The ROAM Crew
Brian founded ROAM Adventures in 1986 after decidedly committing his life to making people feel at home while pushing the boundaries of adventure travel. Pairing class V expedition rafting with indulgent camps complete with fine wines and chef-designed meal plans, Brian loves to host people in his favourite places around the globe. With over 40 years in the business, there is still never a dull moment with Brian at the helm – always expect the unexpected, and be sure that when you feel out of your comfort zone, Brian is precisely in his element.
Ashley has a background in ecology and tourism, and had been working her way around the globe guiding whitewater rafting expeditions, mountain treks, horseback trips, and ocean kayaking tours when in 2007, she got swept off her feet by the power and beauty of the Chilcotin wilderness in BC. Ashley partnered with ROAM Adventures founder Brian McCutcheon in 2012 and the safari-style property called Bear-Camp at Chilko was born. She is honored to chair the Chilko Operators Association – a collection of residents who work with the local indigenous community to build relationships and sustainable business together.
Alvaro was destined to spend his life in and along the river. Born in Peru, his family has a long history as pioneers in the tourism industry and his experience shows. Passionate and professional, Alvaro loves his work and is excited to share the world’s most beautiful places with people. Whether he is guiding an expedition rafting trip, fly fishing on a tranquil river, or showing off his cooking skills, you can be sure he is doing it with a smile! But watch out – when the dice games start – it is all business for this guy!
Andrea may describe herself as “just another river guide/ski bum”, but we know there truth: this powerful woman regularly steers boats through big water on the Chilko River and thru the Grand Canyon of the Colorado. Chasing water until it turns to snowflakes, Mikus trades her flip-flops for ski boots and guides heli-ski trips based out of Nelson BC in the winter. All that time away from home inspires her heart-ache country songs that she sings while strummin’ her guitar next to a campfire.
Bob has chased his love for whitewater around the globe, to Chile, Morocco, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Costa Rica and beyond! When he’s not leading trips on the water, he is leading the next generation of tourism up-and-comers through the Adventure Tourism Program at Thompson Rivers University, or instructing Wilderness Medical programs.
The big water of the Ottawa river hooked Caleb in 2008, and he has traveled the world since exploring rivers via raft and kayak. When he isn’t on the water with us, he’s out there saving lives as a paramedic and firefighter. While Caleb always takes the responsibility of his jobs very seriously, he will have you roaring with laughter and is not shy to rock a sequined shirt for a river-side happy hour.
Gord was born in the mountains of the Caribou-Chilcotin and his wilderness roots run deep. A professional forester by trade, Gord has spent his life adventuring in the mountains and has dedicated the last decade to fighting forest fires in the area and managing ecosystems. We were able to hook him for a season as part of our guide-team before he goes back to school to finish his degree in Wildlife Management with the University of British Columbia. He’s kind of the strong-silent type, but has plenty of stories to tell – just get him a whiskey.
Grace had the good fortune of inheriting her father Brian’s fascination with rivers, oceans and mountains. Equipped with the privilege of discovering her enchantment with the outdoors early, she began her guiding career with hiking and kayaking at Bear Camp. Grace has since expanded her repertoire to include whitewater, which she has pursued in California, Ontario, Africa and Chilean Patagonia. When she’s not chasing big waves or exploring in the alpine, Grace studies ecology at the University of Victoria, and works towards old-growth rainforest conservation after class.
The original “Keener” from the now world-famous kayak school on the Ottawa River, this river-lover has taken his passions for whitewater music and good food around the globe. Ian, or “Stibbe” as you’ll more often hear him called, spends most of his time these days on the coast, rigging and wrangling Hollywood superstars to have them ready for their water-based action scenes, but whenever a chance exists to get back to his free-flowing state – he slips seamlesly into guide-mode and revels in every moment of it.
James Ramsay AKA “Rammer” is our resident photographer/videographer. Rammer turns his sharp attention to detail on the beauty of the wilderness, and those immersed in it. From sunrise to sunset, with all the walks, paddles, meals and wildlife in between, this guy works tirelessly to get the shot and then burns the midnight oil editing together the memories from each trip, to inspire those who have not been to these stunning locations yet. A man already rich in techno-gadgets, Rammer often donates the proceeds of his photographic work to some of his favorite charities: community-based animal welfare organizations, and youth health and wellness programs.
A veteran professional with the company, James has ROAMed around the world leading trips in Canada, Alaska, Galapagos, Chile, Fiji and beyond. Now happily based in Kamloops with his wife and two young daughters, James inspires the next generation of adventurers as an instructor in the Adventure Tourism Program at Thompson Rivers University. Don’t let his job titles or his Master of academia mislead you, he’s ready to draw his mullet wig and dawn a party shirt – he just needs a little more notice these days.
We met this Costa Rican river lover deep in Patagonia on the Rio Futaleufu. Jorge has logged over 130+ rivers and counting, and we are happy that he considers rivers here in BC among the best in the world! When Jorge is not busy running class V, wrangling horses or being interviewed for OUTSIDE magazine’s “Guide of the Year”, you can find him on the dance-floor, cutting the rug with his serious salsa moves.
At ROAM we like to say, “it’s not the journey or the destination – it’s the people you share it with” – but let’s be real – good food always matters! Chef Mandy was born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada but no moss grows on this rolling stone as her taste for travel has taken her around the world. Mandy’s passion for pairing exquisite food with adventures in the outdoors brought her to Bear Camp and she enthusiastically signed up as “Expedition Chef” on our river trips before she understood what it even meant. When you think that your day on the river couldn’t get better – just wait until you’re back at camp!
