Meet The Colorado Mountain Expeditions Crew

Dan Weida 

Owner and CME Head Guide

I grew up in Peculiar, Missouri, just south of Kansas City. My parents worked in education and would take my brother and me on week-long adventures to National Parks in the summer. I studied Recreation Management at Missouri State University. In my junior year at Missouri State, I took a school ski trip to Steamboat Springs, CO, and found my passion for skiing. In my senior year, I became a ski instructor at Angel Fire Resort in New Mexico and worked all of my winter break and spring break teaching ski lessons. After college, I moved to Estes Park, CO, and spent the summer as an outdoor education instructor, leading Rocky Mountain National Park trips. That winter, I moved to Winter Park, CO, again, working as a ski instructor. I worked for five years at Winter Park Resorts Ski School, three as an instructor and two as a supervisor. In 2019 I began working for the Fraser Valley Metro Rec District (FVMRD) as the Athletics Supervisor overseeing all youth and adult sports leagues and programs. While with the FVMRD, I developed several successful outdoor programs, including youth mountain bike camps and wilderness adventure clubs. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Emily and I enjoy taking road trips, mainly in Colorado and Utah. 

Emily Weida

Owner and CME guide

I grew up outside Kansas City, MO, and quickly learned that the outdoors is my passion with help from my family and the Girl Scouts. I graduated from Missouri State University with a B.S. in Recreation, Sport, and Park Administration with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and then from Northern Arizona University with a Master’s Degree in Parks and Recreation Management. I started working for youth camps while still in high school and for the Trips Department in college, and I have never stopped. I have guided in seven different states and on more than 100 trips! For the past seven years, I have worked as a state-licensed childcare director, where I was fortunate enough to incorporate Outdoor Education and lead backpacking trips and hikes (sometimes with 50+ kids). Something tells me my hikes are about to be much quieter, and I may get to see some wildlife! I enjoy hiking, paddleboarding, and skiing. My husband, Dan, and I love to visit our national parks, and we have been to 37 plus all the D.C. monuments and many, many state parks. We have also skied at 15 ski resorts/areas and counting. 

Evan Curry

CME Guide

I hail from the paved concrete jungles of the great state of New Jersey, which is where I became an Eagle Scout and developed a passion for anything outside. After double- majoring in History and Skiing at Saint Michael's College, Burlington, Vermont I made a westward migration to Durango, where he has thrived since 2011. I’m currently enjoying guiding the trail, working in the outdoor industry, cooking, bartending and generally enjoying the Durango life!

Dennis Huis

CME Guide

I started out with degrees in wildlife biology and environmental engineering. After my formal education finished, I guided backpacking trips and spent a year as county naturalist in Michigan. After that, I put my education to use and made my family happy by spending eighteen years in the paper industry as an engineer and manager. Finally, enough was enough of industry life. My wife Joanna and I quit our careers and spent almost two years traveling North America, living in a tent and learning the land. We eventually grew roots in Durango and Telluride, Colorado, which is where we’ve lived for over twenty years. Since then, I’ve been working at Telluride Ski resort as a staff trainer/instructor, running horse-packing trips into the wilderness, and of course guiding on the CT. I also own my own small business in Durango during the summer months.

Matt "Magoo" Pavlich

CME Guide

"Magoo", as he is affectionately known, was born and raised in Southern Connecticut and has lived his adult life adventuring and exploring a majority of the U.S. and various regions of the world. He certainly believes the world is his oyster, but prefers it his way: smothered in hot sauce. His first Colorado Trail experience was during his 2016 thru-hike. 486 miles of smiles, laughter, and glory later and he was hooked on long distance hiking and the beauty that the Colorado high country offers! Currently hopping back and forth between the Rocky mountains and Sierra foothills of California, he enjoys riding motorcycles, working with his hands, cooking, and of course the great outdoors!

Danielle Piscatelli

CME Guide

Danielle is a native of Boston and spent many years hiking and skiing in and around the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before relocating to Phoenix. While in Phoenix she enhanced her hiking and backpacking skills exploring many parts of Arizona and Utah, including several trips into Grand Canyon National Park. In addition to Colorado Mountain Expeditions she currently guides for Pikes Peak Alpine School, based in Colorado and Fitpacking, nationally based. Outside of guiding Danielle teaches outdoor education for Colorado Mountain College and trail building skills for the Outdoor Stewardship Institute. In her spare time, she is actively involved in the community as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Women’s Wilderness, leads trail crew for Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, is a Peak Steward with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative and is the Colorado Volunteer Programs Manager for Camber Outdoors. She is currently certified as a Wilderness First Responder, is a Leave No Trace Trainer and has completed her AIARE 1 Avalanche Training. Danielle lives in Denver, CO and is excited exploring all that the Rocky Mountains and Centennial State have to offer.

Tom "Opa" Simmins

CME Guide

I come from the Kentucky woods along the Ohio Riverbank and spent much of my youth growing up like a Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn-oh what my poor parents endured! After becoming an Eagle Scout I spent many more days in the woods camping, hiking, backpacking and whatever else got me afield and out of the house. After seeing a publication about Colorado and Wyoming while in high school, I was hooked. I graduated high school, earned some money building cabinets and with $286 in my pocket I hitch hiked to California first (it was the 70’s you know). I went through Colorado and quickly realized that this was indeed the place for me. After a stint at the Grand Canyon and hiking those trails, I finally landed back in Colorado. I spent time in Boulder, Telluride and 25 years in Steamboat Springs before calling Poncha Springs home, where my wife and I just finished building our house. Spending my free time backpacking, fishing, biking, snowboarding and trying to finish the 58 Colorado 14ers (13 more to go) is my passion. Having the opportunity to guide folks in the great outdoors is a lifelong dream that I hope to continue well into the future. Let’s take a hike together!

Chris Taylor

CME guide

I am thoroughly enjoying retirement from an engineering career with General Motors and Ernst & Young by backpacking, guiding, mountain biking, and sailing. Living in southern California, I lead a women’s mountain bike group “Trail Angels”, a co-ed mountain bike club “WOGs”, and a women’s hiking group. I have guided with CME for the last 2 years (multiple sections) and was a guest before that. My husband Brian and I have 2 children: Nolan, age 24, a Civil Engineer and Erin, a Junior at UC San Diego, in Applied Mathematics. I look forward to enjoying the beauty and charm of the Colorado Trail with you!

Candace Whitten

CME Guide

Candace is an EMT turned Geologist-in-training based out of Denver and loves to be outside! You are likely to find her smiling endlessly while Mountain Biking the West’s endless and incredible singletrack or hiking and backpacking around ridiculously gorgeous places. But all of that summer fun is merely to prepare her for her favorite season: Winter. When Candace is not busy Snowboard Instructing in Summit County she spends her days slaying powder fields of glory and her nights watching the radar for when there will be more pow! She loves guiding on the Colorado Trail because of the awesome people she meets and the opportunity to show off some of Colorado’s most beautiful places. Be sure to ask her about Colorado’s unique Geology and show her any cool rocks you find!