Winners of the Banff Mountain Fest Book Awards 2019

The grand prize will be announced at the Banff Mountain Festival in October

October 11th, 2019 by | Posted in Events, Events, News |

The 2019 Banff Mountain Book Festival awards have been announced. The shortlist of category award winners are eligible for the grand prize, which will be announced on Thurs. Oct. 31 at Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival where category awards will also be presented to winning authors.

Climbing Literature

$2000 – Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Books

Inner Ranges: An Anthology of Mountain Thoughts and Mountain People

Geoff Powter, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2018)

“The intense but complex relationship between mountains and those who climb them comes alive in this collection of essays. Geoff Powter draws vivid sketches of climbers and writes haunting stories, along with a good deal of self-examination. They are indeed a study of the psyche of climbers in different settings but pitted alongside mountains – within and without.” – Nandini Purandare, 2019 Book Competition Jury

Adventure Travel

$2000 – Sponsored by Fjällräven

The Sun is a Compass:  A 4,000-Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds

Caroline Van Hemert, Little, Brown Spark (USA, 2019)

“Van Hemert’s six month, 4000 mile, odyssey along the Pacific Coastal Ranges and into the Alaskan wilderness, is the very definition of rugged.  This book is a candid insight into the struggles of harmonizing her work as a scientist with human partnership, and ultimately finding home in the wilderness. Fantastic!” – Paul McSorley, 2019 Book Competition Jury

Mountain Fiction & Poetry

$2000 – Sponsored by the Town of Banff

The Equilibrium Line

David Wilson, The Poetry Business (UK, 2019)

“David Wilson’s lyric poems are beautifully-crafted, heartfelt and extremely relatable. They chart a lifetime’s fascination with rock climbing and mountaineering and pay homage to presiding spirits in the climbing world. Each poem is like a first climb – full of fear and joy and gratitude.” – Helen Mort, 2019 Book Competition Jury

Mountain Literature (Non Fiction) The Jon Whyte Award

$2000 – Sponsored by The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Waymaking: An Anthology of Women’s Adventure Writing, Poetry and Art

Helen Mort, Claire Carter, Heather Dawe and Camilla Barnard, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2018)

“This superb collection of women’s short stories, poems and illustrations is full of gems from end to end. Waymaking is an immersion into the tears, giggles, sighs and love that have gone into producing this precious yet ground-breaking work.” – Paul McSorley, 2019 Book Competition Jury (Festival Director’s Note:  Book Jury member Helen Mort abstained from the discussion and selection of the Mountain Literature Award as she is in a conflict of interest position)

Mountain Environment and Natural History

$2000 – Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear

Bryce Andrews, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA, 2019)

“It’s hard to believe that a book on conservation can be a chilling page turner but that’s what Down from the Mountain is. It is a cry to save the grizzly, to save the forest that is home to the grizzly, to reverse the changing climate that is destroying its habitat and finally a cry against the enormous cruelty that we are capable of. This book will haunt you.” – Nandini Purandare, 2019 Book Competition Jury


$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Aoraki – Tai Poutini:  A Guide for Mountaineers

Robert Frost, New Zealand Alpine Club (NZ, 2018)

“Rob’s Guide is thorough, with a comprehensive history of the regions characters and pioneers.  The routes are described clearly and well illustrated, but the adventure isn’t spoiled by too much blow by blow beta. I look forward to pulling this book out of my rucksack when I finally get the chance to climb in this world class arena.” – Paul McSorley, 2019 Book Competition Jury

Mountain Image

$2000 – Sponsored by Lake O’Hara Lodge

The Grand Canyon: Between River and Rim

Pete McBride, Rizzoli International Publications (USA, 2018)

“The scale and quality of the images do justice to the stunning landscape. The devil is in the detail – McBride finds it through his lens as well as his pen. He captures the textures of the canyon; he looks for the signs of changing seasons, he grows as he walks through its passages.” – Nandini Purandare, 2019 Book Competition Jury