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!

  • Ben Costello — Director of Fun

    Ben Costello

    Ben is from the small mountain town of Gunnison, CO. He has been guiding on the Poudre River for the past 18 years, all with Mountain Whitewater. In 2003, he earned a degree in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University. Ben is the Director of Fun at Mountain Whitewater and has over 15,000 river miles. In his spare time Ben likes to hike, ski, mountain bike, enjoy live music and spend time with his dogs JoJo and Sonny. He is a Swiftwater Rescue Technician and a Wilderness First Responder. Ben was also named guide of the year in 2002.

    “Ben is highly suggested…More fun than we could have imagined.” — Jim, TX

  • Melissa Matsunaka

    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 University of Colorado. During the off-season her passion for rivers leads her to travel to new and different rivers across the country. When not rafting, she can be found walking her dogs, skiing or playing golf. 2017 marks Melissa's 19th 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

  • Matt Troyanek

    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 19th year as 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

  • Forest Greenough

    Forest Greenough

    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.

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

  • Josh Randall

    Josh Randall

    Josh is originally from Mobile, Alabama. In the off-season, he builds custom homes in the Red Feather Lakes area of Northern Colorado and enjoys spending time raising chickens. This will be Josh’s 11th year as a professional raft guide with Mountain Whitewater and his 7th year as a safety boater. In his spare time, he enjoys snowboarding, traveling, watching live music, hiking and camping in the backcountry with his dogs Barley and Rogue. Josh is also trained in Swiftwater rescue.

    “Josh was informative and fun. It's an adventure I won't forget.” — Amy, Colorado

  • Andrew Deming

    Andrew Deming

    Andrew is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado. This is his 11th year as a professional raft guide for Mountain Whitewater on the Cache La Poudre River. Andrew is also one of the professional photographers working with Mountain Whitewater. In the off-season he works as an adventure photographer in the ski industry. In his spare time, Andrew enjoys playing videogames, watching movies, going rafting with friends and trying new outdoor sports. Andrew is a Wilderness First Responder and has been trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    “We have an awesome whitewater rafting experience! Andrew was our guide and he was great!” — Lori, IN

  • Tracey Lipfert

    Tracey Lipfert

    Tracey is from Littleton, Colorado. She went to school at Colorado State University where she received a Bachelor Degree in Sports Medicine and a Masters in Biomedical Sciences. She also recently earned a Master's in Public Health from the Colorado School of Public Health. In the off-season, Tracey works as a CPR instructor. This will be her 11th season guiding rafts on the Poudre River. When she is not rafting, Tracey enjoys running, backpacking, skiing, cycling, bird watching. Tracey is trained as an Emergency Medical Technician and has been trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    “...really enjoyed Tracy. She did a good job getting to know everyone on the boat.” — Bill, Omaha

  • Casey Batezel

    Casey Batezel

    Originally from Texas, Casey has called Colorado home for most of his life. Casey graduated from the University of Missouri in 2013 with a degree in Photojournalism and is passionate about pursuing people and their stories. He is also on staff with a local church and loves spending time with close friends and adventuring outside. Casey worked as a firefighter in Missouri and is trained in Swiftwater Rescue, Rope Rescue, and as a W-EMT. This is his 9th year as a guide for Mountain Whitewater.

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

  • Nate Bell

    Nate Bell

    Nate is originally from Annapolis, MD. This is his 9th season as a commercial guide for Mountain Whitewater. In the off-season, Nate works as a handyman and carpenter. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, making furniture and making custom wooden paddles. He is also an avid rugby player. Nate’s future plans include rafting all of the major rivers in the Western United States. Nate is trained as a Swiftwater Rescue Technician and Wilderness First Responder.

    “Nate was very informative throughout the rafting about the different places on the river...we had a blast.” — Mendez Family, MO

  • Drew Mangus

    Drew Mangus

    Drew grew up near Yellowstone National Park in Cody, Wyoming. He has a degree in Business Management from the University of Wyoming. When not rafting, Drew can be found fly fishing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snowboarding or traveling. His favorite trip so far has been rafting in New Zealand. This is his 15th year as a commercial guide and 9th on the Cache La Poudre River. Drew is also trained in Swiftwater rescue and is one of the Standup Paddleboard instructors at Mountain Whitewater.

    “Drew was very knowledgeable about the river and the area. We felt completely confident with him!” — Rochelle, IL

  • Jack Reed

    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 8th season with Mountain Whitewater. Jack is trained in swiftwater rescue and was named Guide of the Year in 2016.

    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

  • Jed Policky

    Jed Policky

    Jed is from Lincoln, Nebraska. He graduated in 2003 from Colorado State University with a degree in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism. Jed has been guiding rafts for 18 years on the Poudre and Arkansas rivers. He enjoys playing guitar, rock climbing and snowboarding in the Colorado backcountry. When not rafting, Jed can be found working as a carpenter or planning his next adventure traveling the globe. Jed is trained in swiftwater rescue.

    "Jed was our experienced, confident and fun guide. He did a great job..." — Sarah, Colorado

  • Dan Fleishman

    Dan Fleishman

    Dan Fleishman grew up in the concrete jungle of New York City, but moved to Colorado in 2002. He's been guiding professionally ever since -- 16 summers on the Poudre and other rivers in the state. For the past decade, Dan has traveled and rafted around the U.S. and world, including six raft trips through the Grand Canyon. He has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in journalism and teaches English at a local High School. He also enjoys reading, hiking, skiing, bar trivia and competitive Scrabble. Dan is trained in swiftwater rescue.

