to teach rock climbing in a single pitch setting. Candidates should be passionate rock climbers who have their own equipment, regularly climb, and have at least 12 months of outdoor rock climbing experience. Candidates could be current university professors who teach climbing, climbing instructors, scout leaders, summer camp professionals, or climbers who wish to undergo additional training, experience, and certification to gain employment as a climbing instructor in the outdoor adventure/education industry.
Max Lurie - Owner of Alpine to the Max
Max Lurie is an American Mountain Guides Association certified Rock and Alpine Guide, as well as an accomplished alpinist. Max has been climbing since 2004 and traveling to the greater ranges in pursuit of his passion.
As an independently certified climbing guide based in Boulder, CO, Max provides custom education and mountain experiences in the Colorado Front Range and beyond. All of the climbing instruction offered through Alpine to the Max is customized to your goals, objectives, and skill level.
The SPI Course is not a “climbing” course. It is an instructor training course for active, proficient rock climbers and for current climbing instructors who wish to gain SPI certification. Single Pitch Instructor certification is the second stage of the AMGA’s Climbing Instructor Certification Program and will significantly help candidates who wish to work toward the next stage, the AMGARock Guide Course (RGC). The SPI course presents many instructor specific topics such as professionalism, teaching techniques, risk management, group site organization, climbing site conservation/LNT, and assistance/rescue skills.
The SPI Program is a three-day (27-hour) training course and a separate two-day (16-hour) assessment. Certification is valid for three years as long as the candidate keeps current AMGA Membership and First Aid Certification. After three years, current SPIs can re-take the SPI Assessment to renew SPI certification. Any current SPI who attains certification in any Mountain Guide Program discipline attains permanent SPI certification status provided they maintain AMGA membership and the appropriate level of medical certification.
The above prerequisites are absolute minimums. Without having at least this amount of experience you are unlikely to make the best use of the training.
Yes, on the SPI course, your instructors will introduce new concepts and techniques with ample opportunity for practice. Our AMGA course instructors are patient, and articulate with the feedback they provide. We all want to see every participant be successful.
The more experience you enter the course with, the easier it will feel. In addition to the prerequisites listed above, we also recommend reading AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program Handbook (3rd edition).
No, there is not. However, our instructors will give you constructive feedback about what you can do to prepare for the exam.
Alpine to the Max is an independent certified guide with more than a decade of experience in a wide variety of terrain. No matter your current skill level, when you climb with us you get a top-notch experience that is fully customized to meet your exact desires.
“I climbed with Max last summer on a couple of couloirs in Rocky Mountain National Park. I’m a complete newbie to technical snow and Max was everything that I was hoping for in a guide. Knowledgeable, patient and passionate about educating his clients. It was a fantastic experience and I cannot wait to go back out with him.”
“Max is easily one of the best guides I have ever taken a course with. Max's knowledge paired with his experience and skill set is unparalleled. I learned so much and I am so grateful to have taken a course with him! Max provided the education and knowledge I needed to continue recreating safely in the mountains.”
“Max was an amazing guide and instructor for our 2-day AIARE 1 course. Funny, affable, deeply knowledgeable, with an excellent approach to instruction and learning. We saw several other AIARE courses out there in the same locations, and in comparison, we were VERY glad we were spending our weekend learning from Max!
Max is awesome! My climbing partner and I booked a day with Max to learn how to ice climb. Between making the meetup spot an easy to find location, to providing in-depth instruction throughout the day, I can't recommend Max enough. Max's instruction was clear, safe, and easy to follow. He's personable and easy to learn from.
What an awesome experience. My friend and I spent four days with Max going through a variety of topics and we couldn't have been happier with the instruction. Max is SO well versed in a multitude of areas. And he's an awesome person to be around and it makes the guiding experience that much better. I would 100% do another session with Max!
We strongly recommend Max as a guide and instructor. Having climbed with Max several times over the past decade, we always come away with a great experience and a smile. His enthusiasm and knowledge, plus a wry sense of humor, make for instructive and fun days of climbing. We hope to get out to CO to climb someday with Max again.
It was awesome. We covered a ton of material in such a short window and I was able to apply everything I learned. I had pretty minimal experience at the start but he delivered everything in a super easy to understand manner that made it a ton of fun and extremely informative. I’ll definitely be coming back for future sessions.
Max was incredibly helpful for our intro to trad course. He not only teaches the information, but makes sure to go over alternative techniques and general climbing philosophy. We were able to customize the class that day to go over things that interested us rather than a set curriculum, which I really enjoyed. I couldn’t recommend Max enough.
I had very limited climbing experience coming into this guided rock climbing experience. Max takes me out and we literally jump right into my introduction to climbing. Max literally inspired me to get out of my comfort zone immediately and go beyond what I thought I was capable of. Thank you Max for an awesome experience in the mountains.
Max is an outstanding guide! I couldn’t have asked for a better day of climbing and learning. I joined Max in hopes of setting a solid foundation of skills and knowledge in my own climbing endeavors to come, and I was beyond satisfied with the day he had prepared for us. An incredible instructor and ideal climbing partner!
Max is adept, knowledgeable, and great to work with all around! He breaks down skills and explains them thoroughly, taking the time to make sure you understand a concept before moving on to something more complex. If you want to up your technical climbing skills and have a darn good time doing it then Max is your guy!
Max was extremely knowledge and encouraging while we were learning and practicing building anchors and hauling for crevasse rescue. He also had a great sense of humor and kept the mood light while we were suffering through brutally cold temperatures during the practice. 10/10 would recommend!
My partner and I hired Max for a day of self rescue skills and we had an absolute blast. Max is super knowledgeable and was more than patient answering all of our questions. We never felt rushed and had time to go through different scenarios and skills. I really enjoyed learning from a professional and would recommend to anyone!
Max was a terrific mountain guide. We did a split-board tour of the Hidden Valley area of Rock Mtn National Park and I couldn’t have had asked for a better guide. He answered all of my questions and expressed great knowledge in snow science as well as mountain geology and avalanche safety. Highly recommend!
I spent a day learning trad/multipitch climbing with Max in a "classroom setting". The dollars I spent on that session have been more valuable than any climbing trip or equipment. The techniques he taught me have stuck with me throughout my climbing career and set me up for success in the mountains.