Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival


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Banff Mountain
Book Competition

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival celebrates mountain literature and film, bringing together filmmakers, writers, publishers, editors, photographers, athletes, adventurers, and — of course — readers. Featuring films screenings, guest speakers, readings, seminars, book signings and launches, the Festival offers a wide spectrum of experiences for participants and the film and book-loving audience.

What is the Banff Mountain Book Competition?

The Banff Mountain Book Competition is an internationally recognized literary competition that celebrates its 21th year in 2014. The shortlist of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize will be announced in October 2014. The Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday, November 6, 2014 at The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.

2014 Banff Mountain Book Competition Categories

Prizes will be awarded in each of the following categories:

(Please note: books written primarily for children and young adults are not suitable for this competition.)

Adventure Travel — non-fiction books with a theme of travel to, and exploration of, remote and/or rugged landscapes and their cultures. Eligible for the Adventure Travel Award (English editions only)

Mountain Fiction and Poetry — includes fiction and poetry books with a focus on mountain topics. Creative narratives about climbing and mountaineering, exploration and mountain culture are acceptable. Eligible for the Mountain Fiction & Poetry Award (English editions only)

Mountain Guidebooks — non-fiction books dealing with physical activities in mountain environments; including hiking, climbing, mountaineering and "how-to" books. Eligible for the Mountain Guidebook Award (English editions only)

Mountain Image — includes books with a primary focus on mountain images and with text in a subordinate role. Images may include photographs or reproductions of artwork. Eligible for the Mountain Image Award (Publications in all languages are acceptable)

Mountain and Wilderness Literature, Non-Fiction — includes non-fiction books, such as memoirs, biographies and narratives on mountaineering, climbing history, mountain exploration, mountain culture, and human experiences of any kind in the mountain wilderness. Eligible for the Mountain & Wilderness Literature, The Jon Whyte Award (English editions only)

A Grand Prize will be awarded to a book chosen from amongst the winners in the above categories.

The 2014 Book Competition is closed
(Entry Deadline was June 30, 2014)

2013 Banff Mountain Book Competition Winners

On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey through the Land of the NomadsThe Banff Mountain Book Festival thanks the writers, the photographers, their editors, and publishers for entering this year's competition.

The 2013 Banff Mountain Book Competition jury - Bruce Kirkby (Canada), Anik See (NED), and Steve Swenson (USA) - chose the award winners.

View 2013 Winners

Past Winners of the
Banff Mountain Book Festival

2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 | 1996 | 1995 |


The Banff Centre is pleased to announce the shortlist of category winners in the 2013 Banff Mountain Book Competition. The shortlist of category award winners are eligible for the Grand Prize which will be announced on the evening of Thursday, October 31, 2013 at The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. In addition to the Grand Prize announcement, Book Awards will be presented to category winners this evening as well.

Adventure Travel


On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads
Tim Cope, Bloomsbury (USA, 2013)


Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins
Gavin Francis, Chatto & Windus (UK, 2012)

The Memory of Water
Allen Smutylo, Wilfrid Laurier University Press (Canada, 2013)

The Voyage of the Cormorant
Christian Beamish, Patagonia Books (USA, 2012)

Mountain Fiction and Poetry


Nothing Gold Can Stay
Ron Rash, HarperCollins Publishers (USA, 2013)


Fire Watcher
Vivian Demuth, Guernica Editions (Canada, 2013)

Short Peaks
Jerry Auld, Imaginary Mountain Surveyors (Canada, 2013)

Mountain & Wilderness Literature – Non-Fiction


Everest -The First Ascent: How a Champion of Science Helped to Conquer the Mountain
Harriet Tuckey, Lyons Press (USA, 2013)


Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration
David Roberts, W.W. Norton & Company (USA, 2013)

Echoes: One Climber’s Hard Road to Freedom
Nick Bullock, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2012)

Everest: High Expectations
Pat Morrow and Sharon Wood, Bungalo Books (Canada, 2012)

Shipton & Tilman: The Great Decade of Himalayan Exploration
Jim Perrin, Hutchinson (UK, 2013)

Tibet Wild: A Naturalist’s Journeys on the Roof of the World
George Schaller, Island Press (USA, 2012)

Mountain Image


Pamir: Forgotten on the Roof of the World
Matthieu and Mariele Paley, Editions de la Martinière (France, 2012)


Beyond the Element
Stephan Siegrist, Delius Klasing Verlag GmbH (Germany, 2013)

The Conquest of Everest
George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones, Thames & Hudson (UK, 2013)



The Conquest of Everest
George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones, Thames & Hudson (UK, 2013)



Patagonia Vertical
Rolando Garibotti and Dörte Pietron, Sidarta (Slovenia, 2012)


Morocco Rock
Emma Alsford and Paul Donnithorne, Crack Addicts Publishers (UK, 2012)

Rogers Pass Alpine Guide Centennial Edition - The Heart of the Selkirk Range
David Jones, High Col Press (Canada, 2012)

Ski Touring in Troms
Espen Nordahl, Fri Flyt AS (Norway, 2013)

Special Jury Mention

Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration
David Roberts, W.W. Norton & Company (USA, 2013)


2013 Book Jury


Katie IvesBruce is a writer, photographer, traveler and adventurer. As a writer he has contributed work to The Globe and Mail, Explore Magazine, and Canadian Geographic. He is the author of two bestselling books, Sand Dance and Dolphin's Tooth. His journeys have taken him across Arabia by camel, down the Blue Nile on raft, and across Iceland by foot.


Baiba MorrowAnik has travelled the world by bicycle for more than 25 years, having logged more than a million kilometres from Patagonia to the Caucasus mountains. Her writing, both fiction and non‐fiction has appeared in The Walrus, Brick, The National Post, Toronto Life and, as a contributing editor, in Outpost Magazine. She is the author of three books all of which reflect her love of remote cultures, landscape and the possibility of place.


Chris DavenportSteve has a 45‐year climbing career and nearly 20 expeditions to Asia under his belt ‐ and he has made ascents of the North Ridge of K2 and the North Ridge of Everest solo ‐ both without supplementary oxygen. In 2012 he made the first ascent of Sasser Kangri II (7518 metres) and was awarded the prestigious Piolet d'Or. Swenson is a past president of the American Alpine Club and as a writer has contributed to the newly released Rock, Paper, Fire anthology.

Book Awards Sponsors


Banff Mountain Book Competition Awards

(Awards will be presented during the 2014 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in October/November)

Grand Prize – Phyllis and Don Munday Award

Adventure Travel Award

Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award

Mountain Guidebook Award

Mountain Image Award

Mountain and Wilderness Literature – The Jon Whyte Award

Mountaineering History – James Monroe Thorington Award