About Us

Our Guides

STAFF - “Our Guides Make the Difference”

We are proud to have the best staff in Northern Colorado!

Let’s get to know the folks at Mountain Whitewater Descents!

  • James Cockrell

    James Cockrell

    James is from Brandon, Mississippi and moved to northern CO in 2015 while serving in the Air Force. He began rafting guiding in 2017 for the U.S. Air Force Academy's Outdoor Program on the Arkansas River. He finished his B.S. degree at Colorado State University in 2021 and is now a school teacher and soccer coach in Fort Collins. James enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelsey, and adventure pup, Lady, exploring rivers, fisheries, mountain biking, and skiing.

    The experienced guides really have it together. It's safety first, with lots of fun being a close second!

  • Melissa Matsunaka — Raft Guide

    Melissa Matsunaka

    Melissa grew up in Loveland, CO. She earned a B.S. degree in Natural Resource Management from Colorado State University and a Law Degree from the University of Colorado. During the off-season, her passion for rivers leads her to travel to new and different rivers across the country. She can be found walking her dog, skiing, or playing golf when not rafting. This is Melissa's 25th year as a professional raft guide on the Poudre River, making her the longest-tenured, full-time guide on the river. She is a Swiftwater Rescue Technician and was named Guide of the Year in 2008.

    “Our guide Melissa made the trip more than just a ride down the river! She made it extremely entertaining with her excellent sense of humor and her knowledge of the river.” — Chris, Denver

  • Mason Maddie — River Guide

    Mason Maddie

    Mason was originally born and bred in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He served 4 years in the Marine Corps where he found his passion for the outdoor recreation lifestyle. Mason became a river guide in the summer of 2021 on the Cache La Poudre and has since then guided all over the United States and Mexico. He bases his whole life on travel and the outdoors, and lives for new experiences and connections. He has certifications as an Wilderness EMT, Swiftwater Rescue, and Adventure Sorcery. When Mason is not on the river, you can find him climbing, caving, biking, or dumpster diving. Out of all the rivers that Mason has boated/guided, he always holds the Cache La Poudre and Mountain Whitewater as his home. This will be Mason's third year with Mountain Whitewater.  

    Our guide was Mason who told us some great stories but took us down the river with awesome skills. — luckiemom1960, St. Petersberg, Florida

  • Matt Troyanek — Raft Guide

    Matt Troyanek

    Matt comes from Duluth, MN. He now finds his home in Laramie, WY where he became addicted to rafting in 1995. His diverse passion for helping others to have fun in the outdoors includes training international mountaineering guides and mentoring youth in outdoor ministry. Matt’s safety training in Swiftwater Rescue and EMT-B, compliment his Business degree from the University of Wyoming. This is Matt's 29th year as a whitewater guide on the Poudre and North Platte Rivers.

    “Our guide, Matt, was fabulous. Everybody else treated us very professionally while still ensuring we had a great time!” — Alex, MN

  • Marissa “Mar” Inhofer — Raft Guide

    Marissa “Mar” Inhofer

    Mar Aka Marissa aka Misfit
    Is a proud mom of one fur baby. She has spent the last 10 years on a tropical island in the middle of the Pacific (Oahu)
    She is a certified massage therapist, an occupational therapy assistant, and a fitness and yoga instructor.
    As a nature lover, and hyper-recreationist she has participated in everything from beauty pageants to cage fighting. If she’s not on the river guarantee she’s outside chasing some crazy adventure… or plotting one. (Her last big one included a 1700-mile bike ride down the west coast on highway 101) She’s a world traveler and has been to 7 countries and counting.
    She is swift water rescue certified and this is her fourth year with Mountain Whitewater. Come rafting with Mar!

    Mar was an awesome guide! We were on the smaller boat and she got us through lots of obstacles beautifully. Lots of laughter and fun! — Stevie

  • Forest Greenough -Safety Kayaker — Safety Kayaker

    Forest Greenough -Safety Kayaker

    A native of Washington State, Forest moved to Colorado in 1999 for graduate school. Forest’s “other job” is Professor of Double Bass and Music Theory at CSU in Fort Collins, where he has worked since 2005—not coincidentally, the same amount of time he has been a professional river guide and kayak instructor on both the Arkansas and Poudre rivers. When he isn’t guiding, kayaking, mountain biking, or enjoying the spectacular Colorado backcountry on his splitboard, Forest performs frequent classical and jazz shows around the state and country, and occasionally overseas. This is his 14th season as a safety boater for Mountain Whitewater

    “Our guide, Forest G. was awesome.” — The Beene Family, Texas

  • Jaque McVey “Tiny” — Raft Guide

    Jaque McVey “Tiny”

    Jaq or "Tiny" is originally from Ohio and Montana.  She graduated with a degree in Natural Resource Management and a minor in Water Sustainability from Colorado State University.  When not on the river Tiny also enjoys climbing and snowboarding.  This is her 5th year as a guide on the Poudre River.  She is trained in Swiftwater Rescue Techniques.  She looks forward to seeing you on the river and guiding you through this world-class river.  

