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 --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 Co-Owner of Chicks with Picks. She has pursued climbing as a career for over 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 and Blue Water Ropes.
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 and was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Access Fund. For the last 12 years, she has served as 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.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 and is working on her pre-requisites for the AMGA Alpine curriculum.
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. She is also a guest guide with Mountain Education & Development based in Salt Lake City, UT and San Juan Mountain Guides in Ouray, CO.
Born: 1974 Hometown: Fayetteville, WV/Las Vegas, NV Occupation: Owner New River Mountain Guides and Co-Owner Chicks with Picks 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 -Ouray, CO -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.
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