AMGA Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Provider Trainer
Warrior's Way Trainer
Level 2 IRATA/SPRAT Rope Access Technician
Wilderness First Responder
AMGA Elected Board Member 2020-Present
AMGA Secretary of the Board 2022-Present
AMGA Educator of the Year 2019
Access Fund Bebie Leadership Award 2003
Access Fund Sharp End Award 2001
Elaina started climbing in 1994 while studying at the University of Texas at Austin, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Creative Advertising in 1997. She's been around the climbing block for thirty years and during that time she has taught and inspired hundreds of people to climb all over the United States, Mexico, and Europe.
You may recognize her from a series of tech videos produced by the AMGA in partnership with Outdoor Research. She's also graced the pages of Climbing Magazine, Rock & Ice, the Women of Climbing Calendar, and is featured in the coffee table book entitled Women Who Dare: North America's Most Inspiring Women Climbers
She was one of the early developers of El Potrero Chico, Mexico. During her years there she owned and operated a climber's resort, guided guests, established new routes, and helped put EPC on the international climbing radar.
Since 2003 she has been the owner/operator of New River Mountain Guides, a climbing school, and guide service based at the New River Gorge, West Virginia. She was also a co-owner of Chicks Climbing & Skiing, formerly known as Chicks with Picks from 2014 to 2019.
Elaina is an American Mountain Guide Association Certified Rock Guide, and Apprentice Alpine Guide. She was the first female SPI Provider Trainer and has taught over 80 programs in places such as the New River Gorge, WV, Red Rock, NV, Joshua Tree, CA, Devils Lake, WI, Cody, WY, Boulder, CO, the Red River Gorge, KY, and Great Falls, VA. She has been instrumental in developing the AMGA’s affinity space programming for women and people of color and teaches in all-female spaces regularly.
In 2019 she was awarded the AMGA Instructor of the Year by her peers. This award is to honor an AMGA educator who has made great contributions to their students’ professional development and improving educational effectiveness at the AMGA.
The recipient is a highly effective instructor, knowledgeable about their chosen craft, is a role model for their peers, contributes to the community of educators, and takes the initiative to mentor members outside of course time.
Elaina is currently serving a second elected term on the AMGA’s Board of Directors and was recently voted in as the Board’s Secretary. She serves on the Executive Committee, the Scope of Practice Review Board, and the Technical Committee.
It's safe to say she loves working at height and with technical rope systems. To that end, she's a Level 2 IRATA/SPRAT Rope Access Technician and Assistant Trainer at RIG Rope Access based in Las Vegas, NV. She's also been an instructor cadre member of the National Park Services Basic Technical Rescue Training-East on a number of trainings at the New River Gorge National Park and the Delaware Water Gap.
Elaina splits her time between the New River Gorge where she manages the guide service throughout the summer and guiding three seasons in Red Rock, NV as an employee for the guide services that operate there.
In her free time, she loves exploring the desert on her dirt bike, dabbling with watercolors, working on jigsaw puzzles, and spending quality time with her loved ones, especially her pooch Atticus B. Finch.