Joined: Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:11 pm Posts: 16 Location: Estes Park, CO
The industry needs a splitboard specific guide education,training and certification organization that will produce qualified backcountry splitboard guides.
Currently AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) will not let splitboarders progress through the ski guide program just on a spliboard, you have to also demonstrate and meet the the standards on skis as well. Here lies the problem..........I myself have only skied 5 times in my life and have snowboarded the last 20 years, I am also an outdoor guide and would like to be able to progress my education and certification as a backcountry splitboard guide without spending many more years learning how to ski at such a level (I do agree basic knowledge and some skiing experience is important to be a well rounded guide). Even if you could progress on a splitboard your instructor and examiner for the AMGA are skiers and more than likely do not know about the nuances of splitboarding in various backcountry terrain.
The answer. Many years ago a small group of U.S. rock guides came together and decided to create standards and a certification process for mountain guiding in the U.S. which is now internationally recognized as the AMGA. So why don't we (splitboarders) do the same and create curriculum, educational courses and certification specifically tailored to aspiring splitboard guides.
I need help from the splitboard community in launching the splitboard guide association.
We need all of us who are currently instructing/guiding splitboarding to join together and start the splitboard guide association as well as anyone who would be motivated to be apart of creating a valuable program for splitboard guides.
Feel free to respond back to this post if you would like to be involved or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:48 am Posts: 30 Location: Volda - Norway
Allthough I do agree that splitboarders should be able to be guides, It does not make any sense to form a split specific guide association. It would not be respected in your local guide community and even less in IVBV /UIAGM / IFMGA. If you want to make it as a guide, you need to have a the support of the guide community.
I can not speak so much for USA, but i Norway where i live, there are a few guides who uses a splitboard for easy guiding. But skis are used for guiding most of the time.
If we want accept for guides that are not skiers. the only way we can work on that is to learn the trade, be out in the mountains and act like a true outdoorsman. Only that way you can earn the respect of the mountain community.
So, work hard + Get educated + Act like a backcountry enthusiast and not like some random snowboarder who rides the bc without thinking
I am tired of all the Ski Association people. They run Snowboard racing (and the gay dual slalom format), why is that? They have always underestimated (and looked down their noses at) snowboarding and don't give us any respect or understand our sport. Why should we give a shit what they think.
I would rather have our own association.
I could rant about the Ski Ass's for 10 pages...
_________________ Talking about snowboarding is like dancing about architecture...
I'd have to agree that a guide should be able to ski and be held to the same standards of Mountaineering safety, and that there's benefits to allying with existing mountain guide associations.
However- regardless, I also agree there's need for a fraternity of splitboard/ snowboard specific guides, and more support for people who aren't coming from a skier/ mountaineer mentality to gain these skills.
Joined: Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:51 am Posts: 129 Location: The SLC
yes, there is big barrier when trying to get splitboard-specific stuff passed through skier-dominated organizations. And that's the makeup of (virtually) all the avalanche/b/c touring/winter camping/mountaineering education that exists in the U.S. today. so, yes, there is always room for more splitboard-specific stuff out there... getting it accepted, recognized, validated, etc. is the hard part...
_________________ "Teaching is the tribute to learning."
Or you could get out there...get the avy education, wilderness 1st aid, get more experience, and be your own guide. Why do you need validation from a certifying board? Typically most guides have had their proverbial lady-man balls cut off once they get that cert. But, there are always exceptions to the rule.
_________________ "Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a supreme power, honesty, generosity, and brotherhood"
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:38 pm Posts: 794 Location: The Belly of Ham baby!!
I think it is a great idea. I personally would love to complete my alpine mountaineering guide's certs, and become qualified to guide clients in the winter. There are many and major advantages to being a skier for mountaineering (namely traversing, side stepping etc...) but the bottom line is that there are enough of us now splitboarding who are fully proficient, capable, and safe.... why not have a "Splitiboard Guides Association"?
I know a LOT of extreme baddass mountain men who ride splitboards fulltime. They may know how to ski, but get it done on the splitty just fine!
_________________ PROFESSIONAL AMBASSADOR OF STOKE
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 10:19 am Posts: 527 Location: Capitol Hill, Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
I don't know much about this, but if I were planning on making a career out of mountain guiding, I would definitely become an expert skier. It's just smart business: more paying clients will be skiers. You'd be able to work the same amount of tours as the other ski guides, but when a splitter shows up, you'll get that business as well.
_________________ Riding a '06 Voile Split Decision Freeride 173, '07 Salomon Malamutes, Spark Ignition I bindings.
Hey just want to give a shout to my splitboard.com friends here who I have shared turns with the last couple of years. I am an IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide who has spent time on the AMGA Technical Committee, especially in the ski guiding discipline, as a guide instructor and examiner. I also am one of the owners of Sierra Mountain Guides based in the Eastern Sierra, CA.
A splitboard is a great tool for guiding splitboarders, but sometimes not so good for guiding skiers. In implementing AMGA curriculum, we have found a few types of common skiing situations where it is very difficult for a splitboarder to effectively guide a group of skiers. Tough for skiers to guide splitboarders too, but not as challenging in most cases. The guiding industry and the certification program is still skier-centric. A couple of snowboarders have been allowed onto AMGA ski programs, but none have passed an exam. It is sort of a pointless exercise. Splitboards and skis are different tools that are used very differently. The tools affect terrain choices.
Ultimately it will be up to the industry whether a splitboard guiding credential is necessary or useful. Personally, I hope that the AMGA decides to pursue the development of this program asap. We are seeing ever increasing demand for guiding by snowboarders. Our guide service is looking for more splitboard guides. Splitboarders who have taken an AMGA ski guide course, would be eligible for hire with us. That is probably the closest we have to a useful professional baseline at this time.