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Elise Sethna was born and raised in Banff surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. Climbing quickly became an integral part of her life from a young age. She became hooked to climbing at only 8 years old by playing around on the temporary wall set up for the Banff Mountain Film Festival. Throughout her youth she attended 6 Youth World Championships with Team Canada around the globe. Once eligible to join the adult open national team, Elise won 3 Canadian National Bouldering Championships and placed top 10 in an Open Bouldering World Cup. Although competition climbing provided her an avenue to explore her creativity and push herself within a supportive community, her passion now lies with rock climbing (and there is no better place to explore than her own backyard!)

Why do you love Monod Sports?

I grew up just down the street from the Monods store and remember visits there with my family as more than just shopping trips but experiences with a community of people who share the same values and love for outdoor adventure. I deeply admire Monods support of local athletes (many of whom are mentors, friends and all-around amazing people!)

Elise Sethna climbing Fudge Packer, 5.13d at Planet X in Canmore, AB

What’s the most memorable part of your 2019 season?

After coming off a horrible finger injury I managed to send “Unknown Stuntman" - 13d at Acephale. This route balances all the aspects of a beautiful climb in my mind - aesthetics, delicate balance, powerful dead-points, fun and flows movement. It also happens to be one of the most crimpy and finger-intensive climbs on the wall. The process of working this route with friends and getting past the mental barriers from my injury were incredibly satisfying. To feel strong and uninjured on a crimpy test-piece was a welcome boost of confidence in my body to know I could try my absolute hardest again. This was also a season I dabbled in new disciplines of climbing. My finger injury prevented me from climbing hard sport or bouldering for the majority of the season so I started trad climbing instead. I even did my first big-wall in Yosemite up the regular route of Half Dome which was an incredible experience I will never forget!!!

What’s next?

There are so many classic hard rock climbs that are right here in the Bow Valley. After travelling so much in my youth to compete, I have grown to have a new founded appreciation for my backyard and am looking forward to ticking off many of the Bow Valley classics. I would also love to get more into developing and luckily have some great friends to show me the ropes :)


What’s the worst situation you have been in and what did you learn from it?

From 2018 to the summer of 2019 I suffered a series of injuries that proved to be a greater test on my mind than my body. The injuries forced me to stop climbing for the majority of the season. I struggled to find comfort in the stillness and allow myself the space to heal. I realized there is an acute awareness that comes with injury: an understanding and appreciation for all that my body has done for me. I realized that ultimately we owe it to ourselves to listen and appreciate the slower pace. Even though forced rest and recovery are never fun and a brutal mental battle that I still struggle with today, I came out of the experience with a willingness to cultivate the patience required to come back more energized and stronger than I was before.

Who are your mentors through your career?

I have had so many people lift me up through my career in climbing I could not possibly list them all - coaches, friends, family. I am grateful to have an older brother to look up to and follow around as a kid. Our friendly competition in sport (#favouritesethna) pushed us both and sharing in this passion allowed us the opportunity to travel the world together and support one another through the best and worst moments in the sport. Canmore and Banff are tight knit communities filled with inspiring athletes, many of whom I grew up training and climbing alongside. I have particularly loved seeing the younger generation I climbed with out at the crag absolutely crushing it!

What’s your favourite gear?

Shoes - Scarpa Instinct VSR

Rope - Petzl Contact 9.8

Harness - Petzl Selena

Jacket - Arc'teryx Atom LT


If you were a dog which one would you be?

I am probably most like a golden retriever. I am constantly smiling, will start up a conversation with anyone and am always down for an adventure :)

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