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 climbers and adventurers. In honor of these two brave explorers, each year
GORE-TEX® brand sponsors the Shipton-Tilman Grant program.
Now in its 25th year, the program has awarded nearly $500,000 to expedition teams from around the globe. The Shipton-Tilman Grant program is funded by W. L. Gore & Associates, inventors of the GORE-TEX® brand product technology for comfort and protection.
Tom Boyle, Gore Fabrics Marketing, provided his viewpoint on this important milestone for the grant program, “As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the GORE-TEX Shipton-Tilman Grant program, we are once again impressed by the passion with which the world’s explorers have followed in the footsteps of our program’s namesakes, incorporating lighter, faster and lower environmental impact principles into their expeditions.”
The following six teams will receive grants in 2015:
Not Ready to be Housewives, awarded $3,500
Experienced alpinists Quinn Brett, Crystal Davis-Robbins and Whitney Clark will explore the Garwhal Himal Region of Northern India, an area where Shipton and Tilman pioneered routes in 1934. Their objectives include rarely climbed areas of the Garwhal Valley; the Obra Valley, which is home to Ranglana peak (5554m) and Jairai rocks and Bhilangna Valley’s Satling Peaks, an impressive set of seven granite pillars that lie just south of Thalay Sagar, contain no vertical rock routes and have seen few attempts. The team will follow alpine style philosophies, i.e., no portaledges and no haul bags and resorting to aid climbing as a last means of ascent.
2015 Blank-on-the-Map China Expedition, awarded $4,000
Explorers Pat Goodman, Marcos Costa and Matt McCormick have planned their expedition based on a shared affection for organic, leave-no-trace, fast and light alpine climbing. The team’s objective is to explore Nyainbo Yuze (aka, Golog Shan), located in the Golok Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Qinghai, China, an extensive collection of unclimbed granite peaks ornamented with challenging big walls. Although Ximen Co Lake located just north of Nyainbo has grown as a tourist destination, most of the surrounding massif remains unexplored. The main objective will be to complete the first ascent of unclimbed and Unnamed Peak (5250m) via its steep 950 meter south face.
Year of the Ram Expeditions, East Greenland, awarded $2,000
A climber at the forefront of the exploration of Greenland, Mike Libecki and his teammate Ethan Pringle will climb the first four ascents on some of the last remaining, unclimbed, world-class walls and towers in East Greenland. Located in almost inaccessible, ice-choked fjords, the areas selected for the expedition will present many challenges to the team. Throughout the expedition, the team’s priority will be to free climb all four towers via the steepest, longest, most inspiring, natural lines.
Tangra Tower Expedition (Cory Hall Memorial), awarded $3,000
The Tangra team has planned its expedition in memory of their friend Cory Hall and in an effort to raise the profile of British mountaineering and promote tourism to a remote area of Pakistan. Team leader James Monypenny and experienced climber Max Fisher will attempt the unexplored Tangra Tower (5620m) on the northern edge of Khane Valley in the Karakoram Mountains. Climbing in alpine style, the team hopes to ascend the Tower in a fast and light manner, without the assistance of bolts or fixed ropes.
Virjerab Expedition, awarded $4,000
Team members Peter Thompson, Phil De-Beger and Aiden Laffey have several goals during their expedition in Pakistan, including first ascents of seven rarely explored, unnamed peaks (all sub 6500m) in Shimshal, Hunza in the Karakoram. Their main objective is Khurdopin Sar (6310m) via the north spur and west ridge. Throughout the expedition, they will attempt to link a number of peaks in a traverse and climb in an unencumbered, alpine style.
Kosmos 2015 Expedition, awarded $3,500
The goal of the Kosmos team of Emily Ward, Heather Swift, Emma Crome and Libby Southgate is to summit the Pik Kosmos (5940m), the second highest mountain in the Western Kok-Shal Too mountain range of Kyrgyzstan in central Asia. Pik Kosmos boasts a 1700m high north face and two aesthetic ridges to the east and northwest. The team will climb in a fast and light style, aiming to make as little impact as possible on the surrounding environment.
About the GORE-TEX® brand 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. Applications are due by March 1st of each year. An independent judge reviews all applications and aims to find projects that exemplify the Shipton-Tilman philosophy. The selected teams receive a grant ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
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