    "Our guide Tiny was fabulous and very skilled and knowledgeable about the river. " — Tara, Virginia

  • Casey Batezel — Raft Guide

    Casey Batezel

    Originally form Texas, Casey has called Colorado home for most of his life. Most recently, Casey is a proud new dad to Parker (just ask him to see pictures!) and husband to Lindsay. Casey graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism in 2013 with a degree in Photojournalism, and received his Masters in Organizational Leadership in 2021. When he's not rafting or spending time with his family, Casey loves to help business leaders launch products or improve their internal systems. Casey worked as a firefighter in Missouri and is trained in Swiftwater Rescue, Rope Rescue, and as a W-EMT. This is his 15th year as a guide for Mountain Whitewater.

    “Casey was very engaging throughout the trip and made the experience fun for all! — Josh, TX

  • Coe Stemple — Raft Guide

    Coe Stemple

    Coe was born in the Texas panhandle and has lived in the Colorado Front Range for over 10 years now.  He majored in geography and got his minor in sustainability online at Arizona State University.  During his time off the river, Coe likes to spend his time rock climbing, mountain biking and singing duets with his dog. Coe is trained in Swiftwater Rescue Techniques.  This is Coe's 9th season working on the Cache La Poudre and he loves taking people from all over the world rafting!

    "The guides were all great, especially Coe. He kept us safe and made us feel we were the best rafters even when we had a high side early on in the trip." — Shay, Missouri

  • Justin Romero — Raft Guide

    Justin Romero

    Justin grew up in Fort Collins where he explores the mountains. He graduated in December from Colorado State University with a degree in Forestry and Rangeland Management. He enjoys spending his time in a hammock in the mountains listening to the wind whip through the trees. When not on the river Justin can be found eating burritos and listening to Rock’n’roll. He likes fishing, hunting, hiking, snowboarding, and many other things.  He is trained in Swiftwater Rescue Techniques. This is Justin’s 5th year guiding on the Cache La Poudre River.

    "Our family had a blast. Would highly recommend them! Justin was awesome. He was a great guide with great stories and information as we rafted." — Rich B, MO

  • Jack Reed — Raft Guide & Safety Kayaker

    Jack Reed

    Jack was born in Fort Collins and grew up exploring Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Colorado. He started guiding rivers at Mountain Whitewater in 2004, the same year he became a Certified Massage Therapist. In 2010 he earned welding certificates at Butte College in California. He has been creating and independently releasing music since 2004. Jack has uncounted river miles across the US. This will be Jack's 20th season with Mountain Whitewater. Jack is trained in swiftwater rescue and was named Guide of the Year in 2016 and 2022.

    Guides were very professional and concerned with safety at all times and we plan to do it again next year. Thank you Jack!
    — Elisa, Fort Collins

  • Eric Peterson — Raft Guide

    Eric Peterson

    Eric grew up in Boulder, CO, and has been immersed in whitewater since the very young age of 18 months; when his parents took him on his first river trip through Northgate Canyon on the North Platte River.  Ever since then, he has enjoyed boating the waters of the southwest and exploring the outdoors by motorcycle, and on foot.  He is currently a student at Colorado State University studying Fermentation Science Philosophy.  Eric is trained in Swiftwater Rescue, and this is his third year as a guide for Mountain Whitewater.

    "Eric was the absolute best, he made our entire dream vacation to Colorado more memorable than we could've imagined. We will be back!" — Jim

  • Zach Rockvam — Raft Guide

    Zach Rockvam

    Zach grew up in Loveland, Colorado and graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor’s degree in natural resource tourism. When he’s not spending time in a raft he’s usually camping, skiing, fishing, or taking photos. Zach started out his first year with us as a photographer, but he quickly realized that the real fun is on river, guiding. The next season he took up guide training and this will now be his 3rd year guiding with Mountain Whitewater.

