Amundsen's polar expedition succeeded partly because he combined people with relevant specialist skills. Scott's team pulled scientific samples back from the pole partly through Royal Navy discipline. Sir Ranulph Fiennes emphasises personal motivation.

One could learn a lot from these exploring greats. Yet in reality our team has grown organically via the Royal Geographical Society, Asian mountaineering groups, the British Army Reserves, American not-for-profit organisations and University friends.

Leading up to the expedition we will gradually introduce our team members below.

Dr. Al Gill (50) Expedition Leader

Former theoretical physicist and TA soldier turned financial consultant working in venture capital. Al has enjoyed working with clients from around the world including Japan, Silicon Valley, New Mexico, South Africa and the Middle East. He has been drawn to glaciers since his first alpine peaks with the Club Alpin Suisse in Geneva and is taking a career sabbatical to complete the expedition.

Specialist Skills: "My specialist skill is not being a specialist. I know a little of the mountaineering, science, media and historical aspects of the expedition which gives me an overview."

Expedition Experience: None

Hobbies: Riding, fencing, sailing, sometime blower of trumpets

Motivation: "There are precious few dragons in the twenty first century."

Dr. Al Gill, Expedition Leader

Robin Milner, Technical Lead.

Robin Milner (49) Technical Lead

Robin was "in IT" when his work took him to Madrid in 2002, and he's still there 20 years later, although he now teaches high-school maths and physics. He started winter walking with Al in the 1990s, and these days goes to play in his local mountains as often as he can get away. He's been part of this project since the beginning so has almost as much knowledge of the planned route and objectives as Al.

Specialist Skills: Broad scientific and technical background. Expert in ensuring our equipment is as light and small as possible.

Expedition Experience: None

Hobbies: Mountain biking, snowboarding, sailing, running, riding, motorcycle touring.

Motivation: "It's never too late…until it is"

Tom Bailey (54)

Electrical engineer Tom has always been drawn to danger and excitement. In his own words "I think it’s a by product of my alcoholism, or perhaps my alcoholism is a bi product of craving danger and excitement?” Now recovering and dry for three years, Tom's previous adventurous experience has included being a reservist with both the Royal Engineers and the Honourable Artillery Company, summiting Kilimanjaro, winter mountaineering in Scotland and ski touring in Canada. In keeping with his taste for adventure, Tom and the love of his life, Angela, recently left their comfortable life in Surrey to run the Penrallt country house hotel in West Wales.

Specialist Skills: Electrical engineer

Expedition Experience: Op Herrick 16 (Afghanistan)

Hobbies: Scuba diving, free-fall parachuting and flying helicopters


Tom Bailey

Tom Baldassari, Medic

Tom Baldassari (36) Medic

Tom is currently serving as a Metropolitan Police Officer and is an experienced Police Medic. His previous experience includes being a reservist with the Honourable Artillery Company, and operational experience with 4/73 Special OP bty Royal Artillery. Tom has spent plenty of time in the Brecon Beacons over the years but would like to make the step up to mountaineering.

Specialist Skills: Medic

Expedition Experience: Op Herrick 16 (Afghanistan)

Hobbies: Golf and an avid Brentford FC supporter

Motivation: If something’s easy, it’s probably not worth doing.

Alden Chan (24)

Alden (Chi-Wai) is an energetic and passionate person who enjoys staying in the mountains and nature. Whether hiking, climbing, kayaking, or even sitting in the sun, he is sure to be smiling. Alden's outdoor life started as a kid when his father used to take him hiking. It made him fall in love with nature and mountains. In university, he started trekking overseas - the ABC trail in Nepal, Hehuan Mountain in Taiwan, Yubeng in China, and Mount Iō in Japan. Alden would like to take this opportunity to gear himself up to explore more of the mountains and unknown areas of the world.

Specialist Skills:

Expedition Experience: None

Hobbies: Hiking, Climbing, Mountaineering, Scuba diving, Kayaking

Motivation: It always seems impossible until it's done.

Alden Chan

Oscar Chan

Oscar Chan (20)

Oscar (Tsz-Hin) Chan is an avid mountain lover who likes the versatility of being in the mountains every day. Mountains, nature and mountaineering have been a part of him ever since he was little. Oscar is a student at HK PolyU majoring in Land Surveying and Geo-Informatics (LSGI). In his spare time he is an athlete sponsored by Salomon Hong Kong and the youngest finisher of the 4TUL 189km ultra-marathon. He is looking for a new dream and wants to climb a 4,000m peak in the Alps with a fast and light ascent in 2022. In the future, Oscar is dedicated to pursuing a career in the polar regions and enjoying their natural beauty.

