Gore Announces The Shipton-Tilman Grant

Small teams receive funding from Gore to help accomplish large undertakings around the globe

While they venture off in opposite directions on the compass and have vastly different objectives, there is a common thread running through the six expeditions that have been selected for Shipton-Tilman grants for 2007. All of them are made up of small teams of explorers, men and women who believe that reaching a better understanding of our planet is not a spectator sport with guides, pilots, and large support crews in tow.

Four two-person teams, one with three members and another with four, make up the roster of grant recipients. To help these small teams reach beyond the limits of their personal resources,
W. L. Gore and Associates, inventors of GORE-TEX® fabric, is once again awarding grants totaling $30,000 to help finance the expeditions.

The annual Shipton-Tilman Grant program was established by Gore as a tribute to the spirit of adventure embodied by legendary explorers Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and Bill Tilman (b. 1897). The annual program provides funds to be divided among three to six expeditions that are most in harmony with Shipton and Tilman's philosophies.

Shipton and Tilman believed in traveling in small, compact teams, unburdened by porters and excessive bulk. Quite possibly, this spirit has never been so well represented as it is in the 2007 award winners.

Some people ask what drives adventurers to such extremes. According to GORE-TEX® brand manager, Steve Shuster, “Exploration has never been, and never will be about chasing dollars or fame. It is the call of the unknown, the quest for adventure. Gore is proud to support these teams as they explore the planet and search for what lies inside each individual.”

First Ascent of Beka Brakai Chhok, awarded $1,500
A two-woman team of New Zealand's most respected mountaineers sets its sights on the unexplored peak of Beka Brakai Chhok (BBC) in the northern territory of Pakistan. In preparation for the climb, Patricia Deavoll and Lydia Bradley have been unable to find any record of previous attempts at the mountain by climbing groups of any size or gender. In addition to making the first ascent of BBC, the team's goals include promoting other small expeditions to challenging locations and providing independent role models for other women looking to create more gender balance in adventure sports.

Fortress of the Shafaat, awarded $4,500
High in the Shafaat Valley of Kashmir, India, stands a massive, unclimbed and unnamed mountain more than 7,000 meters (22,000 feet) high. This fortress of granite is the objective of climbers Jonathan Copp and Micah Dash. The peak sits in the disputed territory of Kashmir, a frequent sight of clashes between India and Pakistan. With hostilities currently calm, the team looks to make the ascent this summer with just two people, two ropes and a light alpine approach to minimize the impact of the mountain. By exploring this newer region, the team hopes to open additional climbing opportunities for future alpinists.

Journey on the Wild Coast, awarded $4,500
This journey is an unprecedented 4,000-mile expedition along the northern edge of the Pacific Ocean from Puget Sound to the Bering Sea. The husband and wife team of Bretwood Highman and Erin McKittrick will step out of their Seattle home and undertake the entire nine-month trek under their own power, whether by foot, packraft or skis. The vast majority of the route will snake through remote wilderness and some of the most rugged terrain in the world. The planned terminus is Unimak Island, the western most in the Aleutian chain. The team will literally walk as far west as possible on the North American continent relying on outposts and villages for supplies. Along the way they will raise awareness of environmental issues.

K7 West Expedition, awarded $8,000
The Charakusa Valley of Pakistan is a magnet to alpinists. Within a few miles of each other, giant granite peaks lurch to the sky, many unclimbed and known simply by a number. One of these, K7 West, is the objective of the two-person climbing team of Kelly Cordes and Scott DeCapio. K7 West has been attempted twice, including a team of Japanese climbers in 1982 and more recently a team in 2004 that was spurned by bad weather 300 meters from the summit. Cordes and DeCapio hope to not only reach the peak, but also do so in a lightweight alpine style. With so few unclimbed peaks remaining, the team feels it's more important than ever to minimize their impact on the mountain.

British 2007 Manamcho Expedition, awarded $6,000
Historically, Tibet has been challenging both physically and bureaucratically. The hurdles have prevented wider exploration of the country for most western teams. The region contains 160 peaks over 6,000 meters (19,655 feet) high, yet only three have been climbed. Mick Fowler and his team of climbers have maneuvered through the process of gaining permits and visas and will attempt the first ascent of Manamcho (6,264 meters, 20,551 feet). Working as two, two-man teams, the climbers will use pure alpine style, meaning no fixed ropes and all team members will climb every pitch. Fowler believes the ascent of Manamcho will provide information critical to unlocking other peaks immediately to the south and west of their objective.

Paddle to the Peaks Greenland Expedition, awarded $5,500
The idea for this expedition began four years ago as Kelly Ryan and Brad Cabot sailed near the west coast of Greenland. Joined now by Althea Rogers, the three-person team will explore the western edge of Greenland by kayak. They will stop and climb as many as 18 peaks during the adventure. The entire trip will be self-propelled, requiring the team to carry the bare minimum of gear. By reaching each destination by kayak, the team will bring new meaning to “climbing from the ground up,” beginning each ascent from sea level. While being the first people to ascend many of the western peaks, the team also looks to witness the fragility of the polar region firsthand to help carry the message home.