    Dan was an awesome raft guide and we had so much fun!! — Ashley, Milwaukee

  • Ryan Hall

    Ryan Hall

    Ryan is originally from Atlanta, GA. 2017 will be his fifth season as a full-time whitewater rafting guide at Mountain Whitewater. Ryan graduated from Colorado State University with a degree in Natural Resource Management. His future goals include doing conservation work for the US Forest Service. He is always excited to share is passion for nature and the outdoors. When not on the river, Ryan enjoys snowboarding, hiking, fishing, and live music. Ryan is trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    "Our guide Ryan was patient and informative. Everyone in the raft was wet. He was friendly and knowledgeable about the river."
    — Jodie, Wisconsin

  • Andee Dow

    Andee Dow

    Andee is originally from Colorado, and has been involved in outdoor sports her whole life. She took her first multi day rafting trip at 14 years old, and has been hooked ever since! Andee graduated from Colorado state with a double major in Anthropology and International studies, but recently she enjoys living life and chasing whitewater. In the off season, Andee guides in West Virginia on the Upper Gauley, and in Costa Rica on the Pacuare. She doesn't see herself doing anything different any time soon. She is also a swifwater rescue technician, and can guide in Spanish.

    "Wonderful day. Very well organized. Leader Andee was terrific. We really enjoyed the scenery and the white water action. Lots of fun on all fronts. Completely enjoyed it." — Carman993, Denver

  • Justin Kelly

    Justin Kelly

    Justin is an avid outdoor recreationist originally from Colorado Springs, CO. He is a rock climbing and ropes course guide, is Avalanche I & II trained and is Leave No Trace instructor. This is Justin's fifth year as a whitewater guide on the Cache La Poudre River. In the off-season, Justin works as a ski tech. His future plans include becoming a life-long wilderness recreation guide and outdoor leader. Justin is a Wilderness First Responder and is trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    "Our guide, Justin, was informative and guided us through a very exciting trip." — Beverly, Fort Worth, TX

  • Bobby Bloxom

    Bobby Bloxom

    Bobby is originally from Shreveport, LA and has a B.A. in Communication from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, LA. His love for the outdoors comes from fishing, camping and hunting in the woods of Louisiana and from camping along the Front Range of Colorado. Bobby's other interests include cooking, cycling, live music and his dog Buddy. In the off-season, he works for a gas fireplace company as a technician. This is his fifth year as a professional whitewater guide. Bobby is trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    "...we had Bobby as a guide. He was awesome! Great leader, professional, and acted immediately if there was any problem." — Jordyn, Denver

  • Trevor Melton

    Trevor Melton

    Trevor hails from the badlands of Texas. He started guiding raft trips on the Nantahala River in Western North Carolina back in 2007 before joining Mountain Whitewater the following year. Off the river, Trevor works as a distribution rep for Elevation Outdoors Magazine. Trevor also enjoys paddle boarding, rock climbing, snowboarding and disc golfing. Trevor is a level 3 swiftwater rescue technician and has been a paddleboard instructor for the past three years.

    I felt they did an excellent job training us before our trip. Trevor was so much fun. Look for us in June, we are still smiling and enjoy looking at our photos and video over and over! — Judy, Loveland

  • Maddie Robinson Pumm

    Maddie Robinson Pumm

    Maddie was born and raised in Fort Collins, Colorado. As one who craves adventure and has a bit of an adrenaline addiction, Colorado has always had an adventure to offer her whether it be snowboarding, climbing, camping, kayaking or rafting! Maddie has B.S. in Biochemistry from Colorado State University and is currently working on a Ph.D. in medical genetics at UC Denver where she hopes to contribute to the cure for Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. She has been trained as an EMT and also has training in Swiftwater Rescue.

    "Maddie, our guide, skillfully navigated the river, provided great information about the surrounding region, and delivered a personalized trip down the Poudre..." — Michele C.

  • Daniel Hartman-Strawn

    Daniel Hartman-Strawn

    Dan grew up in Denver, where he learned to love playing outside. 2018 marks Dan's second season on the Poudre River. When he's not rafting, Dan can be found mountain biking, backpacking, or canoeing. His other passions include working in politics, playing viola, and writing. During the offseason Dan is pursuing a degree in American Indian Studies and a degree in Law from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He also works as a mountain biking, backpacking, and canoeing guide in Tucson. Dan is certified as a Wildernesses First Responder and is trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    "We had such a good time! If you are ever in Fort Collins area it's a must! Our rafting guide Dan was amazing! We will definitely come back." — Kaitlin T.

  • Lindsey Modesitt

    Lindsey Modesitt

    Lindsey grew up in Fort Collins where she developed a deep and all-encompassing love for 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.

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

  • Ella Modesitt — The Big Boss

    Ella Modesitt

    Ella was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. She has spent much of her life near 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 in 5th grade and loves to ski, raft, surf, hike, play the violin, and sing in her school choir. You will certainly see her smiling face on the grounds of Mountain Whitewater and the Paddler’s Pub, she may even book your trip!

    "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 23rd year as a professional guide on the Cache La Poudre and other rivers. Privately he has boated on four continents while pursuing his passion of 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