Ski Guide Training

The best way to learn ski guide skills is to train with an IFMGA Mountain Guide. The IFMGA sets the highest standards for mountain guiding, accepted is all countries with a mountain guiding heritage. 

This course is applicable to aspiring guides, guides prepping for AMGA courses and exams or recreational backcountry skiers who want the notch up their skills to a professional level. Most clients are prepping for their AMGA Ski Guide Course, Ski Mountaineering Guide Course or their Ski Mountaineering Guide Exam. 

This is a custom course so please email Joe to inquire. 

Note: Joe will consider taking locals for practicum (unpaid assistant/shadow guiding) experience if you are preparing for your AMGA exam.

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One to three days in October through July. 


  • A strong interest to learn
  • Advanced downhill ability
  • Intermediate to advanced backcountry skiing ability
  • Level 2 required
  • No guiding experience necessary
  • Recent avalanche companion rescue practice. We will have assessment and review before our tour.  

Some Options

  • Guide meeting
  • Risk management plan
  • Tour planning
  • Track setting
  • Down guiding
  • Steep skiing and survival skiing
  • Instability assessment
  • Data pit
  • Emergency shelter
  • Belayed skiing
  • Snow anchors
  • Crevasse rescue
  • Spotting, short-roping, short-pitching
  • Whiteout navigation: GPS, smartphone apps



  • AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide Joe Stock
  • Ski guide field cards
  • Navigation, first aid and repair kits
  • Emergency communication and shelter

Does Not Include  


Blind track setting practice—it works! The skin track is your signature on the mountain. Others will spend most of their backcountry day on your skin track. Guides make their skin tracks efficient, relaxing and built for everyone to enjoy and maximize their vertical. 


Sometimes the terrain will not allow a rounded turn and a kick turn is the best option. In general, guides try to avoid kick turns because they are inefficient and difficult for clients. 


Down guiding with a plan: when to ski, where to ski and how to ski. 


Smartphone apps, particularly Gaia GPS, are the new norm for backcountry navigation. Yes, paper maps and compass work great, but guides need to stay current and experiment with new technology. 


Building an emergency shelter for practice. Using a technique popular with mountain guides, we make a blizzard-proof shelter for three people in 25 minutes.


Noting time during an avalanche companion rescue drill. 


Rappelling over a steep edge to access the powder below. 


Belayed skiing to ski cut and test snow stability before skiing a 3,000-foot chute.


Guides are ready for all conditions in the field. Being prepared starts with a solid tour plan.