WP Staff Bios

Steve in A River Runs Through It
Steve Moss

Steven was born in the Denver area but has come to call the mountains his home. When he is not in the WP office he can be found Climbing Something, White Water Rafting/Kayaking, Rescuing People, Skiing, Fly-fishing, and Eating Hazelnut Spread by the Spoonful. Other hobbies include looking at gear, organizing gear, buying gear, thinking about gear and cracking himself up. He is currently Majoring in Business, and Minoring in Geology  and ROE and with hopes of owning his own guiding company at some point in the future. Steven is also really passionate about instructing people, and getting people stoked on the outdoors. Steven’s true talent is singing electronica music in an acapella group entirely consisting of himself. Be sure to look for his new album coming out in the spring. 



Carolines is nuts. And cams and quickdraws...
Caroline Doyle

Caroline is from the enchanting land of New Mexico where she grew up frolicking in  aspen groves and camping in the mountains. When she started her college career she thought she would try out being a California girl and spent two years living in Santa Cruz surfing and exploring the Sierras.  Eventually she realized she needed to be in the Rockies and found herself in Gunnison. Today you can find her munching on kale in the WP office or out and about the valley doing almost anything! She loves climbing, boating, biking, skiing, dancing and celebrating the beautiful outdoors with friends! 





What are you running from??
Ande Lloyd

Ande Lloyd is pursuing a major in mathematics and a minor in psychology. Ande hopes to become a high school teacher as well as a climbing guide someday. He tries to pursue many things in life but climbing, trail running, and skiing are what he loves most. He was born and raised in Durango CO, and more than anything, Ande loves to smile or make unintentional comical face expressions as he performs various tasks. Coming from a climbing family he feels immensely blessed to have such amazing opportunities in his life. Ande’s biggest passion is teaching and sharing his love for the mountains. If you see some dorky trail runner/climber/skier with an exuberant smile on his face doing some math problems, that is probably Ande!




Jared Cohn

Jared is an Environment and Sustainability major with a minor in Exercise Sports Science. "I came from Carlsbad, California and I'm stoked to be in Gunnison pursuing rock climbing and many other outdoor pursuits." He works as a setter and regular employee at the climbing gym. He is pretty awesome, and likes to let everyone know it, however they usually know before he tells them as his awesomeness is very clear. 



Sara Olsen

Sara Olsen was born and raised in Michigan. By the time she was 10, Sara was very much involved in climbing competitively. She did that for the next 7 years fairly consistently. One of her older sisters attended Western and Sara would visit at least once a year. It was no surprise she fell in love with the mountains being an avid climber. Sara decided to move a year early and graduated high school in Gunnison. Since living here she has continued her climbing career and has begun pursuing trad climbing. Nutrition has also been a major interest and way of life for Sara and is currently her major at Western.


Better than Pennsylvania
Patrick Rowley

Patrick Rowley was raised on the Eastern side of the United Stated in a small historic town of Washington Crossing. He has been working in bike shops since the age of 11 (don't tell the feds) and since then has been a mechanic for multiple races, organizations and stores throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Christie identified these skills during WBO and Patrick began work as WP's head bike mechanic and tune shop manager pretty much his first day of school at Western. In addition to wrenching, he has been skiing the "massive" hills of Pennsylvania since forever... but has been humbled by the size of the Rockies and how his expert level east coast skills only transmit to the west as a "decent 8 year old." He has been getting out into the backcountry to not only be humiliated by the locals of Colorado, but to also take some sweet pictures in order to brag to his friends back home how much cooler Colorado is than Pennsylvania. 


