Meet the Committee

Committee 2020-21

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

Ellen Kinsman – President

Introducing you to our 2020/21 president, also known as the ‘woman in turquoise’….Ellen was born into the role of social sec and will continue to spread her sunny, approachable, bubbly attitude to anyone in her vicinity.

She came to UBES as a mountain noob and now she has all the gear and some of the idea…it’s a good thing shes a better leader than she is a map reader! Through her 2 years in UBES she’s focussed on improving her climbing skills and is now a proudly self professed sport climber. This love took her to sunny spain last summer where she may have partaken in more skinny dipping, drinking sangria and watching climbing rather than actually climbing.

She loves a good mountain stomp- always happy to have a ramble, a lake dip and a lovely chat in the sunshine. You’ll no doubt come away feeling as positive as she is, and maybe even with some latest ubes gossip too 😉

RFA(2), WS

Leila Pankhurst – Vice President

When it comes to the mountains, Leila’s done it all. Asking this outdoor enthusiast if she wants to go on an adventure is like asking her if she’s an identical twin – the answer will be a resounding YES. After a year of being behind the scenes making sure our Kit is up to scratch, she’s lifting the curtains to take center stage.  

The summer she spent in Chamonix has led her to race back there (and bang on about it) as much as physically possible ever since. Chasing the mountain fix, she also went on UBES’ summer trip last year to Bosnia, where a night that can only be described as the ‘pig sty night’ added to her spiritual journey. After all these travels she will always happily return to her home mountains in the Peak district.  

With 4 years of UBES under her belt, countless trips and so many smiles gifted she’s looking forward to working in a team to run our wonderful society! But don’t worry, she’ll make sure to keep the President in check, ensuring Ellen won’t turn all the UBES branding to turquoise!


William Hunt – Treasurer

Ah yes, William Hunt, some call him the “Rishi Sunak of the mountains”. Born and bred on the edge of the Brecon Beacons national park, it’s safe to say Will has been racing up mountains his entire life. An experienced UBESter, throwing himself into the society over the past year, hailed as committee material from day one! Absolutely blitzing the mountains at almost every UBES trip, with a glorious sing a long – his personal bests seem to be Champagne Supernova or anything from the LOTR soundtrack – or some seriously deep conversations about space and time, classic hiking natter. An exceptional student: we at the committee have no worries about his ability to handle some serious numbers £££ (but seriously Will, calm down on the lottery tickets). Quite the connoisseur of ales, it’s safe to say you’re more likely going to bump into Will at the pub rather than on Tyndall. Alas, Will is a lovely and friendly face amongst members, let him lead you through the mountains as he provides key financial stability to our society. William Hunt, an honourable man. Did I mention he holds a world record in organised fun? A story for another day.

Jodie Hill – Secretary

A veteran of UBES at three years Jodie knows what it takes for there to be successful UBES adventures. A keen bean for mega long walks, mountains of all kinds and she is always a smiley face. Top skills include: fast typing, UBES love, lots of trips. Jodie will be our organisational wizard for 2020/2021 with many of the courses and skills she will be organising already completed she’s got the know how too!


Aaron Larkworthy – Climbing Officer

Jumping from secretary to climbing officer this year means Aaron is trading a keyboard for a hangboard. This fare, Devon lad still thinks ‘Bristol is basically the north’ despite being very experienced in all things UBES. Whether it’s in the pub, on the mountain or at the crag, mentioning the SpaceX mission or Tesla will launch a long chat involving physics. Note that shuttles in the context of badminton will also rally a conversation. No matter the climb, Aaron’s knowledge of gravity and friction is especially handy when thinking about pulling yourself up the wall. You can always count of Aaron to be smiling with a cider in hand at the end of the day to welcome you back from your adventure.

RFA(2), WS

Claire Naveh – Climbing Officer

Claire has built a reputation this year for her love of lake bagging, unfriendly relationship with UBES punch and joyful enthusiasm for jive. The highly charged triplet has jumped from president of modern jive to climbing officer of UBES but that does not mean she’s going to stop being the life of the party. Although she hadn’t mountaineered before university, you will commonly see her on climbing trips with friends, conquering the mountains of the UK and inventing new trip lunches (currently cheese and pickle wraps), all while balancing her Biomed degree. She may be one of three but her passion for the society and its people makes her one of kind!

RFA(1), WS

David Exton – General Kit and Safety Officer

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 (a county apparently full of Kit and Safety types). 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 dwells in the SU dungeons (more commonly known as the Kit Stores), 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 “at home” in the UK’s national parks and further afield hiking in the Austrian Alps… His calm and collected personality along with his enthusiasm and knowledge of gear will set him in excellent stead to provide you with the kit you need, when you need it.

