TTX Team Biogs

The Team: Ross Cooper, Chris Hall, Mykl White, Paul Janelid, Carol Williams

The Peak: Stok Kangri, 6153m

The Region: Himalayas

The Goals: To Summit, to Re-summit by a new route on the east face, to make the first ski descent of the south ridge.

The Support: Shikhar Travels, Mark Cooper, The Guys at Moorland Rambler, David Lynch (BlueDome's Editor) and not forgetting family and friends.

Sponsorship: Bluedome, H.B. Equipment, RAB, Harrison Beaumont Insurance, Burton Mc-Call; supplying Sigg, Gabel, Bridgedale, Aztec, and Victorinox. Armadillo Adventures, Moorland Rambler, Jet Airways

Ross Cooper: Expedition Leader (20)
As a child I enjoyed the outdoors greatly, and got spurred on by my siblings into climbing. At the age of 11 I had a very nasty climbing accident whilst soloing, and ended up spending three and a half months in hospital with a bad brake in my left femur. This followed up with recurring infections and illness until the end of my GCSE’s which I failed as a result of the long term illness.
A second chance saw me regain my wish to climb, and took up a college course in the southwest, which helped me work towards ML and SPA, along with management and business skills. That developed into the HND that I’m studying now, and a whole wealth of climbing experience behind me, all over the UK and Europe, but in main on my playground of Dartmoor.
It was at the start of the HND that my first real interest in expeditioning came about. We we’re just going to take part in a guided climb of Stok by the trekking route, but since then things have escalated.
So here I am, somehow expedition leader because I had the bright idea, and at 20 that’s pretty daunting. We somehow managed to grasp some incredible sponsorship with companies like Bluedome, Rab and H.B. and now the realisation is that we’re going in just over two months, and we’re going to be climbing a new route on the East face of a Himalayan peak. The face is over a kilometre high.
Experience:
130 leads approx, up to E2 5C and Fr 6C
1-Week alpine experience 2001
1-Week Scottish in 2001
2 Weeks Wales winter in 2001.
(Not Much)

Chris Hall: Diet Co-ordinator and Lead climber (19)
I started walking with my parents as a child and have always been interested in walking via them. Through the Scouts I completed the 35 and 45 mile Ten Tor events, and numerous other walks in the Brecon Beacons. While in the Scouts I first learned about rope work and had my first taste of climbing. During the time between Ten Tors and now I have spent many a day with my friend Alistair walking and running across Dartmoor keeping my fitness up.
At Bicton I picked up my real passion for climbing, and via Ross we started to plan the attempt at Stok Kangri. I hope to be a useful member of the team and can myself being one of the people who will be pushing forwards along with Mykl as we have both proven ourselves to be the fittest walkers. (I can vouch for that, RC)
I will personally be interested to see how I perform at altitude. I have a reasonable all round climbing ability, and have been called quite a bold climber at times.
My winter experience of mountaineering so far has been in Scotland In January 2001 including a winter ascent of the Ben horseshoe, a week in the alps with Ross, and Two weeks in Snowdonia on team training, with walking, climbing, gully and waterfall ice all being done.
Experience:
35 approx lead climbs up to HVS 5a, and countless seconds with Ross
1 week Alpine Experience
1 week Scottish Experience
2 Weeks Wales Experience
Ten Tors 35, 45, and 55

(In my opinion Chris has come strengths and bounds in the short time that we’ve been good friends. Over all he’s enthusiastic, he likes to know everything about everything, and he has shameless raw talent at his disposal in climbing if only he’d slow down a bit. He could go a long way, especially if he consolidated his abilities, rather than pushing the grade and having near miss falls. I greatly value Chris on the team, and when the chop comes down to it at the moment I can see him being in the first summit pair. Chris’s stamina and endurance are incomparable to anyone else on the team when it comes to walking, and I just pray that his ability will remain ahead of the game at altitude, and he can convert it to steep rock, ice, and rope work. He’s a pleasure to have on the team, even if it’s to be a butt of the jokes, his sense of humour will boost moral, and his cooking abilities will undoubtedly go untold distances. RC)

