Our Guides and Staff
M omentum River Expeditions started with the idea of bringing the handcrafted quality, the attention to detail, and the sense of adventure of expedition style trips back to all river trips. Whether it is on the big class V water of the Cal Salmon; the logistically difficult and off the beaten path Owyhee Kayak Trips; a day trip down the Upper ‘K’; or a wilderness trip down the Rogue or Idaho Salmon with 3 generations of families and friends. It is our goal to re-invent the way rafting trips are run. To set the standard for guest service, trip quality, attention to detail, safety, and the overall river experience.
This all starts with our guides and staff. Our guides are some of the finest anywhere and have a minimum of 8 years of experience leading trips around the world (nobody offers this kind of top to bottom experience). They are not only gifted technically, but they are also multi-talented, curious, fun, warm-hearted, and they truly enjoy showing people the wild places that have captivated them for so long. Most importantly they are experts at creating an atmosphere where the benefits and joys of rivers can be lived to the fullest and where it is easy to relax and be yourself.
Pete is originally from Vermont but has spent time living in Colorado, Wyoming, South America, and on the West Coast. He has been a guide for over 20 years and has run rivers all over the United States – including the Upper Tuolumne (Cherry Creek) in California, considered the toughest regularly-run commercial trip in North America – as well as rivers in Nepal, India, Costa Rica, Panama, Argentina, and Chile.
He is a board member for the Oregon Guides and Outfitters Association, the Save the Wild Rogue Campaign, the Rogue Outfitters Association, and works closely with the Southern Oregon University Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program as well as with environmental groups that work towards the protection of wild rivers. Besides boating he is an avid back-country skier, boarder, runner, and general outdoor adventurer.
He believes in environmental stewardship through advocacy by experience. That getting a wide variety of people out into wild places and showing the places in a way that they understand and that they appreciate (and that is really fun!) creates advocates that love and will want to protect them.
A native Wisconsinite (with an accent that comes out when excited), Erik grew up and was comfortable with the water long before he became a river guide. He has spent over 20 years exploring and guiding on rivers throughout the western United States, India, Nepal, Tibet, and New Zealand. He now lives here in Ashland with his wife and son.
He helped develop Southern Oregon University’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program and is now a full time instructor. He teaches mountaineering, rock climbing, whitewater skills, Swiftwater Rescue, Wilderness and Remote First Aid, and the all-important ‘soft skills’ of outdoor leadership. Erik loves sharing his knowledge of river environments and is a true ‘guides guide’ who is equally at home floating scenic canyons, running class V steeps, or leading a local wine tasting under the night sky.
Erik is one of our original guides and we are lucky to continue to have him on our crew.
After a career as a supermodel was tragically cut short by genetics, Anthony resigned himself to the simple life of a river guide. His addiction to guiding began in 1991, but his real love of rivers began when family friends invited him on his first trip when he was eleven. His 20+ years as a professional guide has taken him throughout the western United States as well as Nepal and Chile.
Anthony grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills. It was there that his love of nature and knowledge of flora and fauna was encouraged by his father. Besides guiding our river trips he also manages and guides our fall Rogue Fishing operation. He supports his whitewater habit by working as a carpenter and general all around expert handy man (much of the custom Momentum gear is built by Anthony).
He also loves 50’s and vintage furniture and clothing – as you might notice by his everyday attire. He, his wife Sasha, daughter Emma Dayle, and their dogs, Milhaus and Phoebe, currently reside in Northern California.
Anthony is also one of our original guides and his quiet, understated demeanor and expert whitewater skills have made him a favorite of our most loyal guests.
Orea grew up in the suburbs of West Hartford, Connecticut – the Nutmeg State. She has been guiding for over 25 years and is one of the most skilled paddle guides we have ever seen. She has guided in Nepal (during the start of whitewater exploration there), South and Central America, India, and all over the U.S. and was one of Whitewater Voyages ‘go everywhere’ class V guides for many years. She also still guides yearly trips on the Grand Canyon. Orea is a trained chef (as many of our guests can attest to), works on developing our menus, and was instrumental in developing an extremely innovative ‘fancy but lightweight’ menu for our Lower Owyhee Inflatable Kayaking Expedition. She particularly loves baking and has perfected a recipe for ‘Twinkie-misu’. Despite her big water background she loves our family trips and is a favorite among the kids. Orea is logistically gifted and one of those rare guides where you can just hand her a packet of info with a new river, a new itinerary, a bunch of guest requests, and you know the trip will go flawlessly. Little known facts about Orea: She played the Tuba in 6th grade…
After a short career as a fisheries biologist Jeff has been guiding and running rivers for over 25 years. His boating pursuits have taken him to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica and most western U.S. states.
His winter home is the canyons of the Rio Grande along the Texas-Mexico border where he guides multi-day canoe trips and runs the Big Bend Trails Alliance. The Trails Alliance works with the World Wildlife Fund, the Wilderness Conservation Society and Big Bend National Park to build and maintain trails in the Big Bend area. Jeff is also an avid mountain biker and fly fisherman and he and his wife, Rebecca, live in their off the grid homestead that they have been building for the last 16 years.
