2007 Book Awards
The Banff Mountain Book Festival wishes to thank the writers, the photographers, their editors and publishers for entering this year’s competition. We received 113 entries from nine countries, and a dedicated committee had a very tough job to narrow the field down to 27 finalists.
The winners of the 14th annual Banff Mountain Book Festival were announced during the evening presentation on Thursday, November 1:
Grand Prize Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering’s Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters, by James M. Tabor. Phyllis and Don Munday Award, sponsored by the Alberta Sections of the Alpine Club of Canada: $2000 plus glass sculpture
Best Book — Mountain Literature Higher Than the Eagle Soars, by Stephen Venables. Jon Whyte Award for Mountain Literature, sponsored by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff: $1000 plus glass sculpture
Best Book — Mountain Image Yosemite in the Sixties, by Glen Denny. Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Books, Calgary, and the Banff Book and Art Den: $500 plus glass sculpture
Best Book — Mountain Exposition Deep Water, by Mike Robertson. Sponsored by Yamnuska Mountain Adventures: $500 plus glass sculpture
Best Book — Adventure Travel Wild Places Wild Hearts: Nomads of the Himalaya, by Allen Smutylo. Sponsored by Batstar Adventure Tours, Port Alberni, B.C.: $500 plus glass sculpture
Best Book — Mountaineering History The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain that Killed My Father, by John Harlin III. James Monroe Thorington Award for the Best Work of Mountaineering History, sponsored by UIAA: $500 plus glass sculpture
Special Jury Mention Dead Lucky: Life After Death On Mount Everest, by Lincoln Hall
Canadian Rockies Award Glen Boles: My Mountain Album, by Glen Boles. Sponsored by Deuter and selected by a local committee: Deuter Pack
Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering’s Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters
W.W. Norton & Company (USA, 2007)
This book begins as a classic tale of men against nature, gambling — and losing — on one of the world’s starkest and stormiest peaks. It culminates as the first full account of the tragedy that ended a golden age in mountaineering.
|Best Book — Mountain Literature|
Higher Than the Eagle Soars
Random House Group Limited UK (UK, 2007)
Stephen Venables has written an autobiography that explores how and, more importantly, why he became a mountaineer, and reveals a series of previously unrecorded adventures on several continents. At its climax, he revisits his dramatic, near-fatal success without oxygen on the Kangshung face of Everest, an event that confirmed him as one of the great British climbers of his generation.
|Best Book — Mountain Image|
Yosemite in the Sixties
Patagonia, Inc. — Lost Arrow Corporation (USA, 2007)
Glen Denny has compiled an extraordinary book of rare black-and-white photographs of Yosemite Valley climbers. Originally inspired by the work of Ansel Adams, Denny quickly mastered the effects of light on rock, but his special gift is for these portraits of climbers in their element, for revealing the climber’s face in the unselfconscious moment of obsession on a route, of pleasure in camp, of awe to be in such a place. He conveys the culture of Camp 4 in the sixties as well as the spirit of the big-wall climbs. Many of these photographs have never before been published.
|Best Book — Mountain Exposition|
Rockfax (UK, 2007)
Deep Water is a Rockfax climbing guide dedicated to the art of deep water soloing, covering venues in the UK, Spain, Portugal, Asia, and Australia, to name just some of the locations in the book. Deep water soloing, with its exciting combination of freedom above water and unencumbered movement, is now seen by climbers worldwide as a fresh new genre, and even as a lifestyle.
|Best Book — Adventure Travel|
Wild Places Wild Hearts: Nomads of the Himalaya
Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery (Canada, 2007)
The writing and artwork in Wild Places, Wild Hearts reveal the strange and rarefied world of the Tibetan Buddhist Himalayan nomads in eastern Ladakh. In six trips there since 2001, the writer/artist established a close bond with the 200-person Kharnak tribe. At 15,000 feet above sea level, in yak hair tents, the compassionate and extraordinary culture of the Changpas (nomads) survives in one of the most severe environments on earth.
|Best Book — Mountaineering History|
The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain that Killed My Father
Simon & Schuster (USA, 2007)
When John Harlin was nine years old, his family changed forever as his father plummeted to his death while climbing the infamous Eiger of Switzerland. In The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain That Killed My Father Harlin crafts a thrilling account of his own epic and emotionally demanding endeavor to crest the very mountain where his father met his end.
|Special Jury Mention|
Dead Lucky: Life After Death On Mount Everest
Random House Australia (Australia, 2007)
Dead Lucky is a personal account of an extraordinary survival story on Mount Everest. In May 2006, Australian mountaineer Lincoln Hall fulfilled a lifelong dream and reached the summit of Everest. But as he began the long descent with his Sherpa companions, altitude sickness overpowered him and he collapsed in the snow. After hours of trying to revive him, the Sherpas pronounced him dead and, as night fell, they were ordered by the expedition leader to descend to save themselves. The next day, a group of climbers, including Calgary’s Andrew Brash, found Hall alive on the crest of the summit ridge. “I imagine you are surprised to see me here”, Hall said.
|Canadian Rockies Award|
Glen Boles: My Mountain Album
Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2006)
Artist and photographer Glen Boles has climbed extensively all over North America and in Europe, but his first love is the Canadian Rockies, where he has summited over 450 peaks, often by difficult new routes. Many were first ascents. Over the years, Glen has become familiar with all facets of climbing, from expedition climbing to mountain rescue.