Barney Emmens – Climbing Kit and Safety Officer

A little known reality about Barney is that despite studying Physics, Barney does actually enjoy the great outdoors. He’s the type of person who wears a bow tie to any event you invite him to, perfectly illustrating his residence in the county of Hampshire. In fact, he has completed the entire length of the South Downs Way, as he will likely tell you if you ever venture into a conversation with him. When he’s not climbing at redpoint, you can find him in the Highbury Vaults, swigging back his signature Hawk’s ginger beer. However unconventional he may be, Barney is the type of man you can count on, and that comes in handy for a kit and safety officer.

Raef Coles – Expeditions Officer

You could argue Raef was late to finding UBES, only finding us in his last term, but he’s continued on the UBES journey through his first year of working in Cambridge. Although his tech job keeps him busy, his head keeps dreaming of higher and steeper topography, or a least more than 0°. Raef‘s love for UBES runs deep and even though you can take him away from UBES, his draw to the people and the sense of adventure brings him back! He’s a very kind and generous soul, always happy to give advice with a friendly smile, but be careful to leave him alone with a third of a loaf of your bread…
His experience in the mountains is exhaustive – from hiking the Cape Wrath Trail (the UK’s hardest and longest trail) to snowshoeing in freezing cold Sweden, and plans for many many more! Be sure to pick his brain about these past and future adventures on a UBES walk to get endless enthusiasm and wisdom! Follow Raef into the mountains, but be wary to follow his fashion advice…

Edgar Crassier – Expeditions Officer

There are many reasons why people give their life to UBES. Some do it for the friends, some for the experience of the great outdoors and some for the sheer physical suffering. But Edgar is one of the only UBESters I’ve met that is motivated entirely by the mountains. You’ll quite often see him just staring off into space, daydreaming about peaks and cols. He’s that guy who is always having a fantastic time even when it’s raining and horrible because he’s still in the mountains. He’ll talk excitedly at length about his next exped plans, just be careful if you don’t want an extended conversation! Described as UBES’s “Human Adonis”, Edgars constant enthusiasm and mysterious French background makes him one of the most intriguing members of this year’s committee.


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

Jimmy Walters – Social Secretary

Ever since his mum mixed Stella in with his formula milk, Jimmy has had an unquenchable thirst for fun. Growing up in the Wiltshire countryside, Jimmy soon realised there was nothing to do there except drink, and that he did. When not dreaming about cold pints on tap, Jim can be found walking the hills, on his mountain bike or even sledding down pen-y-fan on a survival bag. An avid fan of Lord of the Rings, the peep show and much more, you can expect about 10% of this man’s dialog to be direct quotes. Jimmy is an all-round approachable and friendly guy. If you join him on a group walk or at the pub you will be graced with great conversation and humour. We all have an exciting year ahead with him organising socials.

Crispian Morris – Social Secretary

Since venturing across the Atlantic in search of new adventures, Cripsian has thrown himself into UBES life. Despite studying engineering mathematics, he is friendly and approachable; making him the perfect choice for social secretary. Having completed his walk leader training, he is reported to be one of the very few who are able to escape from the maze that is Queens building, a secret he will take to the grave. From the heights of half dome to the rain soaked mountains of England, he is always smiling and ready to regale all present with details of his voluminous high end audio collection. When not hiking he can be found drinking a cider in the Highbury Vaults, playing with tech, or lecturing people on his overpriced umbrella.

Alex Modell – Postgraduate Officer, Equality Officer

From the shadowy backseats of UBES, Alex Modell has risen to the challenge of both post grad officer and equality and diversity officer. A notorious mathematician, strategist, and as is his namesake suggests, he is the model citizen. However, don’t let his clean aesthetics fool you, for it is said he is only calculated in theory. With an obsession for spicy food and a lust for the wilderness, this dark horse isn’t scared to lose a shoe or two in the bogs of Ben Nevis. If your idea of an adventure starts at the pub and ends in a ditch, as the previous president of the UoB Real Ale Society, Alex will ensure you make your way there, indulging in no less than the finest ales found in Bristol’s local breweries.

RFA(2), WS

Edd Gough – Postgraduate Officer

One half of your post-grad officer post-duo this year is the Bristol veteran Edd Gough. Having lived in Bristol for 6 years, Edd knows the Bristol streets like the back of his hand and if you ask him nicely, he might even show you round them on the back of his Yamaha XJ600 (in Edd’s words, “it’s really f***ing loud, it’s the loudest motorbike ever”). When Edd isn’t jaunting around the countryside or indulging in his passion for pie-making, you’ll find him building robots in the basement of the Bristol Robotics Lab as part of his PhD. All in all, Edd is one the friendliest faces in UBES and a sea of calm in even the most stressful of situations.

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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