Alpenglow Expeditions is an accredited American Mountain Guides business. In the following interview, Alpenglow’s Lead Guide and Operations Director Logan Talbott breaks down what that means and why it’s important.
Logan, to start us off, can you give us an overview of what the AMGA is and what the organization does?
“The American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) is a 501(c)(3) educational non‐profit that is dedicated to supporting the American mountain guiding and climbing instructor community. The AMGA is the only training and certification organization in the United States for all disciplines of mountain guiding (rock climbing, alpine climbing and backcountry skiing/ski mountaineering) and is the only US member of the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA). Alpenglow requires all prospective guides to complete AMGA training in any discipline they want to work, and guides must complete a rigorous AMGA certification exam to qualify as a lead guide in a specific discipline. While technical training is only part of what makes a great guide, the training and certification that the AMGA offers is world-class and is something that we have fully embraced.”
What does it mean to be an accredited business? Why is it important?
“The AMGA certifies individual guides and accredits guide services. Accreditation provides a consistent standard for judging the reliability and professionalism of a guide service by ensuring it:
– Conforms to industry standards
– Guarantees rigorous and uniform guide training
– Is compliant with state and federal law
– Promotes ethical business practices
While it may seem like a given that a guide has had professional training before they take guests into the field, or that a guide service has some sort of professional oversight, It’s not. Many guide services in the US have very few guides that are trained by an outside entity, and even fewer that have passed a certification exam. As an AMGA accredited business, we have voluntarily demonstrated that we have industry-leading technical standards, strong programs and a quality staff of engaged instructors and guides. This high standard has a direct impact on your safety, comfort and enjoyment.”
Are all guide services accredited?
“No. Out of the hundreds of companies offering guided climbing and skiing in the United States, only about 30 are accredited. Alpenglow Expeditions is the only accredited business in the Tahoe region and one of only 3 in the state. You can see the list of accredited businesses here: https://amga.com/accredited-businesses/”
What does it take for a business to become accredited? What are the required qualifications?
“For a business to become accredited it must go through a rigorous review of all aspects of the operation. AMGA representatives grant accreditation to companies that meet or exceed the AMGA’s high operational standards. Accreditation includes reviews of:
– General business practices
– Operating guidelines
– Guide Training
– Compliance with state, federal, and local regulations
– Staff training and professional development
– Resource stewardship
– Adherence to current industry standards
In short, we are proud to be an AMGA accredited business and strongly believe that this extremely high standard has a direct impact on the safety, comfort and enjoyment of both our guests and staff while playing in the mountains!”