Meet the Committee

Committee 2021-22

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

Ewan White – President

Introducing you to our 2021/22 president… Ewan!! He has been bringing his love for adventure and the outdoors to UBES for four years and has finally made it to centre stage after taking on the role of treasurer and webmaster in previous years. After being away on a year in industry at Jaguar Land Rover, Ewan is back studying Electrical Engineering and ready for all things UBES. Ewan loves a weekend in the mountains, isn’t afraid to rack the miles up in his estate car and will out-sing you at our socials. With many years of experience in the mountains and a background in scouts, he is by far perfect for UBES president. If anything breaks, or life gets you down and you need a friendly ear, Ewan is always there to help. He is both a great friend and a real asset to have in the society. Ewan is looking forward to working in a team to run our wonderful society and help get us back in the mountains. When he isn’t at the pub, up a mountain or hanging out on rocks, you will find him using his navigational skills in the maze that is Queen’s Building.



Jodie Hill – Vice President

Jodie, last year’s secretary, has come back for more: as UBES Vice president! And we are thrilled to have her back. She battled through the complex covid restrictions last year, so we can’t wait to see what she can do without those holding her back! An Essex gal through and through, she grew up into scouting and hiking from a young age, completing the coast to coast when she was only 12! When taking a break on a long ol’ hike, you may find her getting in a lake bag – or even just in her spare time in and around Bristol! She has been an amazing contributor to the society in the past 4 years of the society, driving and leading walks all the way though. And would you believe it, when she’s not up the mountains or at a UBES social, you may find her bell ringing(?!). Clearly a woman of many talents. Any questions, just give Jodie a ring, her experience is extremely valuable to the society!

ML(t), WS


Ben Taylor – Treasurer

A keen outdoorsman, scientist, and a jack of all trades when it comes to societies, Ben is our financial wizard for this year. He has been involved with several groups in previous years including tennis, Muay Thai and kayaking, but has chosen to prioritise UBES this year (Who wouldn’t?). As a 3rd year physicist, Ben will happily talk your ears off about quantum, or prove his maths genius and dive deep into a discussion about finance; much like Liam Neeson, he has a very particular set of skills that will make him the perfect custodian of UBES’s bank account this year. With many successful summits in the Cotswolds, wider UK, and European and American national parks, Ben is an experienced hiker and just as happy to talk for hours about the joys of the USA’s North West Pacific as go on an exciting new weekend adventure and test out all the skills he learnt at ML training over summer.




Alex Parry – Secretary


George Leigh – Climbing Officer

On first glance you may confuse George with a viking, with mighty beard and golden locks. However don’t let his appearance scare you off, if you engage him in conversation you will find it hard to stop him going on about his passion for the outdoors and the various expeditions and trips he has planned! Always up for an adventure whilst climbing, George loves a wet slab and a good crack! Sometime he activiely seeks out the wet rock just to spice things up. After a big day in the mountains, the pub calls to George, and so it is inevitable that he finds himself with a pint(s) of guiness where if your not careful he’ll start to sing. Having recently done his RCI Training, he is looking forward to teaching new members the basics of climbing and taking them out on the rock.


Max Ellis – Climbing Officer

Max is one of those Jack of all trades types…except well he’s actually pretty good at alot of them too. Makes alot of sense then that in just a few years Max has developed a passion for climbing and will be one of this years climbing officers. Max is always up for a climb or a hike especially with his unwavering optimism. He always manages to explain how it probably won’t rain, regardless of how bad it is currently raining. He is also partial to a dram (though is still unsure of its precise meaning) and wont be found too far from the squeak of a harmonica. Max has big plans for the future including a climbing expedition to Tajikistan. After which he hopes people will believe that he actually does live near Snowdonia…and not nearer Shrewsbury.


Merryn Matthews – General Kit and Safety Officer

Entering her third year of UBES and just fresh off from her ML training, Merryn is ready to step up as your general kit and safety officer. From the Peak District, she has been in the caving club’s grasp since she joined uni. UBES is blessed to having (partially) stolen her this year, where she will trade in the physical caves to what can be described as equally gremlin-like stores. You can trust she will keep the stores in order this year!



Edgar Crassier – Climbing Kit and Safety Officer

Entering his fourth year of UBES, Edgar has accumulated a wealth of experience, driven by the pure love of the mountains. Living close to the Alps, he has plenty of opportunities to appreciate his favorite mountain chain, setting off on adventures whenever he can. From a debut in the Scottish Highlands, his hiking pursuits have not been limited to the French Alps, and have also taken him further afield; from the Pyrénées, the Dinaric Alps, to the Dolomites and Iceland. As well as chasing summits, he can often be found putting in massive miles on his bike, utilising his aerodynamic engineering knowledge. This year, he is taking his alpine enthusiasm to the kit store, and will always be happy to chat about hiking plans.


