WP Staff Bios

Chris Noah

Chris Noah is going for a ROE (Recreation and Outdoor Education) major with an emphasis in Instruction- he is loving every minute of it! Chris instructs our rock,Ice, and snow programs. He spends his summers working for Colorado Outward Bound School in Leadville Colorado as a mountaineering and rock instructor. After graduation he plans to pursue a career in guiding high altitude mountaineering expeditions or just playing for the rest of his life. He hopes to see you on a trip soon!!!!!




Heather Bradford

Heather is a senior in the Recreation and Outdoor Education Program.  She grew up in Vermont, a part time ski racer and a full time daredevil.  She fled to Colorado in 2010 when she heard the Rockies calling and has never looked back.  Since then she has worked at Wilderness Pursuits leading backcountry skiing, backpacking, rafting, and mountain biking.  On her time off she enjoys snuggling with her dog, moonlight river floats, and finding hidden pow stashes.



Kevin Donaldson

Kevin is thrilled to be part of the Wilderness Pursuits staff for the 2013/2014 school year.  He specializes in Whitewater Kayaking, Backcountry Skiing and Backpacking and has led a variety of other trips during his 3 years as a WP Instructor.  In addition to being a an instructor, Kevin is a radio DJ for 91.1 KWSB Gunnison, is the Special Events Coordinator for Program Council, and is an Ice Hockey Referee in Gunnison and Denver.  During his free time, which is something he doesn’t get to do very often since he is so darn busy all the time, you can find him shredding the local mountains, playing in the local whitewater park, playing some hockey with friends, or most likely…taking a long nap between work and play.  His favorite foods include Mac and Cheese, Pizza, and Cheesy Bacon Bagels and thinks someday he might just win Top Chef by wooing judges with his boxed mac and cheese specialty; but really it’s because Pamela Anderson will fall for his super-awesome-very-crazy-and-sometimes-out-of-control-curly-hair.  And yes, in case you were wondering, those curls are 100% al’ natural!


Chad Latka

Chad is from Olathe, KS. He is getting his degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education. He has travelled throughout the Western Continental United States climbing from Taylor Canyon to Yosemite Valley. During the summers Chad works for Adventures Cross Country, leading teenagers on different adventures around the world. During all these travels, Chad has captured these with his camera on his side. Photography and videography are two of Chad's main passions. At Wilderness Pursuits Chad is a rock instructor, ice instructor, and the media coordinator.


Anna Boyle

Anna hails from Lander, WY and is a Junior at Western pursuing  a double major with a B.F.A in Painting and a B.A in English. When she is not reading or elbow deep in the arts Anna enjoys getting outside and on the river! As an avid whitewater kayaker and skier she loves water in all forms, from class III rapids to fresh powder.  Outside of school Anna works for Wilderness Pursuits as a Field Instructor and serves on the board for the Western Mountain Rescue Team. Anna has both her Wilderness First Responder and Avalanche 1 Certification and leads kayaking, skiing, and hiking trips. When she is not out in the field or working in the WP office you can find Anna at the local whitewater park for an afternoon surf!


Travis Merrill

Born on Christmas day Travis is a unique and awesome individual.  His love of climbing things that probably shouldn’t be climbed brings him all sorts of skills in regards to rope work!  He is an epic skier who loves the trees and deep pow!  You might see him in a ski ninja suit on the mountain but you might not because that’s how ninja he really is.  He is a Coloradan and is double majoring in Recreation and Business.  In his spare time when not adventuring he can be found making chainmail armor. Travis is a Wilderness First Responder and will save your life if needed, demanding nothing in return.


 Zoe Smith

 The spicy Zoe Smith hails from Rockford, IL; where she was on the USA Waterski Team for a decade. She enjoys leading our rock-climbing, snow skiing, mountain biking, and whitewater activities. Her aspirations include, but are not limited to, biking the entire Colorado Trail and mastering underwater basketweaving. When Zoe is not out recreating, she spends the majority of her time in wildlife biology and ecology class here at Western.  She also works as WP office staff, where she is our official interior decorator and trip folder preparer.


