04. May, 2016


Elkton, Md., (May 1, 2016): Nearly 90 years ago, Eric Shipton (b.1907) and Bill Tilman (b.1897) changed the history of mountaineering with a lightweight, low-impact climbing philosophy that still inspires today’s adventurers. In honor of these two brave explorers, each year GORE-TEX brand sponsors the Shipton-Tilman Grant program. This year’s winning teams have proven that they share an appreciation for uncharted areas and the preservation of the natural landscape, planning expeditions that will leave a minimal trace on the peaks they will explore.
Now in its 26th 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.


The following five teams will receive grant funding in 2016:

Chaukhamba Alpine Style: Awarded $5,000
The team comprised of Tad McCrea and Jason Kruk will prioritize style and ethic, leaving a minimal trace of passage as they attempt to ascend the great south/southeast wall of the 7000m Chaukhamba peaks, focused on the unexplored Southeast Buttress of Chaukhamba III and the South Ridge of Chaukhamba IV, in the Garhwal region of the Indian Himalaya in Uttarakhand, India.

British Karakorum 2016 Expedition: Awarded $4,000
Climbing fast and light in true alpine style, the team of Emily Ward (team lead), Matthew Burdekin, Suzana El Massri and Harry Mcghie will traverse and summit yet unexplored, unnamed peaks up to 6600m around a remote glacier in the Snow Lake region of the Hispar Muztagh, Karakorum, Pakistan. The team plans to follow an access route up the Biafo Glacier from Askole, a small, remote town that is located in Shigar Valley and is the final settlement before the Karakorum mountain wilderness.

Hiding in Plain Sight: Unclimbed Summits in the Karakorum: Awarded $4,000
This team of highly accomplished climbers includes Nancy Hansen, the only person to have climbed 46 of the Fifty Classic Climbs of North America and Ralf Dujmovits, an accomplished high-altitude climber who was the 16th person and only German to climb all peaks over 8,000m, all but one of which he ascended without bottled oxygen. Their goal is to attempt two unclimbed peaks in the Karakorum mountain region of Pakistan – Gasherbrum VI (aka Chochordin Peak, 6979m – 7004m) which has been attempted at least four times and Praqpa Ri (7134m – 7156m), for which no attempts have been recorded.

The Great Walls of China: Awarded $4,000
The goal of the team of Szu-ting Yi and David Anderson is to explore an unvisited and unnamed valley in the remote Kokshaal-Too Mountains of Xinjiang Province, China near the border of Kyrgyzstan. Specifically, the team hopes to summit the unclimbed Great Walls of China (5400m), including an unexplored section of the wall that faces south and is located in a sheltered side valley (approx. 2,000ft). While several climbing expeditions have visited this area, Yi reports that none have successfully reached the top of the steep granite walls or the summit of the formation.

Neacola Multimodal Expedition: Awarded $3,000
The experienced climbing and backcountry team of Craig Muderlak (team leader), David Fay and
Drew Thayer aim to complete a human-powered expedition in Alaska that includes a first ascent in the
remote Neacola region (the remote, northernmost subrange of the Aleutian Range). They will then ski, hike, and pack raft float 75 miles west out of the mountains down the Glacier Fork of the Tlikakila River and the North Fork of the Big River to Cook Inlet. Their primary climbing objective is to establish a new route up the 3000ft granite faces of what Muderlak refers to as the “Neacola Bells.”


About W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.
Gore is a technology-driven company focused on discovery and product innovation. Well known for waterproof, breathable GORE-TEX® fabric, the company’s portfolio includes everything from high-performance fabrics and implantable medical devices to industrial manufacturing components and aerospace electronics. Founded in 1958 and headquartered in Newark, Del., Gore posts annual sales of more than $3 billion and employs more than 10,000 associates with manufacturing facilities in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and China, and sales offices around the world. Gore is one of a select few companies to appear on all of the U.S. “100 Best Companies to Work For” lists, including all 18 of the Fortune lists and three earlier books by the same name.  The company also appears regularly on similar lists around the world. Learn more at www.gore-tex.com.


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