Gore Announces the 2008 Shipton-Tilman Grant
Three Teams Pursuing “Unfinished Business” Are Joined by Four Additional Grant Recipients
Elkton, MD (May 1, 2008) - Mountain and wilderness exploration require tremendous amounts of determination and curiosity. The recipients of the Shipton-Tilman Grants for 2008 exemplify this spirit as they plan the ascent of new summits, prepare to cross glaciers or dig deeper into inhospitable jungle. This drive is so strong that it sends three teams back into the wild to accomplish unmet goals. They are joined by four teams embarking on new adventures this summer.
To help these small teams pursue their goals, W. L. Gore & Associates, inventors of GORE-TEX® fabric, is once again awarding grants totaling $27,000 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). Now in its 18th year, the program provides funds to be divided among expeditions that are most in harmony with Shipton and Tilman's philosophies.
Eric Shipton and Bill Tilman are arguably the greatest adventurers of this past century. They believed in traveling in small, compact teams, unburdened by porters and excessive bulk surviving on the bare minimum required to achieve their goal.
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.
“Exploration requires a great deal of resolve, bordering on stubbornness, whether the goal is a virgin summit or a new solution to meet the needs of consumers or industry,” said Cynthia Amon, Gore spokesperson. “Gore is proud to support teams that share our passion for pursuing adventure and the undiscovered.”
The teams with “unfinished business”:
Beka Brakai Chhok: Take 2, Awarded $4,000
In 2007, Patricia Deavoll was part of a two-woman team of New Zealand mountaineers that attempted to reach the unexplored peak of Beka Brakai Chhok (BBC) in the northern territory of Pakistan. Conditions and dwindling supplies forced the pair to turn back less than one kilometer from the peak. Deavoll will return in 2008 with partner Malcolm Bass to complete the “unfinished business” of reaching the 6940-meter summit of BBC.
Paititi Expedition, Awarded $4,000
Expedition leader Greg Deyermenjian and his team return to the high jungle area of southeast Peru to continue their exploration of camino de pierdra, the ancient Incan road of stone. This area is not only unexplored, it is a blank on the map. The team will pick up the ancient trail where they left it in 2006 and move deeper, each step taking them farther than anyone since the Incas themselves. The expedition will also investigate the legend of Paititi, the fabled ultimate refuge for the Incas and attempt to confirm its existence and location.
Tordrillo Range High Traverse, Awarded $2,200
In 2007, Joe Stock and Andrew Wexler were unable to overcome the Great Wall, a 14-mile, 2,000-vertical-foot wall running east to west along the Tordrillo Range in Alaska. The team intends to return to the region and climb and ski the 85 miles and 3,000 vertical feet of the Tordrillo Range that proved unreachable. A new route and experience for the previous expedition will help them achieve this goal as well as the planned summiting of four peaks in the range—Mount Spurr, Mount Torbert, Mount Talachulitna and Mount Gerdine—all 11,000 feet or greater.
The new expeditions:
Darwin Range Traverse, Awarded $5,000
The Canadian team of Steve Ogle, Kari Medig and Dean Wagner will venture to a part of the globe where the Ice Age is still in full effect. The Darwin Range, located in the Tierra del Fuego region of Patagonia, thwarts most attempts at exploration with its moody weather, unpredictable snowpack and broken glaciers. The team plans to ski across a formidable 120-kilometer portion of the Darwin Range between Chili and Argentina. This will be the first recorded traverse of this major range.
First Ascent Dojitsenga SE Tibet, Awarded $4,000
Micah Dash and Jonny Copp head to South Eastern Tibe,t to attempt the first ascent of Dojitsenga, a triangular peak standing 5,700 meters between Rawu and Lhagu in the Kangri Garpo range. The peak has never been attempted, let alone reached by climbers. The region is one of the most remote and least explored of the world. This will continue a string of first ascents for the team including the Shafat Fortress (1,000 meters) in the Zanskar Range of India.
Oxford University/Tian Shan Expedition, Awarded $2,500
The spirit of adventure and exploration that has historically gripped Oxford University continues as a group of six students plans an expedition to the Tian Shan region of Kyrgyzstan. The Khrebet Borkoldoy Range remains largely unexplored and was closed to western teams until the country’s independence in 1991. The team will explore the southeast portion of the range and will attempt to be the first to set foot on the summit of Peak 5169.
UK/Canadian Distaghil Sar, Awarded $4,000
Distaghil Star is the 20th highest peak in the world, located in the remote Hispar Range in the far northwest of Pakistan. This summer, climbers Bruce Normand, Peter Thompson, Ben Cheek and Don Bowie will attempt the first ascent of the 7,883-meter summit along the unclimbed North Ridge. They will climb in a lightweight manner without oxygen or porters on the mountain.
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 8000 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 www.gore-tex.com.