At New River Mountain Guides, our guides are accomplished climbers who are chosen based on their expertise, knowledge of the area, friendliness and the ability to teach. They take their profession seriously, are committed to excellence and proud of the line of work they have chosen. You'll find that their professional approach and warm personalities makes for a rewarding experience. Simply stated, our guides truly set us apart from the rest. Read More
All trip leaders are at minimum certified American Mountain Guide Association-Single Pitch Instructors. To learn more about this certification and why you should expect this from your guide, please check the Top 10 Reasons to hire an AMGA Climbing Guide.
Elaina Arenz, Owner NRMG
ELAINA ARENZ Owner/Operator/Chief Guide --AMGA Certified Rock Guide 2014 --AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Provider 2013 --AMGA Certified Rock Instructor 2011 --Warrior's Way Trainer 2011-present --AMGA Single Pitch Instructor 2006-2011 --Wildnerness First Responder, CPR 2013
Elaina is the owner/operator of New River Mountain Guides and has pursued climbing as a career for 20 years. She's traveled all over the North America and Europe, and was instrumental in establishing El Potrero Chico, Mexico as a premiere climbing destination. She's placed first in numerous climbing competitions, established dozens first female ascents across North America, and is a climbing ambassador for La Sportiva.
Elaina believes strongly in the importance of being a well rounded climber and it shows in her climbing technique and footwork. She loves all forms of rock climbing...sport, trad, and bouldering and has in recent years been drawn towards alpine rock objectives and ice climbing. Her specialty area of instruction is the Warrior's Way Mental Training. A method of approaching climbing which helps one to stay focused to overcome fear of falling and improve commitment in climbing. She helped pioneer the trainer program with Arno Ilgner whom she has been working with since 2004.
Elaina has long been an advocate of climbing. She is an ACCESS FUND ATHLETE AMBASSADOR, a core of professional climbers who publicly represent The Access Fund and reinforce it's mission of keeping climbing areas open and conserving the climbing environment. In 2001 she was awarded the Sharp End Award by The Access Fund for her outstanding contribution to climbers’ advocacy. Today she serves on the Board of Directors of her local climbing organization the New River Alliance of Climbers and is one of the main organizing members of the New River Rendezvous. She also manages the athlete clinics for the American Alpine Club's Craggin' Classic at the NRG.
Arenz has appeared in the Women of Climbing Calendar in 2001 and 2003, and will also be featured in photographer Chris Noble’s new book called Women Who Dare: North America's Most Inspiring Women Climbers, alongside her climbing heros Lynn Hill, Kitty Calhoun and many more.Buy
Elaina recently fulfulled a lifelong dream and became one of only a few handful of women to achieve the prestigious AMGA Rock Guide Certification. She completed the 10 day course and 7 day practical exam and passed with flying colors.
Arenz works as a full-time guide year round, spending her summers at the New River Gorge and the rest of the year in Red Rock, NV guiding for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and the American Alpine Institute.
Born: 1974 Hometown: Fayetteville, WV/Las Vegas, NV Occupation: Owner New River Mountain Guides Education: BS in Advertising-The University of Texas at Austin 1997 Recommended Routes at the New: The Spectre, Toxic Hueco, Disturbance, Leave it to Jesus, Starry Favorite Climbing Areas: "The New, Red River Gorge, Red Rock, Joshua Tree, Hueco Tanks and whichever crag I happen to be climbing at"
Places Elaina Guides: -New River Gorge, WV -Seneca Rocks, WV -Red River Gorge, KY -Red Rock, NV -Joshua Tree, CA -Jackson Hole, WY -El Potrero Chico, Mexico
AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor, Jeffery cruising up V-Slot. He likes offwidths...like a lot...
JEFFERY HEARN New River Operations Manager/Senior Instructor
--AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, 2010-present --Wilderness First Responder, CPR --Teen Rock Camp Head Counselor 2010-present --Warrior's Way Assistant Instructor
Jeff Hearn is an American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder who hails from Cleveland, Ohio. Jeff has been climbing for over ten years and his favorite style of climbing is crack climbing. When he was younger he was active with the Boys Scouts of America and has worked their summer camps and other functions through the years. While obtaining a degree in Mechanical Engineering at Toledo, Ohio, he led climbing trips for the outdoor club to climbing areas in the surrounding states. Even though he has climbed in many other states and New Zealand, the New River is still his favorite.
2014 is Jeff's fourth season working for New River Mountain Guides, and he has developed a strong following of return clients who are taken by his patient teaching approach and his ability to relate to people of all ages. Hearn also is our head counselor for our Teen Rock Camp Program and brings to the job a certain flair which the kids really respond to. When Jeff isn't spending his summer in West Virginia, he works with his families HVAC business back in Ohio.
Born: 1983 Homestate: Ohio Occupation: Lead Instructor, Operations Manager and Teen Rock Camp Counselor Education: BS in Mechanical Engineering
Recommended Routes at the New: Jeff loves cracks of all sizes, the more spiders the better.