Jeff manages our Idaho Salmon trips as well as working on the Owyhee and other spring rivers. His slow Texas drawl (be careful not to interrupt him), his relaxed attitude, his ability to fix almost anything, and his talent of grilling steak while simultaneously cooking the perfect risotto has quickly endeared him to his Oregon and Idaho ‘homes’ away from home.
Jane was born in Hex River, South Africa, and grew up barefoot on the family fruit farm in the mountains of the Cape. She has been guiding for over 25 years, beginning as a guide on the Orange River in South Africa in 1989, just as rafting was starting in South Africa. Since then, she has run rivers all over South Africa, Zimbabwe and Zambia (Zambezi), Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, New Zealand, Ecuador and Bolivia. In the US, Jane has guided in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, and Oregon, and met her husband on the Middle Fork in Idaho.
She has been the captain of the South African Women’s Raft Team (3rd in Worlds), managed multiple river companies, pioneered new runs, and appeared in a number of documentaries – including “Tweaking the Nose of Terror” during the 3rd Descent of the Class V+ Murchison section of the White Nile and “The Longest River” during the Source to Sea expedition on the White Nile.
She is always happiest to be on overnights trip, far away from any outside contact. When not on the river, Jane likes to read, write, teach first aid, eat chocolate, surf, hike and kayak badly. Her travels now mostly take her between her two homes of Africa and the US.
Tyler is another one of our Wisconsin natives. He has been a river guide for over 10 years and has guided rivers in Colorado, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Arizona, Oregon, California, Idaho, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Guatemala.
When not on the river, Tyler can be found guiding backcountry snowboarding trips, climbing, biking, surfing, sailing, and hiking. He was the manager of his last company in Colorado and now has the tricky job of managing a bunch of guides who have all been managers.
Tyler has been known to freak people out with his quick changes from a guide/mountain man to Portland hipster and if we were to start a Momentum Calendar he would probably be voted for the cover. Little known fact about Tyler: He almost decided to become a lawyer instead of a river guide.
Robyn is one of our true native Southern Oregonians. She has been running rivers since she was 8, discovered her passion for guiding at the age of 18 and has been guiding in the Pacific Northwest ever since. She has worked on the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho and the Colorado River through Grand Canyon as well as all of our rivers.
Robyn has a Bachelor’s Degree in Art (painting) and a minor in Geology, which she blames on her years on the river. She is now the Clean Water Campaigner for Rogue River Keeper and during her spare time you can usually find her in the mountains, in the rivers or painting. Despite being the Rogue River Keeper she still finds time to guide here and on the Grand.
She is a Sagittarius, enjoys a good IPA, her favorite food is Italian and she will gladly challenge anyone to a friendly game of Butt Darts.
Another one of our native guides, Alan has been a guide for over 15 years. As a boy growing up in the Rogue Valley, Alan developed a love of nature due to outings with his father and grandfather scuba diving, fishing, camping, hiking and inner tubing on the Rogue River. He eventually became interested in automobiles and drag racing and worked as an automatic transmission builder for 20+ years.
His entire life changed when he attended his first river guide training. He trained and worked with a raft company for 9 years before coming to Momentum. As evidence of Alan’s love of the river, his marriage to his wife Debbie took place on the Klamath River and the guest book was a wooden oar.
Alan is gifted with the oars, has been with us since the beginning, is one of our most requested guides, and might be one of the nicest people on earth - in fact some of Pete's favorite guests have decided that they would rather go with Alan.
Simon Saichek is a veteran of 10+ years of whitewater and has guided throughout the Western US, Costa Rica, Peru, and India. He is an adventurous boater, whether it's pioneering new stretches of whitewater or enhancing the experience on more familiar rivers by running them on his inflatable crocodile.
Simon is another Whitewater Voyages alumni and managed for many years on the Kings River. When not floating a river Simon can be found climbing, biking, cooking, juggling and doing yoga. He's an avid historian and philosopher and has a passion for exploration both in the world of the mind and in the world at large. If you get him in the right mood you might get to hear about his unique combination of libertarian - environmentalism mixed with obscure philosophical references and ‘go bag’ basics.
Simon is renaissance guide who is equally good at logistically complicated trips, backbreaking days, five star cooking, and philosophical conversations. He is currently in grad school but still spends big chunks of his spring and summer here.
Rebecca abandoned London and the UK in search of wide open spaces and adventure. She has been guiding for over 10 years and her travels have taken her all over the Western US, Mexico and Central America.
She makes her home with her husband, Jeff, in a dusty border town on the Texas-Mexico border where she guides river, hiking, and mountain bike trips and works as an EMT. With Momentum you will find her on summer trips on the Rogue, Klamath and Salmon.
