Eric Earle Shipton (1907-1977)
Keeping it simple
Dashing, dyslexic ‘shagger’ Shipton was pottering about on a colonial farm in Africa in 1929 when he met professional grump Bill Tilman». It should have been a disaster; instead it was a climbing partnership made in heaven. Thanks to their ensuing exploratory mountaineering activity, Shipton and Tilman are often credited with inventing the notion of the lightweight expedition; they were famous for minimum planning and living largely off rice and weevils. It is ironic, therefore, that outside of mountaineering circles, Shipton became famous chiefly for his role in leading old-fashioned siege-style military assaults on Everest. But Shipton’s heart always lay in low-key, low-impact mountaineering and he was never happier than when pushing new ground over unexplored passes and valley systems.