About the Shipton-Tilman Grant Program
Applications are accepted from small, unencumbered teams of friends with daring and imaginative goals. The expedition team must plan to accomplish their feat in a self-propelled, environmentally sound, and cost-effective way. The application deadline for the Shipton-Tilman Grant is March 1 of each year. A panel of independent judges meets annually in March to review all applications and looks for projects that exemplify the Shipton-Tilman philosophy. Between three and six teams receive a grant ranging from $2,000 to $10,000.

ABOUT W.L. GORE & ASSOCIATES: Perhaps best known for its consumer products like GORE-TEX fabric and ELIXIR guitar strings, Gore is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products for the electronics, industrial, fabrics and medical markets. The company is headquartered in Newark, Delaware, and employs approximately 7500 associates in 45 facilities throughout the world. For more information about W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. and GORE products, call 1-800-431-GORE or visit

GORE, GORE-TEX, PACLITE, WINDSTOPPER and designs are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. ©2006 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., 295 Blue Ball Rd., Elkton, Maryland, 800-431-GORE, gore-tex.com


Gore Awards $30,000 to Modern Adventurers with Shipton-Tilman Grant

Surprisingly, six of the seven continents are not represented in this year's Shipton-Tilman team destinations. This should not be seen as a sign that there are no new challenges within those borders. Instead, the Asian focus stands as proof to the increased opportunities and ...read more

GORE-TEX® Shipton-Tilman Grant Program Awards $20,000 to Explorers

W. L. Gore & Associates, inventors of GORE-TEX® fabric, a brand that helps outdoor enthusiasts “Experience More” as they follow their outdoor passion, is once again proud to support global exploration by awarding grants totaling $20,000 through the GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tilman ...read more

Gore awards $30k for annual Shipton-Tilman grants

To help teams explore once off-limits portions of the planet, W.L. Gore and Associates is once again awarding $30,000 worth of grants to help finance far reaching expeditions. The annual Shipton-Tilman Grant program was established by Gore as a tribute to the spirit of adventure ...read more

Gore Awards $25,000 To Explorers Through Shipton-Tilman Grant Program

Cynthia Amon, W.L. Gore & Associates410-506-2647 camon@wlgore.comGORE AWARDS $25,000 TO MODERN EXPLORERS THROUGH THE GORE-TEX® brand SHIPTON-TILMAN GRANT PROGRAMSix teams reach for their goals while reducing their impact on the virgin territories they navigate. Elkton, Md. – ...read more

Five Teams Of Explorers Share $25K Through GORE-TEX® Shipton-Tilman

Contact: Cynthia Amon 410-506-2647 Cell: 443-553-0333 camon@wlgore.com FIVE TEAMS OF EXPLORERS SHARE $25,000 THROUGH THE GORE-TEX® brand SHIPTON-TILMAN GRANT PROGRAM For the first time, recipients include two teams using sail power as a key component of their expeditions. ...read more

Six Innovative Climbing Teams Share $20,000 through the Gore-Tex® Brand Shipton-Tilman Grant Program

Celebrating 25 Years of Supporting Alpine Climbing Expeditions Elkton, Md., (May 1, 2015): In the 1930s,Eric Shipton (b.1907) and Bill Tilman (b.1897) changed mountaineering with a lightweight approach and “leave no trace behind” climbing philosophy that still inspires today’s ...read more

Gore-Tex Logo

Five climbing teams share $25,000 through the Gore-Tex brand Shipton-Tilman Grant Program

Elkton, Md., May 1, 2013: Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and Bill Tilman (b. 1897) were arguably the greatest team of mountain explorers of our time. They were strong advocates of traveling in small, compact teams and remaining respectful of the terrain, unburdened by numbers of porters ...read more

Five Innovative Climbing Teams Share $25,000 Through the 
GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tilman Grant Program

May 1, 2014 Contact: Cynthia Amon 410-506-2647 cell: 443-553-0333 camon@wlgore.com FIVE INNOVATIVE CLIMBING TEAMS SHARE $25,000 THROUGH THE GORE-TEX® brand SHIPTON-TILMAN GRANT PROGRAM Elkton, Md., May 1, 2014: In the 1930s,Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and Bill Tilman (b. 1897) ...read more

GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tillman Grant Recipients Awarded 22nd Annual Piolets d’Or

Canadians Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted Honored for K6 West Ascent  Elkton, Md., April 14, 2014: GORE-TEX® Brand Shipton-Tilman Grant recipients Raphael Slawinski and Ian Welsted were honored with a Piolets d’Or on March 29, 2014, in Courmayeur, France, for their ascent of ...read more