Monday, 30 June 2014

Romania Summer Trip Returns

As of yesterday, all eleven UBESters who went to Romania are safely back on British soil, after two weeks of exploring a diverse and beautiful country. Truly a place where East meets West and old meets new, the busy fortnight saw them take in the wild, remote expanse of the Fagaras Moutnains inlcuding Romania's highest peak, Moldeveanu (2544m), the picturesque and precipitous limestone ridge of the Piatra Craiului, the ancient and bustling transylvanian market town of Sibiu, the famous gothic castle at Bran and the fascinating city of Bucharest, where faded baroque splendour rubs cheeks with Caeucescu era concrete and modern glass. Some of the trip also visited the Black Sea.

The group found themselves on a cultural journey as well as a physical one, experiencing at first hand the lonely lives of mountain shepherds and the traditions of small villages, where donkey carts share the roads with modern cars, the mountaineering heritage represented by some of the cabanas and the vast amounts of history represented by the walled city of Sibiu and Bran castle protected the pass between Transylvania and Wallachia. Bucharest is a country within a country in its own right, giving a picture of every historical period and way of life.

A key theme throughout the trip was the biodiversity of the Transylvanian highlands, whose vast tracts of virgin beech and mixed forest and rolling alpine meadows provided a home for a vast array of flora and fauna which added hugely to the natural beauty of the area.

A full trip report will follow in due course, but in the mean time, Transylvania comes very highly recommended indeed.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Notice for the Appointment of UBES Honorary Presidents

This year we have made the decision to appoint two individuals to the position of UBES Honorary President. This is a purely ceremonial award to recognise the significant contribution an individual has made to the society over a number of years or to expeditions taking place outside of the UK.clip_image002

George Cave

George was originally a kayaker at university before making the switch to mountaineering. He spent a number of years on the committee, one of which as President and he still continues to add value to the society by returning and joining us on trips. Over the past three years, George has been fortunate enough go on two overseas expeditions. One to the Russian Altai, which he organised and led and then more recently the high profile expedition to the Djangart region of Kyrgyzstan. Both expeditions saw world first ascents achieved. With the undertaking of these expeditions and multiple ‘67hour’ adventures we feel that George truly embodies the sense of adventure that UBES strives to develop and nurture.

Robert Wragge-Morley

clip_image004Rob has been involved with the society ever since he first arrived at Bristol and has been on the committee more times than I can remember and was also President for a year. Initially a very keen climber he soon became an active member of the society before moving towards more general mountaineering, including becoming an avid winter climber. In the past few years Rob has particularly pursued weekend hits to mountainous areas when winter conditions are ‘in’ along with an avid appetite for alpine climbing and exploring new mountain ranges. Most recently Rob and a fellow UBES member attempted to climb Mount Olympus in rather challenging conditions as part of an exploratory trip round the relatively unvisited mountains of Greece. One of the greatest contributions that Rob has made to the society over the years that he has been here is in passing down both his mountains skills and experience. This is something that he has done almost selflessly by running multiple training weekends and days. It is Rob’s wanting to explore and willingness teach and help younger members that we feel embodies the mindset of UBES.

The contribution to UBES and exploration within young people by George and Rob cannot be underestimated and it was an easy decision for us to bestow this position on both of them.