Rebecca is amazing at making people feel comfortable on rivers, especially kids and their families and is an integral part of our Idaho Salmon trips. She is also infamous for her jokes (she would say 'famous')– some kid friendly, some not, but all funny to watch her tell…
Mike is from the land of venison and cheese – Wisconsin – yup, another one! He has been guiding for over 10 years and he grew up fishing, hunting, camping and canoeing throughout the north woods. Mike was introduced to whitewater through the boy scouts in 1996 at the age of 13. He has since used his skills to travel the globe working in Georgia, Idaho, Alaska, Guatemala, and Chile.
He is an accomplished class v kayaker (and even hunts from his kayak:) ) and has run most of the hardest rivers and creeks in the area. Mike is also extremely good with rope and rescue techniques. He now lives in Ashland and splits his timing guiding and working for a local solar company.
Arden was drawn to Southern Oregon in 1985 to raft the Wild and Scenic Rogue. Having been running rivers in Montana and working winters as a back-country ski guide in Yellowstone Park, she realized this little corner of the country was ideal for continuing her career and raising a family.
She was one of the first female guides in the area and has a first raft descent on the Main Chute of Pit River Falls. When she is not laughing at her own jokes she can be found teaching alpine and telemark skiing as well as snowboarding on our local Mt. Ashland.
Arden is an extremely unique personality and she brings an energy and passion to trips that is appreciated by all - particularly by our younger guests.
Chad has been guiding for over 15 years. His various interests have taken him throughout the country in pursuit of both pleasure and education. Originally from Vermont, his interest in politics led to a political science degree, which it turns out wasn’t a real job magnet. With an interest in alternative energy developing, Chad moved to Colorado to learn more but eventually got a law degree in Oregon.
His passion for whitewater began in Colorado and this passion created a gateway for new friends and allowed for adventures and guiding opportunities throughout the country on some of the nation’s best runs. Besides working for Momentum he also has worked for various environmental nonprofits.
Chad is another one of our original guides (our ‘8 year’ tagline is owed to his 8 years of experience when we started) and because of his ability to talk about literally anything (his wife would say ‘literally nothing’) he is one of our most requested.
Rick has been guiding for over 30 years and has an extensive background in education, guiding, and exploration. He graduated from the University of Colorado with B.A. in History and Anthropology, and also studied Geography and obtained an Education Certificate. Later he worked with the U.S. Geological Survey in Alaska and managed and led educational marine biology programs off the west and east coasts of Baja California for New Perspectives. He has guided in Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Montana, Alaska and Canada, has made three first decent expeditions that focused on conservation issues in equatorial Africa, and has done a ski traverse of Baffin Island.
Rick now spends much of the year exploring the northern Rockies and guides on our Idaho Salmon and Owyhee trips. Rick’s knowledge, storytelling, and laid back demeanor have made him a guest favorite and he has by far the most luxurious mustache of any current, past, or future Momentum guide!
Beth is from Cincinnati Ohio (she calls it Cinci-tucky and Porkolopis) and about 10 years ago she rolled up on one of our friends porches with a thick mid-west accent and corn husks in her hair. Beth has a degree from Ohio University in Health Service Administration and worked as a health care administrator for 8 years in the valley. Two years ago, she left the corporate world behind and made getting people outside her full-time job.
She recently became a certified yoga instructor and likes to show off her human pretzel skills. Beth is also one of those annoying people who can show up to an athletic endeavor looking completely clueless and lost and make it look like she has been doing it all her life (and saying something like ‘ew, I had to get out of breath for that!’). She is affectionately known as ‘the Avatar’ by her friends because of her height, leaping abilities, and wide set eyes.
Beth brings the same sense of caring and empathy that made her initially choose health care to the office of Momentum. When she’s not booking trips and helping guests, Beth can be found on her yoga mat, on her surf board, or wandering into random tests of physical prowess.
Jenn is a professional runner and writer and helped develop our raft supported Rogue River Trail Running Trips. She is a Patagonia athlete and ambassador and one of the most well-known ultra-runners in the world.
She may be known best for setting the record for the fastest female 100 mile trail race and her part in the bestselling book ‘Born to Run’. But she is also an extremely talented writer (she is currently working on a book), can whip up any recipe that includes cheese, Yum Sauce, or full fat sour cream, and is an expert at skiing’s hallowed snowplow turn.
Jenn has a passion for life and adventure that is infectious and that comes out on every trip that she is a part of.
Cooper is a San Francisco Bay Area native where growing up he was lucky to call the nearby Pacific Ocean and Sierra Nevada Mountains his playground. While attending UC Santa Barbara as an Environmental History major and drummer of the UCSB Jazz Orchestra, Cooper began his guiding career on the rivers of California.
A Whitewater Voyages alumni and former manager on the Tuolumne River Cooper has now guided and led trips on four different continents around the globe, chasing summers in India, Chile, Zambia, Swaziland, and South Africa. He is a guide’s guide who takes his craft seriously and has a passion for bringing out the best in people.
He is currently splitting his time between here, Africa, Patagonia, and British Columbia.