Momentum 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 or Tatshenshini; 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 5 years of experience leading trips around the world – most have well over 15 (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.
About the People of Momentum
Pete Wallstrom : Guide / Owner
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 Rogue River Keeper, the Rogue Outfitters Association, Travel Ashland, 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.
Erik Sol : Guide
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 and professor. 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.
Orea Roussis – Guide
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…
Tyler Pohle: Guide – Operations Manager
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.
Andy Hinton: Guide (and old school fashion model)
Andy began guiding over 20 years ago on the rivers of the Southeast, with a few summers spent in Colorado and Alaska. He is a gifted guide and is one of the most genuinely friendly people you will ever meet. Guests and other guides have said he is a mix between a Boy Scout and superman and many testimonials say something to the extent of ‘I have not had a guide any better than Andy’. He still considers his home to be the Wild and Scenic Chattooga River along the South Carolina and Georgia border where he served several years as a River Operations Manager. Andy’s favorite activities are on the water, but when feeling the need to dry out, he enjoys trail running and writing. During the winter, he goes back to the South to plant trees and work on stream mitigation projects. Andy is also known for wearing large boots and a heavy oilskin hat and jacket no matter what the weather is. And, of course, for his southern politeness and liberal use of ‘Mr’ and ‘Ms’.
Samuel Thackeray: Guide / Idaho Operations Manager
When you picture a fireman saving kittens from the tall branches of a tree… that’s Sam. Sam is an Idaho native and has worked rivers all over Idaho as well as in Oregon, Montana, Texas and India. When he is not on the river he can be found climbing, mountaineering, splitboard guiding, hiking and putting his Bachelor in Rec and Outdoor Education through its paces. He is currently our Idaho Manager but guides on all of Momentum’s rivers. Sam also has ridiculous dance moves…
Diego Ibañez: Guide
Diego has been on the water since he was 5 and is part of one the founding families of Peruvian whitewater adventure. Diego grew up in Arequipa, Peru in an adventurous family that started exploring the rivers of the Andes in the early ‘80’s. As a white-water kayaker and guide he has run hundreds of rivers spanning the globe from Uganda and Zambia to South America and his home in Peru. Diego is a true professional and a true renaissance person. He is one of the most accomplished guides in the world but has also worked in the tourism industry, at 5-star lodges, and organized adventure races. He is equally at home talking about wine and food, leading salsa lessons, fixing a vehicle, or dropping the nearest waterfall in his kayak. His love of guiding, of people and his exuberance for adventure is contagious.
Shaina Sims: Guide
A Connecticut native Shaina’s current address now changes with the seasons. Whether it’s learning to surf on the coast of Mexico, kayaking or paddling the Blue Nile in Ethiopia, Shana is most at home, away from home. She has guided in Oregon, California, and Idaho and has a confident and easy way on the water – “The river means so much to me, but the first word that comes to mind is home. It’s a beautiful, powerful place that invites you to be in the moment. It’s always a good day on the river, and guiding is just my chance to share that magic with people.” However, Shaina doesn’t like Reese’s Pieces… which puts her at odds with basically the entire world.
Mark Crawford: Guide
Mark manages a river company in New Zealand and then spends his springs and summers here. He has worked and run rivers in Oregon, California, Idaho, New Zealand, Chile, and Morocco. He is laid back but extremely detail oriented – a rare and very valuable combination when it comes to guiding and trip leading our many trips. Mark is another of our renaissance people with interests and experience ranging from photography to Geology. He also has an affinity for wild weather patterns, salted chocolate anything and sunrises. And he once angered the entire nation of Canada by boldly proclaiming that New England maple syrup was better.
Jorge Esquivel: Guide
Jorge was born and raised in Costa Rica and was the Costa Rican freestyle whitewater kayaking champion. He has been guiding for over 20 years, and is considered one of the best kayakers and rafting guides in world (he was once Outside Magazine’s “Guide of the Year”). He met Pete over 15 years ago while guiding in Colorado and has guided on over 130 rivers around the world. Another ‘renaissance person’, Jorge’s skills go way beyond boating – he is also a great salsa dancer, a talented chef, a natural equestrian, he speaks 3 languages, and… he is one of those people who can make you laugh even when he is not trying…
Alyssa Winkelman: Guide
Homegrown guide Alyssa Winkelman is from nearby Mt. Shasta and she graduated from own Southern Oregon University’s Outdoor Leadership Program. The Klamath is her home river and there are few that know it better. When not on the river humming the theme from Titanic – Alyssa can be found skiing, mountain biking, trail running with her dog Rza, or running the Mt Shasta Ski Team. She has an incredibly positive and contagious energy that makes her a guest and guide favorite.
Rick Sievers – Guide
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!
Alex Neville: Manager – Momentum’s World-Wide Headquarters
Alex is from the cornfields of the Hoosier state. His love of the outdoors was magnified by his odyssey to the Eagle Scout rank. He Has been working in the outdoor industry since his (very dangerous) first job in the Scouts teaching archery and riflery to cub scouts. After visited the west with family and friends, he was drawn to work with kids camps in Minnesota, dude ranches in Arizona, and ski bums in Washington. Finally settling down in Ashland, Oregon with his wife Katie. When he is not managing Momentum’s Ashland warehouse, constructing ideas from Pete’s brain, or doing a little of everything at Momentum – he is directing the ski school and youth programs at Mount Ashland Ski Area. Alex has hidden peanut butter cups all over Momentum’s headquarters.
Caleb Burns: Trip Designer / Office Manager
Caleb was born and raised in Southern Oregon. He is the first point of contact for guests and he is a master at building itineraries and keeping track of all the details. When he isn’t planning people’s trips and vacations you can find him leading climbing excursions up Mt Shasta (yup, he is a guide as well) or jumping on a rafting trip with his wife and daughter. He is passionate about sharing his love of the outdoors and protecting our wild spaces.
Robyn Janssen: 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.
Anthony Burgstahler: Guide
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 handyman (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.
Lynn Kennen: Guide
Lynn is originally from Tahoe City and makes her home base in the mountains of Jackson Hole, WY. She works with us in the spring and early summer and then in Teton Park in late summer. In the winter she works as a Heli Ski guide in Alaska. “Guiding…. rivers or skiing .. is my passion. I love connecting folks with wilderness. I love getting to experience my guests “best day of their lives” with them on a weekly basis. I love sleeping out under the stars and bringing people back to the simple pleasure of life, friends, conversation, good food all while living simply.” Lynn always has a wise word and a really good plan – she has a true nack for logistics.
Eric Meldrum: Guide / Momentum Alaska Co-Owner
Eric is a Los Angeles native and has been guiding for over 15 years. He began guiding with Whitewater Voyages – a California based company that employed and taught many current river and adventure travel company owners (including Pete). He now guest guides on our trips in the lower 48 and manages and leads our Alaskan Tatshenshini trips. He also has taken many of the photos on Momentums website. Eric currently resides in Sacramento with his four year old daughter and two dogs. Erik is drawn to wild places and the adventures that lead you to them, and when he isn’t on the river he can be found obsessing about snow pack levels, getting his beauty sleep, and listening to old school Eminem. He might also be on the shortlist of the ‘Worlds Nicest Person’.
Alan Svitak: Guide
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.
Mike Goglin: Guide
Mike is from the land of venison and cheese – Wisconsin – yup, another one! He has been guiding for over 15 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.
Jenn Shelton: Trail Running Host
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.