Yesterday marked the end of the seemingly endless 12 days of the American Mountain Guides Association’s Advanced Alpine Guides Course and Aspirant Exam. After the kilometers of shortroping, shortpitching, and everything in between- I am now certified as an IFMGA Aspirant Guide.

Mike Bromberg being examined

Those of you who are familiar with this process will note that this was my last course in the program and now only have two final exams remaining until I can truly call myself a bonafide internationally certified mountain guide. Yes, all very interesting. Also of note, I was “put through the ringer” during this exam as the examiner wanted to make sure that I was thoroughly examined before being granted my aspirant status as I would be representing the AMGA on the equivalent of the “world’s stage” here in Chamonix.

The most bluebird day of the course

The most bluebird day of the course

Weather during the course ran the full spectrum- bluebird days as pictured here to full on “Alpine” conditions climbing in our warmest layers and everything in between. Inconveniently, I managed to develop a rather serious illness during the course that we were calling “avian swine-flu” which made this already very demanding program that much more challenging. Even with all the poor weather we often mused over croissants about the fact that we were far from suffering and happy to not be holed up in a leaky lightweight tent in the North Cascades (the site of many saturated AAGC’s).

le Petite Charmoz and lM on an exam day

le Petite Charmoz and l'M on an exam day

I’d recommend a visit to Chamonix for anyone pursuing guiding as a career as the terrain here is absolutely second to none! Throughout the course our skills (and sometimes lack thereof) were spotlighted in this complex terrain. The perfect place to refine skills without the hindrance of long approaches.

Thank you to my colleagues on the course, Jesse Williams, Kip Davis, and instructor/examiner Michael Silitch for a great time in the mountains. And a huge Thank You to Osprey Packs for the scholarship that enabled me to participate in this course!

Thank you Osprey!

Thank you Osprey!

-mb