Mykl White: Lead Climber and equipment technician (20)
I have always had a love for the outdoors, growing up on a farm near Weymouth. I got into walking by my competitive attitude with my Brother Adrian. As he did Ten tors the year before, then so I had to do it as well. From then my love of the outdoors has escalated: I have completed the ten tors 45 miles twice, and 55 miles once. I started climbing about three years ago. I have not done a lot of mountaineering. All together I have done about 23 mountain days summer and winter.
I climb for my own enjoyment rather than bickering over grades and whether it’s a 6b or a 6b + but I do enjoy getting brown trousers!?!?
What can I give to the team? Well I guess my walking, braking trail etc, but I do knot know how well I will do at altitude. I am also technically a good climber. (But will I need that?)
Experience:
Several weeks in Wales
Scottish Winter 1 week
Ten Tors 45 twice and 55 once
Numerous sport climbs and trad up to VS 5a
(Myk was introduced to me as a friend of a friend when he started at Bicton. Our common ground of climbing has brought our friendship together, and we’ve had many a happy day out on the mountains. Myk and Chris go together naturally on the mountain, with similar stamina and speed, and experience, and that bond will work well in their favour. Myk, although a leader of lower trad grades than myself and with a known lack of upper body strength for overhangs, he is supremely better then me at technical climbing. If he could get his head round on-sight flashing, he could lead trad up to E3 very soon.
Myk’s boy-bandish good looks and floppy hair have often resulted him in being the but of jokes, but underneath I’m confident he is as tough as any other, and he of all of us could get down in a storm. I feel he’s really got something to offer, even if it’s down to moral, and leading that 5b slab pitch or grade 5 Ice. RC)
Paul Janelid: Lead Climber, Ski leader (25)
I’ve been climbing for 6 years and mountaineering for 11. I have climbed extensively throughout the UK with the Southampton Institute climbing and mountaineering club. I also spent a year in the Lofoten Islands where I did a lot of skiing, ski mountaineering and rock climbing, as well as alpine climbing. The year culminated in a 2-week skiing trip to Spitzburgen with a dog sled team.
I also spent a successful week in the Alps with two friends, where I did a lot of snow and mixed climbing, as well as a ridge traverse at 4100m
At the moment I am living in Surrey and doing some instructing, as well as other jobs to finance the expedition!
I have always wanted to be part of a proper expedition, especially to some higher mountain ranges. At first I became involved in this trip through notices around college where I was doing an instructor training course.
I am hoping to be a valued member of the team in putting up a new route on the mountain, as well as possibly making the first ski descent of the peak!
Experience:
11 Years Mountaineering
6 Years Climbing
1 Year ski mountaineer training
Alpine season
(Paul at first can be rather striking, with a unique appearance of many mountain days, when he’s just had a shower, although that’s just his wild hair. I barely know Paul. I’ve spent less than 10 days with him, but over that time he’s made a strong impression. He doesn’t hold back his feelings for the outdoors, and clearly shows immense enjoyment from it. His crazy sense of humour involving many sexually relating jokes can’t help but bring a grin or a sigh of disgust from someone in proximity and in either case it has the desired effect of being noticed.
Paul seems strong, I’m unsure of how fit he is, but whatever his level, so far it seems on par with my own. His real presence is felt when seconding me, or climbing Ice. On a recent route which we climbed, and it must have been the first ascent for a while by the state it was in, I struggled with one fall to complete the 35ft pitch of solid and consecutive 5b moves resulting in a E2 grade climb. Despite not having climbed for a long while, he demolished the route, and despite a few falls, made all the moves and will undoubtedly follow me up anything. In addition, when it comes to the ice I can see him making the headway in the team. RC)

Carol Williams: Team Doctor and lead trekker (37)
No quote currently available
Experience:
Multiple trips to the greater ranges, climbed on the Alan Hinke’s Team, and served as expedition Doctor several times.
Lots of trekking experience and some rock climbing
(Carol, although I have met her only once passes across a very friendly but independent nature. She seems strong willed, as enthusiastic as any other and a very worthy member of the team, and not just for her medical skills.RC)