Cameron Smith

Cam is a native of the great Prairie State, but followed the 6 Western alumni in his family to sweet, sweet Gunnison. This is where he was first exposed to topographical change. His resulting fascination with vertical gain and loss led him to the Western Mountain Sports trail running, mountain biking, nordic skiing, and ski mountaineering teams. We here at WP wonder what exactly he's running from. His talents include the ability to walk up stairs two at a time and hold his breath through most of the Eisenhower Tunnel. He is a founding member of the Cranor Hill Elite Skimo Team. While he’s stationary he spends most of his time changing back and forth between hairstyles as the social situation or environmental demands may dictate. The Grand Traverse is his favorite event and his favorite color is... well, he's on life-long journey to find out what it is. Cam also is a Sudoku enthusiast and loves a good vegetarian dinner party. He hopes his ESS and ROE degree at Western will be a gateway to accomplishing his eventual goal of being a man-bun model on the European Circuit. He hopes to see you on a WP trip this year!!


Louissa Rozendaal

 Louissa comes from the great but tiny state of Vermont, and grew up frolicking throughout the fields of the organic vegetable farm she grew up on. Here at Western, she studies Outdoor Leadership and Entrepreneurship. She is a big fan of coffee, dogs, and mountains. Louissa has been skiing since she was itty bitty and it was skiing that originally led her to Western. She is also an avid climber of mountains and all around adventure seeker. You can find her drinking Vermont maple syrup and doing other ridiculous shenanigans. 




Joe Krapfl

Joe Krapfl comes from a little piece of heaven called Iowa. Originally working for the CIA alongside Bruce Willis, he chose to take some time off to pursue his genius skills in Recreation Outdoor Education and Business Administration. Some people don't know this about Joe, but he used to be in underground cage matches with Silverback Gorillas. He's blessed to have Alex Honald as a brother, being taught many painting skills and how to whistle with his mouth closed. Joe enjoys rock and ice climbing, but his passion will always be hot dog eating competitions. He also taught himself how to slay fish on the river with a fly rod. Fish and Joe are one with each other, and he will always be a brown trout at heart. Since Kyle Juszcyzk is his brother as well, he has learned how to "pop, lock, and drop it" on the river while gargling peanut butter that has once been moldy, but shines like the sun. In his free time he turn on his bee gees and dance hoping nobody is watching. 





Conor slays pow
Conor Curtis

Born in Chicago he wasted no time heading straight to Colorado, land of mountains and recreation. Conor is almost done learning everything there is to know about Recreation and Outdoor Education. As a Senior he spends most of his time studying and honing his skills in the field. When he isn't in the Great Outdoors he can often be found scrounging up a meal from whatever is in the WP kitchen. Skiing and Backpacking are his forte, but that doesn't stop him from crushing rock and slaying brown pow. This guy has a finger in all the pies (if pies were radical outdoor sports). 




Glacier Ninja
Alma Johnson

Alma Sophie Johnson- spawn of Ridgway, Colorado and the San Juan Mountains; Stoke Queen, woodland fairy, Recreation and Outdoor Education major. Had an identity crisis at 18 years old and pretended to go to school at various locations on the Front Range before high-tailing it to South America to find Waldo. Found him at a top-secret location taking a dip in a high-alpine lake and he reminded her that blessed are the flexible- they cannot be bent out of shape. And thus began her pursuit of professional mountain-ing, and playing outside with strangers. Johnson is addicted to sleeping outside, and is allergic to fluorescent lights. Self-medicates with movement. Laughs too hard, cries too easily. Self-proclaimed advocate of people being whoever the hell they want to be. Enjoys cuddling with rocks, playing with sharp objects on frozen water, walking up big hills and skiing back down. Singer of songs, slinger of slingshots, haver of good times and lover of this planet.




Paul at age 12. His beard is much bigger now.
Paul Raymond

Paul is a Florida boy who moved out to the mountains to pursue his whitewater addiction. Growing up in South Florida without much whitewater, Paul learned to canoe at a young age and fell in love with paddle-sports. During high school he got to travel around the country (and to Canada) to kayak more and more challenging whitewater. In his senior year he went to Chile with New River Academy to hone his paddling skills and finish school. After Chile he came straight to Colorado to explore our creeks and rivers at home. Paul has been teaching paddle-sports since he was about 17 and plans to start his own paddle-sports instruction business after graduating Western with a Recreation and Outdoor Education degree. Look for Paul out on the river!




