Where to start in California


Original Post
Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Hey all, I am going to be graduating college soon and I am making plans for what happens next. I have been climbing for quite a while and even have a job at our local gym. I want to push myself to start becoming certified as a mountain guide. I would love to work with a ski patrol/ski tour company either guiding or keeping people safe.

My question is where to begin? There isn't a lot of snow in Cali but my family and job are here so moving to Colorado or the PNW is not my first option. Are there any local mountaineering groups in the Bay Area to get my feet wet. Or are there any good classes to become certified? I have even been thinking of taking this year off to live in a van so I can climb full time and work on my certifications.

Any links to posts I missed in my search or relevant information for how to become a mountain guide in California is very greatly appreciated.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15

https://amga.com/programs/mountain-guide-programs/

Muscrat · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2011 · Points: 3,040

What's the difference between a large pizza and a mountain guide? (I know, old joke)

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
Muscrat wrote:What's the difference between a large pizza and a mountain guide? (I know, old joke)
I know! I know! That riddle is a variation of "What do you say to a mountain guide that shows up at your front door?"
Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Thanks Frank, I'm aware of AMGA for certification. Do you know if any other clubs or programs for more experience?

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5

.... large pizza can feed a family

Jeff Scheuerell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 1,325

Not sure what you are looking for??? Clubs or programs? If you say you want to be a certified guide then you need to get certified. I guess you could look into PCGI as well as the AMGA. First make sure you are a solid, at least 11a, "trad" climber. Then get certified. Not sure what else you want?

Delete Delete · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2008 · Points: 0

If you have money, hire a guide. If you don't have money, maybe this sierraclub.org/san-francisc...?

What exactly do you mean by "mountain guide" and "certified"? What does "been climbing for quite a while mean"? In other words, where are you and where do you want to go exactly? Your post is vague. Good luck!

What DO you say to a mountain guide that shows up at your front door????

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 15
Firestone wrote:Thanks Frank, I'm aware of AMGA for certification. Do you know if any other clubs or programs for more experience?
Hiring an IFMGA guide for a day of private guiding, not just someone certified in SPI, will be your best bet. You can ask all the questions you want.

That will run you about $400/day for a private, but it's well worth it. You can tailor the day to your needs.
Brandon.Phillips · · Alabama · Joined May 2011 · Points: 0

The AMGA has a high level of prerequisites before getting into one of the guide track programs. You'd have to take some other sort of class first/ get more experience.

The exception to that is the SPI and Alpine Skills course, which may be worth looking into.

SPI would be something you could probably do now, which would help you get more involved in the guiding world.

I would look for internships with guide programs, or volunteer ski patrol. Might be a good way to get your foot in the door. I don't live in California, but Tahoe or Mammoth would seem like a logical place to me.

Firestone · · California · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 449

Brandon: SPI is definitely what I'm thinking of as a next step, thank you. I will also look into ski patrol opportunities as well as others opportunities on the mountain.

Jeff and T: I am also aware of Sierra club and AAI, these are the kinds of ideas I'm looking for, thanks. What other clubs offer hands on clinics and classes to become more experienced?

MacksWhineturd · · Squaw · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0

Get your EMT if you want to patrol. Patrol jobs can be had in Tahoe with Emt, and avy 1/2. In tahoe you will likely have to work for at least a year at one of the smaller resorts. (Carting snowboarding gapers with broken wrists from below the second rail at Boreal)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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