GORE RECOGNIZES EXPEDITIONS WITH SHIPTON/TILMAN GRANTSELKTON, Md. (April 19, 2004) - Explorer H.W. Tilman is famously credited with saying, “Any worthwhile expedition can be planned on the back of an envelope.” W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., inventor of GORE-TEX® fabric, will mail modern-day Tilman’s some very good news as it announces the 2004 Shipton/Tilman Grant recipients. Now in its 14th year, the Shipton/Tilman Grant awards up to $30,000 annually to adventurers planning small expeditions that reflect the philosophies of the late explorers Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and H.W. "Bill" Tilman (b. 1897).“While there are fewer blank spots on the map these days, Shipton/Tilman grant winners demonstrate that, indeed, there is still plenty left to explore on earth. Clearly, the age of exploration is far from over as we celebrate their quest to discover what’s on the other side of the hill,” said GORE-TEX® brand manager Steve Shuster. This year four projects were chosen to receive financial contributions:Return To Namla Karpo - $6,000Climbers John Harlin III, of Hood River, OR., and Mark Jenkins, Laramie, WY., will attempt first ascents of Namla Karpo (6316 m) and Lumbogangzegabo (6542 m) near Lake Basong in eastern Tibet in October 2004. It will be the first peaks climbed in this region, and only the second and third climbed in all of East Tibet. The lower valleys are populated by traditional Tibetans who have seen perhaps a dozen Westerners in their lives. This will be Harlan and Jenkin’s second attempt on Namla Karpo since May 2002 when they were turned back by avalanche conditions at 17,200 feet. Source of Oxus River - $7,385In June 2004, the husband and wife team of John Mock and Kimberley O’Neil of Yosemite National Park, CA., will traverse the length of Afghanistan’s Wakhan Corridor to the source of the Oxus River near the western base of the Wakhjir Pass. The team will then cross the Dilisang Pass to Misgar in the upper Hunza Valley of Pakistan’s Northern Areas, a 300-mile trek on foot. Famously remote and starkly beautiful, the Wakhan is known in Persian as the “roof of the world.” Mock and O’Neil will use their connections and reputation as experts of the region to visit this renowned high mountain area that has been inaccessible to Westerners since the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. They will report on the condition of people living in Wakhan and the impact that years of war has had on their lives, the environment and endangered wildlife. To the best of their knowledge, no Westerner has visited the upper Wakhan and the source of the Oxus since H.W. Tilman in 1947. Southern Ocean Mt. Odyssey - $10,000An 8-man expedition, led by Dr. Alvin Hubbard of the University of Edinburgh, will include an attempt at the first kayak circumnavigation of South Georgia’s coastline. Hubbard’s team will be based on an Antarctic-proven 47-ft. steel sailing vessel, Gambo which, in the spirit of Bill Tilman, he cashed in his life’s savings to purchase in 1999 with Canadian high latitude sailor and glaciologist Dr. Dave Hildes. Tilman pioneered combined sailing-mountain exploration of the Antarctic islands in the 1960’s.A 5-month, 7,000-mi. trans-continental sailing and mountaineering expedition from Cape Horn to the Cape of Good Hope this November will include climbing expeditions to ultra-remote unclimbed mountains on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, and other isolated sub-Antarctic islands. The team hopes to complete the reportedly first unsupported ski traverse across the Spine Icecap of the Antarctic Peninsula, via a completely new route, appropriately named the “Downfall” (by Sir Wally Herbert in the 1950’s who failed to overcome it). They will then proceed onto the “Forbidden Plateau” to make the first ascent of the highest unclimbed mountain on the Peninsula, Mt. Walker (2100 m). The team is also focused on climbing the technically challenging Seven Sisters of the Fief (up to 1550 m) on Wiencke Island, and completing a traverse of a new route on Mt. Francais (2800 m) via its south-east and north-east ridges on Anvers Island. Unclimbed Tibet Mountaineering Expedition - $6000In October 2004, New Zealanders Sean Waters of Christchurch, and Jo Kippax of Aukland, will begin exploring the Lawa Valley in the Nyainqentanglha East ranges of south-east Tibet, a region that no climbers and very few trekkers have ever visited. The two-man alpine style expedition team plans to explore the surrounding non traveled glaciers and ascend the unclimbed peaks that encircle the valley, including Chuchepo (6550 m) and Birutaso (6691 m). They also plan to explore approaches through to the west side of the holy mountain Nenang (6870 m), and attempt the first-ever summit of this unclimbed peak. The application deadline for the Shipton/Tilman Grant is March 1st 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, utilize simple and light alpine style, and align with the small team expeditionary philosophy. Each year between four and six teams receive a grant ranging from $2000 to $10,000. For more information and applications call 1-800-431-GORE or go to goretex.com.Perhaps best known for its consumer products like GORE-TEX® fabric andELIXIR® guitar strings, W. L. Gore & Associates is a leading manufacturer of thousands of advanced technology products for the electronics, industrial, fabrics and medical markets. With sales in excess of $1 billion, the company is headquartered in Newark, Delaware, and employs approximately 6000 associates at 45 facilities throughout the world. Gore is one of only five companies included in every selection of Fortune magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" since the list began in 1984.
ELIXIR, GORE, GORE-TEX, and designs are trademarks of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc. ©2004 W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., 295 Blue Ball, Elkton, MD. 21921, 1-800-431-GORE, gore-tex.com.