Entries by Elaina Arenz

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, […]

Tech Tip: How to Fix a Back Clip

I just returned from teaching two back-to-back clinics at Rifle and Maple Canyon where the primary objective for our participants was either learning to lead or becoming a more confident lead climber on sport routes. And did they ever. At the Maple clinic, Tracy Martin and I, the two instructors for the program, didn’t lead […]

Zim’s Crack Creme – Cured My Hobbit Feet!

Zim’s Crack Creme is just what the doctor ordered. Rock climbing takes its toll on your skin, especially your hands and feet. It’s a constant battle between keeping them dry when climbing and hydrated when not. It’s a fine line that is made more complicated by living in the desert. I basically can’t hydrate my […]

Inspiration at 80

Rocking it out 80s style with Chicks Alumna Kris Machnick by Elaina Arenz One of the best things about Chicks is getting to know the women who attend our clinics. They represent a wide range of ages from teenagers to septuagenarians. There’s one woman in particular who has been a constant inspiration for me and […]