Entries by Elaina Arenz

Alpine Butterfly Knot

The Alpine Butterfly Knot is primarily used to create an attachment point to the middle of a climbing rope in alpine or glaciated terrain. However, for rock climbing the alpine butterfly knot is also great for isolating a bad section of rope and using the rope for the anchor. The reason why an Alpine Butterfly […]

Mentors | The Climbing Fast Track

Which is more important, what, how or why? I was lucky to have a mentor when I started climbing. His name was Seiji (Say-Gee) and he was a co-worker when I was in college. Seiji took pity on me for not having a life. I worked, I went to school and I partied. Work, study, […]

Fun | Or, “It Doesn’t Have to be Fun to be Fun.”

“It doesn’t have to be fun to be fun.” —Mark Twight, alpinist extraordinaire When it comes to alpine climbing and mountaineering-style climbing objectives, one of the things you’ll learn about yourself is how much you can endure. Tough conditions like post-holing to your waist, sleep deprivation (check out Kitty’s Unplanned Bivouac story), heavy packs, and […]

Save Room on Your Gear Loops

Save room on your gear loops with the waterfall method. If you like to rack up on your harness like me, you’ll find that you quickly run out of gear-loop space if you’re carrying multiple sets. The waterfall racking method saves a ton of room and helps you keep organized. First, clip a cam to your gear loop as usual. […]

Two Scoops –  Favorite Spring Climbing Areas 

One of the questions I get asked the most is “What’s your favorite climbing area?” Honestly, “Where’s your favorite place to climb” is akin to asking, “What’s your favorite ice cream?” It depends. When it comes to ice cream, I could be in a mint-chocolate-chip mood, a salted-caramel-gelato mood or a strawberry-cheesecake kind-of-mood. When it […]

Sterling PowerCord Cordelette – light, compact, strong

Is a skinny 5.9mm cordelette strong enough? You bet it is! Since a cordelette is almost always on my harness, my cordelette of choice is the Sterling PowerCord, 5.9mm in the 18ft length—the lightest, most compact cordelette that I can get my hands on. I use cordelettes primarily for rigging anchors (both single and multi-pitch). […]


I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a dirt bike. A few weeks ago, I went out, bought a bike and signed up for lessons! Right? I’m 44. What business do I have? A motorcycle? I’m not strong, like a man. What if I get hurt? I’m not brave. The other night I watched Casselli66, […]