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 continue to influence today’s climbers and adventurers.
It is in the memory of these two great explorers that the annual 2014 GORE-TEX® brand Shipton-Tilman Grant program was created. Now in its 24th year, the program is funded by W. L. Gore & Associates, inventors of the GORE-TEX® brand product technology for comfort and protection.
“This year’s five winning applications represent an exceptional group of alpinists who are developing innovative approaches to ascend some of the most challenging mountain faces across the globe.” said Tom Boyle, Gore Strategic Marketing.
The following five teams will receive grants in 2014:
British Gorakh Himal 2015, awarded $5,500
Led by British mountaineer Julian Freeman-Attwood, this team of six also includes Nicholas Francis Colton, Edward Douglas, Phil Bartlett, James Novak and Crag Jones. The goal of the team’s expedition is to make a first ascent of five unexplored peaks in the Nepal Himalaya, including Langtachen (6270m), Gorakh (6088m), Assajya Tuppa (6265m) and Absi (6254m). They also hope to further explore the range and bring back information about other climbing opportunities in areas above 5500m. Climbing in alpine style, the team believes empathically in the ethics of Shipton and Tilman and each member feels a connection to this lightweight, minimal impact style of mountaineering.
Muchu Chhish Expedition, awarded $5,000
Experienced alpine style mountaineers Pete Thompson, Phil De-Beger and Tim Oates will embark on an expedition to be the first to summit Muchu Chhish (7453m) in the Muchuar Valley, Pakistan – a climb attempted only once before by a team of Spanish climbers in 1999. The route will take them over the south and west ridges, through steep mixed terrain. After this climb, the team will relocate to a base camp below Gutum Talji (5238m) with the goal of a first ascent of the southeast couloir, an unexplored route to the summit.
New Zealand 2014 Expedition to the Hindu Kush, awarded $4,500
The team of New Zealand-based climbers Pat Deavoll and Chris Todd will attempt double first alpine ascents of the south face of Langua-tai-Barfi (7071m) and the southeast face of Shakawr (7116m) via the Roshgol Glacier (Hindu Kush range) in northwestern Pakistan. Shakawr was climbed once before in 1969 from Pakistan and Langua-tai-Barfi has never been climbed from that direction, although it was climbed from the Afghan side in the early 1960s. There is no record of any exploration by climbers into the upper reaches of the Roshgol Glacier and the team believes that it will be the first people ever to reach this isolated location.
UNCHARTED: Volcán Aguilera, awarded $4,500
This alpine style expedition is a mixed exploration, climbing, mapping and historic research project aimed at charting Volcán Aguilera (2546m), an unclimbed volcano in the Andes, located in Patagonia, South America. The team of Camilo Rada, Ines Dussaillant, Natalia Martinez and Evan Miles will set out to explore a new access route to the Southern Patagonian Icefield and will attempt an ascent of Volcán Aguilera, already attempted unsuccessfully for at least five previous expeditions. The objective is to create a high quality map of the region that they will share freely with other climbers. In 2012, the team successfully completed a similar expedition resulting in an accurate, modern map of the region surrounding Cordillera de Sarmiento and of Cordillera de Darwin in 2013.
Zorro Route, Cobweb Wall, South Face of Nuptse, awarded $5,500
The team of Ian Welsted and Jason Kruk will be the first to ascend the west end of the legendary south face of Nuptse (7860m), the twentieth highest mountain in the world, located in in the Nepalese Himalayas. The climb will be fair footing, alpine style, with highly technical mixed and ice climbing on the breathtakingly steep Cobweb Wall. The team’s motivation is to prove that clean climbing style can be applied to all alpine environments in the hope that their expedition will mark a new era in mountaineering.
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 1st 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 GORE-TEX