Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership, Part 2


Climbing mixed terrain in the N. Cascades.

Climbing mixed terrain in the N. Cascades. Jason Martin

AAI's four-part mountain leadership program has been called "the country's most respected and thorough rock and mountaineering course," by Men's Journal. It has four 12-day segments, and you can choose to take one, two, three, or all four. AMTL Part 1 provides a comprehensive introduction to all the skills of alpine mountaineering, general team leadership, and leading rope teams on glaciers. AMTL Part 2 develops techniques for leading multi-pitch rock routes while further advancing technical and evaluative skills on snow, ice, and rock. AMTL Part 3 allows you to continue to develop your technical leadership skills while providing an opportunity to focus those skills on one of three areas. AMTL Part 4 is an expedition in which all of the skills developed are employed in a remote and complex big mountain setting.

This is the second part of our 4-part Alpine Mountaineering and Leadership course. You must complete AMTL Part 1 in order to take this segment, and if you took AMTL Part 1 more than a year and a half prior, you will need to take a four-day refresher unless you have done significant climbing in the interim. AMTL Part 2 develops techniques for leading multi-pitch rock routes while further advancing technical and evaluative skills on snow, ice, and rock. Following successful completion of this segment you will be able to join AMTL Part 3, an expedition on which all skills are employed in a remote and complex context. To conclude the series AMTL Part 4 allows students to function as expedition leaders.

  • Take one or all four parts of this course in: 12, 24, 36, or 48 days.
  • Take the course in one year or over the course of two, three or four years.
  • Complete all four parts and receive certification in Alpine Mountaineering Leadership.


Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership, Part 2


In this second 12-day segment of the AMTL Series you will develop more sophisticated technical skills on snow and ice while making ascents of the rugged glaciers and high peaks of North Cascades National Park. You will also develop rock skills while climbing either the spectacular granite routes of Squamish, British Columbia, or in the easily accessible, yet alpine-like setting of Leavenworth, Washington. This is one of the rare courses in the world that specifically teaches techniques for leading on rock, snow, and ice. You will increase your proficiency in free climbing, and you will also become capable of setting up sophisticated and effective protective systems.

Your instructors will help you refine you skills of route selection, route finding, and natural hazards evaluation that were introduced in AMTL Part 1. Additionally, we emphasize the development of both the judgment and the specific climbing and protective systems skills required for leading more advanced climbs. It is our goal that you emerge from this program as a qualified rope team leader on both rock and glacier routes.    


Curriculum Highlights for AMTL Part 2

Alpine Travel & Climbing Skills

  • Introduction to specialized equipment for intermediate and advanced climbing
  • Advanced problems in map, compass, altimeter, and GPS use
  • Introduction to the physics of glacier formation & movement for use in route finding and evaluation
  • Advanced protective systems and anchoring techniques
  • Intermediate and advanced free climbing techniques
  • Steep ice climbing technique
  • Nutrition & menu planning


Nearing the summit of Dome Peak.

Nearing the summit of Dome Peak.
Joe Stock

Objective Hazards Evaluation & Self-Rescue Skills

  • Advanced problems in objective hazard assessment
  • Introduction to avalanche hazard evaluation
  • Advanced problems in crevasse rescue
  • Introduction to self-rescue on rock
  • Intermediate and advanced free climbing techniques


Leadership Skills

  • Assessing team strength, security, and safety
  • Technical leadership on snow, ice, and rock


Environmental Protection Skills

  • Assessment of the fragility & vitality of several ecosystems
  • Leave No Trace travel, camping, & climbing skills

Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership, Part 2


Our AMTL 2 course can be run in two separate venues for the first 4 days of rock climbing instruction - Leavenworth, WA, and Squamish, BC.

After the first 4 days of rock climbing instruction, all courses will continue with the same curriculum and itineraries. See the Course Downloads for more information.


