Group Activities

Acadia National Park is one of best locations in the country for a group to go rock climbing. There are several excellent locations - many right on the coastline - that each offer a full spectrum of difficulty and style. We guarantee that anyone who wants to rock climb will be have a good day in Acadia. Our instructors are masters at selecting the best location and best climbs for your group.

All kinds of groups would enjoy a day of rock climbing - summer camps, schools, church groups, Scouts (merit badge available), businesses, families and friends. Rock climbing is a great activity for building personal and interpersonal skills. Rock climbing itself is highly individualized and each climb is unique. It is our goal to match the climber to the climb - usually we try to select ones with just enough challenge to keep you fired up yet still allow you to be successful with a bit of effort. Interpersonally climbing requires trust and good communication between rope partners. Acadia Mountain Guides strongly supports this the teamwork idea in climbing and will teach your group members the skills needed to be a responsible team member.

Acadia Mountain Guides offers economical half, full and multi-day group climbing throughout the year (in the winter we can climb ice and on a warm day rock climb) and at a variety of locations. All courses introduce the basic skills including movement, knots, belaying and rappelling and the tuition includes climbing shoes, harness and helmet for each participant.

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is one of the nation's leader in group climbing instruction. In 1997 school owner Jon Tierney saw a need for higher standards for entry level climbing instructors and began developing the curiculum for nationally standardized climbing instructor training courses. This curriculum was based upon the work being done at Acadia Mountain Guides and the model served as the foundation for nationally recognized instructor training offered by the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association) and the PCIA (Professional Climbing Instructors Association).

As a result, Acadia Mountain Guides has consistently provided trained and certified staff for at least twelve years longer than other local climbing school. In fact, the owner of Atlantic Climbing School, our nearest competitor, obtained his initial training and certification through Acadia Mountain Guides as recently as 2006.

We offer instruction in a variety of convenient locations. If you can't travel to us, perhaps we can come closer to you.

  • Acadia National Park
  • Camden Hills State Park
  • Clifton Crags near Bangor
  • North Conway, NH
  • Greenville area
  • Millinocket / Baxter State Park area
  • The Forks / Kenne bec River area

If you would to create a multi-sport summer adventure we are happy to coordinate or assist in your planning. Many groups climb for 1 - 2 days and then also spend some time hiking, biking, paddleboarding, rafting or sea kayaking.

Looking for something else? We offer a variety of options throughout the year.

  • Guided summer hikes such as Katahdin or Mount Washington
  • Guided winter hike such as Katahdin or Mount Washington.
  • Ice climbing available in Acadia, Camden, New Hampshire, Sunday River or Sugarloaf
  • Backcountry skiing in New England, Quebec or the Alps
  • Avalanche or Wilderness Medical training
  • An expedition to the high altitude volcanoes of Mexico or Ecuador
  • Have an idea, give us a call

Our guides are excellent climbers who have traveled throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. But claiming to be a good guide based on climbing ability alone is like claiming to be able to fly a plane because you have a lot of frequent flyer miles! All our guides have been through internationally recognized professional training, and 100% are certified by either the PCIA or the AMGA.

We're not just good guides, we're good teachers too! Our guides have over a hundred years of combined teaching experience.

Acadia Mountain Guides is committed to providing safe, state-of-the-art instruction and guiding that maximizes the group's experience and minimizes risk and environmental impact. The owner of Acadia Mountain Guides has over thirty years of guiding experience in addition to an extensive education in mountain guiding, outdoor leadership training and wilderness rescue. Beyond a strong personal climbing resume, senior guide Jon Tierney has been instrumental in helping to set the direction for mountain guiding and wilderness medicine. He is one of a handful of internationally certified guides in the U.S and is a paramedic specializing in backcountry rescue. Jon developed both the PCIA and AMGA entry level climbing instructor training programs that have become recognized standards. We are leaders in the sport who climb and teach year-round whether it be on rock or ice, in the backcountry, or on high alpine peaks.

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School has been accredited since its inception in 1993 by the American Mountain Guides Association and employs PCIA or AMGA certified instructors and guides. Additionally, all guides have participated in extensive internal and external guide training, wilderness medical and technical rescue training, and peer reviews. All of our guides are at least Wilderness First Responders with many being trained as wilderness EMT's. Each guide must serve an apprenticeship during which they are observed and coached on technical, interpersonal, and group management issues. We believe we can offer your group the best climbing instruction available in Maine and possibly New England. Our specialties are large group rock climbing instruction and small group guided climbs. If you are an organization, choosing to climb with Acadia Mountain Guides allows you to integrate climbing programs into trips without the liability, training and financial commitment of running your own climbing program.

If you would like to set up a group course please contact us as far in advance as possible to discuss your proposed dates, goals and how we can customize your group's experience.

We typically require that your organization provide transportation to and from the climbing site for group members and have at least one chaperone per six participants. Each participant must also fill out a medical and waiver form prior to participation. Participants under the age of eighteen must have these forms signed in advance by a parent or guardian.

We ask that participants bring hiking shoes or sneakers (we discourage sandals) for the approach and wear comfortable pants or shorts and a shirt that provide freedom of movement. Extra clothes should be available as weather frequently changes. An ample lunch and water should be brought. We can arrange a boxed lunch if you prefer. Sunscreen and insect repellent may be useful. All technical equipment and climbing shoes are provided.

All participants as well your organization receive a lifetime 15% off when you purchase climbing gear, tents, sleeping bags, packs or clothing from Alpenglow Adventure Sports. May be taken in store or on the web.

All instructional climbing activities in Acadia National Park require a permit and fee. Acadia Mountain Guides holds all required permits, land use agreements, and is fully insured for guiding all areas that we operate so you don't have to do anything except show up.


A History of
Leading the way...

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the preeminent leader in climbing instruction and guiding in Acadia and across Maine. We specialize in designing customized experiences or training for you, your family or your group.

Directed by internationally recognized IFMGA guide Jon Tierney who has been climbing in Acadia since 1982. Jon has over 30 years of local and worldwide experience. The IFMGA requires full AMGA certification as a rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide.

All AMGCS instructors are certified by either the AMGA or the PCIA and all guides have been trained or certified by the AMGA.

• Since 1994 •
AMGCS is one of 30 AMGA accredited programs in the US and was one of the earliest to achieve accreditation.

AMGCS is the only climbing school in Maine to remain continuously accredited by the AMGA for eighteen years - several years longer than any other local service. We have had one or more full time AMGA certified rock instructors or rock guides on staff each year since 1994 - sixteen years more than any other local school.

• Since 2007 •
AMGCS has the distinction of also being accredited to the highest standards of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. The PCIA requires all staff to be individually trained and certified.

Experience the difference.

Reach your peak with Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School.




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