James Harris – Expeditions Officer


Francis Tocher– Development Officer

Upon first glance, you would think Francis to be a veteran UBESter having been on every trip since the dawn of time – but no! Joining UBES just last year while starting his Engineering PhD, he might be new to UBES but he is not new to the mountains! Taking part in two other mountaineering societies in his time, at Oxford and Coventry, he is an old hand in teaching people about outdoor skills, climbing and mountaineering.

His area’s of expertise range from Alpine Mountaineering to fell running, sailing to cycling, and when asked what type of climbing is his favourite he will simply reply ‘All of them’.

Extreme outdoor prowess aside (Don’t ask him about Kyrgyzstan) , Francis is a super easy going guy who is always happy to help out a fellow UBESter, grab a pint down the pub or go on an adventure.

ML(t), (R)FA(1) WS JCAMT


Jack Kanutin – Social Secretary



Benjamin Hughes – Social Secretary

Where to start with Ben. The man is no stranger to organised fun – in fact he broke many records on his first trip. Record number of people standing on a pot, record speeds sledding down Pen-Y-Fan on his survival bag, and ask him about his secret Brecons record. An absolute athlete, this man’s hobbies include running, swimming, cycling, bouldering and of course drinking. A loyal man to the society, he is going into his third year of UBES. A veteran of Scotland, on this very trip Ben grew close to a very special someone (not you Monika). Ben is often caught telling a few harmless fibs. A pint of Thatcher’s in hand, he might not introduce himself as Ben at all. But once you get to know him, you’ll never forget him. He is a funny, approachable, and friendly guy. If you’re lucky enough to have a chat with him, you’re in for a treat! UBES is in for a fun year if Ben will be organising socials.


Bronwen Hall – Postgraduate Officer, Equality Officer

With a couple of marathons and a geography degree under her belt Bronwen felt befriending post grads and ensuring equality for all were the next challenges worthy of this accomplished and outgoing UBESter. Whether it be running, cycling or wild swimming Bronwen is keen to get outside and wears her watch tan line like a medal of honour. Her enthusiasm for outdoor activity is only matched by her passion for yoga and for encouraging people to try yoga. She even went as far as to run weekly online yoga sessions last year, keeping UBESters both flexible and mindful during the dark days of lockdown. Often described as the mum of the group, she’ll be ready to assist you with sun cream, snacks and an acoustic cover for a bedtime lullaby. This is one UBESter who isn’t afraid to go the extra mile!

Julian Hirst – Postgraduate Officer

Julian is genuinely one of the most wonderful vibrant people I’ve ever had the pleasure of chatting to; he makes everyone around him feel included and welcome. Not only that but he may just be the king of snacks when it comes to UBES trips! When he’s not armed with homemade baked goodies, he’s sure to be carrying some other sweet treat, including mini eggs which he remarkably has all year round! Some of his other infamous treats include peanut butter and raspberry jam brownies and cocoa date balls. But don’t be fooled by his bougee sweet tooth because Julian is also a sucker for the UBES classics including slop, porridge, and cheese and pickle sandwiches. Unsurprisingly, being born and raised in Sheffield, Julian has an active dislike for flatness and thus, he ended up a UBESter who only feels at home in the mountains. And when he’s not in the mountains, Julian can be found running (probably up a hill) or climbing at Redpoint or Bloc (he clearly just loves heights). Other fun facts about Julian include that he is doing a PhD in Robotics (cool or what!!!); he joined UBES in 2018 but didn’t make it on a trip until 2020 (shame shame I know thy name); his favourite drinks are tea and tequila (not necessarily in that order); he shares his birthday with Harry Potter; and he’s always prepped to boost group morale on a walk. We can promise you, Julian does not disappoint, he is a true UBES gem!

David Exton – Webmaster

Some say that he can only walk towards The Highbury Vaults, but somehow manages to navigate the winding corridors of Queens Building. Some say that he only drinks his port in trees native to Hampshire. Some say he has so many rucksacks that he has rucksacks to carry his rucksacks. All we know is that he is called David and like his ancient namesake will defeat the Goliath sized beast that is the multitude of UBES IT systems, fending off disorder and danger with wit and vigour. To prepare for this task David has been rambling and scrambling across the country in style for years, comfortable both “at home” in the UK’s national parks, and further afield hiking in the Austrian Alps… Covid has given David the opportunity to perfect his risk assessment skills, which taken together with with his mountain leader training this summer, means he is a safe pair of hands on the mountain. His calm and collected personality along with his enthusiasm and a computer science A level will set him in excellent stead to provide you with the tech you need, when you need it.

ML(t), RFA(2)



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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