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 20 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 play golf, ski, mountain bike, enjoy live music and spend time with his dog, JoJo. 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

  • Kiley Miller — Office Manager

    Kiley Miller

    Kiley is from Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to Fort Collins to start her Master’s at Colorado State University in Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language. She can be found in the classroom in the off season, teaching composition at CSU, usually with a book in hand. Outside of work, Kiley tries to travel near and far as often as possible, check out the local craft beers, and spend time traipsing the mountains with her dogs, Obi Wan Kenobi and Lu Skywalker. This is Kiley’s third season as Office Manager Mountain Whitewater.

    "Excellent customer service from the time of booking to the guides and after." — Daniel L. from TripAdvisor

  • 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. When not rafting, she can be found walking her dog, skiing or playing golf. 2020 marks Melissa's 21st 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 — 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 21st 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

  • Forest Greenough — Safety Kayaker

    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 — Raft Guide

    Josh Randall

    Josh is originally from Mobile, Alabama. In the off-season, he is a contractor and builder of custom homes. This will be Josh’s 13th year as a professional raft guide with Mountain Whitewater and his 9th year as a safety boater. In his spare time, he enjoys skiing, 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 — Raft Guide

    Andrew Deming

    Andrew is a native of Fort Collins, Colorado. This is his 13th 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 a handyman. 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

  • Casey Batezel — Raft Guide

    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 Photo Journalism 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 11th year as a guide for Mountain Whitewater.

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

  • Tracey Lipfert — Raft Guide

    Tracey Lipfert

    Tracey is from Littleton, Colorado. She went to school at Colorado State University where she received a B.S. 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 an Active Modes Specialist at the City of Fort Collins. This will be her 13th season guiding rafts on the Poudre River. She also enjoys running, backpacking, skiing, and cycling. 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

  • Nate Bell — Raft Guide & Safety Boater

    Nate Bell

    Nate is originally from Annapolis, MD. This is his 11th 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 — Raft Guide & Safety Boater

    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 paddleboarding, snowboarding or traveling. His favorite trip so far has been rafting in New Zealand. This is his 17th year as a commercial guide and 11th on the Cache La Poudre River. Drew is also trained in Swiftwater rescue.

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

  • 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 11th 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

  • Jett Pastuszek — Raft Guide

    Jett Pastuszek

    Jett is a Colorado native and grew up in the heart of the San Juan Mountains. She has a degree in Zoology and will be pursuing her M.S./Ph.D at the University of Queensland in Conservation Biology. If you get the chance to see any wildlife on the river, she will have plenty of excitement for the whole boat. When she is not rafting, Jett likes to eat burritos, backpack, hike, bike, and ski with her super cute dog, Summit. And much like Joan Jett, she also loves Rock ’n’ Roll. This is her 2nd season on the Poudre River. Jett is trained in Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue.

    "Jett was awesome. She paid full attention to the river while still having conversations with us...The river was exciting and definitely exceeded our expectations. Thank you Jett for a fabulous time!" — Amy, Texas

  • Andee Dow — Raft Guide

    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 — Raft Guide

    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 eighth 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

  • John Evans Field — Raft Guide

    John Evans Field

    John Evans is a southern gentleman with a double first name from Albany, Georgia. He has lived in Colorado for four years now. Outside of rafting, he enjoys karaoke nights, concerts, and camping. He aspires to be a year-round rafter on different rivers all around the world. He will be pursuing his Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician this fall with National Outdoor Leadership School. This will be John Evans' 3rd year with Mountain whitewater, 2nd year as a guide. He is trained in Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue. His hero is Ben Costello.

    "It was very thrilling but we felt we were in excellent hands with our guide, John Evans, and the rest of the Mountain Whitewater crew." — Ryan P. from TripAdvisor

  • Dalton Klein — Raft Guide

    Dalton Klein

    Dalton is a Colorado native who grew up in Denver. This is his 2nd season on the Poudre River. He spent one year after high school playing junior hockey in Brooklyn, NY. He is currently pursuing a Political Science degree from Colorado Mesa University. When the water is too low you can find Dalton fishing, skiing, or finding some way to enjoy the outdoors. In the off-season, along with school, Dalton also works as a ski lift operator. An incident while playing hockey has left him lacking a full set of teeth, making it easier to identify him as your guide. Dalton is trained in Swiftwater Rescue.

    "Dalton's dirty dangles delivered down dangerous draws decidedly deftly; drawing delightful descriptions dankly like a druid." — Chris, from TripAdvisor

  • Kaeden Fisher — Raft Guide

    Kaeden Fisher

    Born on a small island in the South Pacific, Kaeden Fisher grew up in the magnificent San Juan Mountains of CO. Since he was young, Kaeden has been riding mountain bikes, skiing, and playing in the whitewater of Colorado’s mighty rivers. Years later, an avid outdoorsman, Kaeden has backpacked, biked, rafted, and skied thousands of miles across the western US. More than just good looks, he is currently attending CSU for Biochemistry, studying plant-based medications. This is Kaeden's second season as a raft guide. He is trained in Wilderness First Aid and Swiftwater Rescue.

    “Kaeden was an absolutely fantastic guide! Not good, not great, fantastic! He kept us entertained, taught us the correct way to do things, and encouraged us the entire time! Next time I go I will be requesting Kaeden!” — Google Reviews

  • 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 bachelors and masters 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.

    "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

  • Carli Olson — Office Staff

    Carli Olson

    Carli is originally from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and moved to Fort Collins to attend Colorado State University. She is currently pursuing a degree in Business Administration with a concentration in management. In the offseason, you can find Carli hiking, biking, camping, snowboarding and spending time with her dogs, Everest and Drake. She is also a big fan of going rafting with her MW friends. After graduation, Carli plans to spend some time traveling and exploring. This is her 2ndseason with Mountain Whitewater.

    Excellent customer service from the time of booking to the guides and after. — Daniel L. 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 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 8th grade, going into 9th. She 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 25th 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