Meet the Committee

Committee 2019-20

For the meanings of the letters in italics, see the Qualifications List below this table.

Cassia Copeland – President

Our President has embraced the many aspects of UBES; from the hills of the Lakes, Snowdonia and Scotland to far flung backpacking in the Pyrenees, High Tatras and Bosnia. It is safe to say that Cass is a veteran of many a UBES trip and social and a true all-round mountaineer.

Having left the confines of stores, Cassia knows the ins and outs of the society and is ready to lead us on to future successes.

However as much as it is important to know the president is nice, approachable and committed to UBES with the background and skills to back this up, the more interesting facts (given without context as is imperative) are: numerous memberships of various girl bands, communes and the like, a continued victory against Helios and the rest I am sure you can find out through a chat at the pub or on a UBES walk.

ML(t), RFA(2), BMC-SS, WS

James Wheeler – Vice President

Stepping up as Vice President in his (record-breaking) 4th year on committee is The Man, The Myth, The Legend – James Wheeler. He is by far the most qualified man for the job, with many years of experience mountaineering, and a background in the Scouts. Over his time in UBES he has collected numerous impressive titles, including Mendips King, Scav hunt winner, UBESter of the Year, and “Master of the Fire”.

He is always ready to help, whether you need some walking route ideas, a whisky drinking-partner, or even boat-handling advice, James is your guy – he is a both a great friend and an accomplished leader to have in the society.

When he isn’t “going to play on some rocks”, at the pub, or bivvying in Leigh Woods, he can be found in the Maths department completing his PhD.


Ewan White – Treasurer

If anything breaks, if you need advice or if life gets you down, talk to Ewan. Last year he threw himself into UBES, exercising his love for the mountains and epic days out. As well as looking after the money this year, he’s also great at looking out for people. You will usually find him “fixing” his phone, navigating the maze that is the Queen’s Building or climbing with his mates. At our numerous socials, he may out-sing you, but he won’t outdrink you! Ewan is one of the most genuine people you will meet this year.


Aaron Larkworthy – Secretary

A-aron. From a ‘quaint’ village in Devon to the big city life, this young lad always loves escaping back to the countryside. Born and bred on the hills of Dartmoor, he knows every tor like the back of his hand (that he’ll be holding a cider in, obviously). When not on the hills this fresh-faced man can be found ‘theoretically’ doing physics, hitting the badminton courts and getting drunk on cider. Having a laptop, ability to type, and basic English (cidre) skills made him fully qualified for the role of secretary. Out on the hills he’s the one pushing his limits, but also the one that’ll fall back if you need company or dry gloves. His love and compassion for the society, and everyone in it, shines out of him; or maybe that’s just his sunburn…

George Rich – Climbing Officer

THE George Rich is back as climbing officer for 2019/20. Now in his 3rd year of UBES, George has continued to grow into one of the most competent and skilled climbers in the society; he’s even done a bit of route setting recently! He’s also no stranger to an epic alpine route, having spent another season out in Chamonix. George is over all just a super approachable and chill guy, always up for a laugh and a cheeky pint at the pub, and we’re so lucky to have had him as social sec last year. We’re so excited he’s back as climbing officer as he such a patient and encouraging teacher. Maybe even one day he’ll become the next Supervet if he excels in his degree as much as he has excelled in climbing.

ML(t), RCI(t), RFA(2), BMC-SS, WS, JCAMT

Clara Cottet – Climbing Officer

Clara is that one person at the climbing wall who says, “just do it like this,” and then casually puts her leg above her head – reflecting her lifetime of ballet and general ability to be bendy. She is potentially the keenest of UBESters, having been on 6 summer trips around the world, and will never turn a climbing trip down. Unlimited enthusiasm, love of rock and friendly personality make her the ideal climbing officer. When not at the wall Clara can be found studying physics. Clara is fizzing with psyche to get people on real rock and teach them all that she knows.


Sian Thorpe – General Kit and Safety Officer

Despite having just a year of UBES under her belt, Sian will have no problem stepping up as General Kit and Safety Officer, having been raised essentially as a mountain goat in the Snowdonian hills; hiking, scrambling and climbing her way through the mountains at every opportunity. Too bad that charming Welsh smile suffered at this year’s AGM through an unfortunate encounter with a crate of cucumbers, however she does reassure us that this is no reflection of her ability as kit and SAFETY officer! Sian’s energy and enthusiasm makes her a really friendly face and easy to talk to on any weekend trip, and if you have a question about anything rocky, she’s the one to ask as UBES’ resident geologist (… Google also works if you’d rather not join in on geologist rock licking …). When she isn’t found somewhere vertical, or talking about her favourite kind of fossil, she fills that mountain-shaped hole by sketching and painting them, so it’s fair to say she is qualified for this role on keenness alone! We’re all sure she’ll show her new role the same enthusiasm as she has to her first year of UBES and help keep all of us and our gear safe.


Leila Pankhurst – Climbing Kit and Safety Officer

Entering her third year of UBES, Leila is one of our most enthusiastic and friendly members. More than a year of working at Cotswolds has trained her up well for tending to all your kit and safety needs this year. But don’t be fooled, although she will often be seen dwelling in the stores-cave (like a much lovelier Gollum), her mind will always be in the mountains. A peak-district gal born and bred, an all-round scrambler/hillwalker/hiker/climber and a ski-season veteran, Leila is no stranger to the outside world! Even her (rugged climbing) injury last year could not stop her from studying all things mountainous and glacial, and now she has recovered, be ready to see her adventure further than the pub once more! So, know that Leila and her beaming smile will look after your spirits as well as your kit!


