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Nat Spring (34)

Contact: nathanielspring@yahoo.co.uk

Through his work with the international environmental conservation organisation Earthwatch, Nat spends much of his time working with scientists to develop field research expeditions to remote parts of the world. He is hoping to harness his background in marine science and the contacts he has made through this work to bring a research element to the expedition. Also, because of his line of work Nat is trained in Wilderness Medicine and responsible for medical matters for the expedition.

Nat is another member of the team who is no stranger to a bit of physical suffering - in 2004 he rowed across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to Barbados, spending 62 days non-stop and unsupported at sea. Lack of sleep and sores in unmentionable places were perhaps less of a challenge than raising the £30,000 required to undertake the expedition.

Nat is a keen mountaineer and rock climber. Known for his fondness for scaling wet, slimy rock, Nat has a great love for the mountain routes of North Wales. He's also no stranger to a pair of ice axes and has made several climbing trips to the Mont Blanc range and has done a lot of Scottish winter climbing. Over the years he has also developed a taste for African mountaineering, with ascents of Kilimanjaro, Mt Kenya, Mt Mulanje and Mt Cameroon.

When not heading across the oceans or climbing Nat enjoys kayaking marathons and adventure racing. He has taken part in the 125 mile Devizes to Westminster International canoe marathon several times and came 13th in 2007. He also recently kayaked, cycled and walked across Costa Rica in a 600km coast-to-coast race.


Crispin Chatterton (30)

Contact: jollyrascal@gmail.com

Crispin Chatterton learnt to climb as soon as he could walk and before long he was tackling the classic routes on mountain crags of North Wales with his father. Since then he has gained extensive rock climbing experience, climbing Trad E1 and Sport F6b+, throughout the UK, Europe and Africa, including putting up new routes in Rwanda. When partners can’t be found he is fond of making solo scrambling excursions in the British Hills.

Crispin has several European Alpine seasons to his name and in 2002 he made an independent trip to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru with Rob Grant and another friend making ascents of 6000m peaks. He has also climbed Mt Kenya (Pt John) and made ascents of other central African peaks including Mt Karisimbi in Rwanda.

Having graduated from Oxford University Crispin went on to qualify as a MFL teacher and has taught both primary and secondary age groups. Following his teacher training Crispin spent two years living in a small village in South- west Rwanda working for VSO in a secondary school and providing teacher training. A natural communicator, Crispin will use this experience in education to speak to young people about the expedition.

Crispin is currently a project manager for a youth charity in Oxford which provides environmental and development education. Working for a small and dynamic charity means that fundraising is an important part of Crispin’s day-to-day activities. His project management experience will be invaluable in the planning of the expedition.


Rob Grant (28)

Contact: grhgrant@hotmail.com

Rob has been climbing for 14 years and describes himself as “a bit of an all rounder “. The description fits pretty well for someone who has probed every facet of the vertical world from bouldering to alpine ascents in the greater ranges, through sport and Scottish winter climbing. Rob has been on two independent trips to the Andes with successful ascents of peaks up to 6000m.

For those into numbers, Rob has climbed Scottish grade 6, Water Ice at grade 5, E4 on rock, bouldered V7 and ticked F7c on the bolts, which means the rest of the team are going to have to put the pies to one side and learn to do a pull up or two if they're going to keep up. He is also a keen snowboarder and has spent three winters in the alps washing dishes by night and climbing and snowboarding by day. He has snowboarded down a few things that most people would be happy enough to have climbed up.

In order to fund this climbing obsession, Rob has been living in a van for two and a half years and seems to have grown quite attached to it. His love for the freewheeling life even extended as far as sleeping in the back of an ancient, uninsulated van in the depths of the Norwegian winter on an ice climbing trip to Rjukan. It's not all freezing temperatures and roughing it in vans though. He also returned from a sport climbing trip to Turkey by hitchhiking across Europe, so he's quite capable of roughing it in warmer temperatures as well.

For work Rob builds sculptures and climbing walls. He was involved in the designing and building of two real indoor ice climbing walls. He then took the job of maintaining one of these walls; a job that involves getting very cold and very wet. Rob has also worked as a climbing instructor and in climbing shops.

Read about Rob's climbs: FantanB