Yeah, Doug, I agree with you, but when you read his books, like the collection Dean mentions, you don't get the feeling that he was doing it for any public acclaim. By all accounts, he was difficult to get on with, didn't suffer fools gladly, and preferred solitude to human company.
His climbing companion Eric Shipton, seemed rather more attuned to public life, and was I fancy rather a shrewd manipulator of the social system.
There is a photo of him together with his lovely wife in one of his (Shipton's) books (which I don't now have access to), I presume of when he served as HM Consul at Kashgar 1940-42, entitled something like "Consul and consolation" (NOT the above photo), which always struck me as being rather clever (Kashgar being very remote at that time, and perhaps caught in the aftermath of the machinations of the Great Game).
In any event, Shipton and more particularly Tilman were clearly early and expert exponents of ultralight philosophy, and should be recognized as such.