Citizen Guide

What is a Citizen Guide? ACI believes that even if you’re not a professional guide, when you’re in the mountains or on the cliff you are responsible for your partners safety and well being. Circumstances may dictate that your role as an equal partner changes into the role of a guide. Alternately, let’s say you’d like to introduce your family or friends to climbing. Wouldn’t it be great to have the skills to make sure that they have a fun and safe experience?

For example: it’s the end of the day on a long route, and your partner is dehydrated and tired. You notice a change in their behavior and their proficiency. You start your descent and they are fumbling with their rappel device and seem unsure of what to do.

Are you going to let them make a mistake and hurt themselves? Of course not. You step up and help them get on rappel correctly. In fact, you make sure they’re on rappel correctly before you leave the stance and give them a belay from below while they descend. Guess what: you just started thinking like a Citizen Guide.

Thinking like a guide doesn’t slow you down. Yes, initially it will require more thought than you are used to, but once you make that paradigm shift to “thinking like a guide” and practice the new tools and techniques we’ll show you, the speed with which your team moves up and down a route will increase. In fact, we guarantee it.

Citizen GuideEach of the Citizen Guide curriculums (Citizen Guide I & Citizen Guide II) are broken into modules. Each module covers specific skills that help you avoid problems altogether or fix them if they occur. They are designed to be taken in sequence and build on each other. Once you master a module then it’s time to move to the next.

We recommend you get significant practice with each one before taking the next in the series. It may be desirable to schedule additional structured practice days between modules to make sure you truly understand a skill set before moving on. It is possible to skip modules based on experience, but mastery of Citizen Guide I Modules 1 & 2 is highly recommended for everyone. Additional practice days can be scheduled any time you need more work with a specific skill set.

At the completion of Citizen Guide training, you’ll be a coveted climbing partner because you’ve mastered the skills that enable you to move faster over multi-pitch routes, and anticipate problems before they happen.


Before beginning the Citizen Guide program you need to be a solid 5.8 trad leader and have lead 50 multi-pitch climbs. “Solid” means you can get out of bed any day of the week and lead it, no problem. Additionally, you must be very familiar with belaying the leader & the second, rappelling, protection placement, protection assessment, and anchor construction.

Regardless of where you enter the Citizen Guide program we recommend that you also enroll in Self Rescue I to fully complete your Citizen Guide training.

Schedule & Tuition

This course can be scheduled at your convenience. Each module is priced seperately so see each modules description for details.

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