 Bryce Weaver

Bryce always looks like this. Even when he's going to church. Or the bar.







Nick Schley

Nick is a sophomore from Bishop, CA. He is an avid mountain biker, wild snow skier, rock climber and general all-around mountain rambler. At wilderness Pursuits Nick leads Backcountry ski and mountain bike trips, he is also one of our Bike and Ski Techs. Nicks is a Wilderness First Responder and AIARE level 1 avalanche certified. When not spending time in his beloved Crested Butte Backcountry, Nick spends the majority of his time in environmental studies courses here at Western.





Kyle Juszczyk

Kyle grew up in Iowa moved to Colorado for school and work. He is a Recreation and Outdoor Education major. For WP, He leads whitewater, climbing, ice climbing, and mountain biking trips as well as works at the front desk. In the summer he raft guides for Wilderness Aware on the mighty Arkansas River. He enjoys long walks on the beach, curling up with a good book, and many other cliché activities. Come sign up for trips with Kyle because he’s the coolest thing since sliced bread.



Madi Samblanet

Madi is from Columbus Ohio and loves mountain biking more than anything. She is devastated when she can’t mountain bike because her friend squeezed her too hard and broke one of her ribs. At Wilderness Pursuits she works in the office, where she excels in reservations and repairs. She also works in the field, leading our mountain biking and backpacking trips when her ribs aren’t broken. She also happens to be a senior in Recreation and Outdoor Education, with a double major in Environmental Studies.





Andrew Plagens

Andrew was born in the flatlands of Michigan. He relocated to Colorado in 2011 to attend Western State Colorado University. Andrew is an avid climber who enjoys all disciplines of climbing. He is also an avid backcountry snowboarder. He is also known to wear flipflops on blisteringly cold and snowy days. Amoung climbing, Andrew also has a passion for history which is his major at Western. Because of this, he loves to collect books about mountaineering history; his favorite book about climbing is The White Spider, by Heinrich Harrer.




Dylan Rome

Dylan grew up in Austin, TX where he started wrenching on bikes and racing cross country at an early age.  At WP Dylan helps maintain our mountain bike and ski fleet. He truly enjoy instructing the mountain biking and skiing trips, and believes that the best trip that WP offers is the weekend mountain biking trip to Fruita and Grand Junction, hands down. If he’s not skiing, biking or working you can probably find Dylan out on the river bugging fish. He works as a fly fishing guide in the summer, so that he can stay in the valley as much as possible.



Courtney Chism

Courtney was born and raised in Colorado. She learned how to ski when she was 3 years old, shredding up the slopes of Telluride CO. Skiing has been a passion of hers ever since. She is also a kayaker and a rafter; she enjoys being in the water as well as climbing high above it, since she has a love for climbing also. She is a member of the Mountain Rescue Team and has enjoyed all the technical skills she has learned. Her major is Ecology and hopes to be able to study alpine wildlife in the future.




Tim Manuzza

A lover of adventure, Tim Mannuzza graduated from Vermilion Community College in Ely, MN with his Associates in Science in Outdoor Leadership, as well as, with his Backcountry Guide and Wilderness Emergency Medical Response Certificates. He is an ACA Sea Kayak Instructor an lives to be on the water, whether in a sea kayak, white water kayak, or canoe. At Western Tim is studying Recreation and Outdoor Education, as well as, Anthropology; he also works as an RA in Moffat and is involved with the White Water Club, and Mountain Rescue Team. You have probably seen Tim around campus as he is easily recognized by his constant juggling.


Beau Milton

Beau grew up in the God-blessed, wild ranch country in Montana, working cattle, fishing and backpacking. Beau is majoring in ecology while staying involved in an on-campus Bible study, hockey team, Mountain Rescue Team and whitewater club.






Christie Hicks

Christie is the Wilderness Pursuits Manager. 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.