Charlie Harding – Expeditions Officer, Webmaster

One of the best people to have as your friend in the society. Many of us think that there are many clones of him as he is such an excellent multitasker. Hence why he is both the Expeditions Officer and Webmaster on committee this year. Last year Charlie managed to go on several UBES trips and run the Yorkshire Three Peaks trip despite being on a year abroad in Germany.

If he is not running the UBES website, organising running and cycling groups, smashing his degree or learning multiple languages, he can often be found speeding ahead or going on his own mini missions on UBES walks with his walking poles and big toes.

Despite being a computer scientist, Charlie is surprisingly approachable, social and has great witty banter. He is an amazing asset to the society, and we are so excited to have him back in Bristol and on committee this year.

ML(t), WS

Janine Alexander – Expeditions Officer

Never seen without a smile on her face, Janine is one of the friendliest members of the society! She’ll happily share with you her love of mountains, food, caving, geography and much more. However, beware of the potential language barrier: Janine speaks a strange dialect from London, so you may need to find a phrasebook to understand her frequent uses of peng and gassed.

She may have only been in UBES for a year, but in that time she has become one of the keenest beans: she went on almost every trip last year, including both summer trips, putting her in good stead for leading many exciting expeditions this year. We’re expecting incredible catering on them!

ML(t), WS

Danai Osmond – Development Officer

Danai is a true explorer – if he is not at the top of some mountain you will find him hiking or climbing somewhere around the globe. He is also a geologist, which might explain why he loves mountaineering so much… or maybe why mountaineering loves him. You might think this is already quite impressive, but wait, there’s more! He is a very talented photographer, easily one of the best in UBES. When going to epic locations his camera is always ready to grasp the beauty of the landscape. His linguistic skills are on par with the rest as he speaks multiple languages including Thai and Spanish. On the flip side, he seems to always be late, but that’s okay as we all know nobody is perfect. Rest assured that the future of expedition management is in good hands.


Tessa Kilpatrick – Social Secretary

The coolest, bubbliest wee lass Scotland has to offer with a love of ceilidhs, Braveheart and the word ‘groovy’. No one’s really sure if her degree title is actually real or if she just made it up, but we do know that socials will be in very good hands this year. With her experience as Korfball’s social sec last year (she probably made that sport up as well), we’ve been blessed to steal her away, meaning you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of her at the pub this year. When she’s not partying with UBESters she’s getting herself tangled up in a challenge she’s agreed to on the hills/climbing wall that she later regrets, but she won’t allow herself to back down and will well and truly smash it; one of her most admirable traits.


Ellen Kinsman – Social Secretary

Picture this: after 15k of trudging, you’re on a mountain frantically digging around in your bag for one last bite of energy. The rain is soaking through your boots, you can’t go on, the end is nigh… and then… “Hello, friend!” You spin round and see a turquoise beacon of hope (a short beacon but a beacon nonetheless). How can her clothes be so coordinated, how can her grin be so cheesy, and how, HOW, can she still have the energy to go out after this‽ That little bundle of sass is Ellen, a gal who revels in acroyoga and organised fun. In her armoury she holds an impressive array of dance moves, from jiving to clubbing; a comforting variety of hugs which she will dispense generously; and, most importantly for a social sec, she can survive the worst hangovers that wine-drunk can offer! What more could a society want?

FA(2), WS

Axel Montout – Postgraduate Officer

Completing his PhD in computer science, Axel takes care of all things postgrad. Whether you are new to UBES or not, don’t hesitate to go talk to him. The worse thing he could do to you is to charm you with his friendly face and his French intonation. You will usually find him at Bloc, at Redpoint on Tuesdays or working out. Indeed, being able to do one arm push-ups needs training! His secret: no need for alcohol to have fun at the Highbury Vaults! Come and join him on Wednesdays – if you are lucky, you might hear him play the ukulele. But be careful and bring ear plugs: it sometimes may sound like a dying goat!

Being in his group on hikes is a good trick if you want to change your profile picture: Axel is a camera king and captures magic moments on the trips with his professional gear. In short, Axel is a friendly guy to have around you in all situations.

Camille Bays – Foreign Correspondent

Camille jumped straight into UBES in her first and only term at the University of Bristol in TB1 last year (2018). She attended every trip, went on almost every social, attended every Wednesday climbing session and made an excellent friendship group from it. She is also a very keen lake bagger, having now taken up the hobby back home in Switzerland. What a keen bean! She is one of the sweetest, most wholesome girls in UBES, and has an excellent way of warming herself up (penguin). It is a shame we had to lose her to Hamburg in second term, but I hope we get to see more of her next year if she chooses to make the occasional appearance.


Qualifications/Training Explained

  • ML(t) – Mountain Leader Award (Training) UBES Subsidy Available
  • RCI(t) – Rock Climbing Instructor (Training) UBES Subsidy Available
  • (R)FA(1) – (Remote) First Aid Course (Days)
  • BMC-SS – BMC Student Safety Seminar
  • WS – Winter Skills
  • JCAMT – Jonathan Conville Alpine Mountaineering Trust Course
  • RPS – Redpoint Supervisor
  • AMF – Alpine Mountaineering Foundation (military course)
  • IWHC – Inland Waterways Helmsman Certificate

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