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AMGA Annual Meeting Honors Mountaineers

November 18, 2016

The 2016 AMGA Annual Meeting at the Petzl Technical Institute in October 2016 awarded three guides for excellence.

“The award winners have demonstrated a passion and commitment to the mountain guiding community. Each awardee has worked tirelessly to further the organization and community as a whole,” says Rob Hess, President of the AMGA.

Jeff Ward took home the President’s Award for his outstanding lifetime of work. He is the 18th American Mountain Guide and joined the AMGA Instructor Team in 2006. As an Instructor Team Lead, Ward has demonstrated a passion and willingness to give back to the organization well beyond personal guiding endeavors. He continually engages in dialogue and support for furthering of the organization and community as a whole.

AMGA also awarded Emilie Drinkwater with Guide of the Year to honor her excellence in the profession of mountain guiding. Emilie is the 101st American Mountain Guide and the ninth American woman to receive her IFMGA certification. She received her pin in 2015 and has been a dedicated mountain guide committed to promoting cultural and ethnic diversity and international outreach through her work. In addition to her guiding work, Emilie is a talented alpinist and seasoned expedition climber. She joined the AMGA Instructor Team in 2016.

Martin Volken was bestowed with the Lifetime Achievement Award to honor his outstanding contribution to the profession of mountain guiding. His dedication for more than thirty years has reflected the highest credit upon himself and the American mountain guiding community. Martin’s integrity and moral courage are worthy of emulation and he is recognized as an outstanding American.

The AMGA Annual Meeting also featured a roundtable discussion with the AMGA Board of Directors. Members had the opportunity to address the board on a number of pertinent topics, including scope of practice: a set of guidelines that describes the processes AMGA guides are permitted to undertake.

For a full recap of AMGA 2016 Annual Meetings’ clinics, please click here. In October 2017, AMGA will head back to the Petzl Technical Institute for its 2017 Annual meeting scheduled for October 26-28. Registration will be available at in August 2017.

About American Mountain Guides Association

American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) a 501(c)(3) educational non-profit dedicated to supporting and the culture of American mountain craft. The AMGA is the premier source for training, credentials and resource stewardship for professional mountain guides and climbing instructors in the United States. For additional information, please visit

About Petzl®

For over 40 years, Petzl has developed innovative tools and techniques used by those who work and play in the vertical world. Today, the Petzl brand is closely associated with adventure, exploration, rescue, and many notable exploits in the worlds of rock climbing, caving, and alpinism. In the professional market, Petzl is a world leader in work at height, fire and rescue, and tactical equipment and techniques. A family-owned business, Petzl is committed not only to quality and innovation, but also to giving back to the communities that have made us so successful. For more information, visit