It has been a busy couple of years for Point6 athlete ambassador, Joey Thompson. This spring, Joe passed his final mountain guides exam to become one of only 94 fully certified American Mountain Guides by the American Mountain Guides Association and is licensed by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA). Recognized as the highest level of professional guiding in the world, this is a feat less than 100 Certified mountain guides can claim.
This year, the AMGA also recognized Joey as the 2013 Guide of the Year for exceptional dedication to his mountain craft and clients. Achieving this and IFMGA status was the culmination of many years of work and commitment to the mountain guiding profession.
Joey’s journey started in New York climbing and skiing, but his love of big mountains quickly led him west to ski and climb around Arizona, California and Nevada before settling in Colorado with his wife Susan and dog Honcho. After taking on various jobs to support his outdoor passions, Joey realized he wanted to empower and lead others to enjoy the mountain adventures he loved all around the US and beyond. Joe currently guides rock and alpine climbing and ski mountaineering in Alaska, Canada, Wyoming, Washington and Colorado and is currently scheduling trips in Europe.
The IFMGA began in 1965 as a collection of guide associations in Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria, and now represents more than 6,000 guides from over 25 countries. The IFMGA’s international training standards allow certified, professional guides to work in any of the member countries, and they receive support and representation on a global scale.
In 1997, the United States joined the IFMGA. To achieve the international certification, a candidate must complete the AMGA’s full program, consisting of over 138 days of course work and multi-week exams in each of three disciples, Rock climbing, Alpine climbing and Ski Mountaineering and must have professional guiding experience for a set amount of days. Also this includes examination in Avalanche Safety and Wilderness Medicine. In the US it’s important for anyone hiring a guide to check for for this Mountain Guide credential and it’s required for international trips in any IFMGA-member country.
Congratulations to Joe for his huge accomplishments! We are so proud to have you on our team.