AMGA Certified Rock Instructor Tracy cruising up Epinepherine in Red Rock, NV
TRACY MARTIN Guest Guide
--AMGA Certified Rock Guide, 2014 --AMGA Certified Rock Instructor, 2011 --Wilderness First Responder, CPR --Warrior's Way Trainer 2011
Tracy has been climbing since 1990 and enjoys learning, teaching and sharing skills and experiences with others. She enjoys traditional climbing foremost, but doesn’t mind clipping a bolt every now and then. She believes the challenges and rewards climbing offers have enhanced her life with improved self confidence, appreciation for simplicity, and a desire for growth.
Tracy is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, and was recently awarded her second scholarship to help her cover tuition costs. Martin has a BFA from UNC Greensboro, and operates her own business as a Graphic Designer and Pet Portrait Artist.
She enjoys bacon and grits for breakfast everyday, with a weekly Dr Pepper fix. When she's not climbing bold trad lines, and sharing her love of climbing with others, you can find her hanging out with Calico, her kitty cat, and creating cool pieces of artwork.
Born: Not Sayin!
Homestate: North Carolina
Occupation: Head Guide and Graphic Artist
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts
Recommended Routes at the New: Stuck in Another Dimension, Leave it to Jesus
Places Tracy Guides: -New River Gorge, WV -Red River Gorge, KY -Red Rock, NV -Joshua Tree, CA -Moore's Wall, NC
-Pilot Mountain, NC
-Pisgah National Forest, NC
Grant Price, Certified AMGA SPI
GRANT PRICE Guest Guide
--AMGA Rock Instructor, 2013 --Wilderness First Responder, CPR --PSIA Level II Alpine Instructor
Grant enjoys all types of climbing but trad and ice are his favorites. He's also psyched on wandering the woods of Virginia, West Virginia and Tennessee looking for new cliffs and putting up first ascents. During the off season he works as a ski instructor at his local ski resort. The summer of 2013 was a big one for Grant, after working hard all summer preparing for his next level guide exam, we are happy to report that he is now a certified AMGA Rock Instructor. Congrats Grant!
Born: 1991 Hometown: Charlottesville, VA Occupation: Head Instructor Education: Environmental Science at Radford University
Recommended Routes at the New: Super Crack, Sixteenth Rung, and Maranatha
Erin Larsen, Certified AMGA SPI
ERIN LARSEN Instructor
--AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, 2013 --Wilderness First Aid, CPR
Erin not only works as one of our climbing instructors, she's a yoga instructor who leads our Climbing/Yoga Retreats. She's also a certified health coach and nutritionist, so she brings a holistic approach to her instruction. She's trained in India under different yogis in a variety yoga disciplines and loves to work with people on alignment issues to help allieve pain from injuries and other health issues. One of her favorite places to climb is Indian Creek in Utah, where she has spent many a fall/winter honing her crack climbing technique. She's a great mentor for our Teen Rock Summer Camp program and can tear it up on her surfboard.
Born: 1980 Hometown: Severna Park, MD Occupation: Climbing Instructor and Certified Yoga Instructor Education: Virginia Tech University
Recommended Routes at the New: Entertainer, Clumsy Club Crack
Rachel Melville on Bohica at the RRG, Certified AMGA SPI
RACHEL MELVILLE Red River Gorge Operations Manager/Senior Instructor
--AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, 2013
Rachel has been climbing for 10 years, and guiding for 5 of those years. She is an Environmental Engineer and Guide out of Lexington, KY. Throughout the past 10 years she has taken many trips out west, climbed on many rock types, and in many styles. She enjoys traditional climbing very much and has swapped leads on notable climbs such as : Astroman, Romantic Warrior, Moonlight Buttress, the Regular NW Face of Half Dome, the Nose, and Rainbow Wall. She specializes in advanced coaching techniques in single pitch terrain. Request her specifically if you are looking to take your climbing to the next level!
Born: 1982 Hometown: Lexington, KY Occupation: Head Instructor Education: Environmental Engineer at the University of Wisconsin
Recommended Routes at the Red River Gorge: Whipstocking, Bohica, Snooker
Places Rachel Guides: -Red River Gorge, KY
-New River Gorge, WV
Arno Ilgner-Warriors Way
ARNO ILGNER Guest NRMG Guide
--Warriors Way Founder --AMGA Single Pitch Instructor 2010
Arno Ilgner distinguished himself as a pioneering rock climber in the 1970s and 80s, when the top climbs were bold and dangerous first ascents. These personal exploits are the foundation for Ilgners unique physical and mental training program The Warrior’s Way. In 1995, after a thorough search of the literature and practice of mental training and the great warrior traditions, Ilgner formalized his methods, founded the Desiderata Institute, and began teaching his program full time. Since then, he has helped hundreds of students sharpen their awareness, focus attention, and understand their athletic (and life) challenges within a coherent, learning-based philosophy of intelligent risk-taking. Ilgner considers the joy and satisfaction in the effort, the journey, intimately linked to successful attainment of goals, the destination. Alumni of his courses now include some of the nation’s most prominent climbers.
Ilgner has run clinics in the north- and southeastern U.S, to California, Canada, Australia and the U.K. He has worked with young competition climbers and written national magazine articles based on his methods. He recently published his second instructional book "Espresso Lessons" which takes the reader through practice exercises in applying the Warrior's Way methodology to climbing. If you'd like to learn more about Arno and the Warrior's Way, check out his website: www.warriorsway.com