Specialist Skills: Trail Running

Expedition Experience: None

Hobbies: Trail running, mountaineering, drone shooting

Motivation: All life is about experiment

Wilson Cheung (36)
Risk Officer

Polar expedition and mountain safety specialist with over 1,000 days of polar field experience and 78 of the 82 Alpine 4,000m peaks climbed. Now doing a PhD in glaciology Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, Fellow of the International Arctic Science Committee (IASC), Explorers Club Explorers 50 class of 2022, Member Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research(SCAR), Humanities & Social Sciences Expert Group and PoSSUM scientist-astronaut Candidate.

Specialist Skills: Glaciologist, polar expedition and mountain safety specialist ""

Expedition Experience: Multiple expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctic, Greenland, Iceland, Svalbard and Baffin Island

Hobbies: Flying light aircraft and skydiving

Motivation: encourage young people in their appreciation of mountainous and polar regions, both on earth and elsewhere in the solar system.

Wilson (Wai Yin) Cheung, Expedition Risk Manager

Richard Kay

Richard Kay (37)

Richard's been mountaineering since the age of 18 when he did Cotopaxi with a couple of childhood friends. Since then his adventures have included the Matterhorn with his brother, back-country skiing and touring in the Alps, Northern Norway and Japan. After 15 years doing a financial services job in the City of London, Richard resigned to do something else. As an army reservist, he volunteered for the UK covide response in 2020 and has since deployed with the British Army in East Africa and the Balkans.

Specialist Skills: Medic, Rock Climbing Supervisor

Expedition Experience: Deployment with British Army

Hobbies: Sailing, back-country skiing, swimming

Motivation: Make the most of what you have and what you can do, before it turns into what you had and what you could have done

Katie Liu (23)

Having grown up in Hong Kong near the coastal border, Katie (Po Kwan) spent much of her childhood on beaches and rocks along the ocean. Attracted to remote places, she went to Wales as an exchange student at Aberystwyth University — an experience that nurtured her love for nature. Katie is eager to learn about how to be a mountaineer and polar expedition guide, as she enjoys staying in the wild, and she hopes to inspire others to preserve the beauty of the planet through unique experiences in nature. Outside of work, she can be found reading under the sun, eco-tour guiding, scuba diving or rock climbing around Hong Kong.

Specialist Skills: Eco Tour Guiding

Expedition Experience: None

Hobbies: Scuba diving, rock climbing, singing and reading

Motivation: Life was meant for great adventures

Katie Liu

Billy Nip

Billy Nip (21)

Billy (Yeh Shang) is addicted to outdoor activities and nature. Although he grew up in Hong Kong's concrete jungle, he spent much of his childhood immersed in the outdoors. Nowadays he is a freelance outdoor activities instructor who wants to inspire more people to get in touch with nature and treasure it. His first hike outside of Hong Kong was Taiwan's Mount Jade in 2015 where he he fell in love with big mountains. Since then he has hiked in Indonesia, China and Japan. In 2018, he went to Chola Mountain (6168m) which inspired him to learn about different mountaineering styles and alpinism. Billy wants to meet people who share the same dream with a view to becoming a mountain and polar guide.

Specialist Skills: Outdoor Instructor

Expedition Experience: Taiwan's Mount Jade, China's Chola Mountains (6168m)

Hobbies: Rock climbing, Mountaineering, Scuba diving, Kayaking

Motivation: "Your only limit is your mind."

Zoe Salt (41) Photographer

Zoe has been working in the photographic industry since she was 15, starting out shooting Premier League football games before moving into fashion and advertising. In her spare time she runs and competes in ultra-marathons such as the Tor des Géants in the Italian Alps. In 2013 she placed 3rd in the Marathon des Sables and won the 130km Iznik Ultra Marathon in 2015. She also enjoys travel, having visited Death Valley, Everest Base Camp and the Glaciers of Chamonix and Canada. As a freelance photographer, she is keen to show people how their lives affect the planet we're living on.

Specialist Skills: Photography and Digital Equipment

Expedition Experience: None

Hobbies: Competitive running


Instagram: @bernieandgeorge

Zoe Salt, Photographer

James Sisti, Wilderness Artist

James Sisti (34)

James is a professional artist, instructor and wilderness guide based in NYC. In 2019 he started Hike & Draw , a nature-based art program that teaches people how to connect with the great outdoors through drawing and nature journaling. Since then, he's taught over 2000 students from around the world! James is a member of the Explorer's Club, the UK branch of the Austrian Alpine Club, and is an active Eagle Scout alumnus.

Specialist Skills: o Artist, Field Instructor, Wilderness Guide

Expedition Experience: Cascades & Northern Cascades (Washington State, USA), Rio Negro & Amazon River Basin (Brazil)

Hobbies: o Nature Journaling, Hiking, Camping, SCUBA diving, cooking

Motivation: "My mission is to evangelize scientific discoveries by making data-rich research more relatable to a wider audience through art visualization, (like a cross between David Attenborough and Bob Ross!)."

Instagram: @james_sisti & @hike anddrawnyc