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 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 2014-2019.
She is an American Mountain Guide Association Certified Rock Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and a Provider Trainer for the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor discipline. She’s taught over 75 programs and has been instrumental in the development of the AMGA’s affinity space programming for women and people of color. She was awarded the AMGA Instructor of the Year in 2019 in recognition of her significant contributions to the craft of rock climbing instruction.
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.
She is also a Level 2 IRATA/SPRAT Rope Access Technician and is an Assistant Trainer for Level 1 students at RIG Rope Access in Las Vegas, NV.
Elaina splits her time between the New River Gorge where she manages her guide service throughout the summer and guiding three seasons in Red Rock, NV as an employee for the local guide services that operate there.
In her free time, she loves exploring the backcountry on her dirt bikes, dabbling with watercolors, and spending quality time with her loved ones and her pup Atticus.