  • July 21 - Aug 01, 2024
  • Aug 4 - Aug 15, 2024
  • Aug 18 - Aug 29, 2024
  • Sept 01 - Sept 12, 2024
  • Sept 15 - Sept 26, 2024



  • May 11- May 22, 2025
  • May 25 - June 05, 2025
  • June 08 - June 19, 2025
  • June 22 - July 03, 2025
  • July 06 - July 17, 2025
  • July 20 - July 31, 2025
  • Aug 03 - Aug 14, 2025
  • Aug 17 - Aug 28, 2025
  • Aug 31 - Sept 11, 2025
  • Sept 14 - Sept 25, 2025


Navigation Programs

Though this program does cover backcountry navigation, there is limited time. Some climbers choose to enhance their glacier navigation skills before or after a program by combining this class with either the three-hour Backcountry Navigation Essentials class, or the one-day Backcountry Navigation Comprehensive program.

Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership, Part 2


$200 discount if you do AMTL Part 1 and AMTL Part 2 within 14 months of each other

Max Ratio - 3:1 (Climber:Guide) In some cases, this course will join with our Learn to Trad Lead course for the first 4 days, and those days may be at a 4:1 ratio.

Capacity - 6



Do you have some previous experience, but not sure if you are ready for this course?  Here's a list of skills you should be familiar with before signing up for AMTL Part 2:

  • Mountaineering knots and hitches (figure-8 family, bowline family, clove hitch, Münter hitch, Prusik hitch)
  • Basic top-rope and lead belay techniques
  • Setting up anchors for a top-roped rock climb at a crag
  • Basic rappelling techniques
  • Use of crampons and ice axe
  • Self arrest maneuvers
  • Crevasse rescue procedures (both how to get yourself out if you fall in a crevasse, and also how to set up a hauling system to rescue a fallen partner)


In addition to the above skills you need to have done the following:

  • Climbed a glaciated peak within the last two years
  • Climbed a multipitch alpine rock route within the last two years
  • Set up a crevasse rescue system in the last two years


Climbing Locations

To expose you to varied terrain and the requirements that they place upon technique, we normally use three to five climbing locations during this program. They typically include rock climbing at the alpine-like crags of Leavenworth, Washington and/or Squamish, British Columbia above fjord-like Howe Sound, and ice and rock routes on peaks from among the following: Mt. Baker, Forbidden Peak, Mt. Torment, Sahale Peak, Mt. Buckner, Mt. Stuart, Spire Peak, and Dome Peak.

*It is advised, although not required, to have a current passport before enrolling in AMTL Part 2


Additional Program Notes

Specific levels of technical performance will always vary somewhat from one participant to another, depending on each person's strengths, interests, and personal goals. Our intent in this course is to help each participant become an experienced and skilled rope team leader on rock, snow, and ice at an intermediate or more advanced level. Because we have such a low climber-to-guide ratio (maximum 3:1) we are able to provide a lot of individual attention to each team member.

Unlike many "mountain leadership" courses, AAI does not allow this program to become an over-equipped expedition or a physical ordeal. Instead of twelve days in the backcountry, we move through several areas in order to intensify the learning and give you experience on a wide variety of terrain.

We work hard to limit the amount of time spent backpacking to and from climbing goals so that we can have an absolute focus on technical skills, assessment, real (not theoretical) decision making, and multi-pitch snow, ice, and rock climbing.

In both its philosophy and its state-of-the-art climbing systems, AAI emphasizes perceptiveness, lightness, and speed as allies of safety and success. Nonetheless, because of the extensive practice climbing and the many peak ascents that we make, a high level of physical fitness is essential to take full advantage of this program.

Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership, Part 2


"The 4-part course was just what we were looking for: a systematic way to learn how to lead on rock and glaciers, starting from minimal experience on those media. By going through the course, we now have a whole new dimension to explore on our backcountry trips."
-Myron and Adele (Laramie, WY)

"The progression of the course seems truly geared toward developing climbers."
-Nate (Baltimore, MD)

AMTL 2 - Baker Guiding

Climbing the lower N. Ridge of Mt. Baker
Jason Martin

Alpine Mountaineering and Technical Leadership, Part 2

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