The British Exploring Society is a youth development charity which, above all else, aims to provide young people with an intense and lasting experience of self-discovery; we strive to develop personal and practical skills that are of genuine long-term value to those taking part. This is fostered through a unique programme of adventure, science and media undertaken in a remote wilderness environment. 

Throughout the expedition, our world class leader teams aim to challenge and support our explorers, to push personal boundaries and develop key skills such as teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, confidence and leadership. Read some of our Chief Leader biographies below.

Andrew Stokes-Rees

Chief Leader: Himalaya 2015 & Oman 2014 

Andrew has led several expeditions for BE, including Svalbard ('10,'11), Peruvian Amazon ('08,'09), Arctic Norway ('12), and was Chief Leader on Oman 2014. He is a qualified Canadian Mountain Guide and for six seasons was course director and guide at the mountain leadership training centre in Banff for Canadian army cadets.  In 2005, he completed an MSc in Outdoor Education at the University of Edinburgh, specialising in developing young leaders by way of journeys and practical training in remote wilderness settings.  From 2009 to 2012 he was Operations Manager at British Exploring, and now does regular outdoor education work with international schools around Europe.  He has led formidable expeditions independently to the Pamirs of Tajikistan, Ama Dablam in the Everest region, and several first ascents in the Western High Atlas.  

Soo Redshaw

Chief Leader: Himalaya 2014, Oman 2013 

Soo has led numerous expeditions with British Eploring to Svalbard, Yukon, Oman and the Himalayas. With a background in outdoor education she has previously worked as an outdoor educator, facilitator, lecturer, coach, expedition chief leader, mountaineer and field assistant (British Antarctic Survey). 

"I relish the time on expeditions as a chance for everyone, young and less old alike, to live a simple life, be in a real community, manage difficult times together and value what they have back home by not being insulated from the environment, meeting people from very different backgrounds and cultures and being resourceful and resilient with only what you have with you at the time. A rare and valuable opportunity in todays 'modern western lifestyle' - a time to step out to evaluate and appreciate what you have and step up to manage the challenges of expedition life".