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Gore awards $30k for annual Shipton-Tilman grants

by Chris Hipgrave

Andrew McEwan at the 2005 U.S. Wildwater Team Trials

May 17, 2005 -- Elkton, MD

To help teams explore once off-limits portions of the planet, W.L. Gore and Associates is once again awarding $30,000 worth of grants to help finance far reaching expeditions. The annual Shipton-Tilman Grant program was established by Gore as a tribute to the spirit of adventure embodied by Eric Shipton (b. 1907) and Bill Tilman (b. 1897). The annual program provides funds to be divided among three to six expeditions that are most in harmony with Shipton and Tilman's philosophies. They believed in traveling in small, compact teams, unburdened by porters and excessive bulk. Gore said this spirit is alive in the 2005 award winners as they reach into newly opened sections of China, India and other regions. This year, five projects were chosen to receive financial contributions. One of the projects is:

Glacier to Gobi, awarded $6,000:
Once part of the Soviet Union, Kyrgyzstan is now open to western explorers and team members Middy Tilghman, Andrew McEwan and Simon Beardmore plan to enter the country and explore the entire length of the Inylchek Glacier and Sarydzhaz/Ku-mu-a-li-k'o Rivers and in doing so demonstrate a method for extending the reach of self-contained whitewater expeditions into isolated and remote areas. Using kayaks as gear sleds, they will be at the glacial head of the Inylchek River with enough provisions to descend the entire 80 miles to the Gobi desert. These gorges have never been run before and allow the team to demonstrate new methods for extending the range of self-contained whitewater expeditions in remote areas.

To learn more about the annual Shipton-Tilman Grant program and the other projects selected for this year, go to