Beginning a career in mountain guiding can be difficult for people who have not grown up in a mountain-centered community or who have not had exposure to the culture of mountain recreation. Research suggests that an ever narrower segment of American society is initiated into the outdoor culture by family, friends, and civic organizations, with negative implications for both diversity in the outdoors and support for preservation of wild spaces.
American Alpine Institute is proud to offer a variety of scholarships and other assistance opportunities to help people who wish to launch a career in the mountains.
American Alpine Institute Internal Guide Training
AAI's internal guide training program, which is offered to selected candidates for guide positions each year depending on the Institute's employment needs, is a three-week intensive professional course and practicum designed for seasoned all-around climbers and alpinists. Unique in the industry, the course is intended to enable talented climbers with a high level of technical proficiency and proven leadership ability to gain the additional professional skills to begin working as guides on AAI's programs. The course is offered free of charge to the selected candidates with an offer of work contingent on successful completion. For more information, see our employment opportunities page.
Liz Daley Memorial "Guide Like Liz" Scholarship
The Liz Daley Scholarship is intended to assist women climbers, skiers, and boarders who want to enter the guiding industry. The scholarship is designed to help women advance their skills from beginner or intermediate level to the level of proficiency and experience at which they could qualify for guide training programs either at the Institute or with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). For more information, click here.
Liz Rocks Memorial Scholarship for At-Risk, Low-Income and Minority Youth
The Liz Rocks Memorial Scholarship is administered by the Liz Rocks foundation and is specifically for the American Alpine Institute Leaders of Tomorrow Program. The mission of the Liz Rocks foundation is "to instill deep respect for the outdoors by providing adventure recreation to at-risk, low-income and minority youth.
Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) Scholarship
AAI's AORE Scholarship is administered by AORE and is awarded to AORE members at the yearly conference. For more information, click here.
Tuition Vouchers, Discounts, and Pro-Deals
AAI supports a variety of causes and events each year by donating limited tuition vouchers for auction or raffle giveaway. In the past, the events have included film festivals such as Five Point and Banff Mountain Film Festival, benefits for the Boys' and Girls' Club of Skagit County and Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC), and many others. Discounts are available on a limited number of programs for members of the American Alpine Club. In addition, AAI offers limited pro-deals to certain people who have made significant commitments to the outdoor retail and recreation industries. For more information, please call our office.
The American Alpine Institute now accepts the GI Bill® for approved programs in the Mountaineering Instructor Training Program. For more information about Veteran's Benefits, please contact the School Certifiying Officer, Sara Jung, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call our office.