Entries by Elaina Arenz

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

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 […]

How to Buy a Rope?

Buying a rope is one of the more complicated decisions you will make when it comes to climbing gear. To help you decide, I’ve put together my two cents on the top things to consider when it comes to making a rope purchase. 1) What Diameter? For single-pitch climbing I recommend a 9.8mm. A thicker […]

Caution! Wet Rock

Spring showers and summer thunderstorms bring a common dilemma: How soon afterwards is it OK to climb? A few weeks ago, during our Indian Creek Clinic, it rained hard for a couple of hours. The rain began at 8pm and was followed by a strong wind. Climbing the next afternoon remained a possibility. Then it […]