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What does AMGA Accreditation Mean?

Written by Robert Kyte

Upon approaching the Alpenglow Expeditions office in the Village at Palisades Tahoe, visitors will see emblazoned on the window the logo of the American Mountain Guides Association, or the AMGA, signifying Alpenglow’s status as an AMGA-accredited business.


What Does AMGA Accreditation Mean?

We are proud to be the only AMGA-accredited business in Northern California and the unique experiences we can offer as a result. Since 1986, the AMGA Accreditation Program has endorsed guide services, climbing programs, and/or school or university programs that offer climbing instruction and guided climbing or skiing services that adhere to certain standards and business practices. Accreditation is a benchmark for judging consistency, reliability, and professionalism in the practice of outdoor experiences and education.


As per the AMGA official accreditation page, an accredited business:

– Conforms to industry standards;
– Guarantees rigorous and uniform guide training;
– Is compliant with state and federal law;
– Promotes ethical business practices.


And meets the following expectations:

– Businesses are committed to high technical standards, strong programs, and a quality staff of engaged and engaging climbing instructors and guides;
– Businesses have AMGA certified guides and climbing instructors on staff.
– Businesses encourage staff members to pursue AMGA certification, provide mentoring, and support staff through the AMGA training and certification process.
– Accredited businesses conduct annual terrain specific trainings utilizing AMGA certified staff members.

Naturally, one might then ask: how does this affect my experience as a client?


What This Means for You and Your AMGA-Certified Guide

First and foremost, an AMGA-certified guide strictly adheres to his or her scope of practice in order to minimize risk and offer the highest standard of education. This means that guides will never perform tasks or provide experiences that exceed the level of his or her professional training. Whether your experience with Alpenglow involves rock climbing, skiing, mountaineering, or all the above, clients can rest assured that our guides are fully trained to the highest professional standard.

Additionally, AMGA-certified guides are expected to uphold a commitment to respecting and preserving mountain environments, with particular attention paid to Leave-No-Trace (LNT) standards. Feel free to ask your guide about LNT and learn how you can be a part of the effort and do better to minimize your impact in the spaces we cherish.

Put simply, AMGA-accreditation is a means of ensuring that our clients receive the best possible experience adhering to the highest standards of practice—whether that’s here in Tahoe, Northern California, the United States, or any of our expeditions around the world.

Does a unique mountain experience provided at the highest level of industry standard sound appealing? There are lots of ways to book your next epic adventure. Head to our website to inquire, or give our office a call at (877) 873-5376.