Meet Your Hosts at Bear Camp

BRIAN MCCUTCHEON

CO-OWNER/OPERATOR

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 SCANLAN

CO-OWNER/OPERATOR

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 IBANEZ

GUIDE

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 MIKUS

GUIDE

Andrea may describe herself as “just another river guide/ski bum”, but we know the 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 VRANICH

GUIDE

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.

CALEB NELSON

GUIDE

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 emery

GUIDE

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 MCCUTCHEON

GUIDE

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.

JAMES RAMSAY

GUIDE

James Ramsay AKA “Rammer” is our resident photographer/video-grapher. 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.

JORGE ESQUIVEL

GUIDE

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.

KHAN YONG GEE

GUIDE

Khan discovered the Chilko River in 2010 and has made the pilgrimage to the area each year since. This man has fishing on the brain constantly and we are pretty sure that he dreams about fishing too, since he wakes up before anyone else, tip-toes out to the dock and rows out silently to get a few hours on the water before work starts. Khan’s passion for fishing is as big as the Chilcotin itself and a guest at Bear Camp coined the tag #catchingwithKhan to record the trophy trout that our guests pull out of the water around here.

MIKE ORLOFF

GUIDE

“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.

MIKE YATES

GUIDE

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.

SAGE HARTLAND

CHEF

Sage grew up surrounded by the mountains of Kaslo, British Columbia. She has always been in the kitchen, raised in a family just as passionate about food as she is, so it was a natural fit for her to go to cooking school. She completed her Red Seal and since then has worked at restaurants and lodges around BC and Alberta. Sage has a passion for working with local produce and high-quality sustainable meats, and simply letting the ingredients speak for themselves. In the off season she enjoys fishing, hiking, and traveling the world, finding new amazing foods to try.

STEVE OGLE

GUIDE

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.

TAMARACK CURRIE

GUIDE

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!

TONY GOWER

BRANDING & WEB SUPPORT

Tony has worked with ROAM since 2002, providing graphic and website design and offering support with sales when Brian and Ashley are in the field. When not launching out of drift boats on the Chilko or sniffing out fresh tracks on his home mountain of Whitewater in Nelson, BC, you can usually find him bound to his computer, crushing deadlines and contemplating his next great adventure.

WHITNEY FISHER

GUIDE

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 counseling 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. 

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