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 and excessive tonnage and leaving little trace of their passage.
It is in this spirit that five teams were chosen to receive the grants through the 2013 GORE-TEX® brand Shipton-Tilman Grant program, funded by W. L. Gore & Associates, inventors of the GORE-TEX® brand product technology for comfort and protection. Gore established this annual grant program in 1990 as a tribute to Shipton and Tilman.
“The volume and quality of this year’s applications are proof that today’s climbers continue to seek objectives that have yet to be explored.” said Yvonne Erickson, Gore marketing leader. “We were so inspired by this year’s Shipton-Tilman grant recipients’ appreciation for exploration, alpine climbing and the desire to leave the mountain environments as untouched as possible.”
The following five teams will receive grants in 2013:
In the footsteps of Genghis Kahn, awarded $7,400 Climbers Dave Anderson, Szu-ting Yi and Lauren Edwards will embark on a two-month climbing expedition, beginning in the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaator and travelling by horse and camel to reach remote locations. The team aims to retrace the route Gengis Khan took west across Mongolia in 1219, attempting first ascents of granite mountains along the way, including Zorgol Hayrham Uul, and Three Child Mountains and the 2,000-foot north face of Eej Khairkhan Uul. The routes that the team have chosen will follow the natural landscape so that they can leave as little trace as possible as they venture on the sacred peaks.
CanAm K6 Expedition, awarded $5,000 The Canadian/American climbing team, consisting of Jesse Huey, Raphael Slawinski, and Ian Welsted will attempt to climb the 2,500-meter vertical, northwest face of K6 West, the highest peak in the Charakusa Valley in the Pakistani Karakorum. The peak is one of the largest remaining unattained goals in alpine climbing and the team will attempt to ascend in a light, environmentally conscious alpine style, including both ice and mixed climbing without the support of fixed gear.
British Muzkol Pamir Expedition, awarded $1,600 The British team of John Proctor and Jonathan Davey will set out to explore the remote Bozbaital Valley in the Muzkol range of the Pamir Mountains, Tajikistan. Their climb will include first ascents of two previously unexplored peaks at the head of the valley – each just over 6,000 meters. The team looks forward to the stable weather and welcoming locals and hopes that their endeavor will attract other climbers to central Asia.
Green Light and Fast, awarded $6,000 Focusing on the Cape Farewell region of South Greenland, this year’s only all female climbing team of Lizzy Scully, Prairie Kearney and Quinn Brett (one of America’s fastest female climbers, who broke The Nose Record up El Capitan in June 2012) will explore the area’s less travelled terrain. They will be traveling to the Torsukatak Fjord of South Greenland to put up First Ascents on the huge unclimbed granite walls in the region. They will start in the fjord near the Baron/Baronness, but will both hike to and explore by boat some less well-traveled areas with big granite walls. The team is climbing without portaledges and haul bags and will not be aid climbing – rather ascending each wall as quickly and lightly as possible. The team will be joined by photographer John Dickey.
Changla Himal & Gave Ding Expedition, awarded $5,000 Seeking to discover new objectives in the largely unexplored area of far west Nepal, the climbing team of Neil Warren, Chris Johnson, Dave Chapman and Guy Wilson will attempt first ascents including Gave Ding (6571m), Lachama Chuli (5700m), Chhamsarka Daha (6248m) and other peaks to the west and around the glaciated bowl to the south. The team will climb in alpine style whenever possible, seeking to reflect the spirit of adventure shared by mountaineers across the globe.
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. The application deadline for the grant is March 1 of each year. An independent judge reviews all applications and looks for projects that exemplify the Shipton-Tilman philosophy. Teams receive a grant ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.
Logo courtesy W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc