Aspen Whitewater Rafting was founded in 2004 by a group of professional, experienced river guides whose life passion is whitewater. Likewise, you won’t find AWR owners sitting in a corporate office somewhere. AWR’s hands-on owners will be assisting you in every step of your adventure. From making your reservations to ensure you pick the best adventure for your needs, to guiding you down the rivers alongside their all-star staff of experienced river guides. We are extremely proud of our staff of outdoor professionals. For many of them, whitewater is a career, not just a summer job. Therefore, our core group of guides take whitewater rafting seriously and strive to provide each guest with a fun, safe and exciting day on the river. Below you can meet a few of the people that make AWR an easy choice when looking for a great river experience.
Born and raised on the east coast, Jim stumbled across Aspen, Colorado on a cross-country bike tour. Jim was the former head guide and manager for Colorado Riff Raft for 9 years. In 2004 he decided it was time to start his own company—AWR. While staying busy running his company, Jim is still enjoying guiding whitewater rafting in the summer and ski patrolling in Aspen in the winter.
A South Carolina native, Dan, began following his whitewater dreams with his older brothers at an early age. When he turned 18, he moved to Aspen. Simultaneously, he found everything he’d been looking for—big mountains, great rivers, diverse trails, and lots of other people looking for adventure. Dan is now the head boatman for AWR and heads up the class IV/V operation. He enjoys seeing the world from the deck of a kayak and has done so most recently in New Zealand, Chile and Ecuador.
Kate McCollum, originally from West Virginia, has been an Aspen native for over ten years. As an incredibly talented Class V guide, she knows her way around our rivers. Serving as an inspiration to our staff; Kate’s an unstoppable female force in a male-dominated trade. But don’t for one second buy into the talk – Kate can guide better than most men, and will prove it to you. If you’re fortunate enough to be in her boat, you’ll find yourself guided by a calm and clear head, focused on finding the best line possible. Kate approaches guiding with the care and focus she applies to all other areas of her life. This demonstrates just how much thought and talent she carries to each of our guests on the river. In her time off, you can find Kate hiking the valley’s most gorgeous trails with her beloved dog, Bandit.
Chris Edmonds, originally from Swindon, has been in the United States for over twelve years. Although his accent has disappeared, his British heritage is hard to miss – he gets sun like no one else in the business. A dedicated Class IV guide, Chris is ardently pursuing his Class V check-out next season, completing the necessary laps this past August. He began as a guide in 2013 and has been a Class IV guide since 2015. Chris dedicates himself to everything he pursues and strives to be the best guide he can be. His boat took second place in the most recent Gore Fest, with the water running at an intimidating 1400CFS. He’s worked on multiple rivers, from Roaring Fork to the Gauley & New Rivers in West Virginia. Aspen Whitewater Rafting is lucky to have him, and he proves day-in and day-out to be an incredible asset to our team.
Scott moved to Colorado in 1989 searching for deep powder and an outdoor lifestyle. He found what he was looking for in Aspen and has made an adventurous life for himself here. He is a ski patroller on Snowmass Mountain during the winters and guides rafting trips during the summers. In the off season, you can find Scott surfing in the ocean off the coast of North Carolina or hiking with his dog Amber in the back country of Colorado.
Shannan grew up in California. He moved to Michigan for college where he earned his B.A. in Outdoor Recreation Management. He dabbled in all sorts of outdoor activities from road biking, to rock climbing – including a year-long stint in Newcastle, UK exploring the rock crags along the North Sea. However, it was a summer internship in 2002 as a raft guide on Idaho’s iconic Salmon River that hooked Shannan on whitewater for life. Now Shannan spends as much time as possible kayaking and rafting rivers around the world. If he’s your guide, ask him about his upcoming kayaking expedition through Canada.
Entering her third year as AWR’s Office Manager, Victoria moved here nearly five years ago with nothing but her best friend, Hannah, a run-down Subaru, and her skis. She was born and raised in Philadelphia and the surrounding area and will proudly defend cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, tooth and nail. Her greatest joy is torturing Jim by wearing any and all Philadelphia sports team paraphanelia – Eagles hats, Phillies shirts, anything to make a Patriots fan squirm. All summer long you’ll find her answering phones in the AWR office and drinking countless cups of coffee. Days off? Rare, but when they happen you’ll find her on the river, cooking homemade meals, or camping up on Independence Pass.