Mariann Sæther is from Norway and is the 2015 and 2019 World Champion in extreme kayaking and has been a part of the Norwegian national teams in freestyle and slalom paddling since 2000. Mariann divides her time between the River North rafting company (which she co-owns with Ron Fischer), giving motivational speeches and university lecturers, writing guide books on Chilean rivers from her cabin on the Futaleufu and raising her and Ron’s son, Benjamin. Mariann is integral to ROAM’s operations in Scandinavia and Iceland.
Our resident Newfoundlander (from “the Rock” on East coast of Canada) Michelle arrived at Bear Camp in 2017 after departing her last gig as an executive flight attendant with United Nations. It takes a village to keep an operation like ROAM running smoothly and Michelle wears a lot of different hats in that village. Whether its trip logistics, office management or the long list of details at Bear Camp, Michelle makes everyone better at their jobs – and does it with a smile – until it’s time for board games, then anything goes.
“Miguel” works full time as a Physicians Assistant, but in between saving lives in Idaho hospitals, he moonlights as a guide in the largest wilderness reserve in the world: the Tatshenshini-Alsek in Alaska. Miguel is passionate and knowledgeable about about whitewater, fly fishing, wine tasting, and Patagonia fashion.
After 40 years of living in the British Columbia backcountry, Mike (aka “Grizz”) is the man that you want to know if there is a zombie apocalypse or, more likely, if you just want to learn some wilderness survival skills to impress your friends. Wildlife tracking, primitive weaponry, leather and metal work, sustainable gardening, and traditional log home building are just a few of his skills that span his 7 decades as a wilderness expert.
There is no mistaking this smiling face! For the first time, Moses Mindrisi (aka “Hippo!”) comes all the way to Canada from Zimbabwe and brings with him the experience of over 3 decades and 2,000 professional trips down the World renowned Zambezi River. If you have traveled to Africa with ROAM, you would remember Hippo, not only his skill running whitewater, but his booming song and dance around the campfire at night. He carries happiness with no borders and everyone around him is sure to have a “blessed day”.
Ron is from Switzerland and was widely regarded as one of the best whitewater kayakers in the world. He is a former member of the Swiss Snowboard X national team, and is a carpenter by profession. He has kayaked for 24 years, leading expeditions and completing first descents in Nepal, Russia, Colombia, Indonesia and of course in the two countries he calls home, Norway and Chile. He co-owns River North, a Norwegian rafting company and leads most of ROAM’s European trips as an operating partner.
Shane was born and raised outside Boston, Massachusetts but got his first water wings as a kid swimming around with his pals in the charming town of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, a beautiful area famous for the hardworking, hard playing and fun-loving residents. To his delight, Shane learned you can pursue Adventure Tourism in University and his path to the mountains was charted. Shane guides ROAM’s Chilko expeditions in British Columbia and African safari trips on the Zambezi.
Sol Funk (pronounced “soul”) focuses his funky flow on the tiniest of dance floors – his surfboard. Growing up in Southern California with a German father and Ecuadorian mother, the community that influenced him was international and intellectual. Sol was also tuned into nature from an early age, and was brought up to focus on the things that connect different cultures together. Food, photography, nature and sport all transcend language and borders, and these have been the ingredients to Sol’s recipe for life.
Steve is a photographer, writer and biologist based out of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. He is tireless about documenting the world via the most evocative means possible. During your trip with ROAM, guests often wake in the morning to the beautiful calls of birds in the surroundings, or it might just be Steve trying to call the birds. If you are on a trip with this guy, get ready to have a walking encyclopedia of bird knowledge at your side, as well as a certified member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association.
Our in-house engineer and fly-fisher extraordinaire, Tamarack was born in the mountains of BC and packed up his engineering degree in his tackle box to join us at Bear Camp. Well versed in making the machine run smooth, Tamarack keeps the hot showers hot and the beer fridge cold on our off-the-grid property, making him one of our favorite people! How did we get an over-qualified engineer to a boutique camp in the wilderness? We just had to tell him about the trout!
You are here – on the ROAM Adventures website that Tony built. Our in-house web guru, graphic designer, tech wizard and all-around artist, Tony is our technological interpreter and make-it happen guy. We don’t get this man out from behind the screen as much as we’d like, but trekking in Patagonia, doing the “hippo slalom” on the Zambezi in Africa, or wining and dining in Capetown will do it! Count yourself lucky if you get on a trip with him and with a little nudging, he might play you some of his original feel-good music!
Whitney’s passion for rivers was born in Ottawa while studying recreation management and her journey has taken her around the world while she rafted and kayaked all the while to a master’s degree in social work. This leading lady is at home on the Chilko River in BC and migrates south to the Futaleufu in Chile every season, inspiring and counselling youth and adults alike. When not working or playing on rivers, you can find Whitney hosting ROAM’s European wine country tours or sampling tastings of Napa Valley’s finest. Whitney has many ways that she supports connection for people in nature, just don’t try to keep up with her on a trail run.
Have you noticed how organized our rafting gear is? A lot of the credit goes to Kyler – a mountain athlete with a heart of gold and relentless enthusiasm for colour coding equipment and/or backing up trailers through challenging terrain, Kyler guides trips on the Chilko river in BC and the Tatshenshini-Alsek in Alaska. In winter you may find him working as a medic, managing or guiding ski areas or traveling the world with a well-supplied backpack.