In April, I took the AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide Exam. This Exam was the culmination of the last several years of my AMGA ski guide training, and the last 25 years of my life growing up as a skier. After putting my all into this 8-day event, I received the news that I had passed! I am now an AMGA certified ski mountaineering guide.
Going through the AMGA process is difficult in many ways: physically, emotionally, and financially. I was lucky enough to have one of these difficulties eased by receiving a full scholarship for my exam, the Chad VanderHam Memorial Scholarship. In applying for this scholarship, I had to create a 5-minute video about who I am, and why I love skiing. Check out that video here:
It means so much to me that I received the Chad VanderHam memorial scholarship. Chad was right there at the beginning of my ski mountaineering experiences, sharing a room with me my first season in La Grave. While I had been skiing my whole life, that first season in La Grave when I was 17 changed the way I viewed skiing and the mountains in general. Chad was so welcoming and encouraging to me that first season, despite my naivete, always telling me to get after it, while also helping me to improve my skills along the way. Chad was a great friend, my roommate, a teacher of the finer things in life—sharing his love for fine wines, teaching me to make the best soup ever—forever-coined “Chad soup”, and of course, he was a guide to me. Chad inspired me to push myself, and taught me how to never say, “I can’t” in the mountains, and in life. I think Chad would be proud to see how far I have come since that first winter, and I owe so much of where I am today to his influence.
I am so happy to have gone through my first AMGA exam, and I look forward to continuing my education. This month, I am off to the Tetons to take the AMGA Alpine Guide Course, and if all goes smoothly there, I will officially be half way to the full certification!
Thank you to the AMGA and the Chad VanderHam Memorial Fund.
Here is a video of the exam in Valdez, AK, enjoy!