Mike Young has worked in the AWR office for the past three years, but he does more than answer phones. He’s our one-stop-shop, fix-it-all kind of guy. He shuttles buses, he installs cabinets, and is a stand-up paddle board extraordinaire. He’s super knowledgeable about the area, and is an absolute pleasure to work with in the office, and we’re not just saying that because his sweet tooth brings candy into our reach. He spends his weekends working for Charlie’s Aspen Kayak Academy.
This is Quinn’s fourth year as a guide for AWR and he’s an essential part of our team. A native to many places, like Washington D.C. and Ann Arbor, Michigan, he can make conversation with just about anyone. He’s the proud owner of a 1970 Volkswagen Van, named Mack. She’s celebrating her 50th birthday next year. Mack’s only competition for a place in Quinn’s heart is Quinn’s first love -Detroit. In the winter, you’ll find Quinn selling boots galore out of Replay Sports. If more than six inches falls on Aspen Mountain, Replay closes and Quinn takes his snowboard and laps the gondola. He’s patient, evident by how much he loves fishing, and we think he’s a real catch.
Wesley is a native to the area, born and raised in Basalt, Colorado. Named after the famous John Wesley Powell, it makes perfect sense that Wes was born to be a river guide. This is his fourth summer with AWR, and every year he’s sported a better and better haircut. In the winter, you’ll find him on Ski Patrol at Snowmass Mountain. Wes is an accomplished tele skier and studied creative writing in college. He’s also an incredible musician. If you have free time, try and catch one of his band’s shows – C.A.R.P! If you get him as a guide, ask him what the acronym stands for.
Mike Mansfield grew up in Michigan, and this will be his fourth summer as a guide at AWR. Last year he took up an interest in kayaking, and it has turned into what seems to be a lifelong hobby. Mike kayaked the entirety of the Grand Canyon in the Fall of 2018, and had such an incredible time, that he then chose to spend his off season exploring the White Salmon River in Washington. He enjoys Red Bull, snowboarding in the winter, and has some incredible dance moves. If you get him as your guide, ask him about the “Donkey Roll” and request a performance.
If you have questions about Aspen, ask Coby! Coby is another Aspen native, born and raised so he’s a fountain of knowledge. Coby works for Aspen Skiing Company in the wintertime as an instructor through Aspen Ski Co. & Challenge Aspen. He has worked as a guide for Aspen Whitewater Rafting for five years. Coby travels extensively in the off season, and spent some time this past fall in the Grand Canyon and in Spain. Coby is a stellar hockey player.
A native of Oreland, Pennsylvania and another proud supporter of Philadelphia sports teams, Hannah Krewson moved here nearly five years ago. Hannah is one of five children and graduated from East Stroudsburg University and studied Athletic Training & Sports Medicine. After earning her degree, she packed up her Subaru, affectionally named Stan, and drove it across the country to become a ski instructor. She currently works at Valley View Hospital and spends her weekends guiding for AWR. Fun fact – Hannah won best hair & best eyes for her superlatives in her high school yearbook. You’ll be lucky to be guided by this blonde beauty who can perform emergency medical services if necessary.
Cole, originally from Huntsville, Alabama, comes here every summer to guide for Aspen Whitewater Rafting. Those of you who are returning customers might recognize him, this will be his fourth year on staff. Cole has brawn and brains – he is studying Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University. We are happy to have him return again this season, and we are sure all of you will have a pleasant time if you end up in Cole’s boat!
Malcolm is a third year guide here at Aspen Whitewater Rafting. He’s most famous for his Australian accent and incredibly chipper and funny attitude. He charms his customers with lots of silly jokes and his flawless guiding hat. But make sure he’s wearing his glasses – he’s practically blind without them. Malcolm also works as a server at Kenichi, a very good sushi restaurant located only a couple blocks from our office. If you are ever in town for dinner one night, stop by! You might not recognize him in his waiter uniform, but the jokes stay the same no matter how he’s dressed. Malcolm has an incredible secret to slice up an avocado, ask for a demo if you have him on a trip that comes with lunch!