B$Z: American Mountain Guides Association Brings Industry Leaders To The Petzl Technical Institute
More than a hundred of America’s top guides will converge at the 15,000-square-foot world-class technical training center to discuss training and certification standards. The three-day summit will focus on training methodologies, guiding standards, and rescue techniques for those who work and play in the vertical world.
“Petzl has always led the way when it comes to innovation for vertical endeavors, and having this kind of facility to host meetings, trainings and tests around equipment and protocol showcases the dedication we have to that mission,” said Jesse Williams, Petzl Technical Institute manager and an AMGA guide.
Petzl developed the Petzl Technical Institute, which opened last year, to promote the proper application of technical skills, allowing for guides with a variety of backgrounds to exchange best practices and work with the gear manufacturer on approved use methods. Ultimately, this convergence of industry experts allows for immediate feedback between the gear manufacturer and the guides who use the gear on a regular basis.
Petzl’s North American headquarters is based in Salt Lake City, UT. The family-owned company traces its roots to underground exploration. In 1956, founder Fernand Petzl set a world depth record of -3,681 feet (1,122 meters) in the Gouffre Berger, an extensive cave system near his home in France.
The Petzl Technical Institute is a continuation of Petzl’s original mission: to enable and educate people on how to safely access some of the most inaccessible places above and below ground. The facility features a 55-foot tall climbing wall with multi-pitch capability, more than 5,000 square feet of exposed structure climbing for tower rescue, and three classrooms capable of accommodating up to 135 people, among other features.
Beyond advancing safety standards through training for rock climbers, alpinists, mountain guides, routesetters and climbing gym employees, a primary focus of the Petzl Technical Institute is also connecting members of the different vertical communities: rope-access technicians, fire/rescue professionals, arborists, military special operators, cavers, and more. The Technical Institute features customizable and job-specific training facilities to re-create a wide variety of real-world scenarios.
Petzl operates a similar training facility at its worldwide headquarters in France.