    "We had an awesome day rafting! An excellent way to spend the 4th of July - lots of rapids and a great guide - Zach - thank you so much for a fun afternoon! If you are in town - check them out." — Emily, Philadelphia

  • Evandel Crabtree- “Vano” — Raft Guide

    Evandel Crabtree- “Vano”

    Vano is from Dayton, Ohio where he grew up playing football and running track.  He graduated from Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio.  Vano's next adventure was to follow his heart and chase his passion for rafting.  That passion found him in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Vano's love for rafting came from rafting trips as a kid in West Virginia.  After discovering that guides were like superheroes, he decided that would be a perfect fit for him.  Vano is Swiftwater Rescue Trained and this is his 4th year as a guide.

    We had so much fun and our guide Vano was top notch...both fun and professional. — Chris, from TripAdvisor

  • Adam Pearlstein — Raft Guide & Photographer

    Adam Pearlstein

    Adam is originally from Los Angeles, California. He graduated from UC Santa Cruz and Colorado State University with a bachelor's and master's in physics respectively, and has been working for Mountain Whitewater since 2014. During the off-season, Adam teaches physics at CSU and helps run a K-12 science outreach program. When not on the river or in the classroom, he enjoys traveling, scuba diving, hiking, and climbing. Adam is trained as an Emergency Medical Technician and trained in Swiftwater Rescue. This is Adam's 11th year as a guide for Mountain Whitewater.

    "Our guide was Adam, and he was super helpful and patient throughout the whole trip ... He kept his composure and was fun to have as our guide." — Alyssa C. from TripAdvisor

  • Lindsey Modesitt — Executive Dream Alchemist

    Lindsey Modesitt

    Lindsey grew up in Fort Collins where she developed a deep and all-encompassing love for mountains, rivers and especially the Poudre River. After learning to guide on various rivers in Northern California, she returned home to guide on the Poudre. She has a BS degree from CSU and is trained as an EMT and a Swiftwater Rescue Technician. In her free time, Lindsey loves to Mountain Bike, Ski, Sail, Surf, Paddleboard, and do just about anything that involves water. This is her 28th year as a professional guide.

    “Our guide was super...we would definitely recommend to others and be back ourselves.” — Amy, IA

  • Declan Sullivan — Raft Guide

    Declan Sullivan

    Declan grew up right here in Fort Collins Colorado, graduating from Poudre High School.  He was very active in soccer and skiing in Steamboat during his school years.  Coming from a family of Grand Canyon River Guides, he decided to follow in their footsteps and become a whitewater rafting guide.  He is currently a sophmore at Montana State University. He is returning this year to guide on the river he loves. Declan is swiftwater rescue trained and this is his second year as a professional guide.

    Great times on the Poudre!
    "6 of us rafted the Poudre this past Saturday for a friend's 40th birthday and it was a great time! Declan was our guide and absolutely killed it! Mountain Whitewater is a great company that clearly knows how to hire and train a good crew!" — Kris, Denver

  • Ella Modesitt — The Big Boss

    Ella Modesitt

    Ella was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has spent much of her life near the water. At six, she sailed around the Caribbean with her family and learned to climb the halyards on the boat. A skill she will use when she is your guide in 2024. For now, Ella is a senior at Poudre High School.  She loves to ski, raft, surf, hike, sail and play the violin. If you can’t find her in the wild, you can find her in a quiet nook with her nose in a book.  You will certainly see her smiling face on the grounds of Mountain Whitewater and the Paddler’s Pub, she may even book your trip! This is Ella’s second year as a guide.

    "The raft guides were very pleasant and experienced. I would do it again with this outfit. Thanks!"

  • Turtle Modesitt — The Little Boss

    Turtle Modesitt

    Turtle is from Fort Collins, Colorado. Yes, “Turtle” is his real name, his prior real name was Chase but after sailing around the Caribbean for 15 months he has become “Turtle.” Turtle is a member of the rookie guide class of 2026, he might just have fins by then. He is the number one gear washer at Mountain Whitewater so if there is a problem with your gear, see him. He loves his job and takes it extremely seriously. When not working Turtle enjoys rafting, surfing, soccer, chess and beating his dad at various competitions.

    "Staff went above and beyond to make sure that we had a great time. Always felt safe and yet had quite the run."

  • Brad Modesitt — Chief Entertainment Officer

    Brad Modesitt

    Brad Modesitt is from Michigan but has lived in Colorado most of his life. This is his 31st year as a professional guide on the Cache La Poudre and other rivers. Privately he has boated on four continents while pursuing his passion for traveling. He has over 24,901 river miles which is the circumference of the earth! He has been trained as an Emergency Medical Technician, Outdoor Emergency Care, and Canyons River rescue Course. His favorite trip so far has been canoeing to New Orleans and then bicycling to Chile.

    “Brad made the trip educational and enjoyable.” — John, TX