Cody is cooler than his profile pic suggests
Cody Bontecou

Cody flew off the rock of Kona, Hawaii to make the mighty step of attending Western in 2012. Kona is a great place, but ultimately you do live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific and things tend to get a bit old if there aren’t waves. Gunnison has provided him with the environment to enjoy the outdoors consistently without having to wait for a swell; actively taking part in rafting, hiking, and snowboarding, but he’s always up to try out something new. Cody just returned to Western after a two-year break in order to get in-state tuition, where he spent a year of it living it up as a raft guide and ski bum and another year working as an outdoor instructor in Yangshuo, China. 




Tucker Cocchiarella

Tucker was born and raised in the mountains of Colorado.  He enjoys to travel through the mountains year around, whether it is by skis, raft, kayak, rock, or by bike. He also takes pleasure in capturing these beautiful moments of traveling through the wilderness with his camera. 




This guy has practiced various martial arts since the age of 4
Andrew Fest

As a Marine Corps and Air Force veteran, Andrew has led some of the world's most elite forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Ripper Sweep and Operation Just Cause. He studied personal training from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and is currently the Wilderness Pursuits photographer, as he pursues his degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education. He is an avid photographer, enjoys skiing, kayaking, and rock-climbing, and also attends yoga and meditation classes in the Gunnison area. His mission is to capture the essence of what Western's Recreation programs have to offer the student body, faculty, and community as a whole. As a wise man once said, "through recreation we experience nature. Nature brings resiliency to people." He aims to play an integral part in that!



Amanda Ravensbergen

Amanda was born and raised until the age of 11 in the Garden State (Yes, New Jersey), then completed middle school and high school in the far away land of bratwurst and Pilsner.  Her first exposure to the great outdoors was a result of attending numerous Boy Scout summer camps with her two brothers in Switzerland, and she soon became a Venture Crew member. With some European hiking and high adventure under her belt, she made the vast mistake of returning to New Jersey for her first year of college, but it was not long until she had her sights set on Western.  Now, a junior in the Recreation & Outdoor Environmental Education and Environment & Sustainability programs, Amanda pursues adventure in the outdoors in the form of climbing rocks and walls of ice, floating through treacherous white waters of the first or second class, walking around with a heavy pack, sleeping under the stars! 



Ben Ammon

Ben was born and raised in Colorado.  His life started off with great promise and he was accepted to the Colorado School of Mines as an engineering student.  Things quickly began to fall apart as Ben's addiction to all things mountain began to consume his life, and he instead came to Western to study environmental biology and ecology.  As his mountain addiction progressed, he slowly slipped from the sciences into a dark future in outdoor education, until Christie would eventually call him the "accidental mountain guide" and he began actively pursuing a "career" in outdoor leadership.  These days he drowns his sorrows with excessive skiing and climbing throughout the Elk Mountains, the San Juans, Taylor Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park, Utah and Peru. After graduating in May with a BS in Environmental Biology and Ecology and a minor in Chemistry, he spent the summer as WBO Overlord and can now be found pondering his life choices in what we like to call Wilderness Purgatory.


Boss lady on her obligatory ice climb of the year
Christie Hicks

Christie is the boss of these people, which is no easy task. She hails from San Luis Obispo, CA, where she grew up water skiing, swimming, surfing, and hugging trees. She holds a BA in Molecular Biology from Pomona College and an MS in Environmental Education through the Audubon Expedition Institute. She spent the last 15 years teaching and guiding in the mountains of Southern California, on the rivers of Alaska, Idaho, amongst the red rocks of Moab, UT, in the yoga studios of Crested Butte, and within the Himalayas of Nepal. She is happy now to train, mentor and keep the budgets and permits in order for the amazing WP Staff and the students they serve.