2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Awards

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Grand Prize - the Phyllis and Don Munday Award

$4000 - Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada

Ice Diaries: An Antarctic Memoir

Jean McNeil, ECW Press (CAN, 2016)

"This thought-provoking, timely and unusual book blends adventure travel writing and creative non-fiction in a book that's thoughtful and genuine.  It's philosophical out of necessity, because the realities of life, death, and the staggering natural world of Antarctica force you to confront big questions.  Putting those thoughts into memorable prose that invites re-reading is another matter, and Jean McNeil succeeds brilliantly.  She chronicles discoveries in the dramatic wilderness of ice, ocean, and the huge southern continent, but also in the more intimate wilderness of human relationships within a tiny and confined community of Antarctic travelers.  Through it all, McNeil navigates with a fresh eye and an inquiring voice."

Harry Vandervlist, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

Ice Diaries by Jean McNeil

Ice Diaries by Jean McNeil

Adventure Travel

$2000 - Sponsored by Banff Gondola

Ice Diaries: An Antarctic Memoir

Jean McNeil, ECW Press (CAN, 2016)

"The author's introspective voice conveys so much about the world she journeys through, and the people she travels with.  The human aspects of travel to Antarctica have rarely been so well explored.  McNeil's unusual strategy of including flashbacks to her own adolescence gives readers a rare sense of who we're travelling with, and how far she has come to get here.  This is a book I will suggest to people who ask what the label creative nonfiction really means."

Harry Vandervlist, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury 

Ice Diaries by Jean McNeil

Ice Diaries by Jean McNeil

Mountain Fiction & Poetry

$2000 - Sponsored by Fjällräven

Martin Marten: A Novel

Brian Doyle, Thomas Dunne Books & St. Martin's Press (USA, 2015)

"You can't help being affected by the generous, observant, warm-hearted way this book captures the world of adolescence and life on a forested Oregon mountainside.  The novel makes you care above all about relationships: between the forest and its animal dwellers, between a father and a son, a brother and a sister, between newcomers and long-time residents of this small mountain town.  Impeccably crafted, this is a book to share with younger readers, but one that will also remain memorable for anyone."

Harry Vandervlist, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

Martin Marten by Brian Doyle

Martin Marten by Brian Doyle

Mountain & Wilderness Literature - Non Fiction - The Jon Whyte Award

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

The Bond

Simon McCartney, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2016).  North American distribution by Mountaineers Books

"Recalled and written thirty years after the fact, The Bond is an intoxicating read told with an immediacy that transports one directly onto the face of the mountain.  The word epic is the most overused word in the climbers lexicon but this is an epic tale in the true sense of the word."

Paul Pritchard, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

The Bond by Simon McCartney

The Bond by Simon McCartney

Mountain Image

$2000 - Sponsored by Lake O'Hara Lodge

Yosemite in the Fifties

Dean Fidelman, Patagonia Books (USA, 2015)

"This is an incredible assemblage of photography from a rather epic period of climbing history in Yosemite.  Couple this with great writing about the various personalities on both the big walls and on the ground, to the innovations in climbing equipment and the human drive behind many of the revolutionary ascents from this time, I found this book difficult to put down.  There is something in this book for everyone - from the avid climber, to the historian, to the armchair mountaineer."

Hilaree O'Neill, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

Yosemite in the Fifties by Dean Fidelman

Yosemite in the Fifties by Dean Fidelman

Guidebook

$2000 - Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

1001 Climbing Tips

Andy Kirkpatrick, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2016)

"1001 Climbing Tips is a refreshing take on the climbing guide genre.  Irreverent, it has a laugh on virtually every page, but also some extremely useful advice and some points of genuine interest.  The panel are grateful for tip 974 - 'Never drink your own urine.' "

Paul Pritchard, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick

1001 Climbing Tips by Andy Kirkpatrick

Mountaineering Article

$2000 - Sponsored by the Canadian Mountain Studies Initiative, University of Alberta and the Alpine Club of Canada

Searching for Superman

Jeff Long, Ascent (USA, May 2016)

"So well written, this super slice of übermensch, Fritz Stammberger's life, read like magical realism.  The juxtaposing of the bombing of his childhood home in Munich and the ill fated 1974 Makalu expedition is exceptional."

Paul Pritchard, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

Searching for Superman by Jeff Long

Fritz
Stammberger, Jeff Long, and Matija Malefic on Makalu in 1974.  © Jeff Long

Mountaineering History

$2000 - Sponsored by Sherpa Adventure Gear

Rock Queen

Catherine Destivelle, Hayloft Publishing (UK, 2015)

"Finally translated from Destivelle's 2012 book 'Ascensions', this is an intimate recounting of her most significant ascents; notably the solo of the Eigers North Face and a new route solo on the southwest pillar of the Dru.  Catherine tells of these incredible feats in her own words, often humble, obviously driven and always unique."

Hilaree O'Neill, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

Rock Queen by Catherine Destivelle

Rock Queen by Catherine Destivelle

Special Jury Mention

Across the Arctic Ocean: Original Photographs from the Last Great Polar Journey

Sir Wally Herbert & Huw Lewis-Jones, Thames & Hudson (USA, 2015)

"Through both written and visual mediums, this book recounts the incredible journey of Sir Wally Herbert and his team on an expedition that, to this day, has never been repeated.  It's a harrowing adventure of life in the harshest of environments.  The team's efforts in exploration, as well as scientific study, jumps off the pages as they confront polar bears, track down the North Pole, and navigate the ever-changing pack ice over a period of 16 months."

Hilaree O'Neill, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

Across the Arctic Ocean by Sir Wall Herbert & Huw Lewis-Jones

Across the Arctic Ocean by Sir Wall Herbert & Huw Lewis-Jones

Special Jury Mention

The Bold and Cold: A History of 25 Classic Climbs in the Canadian Rockies

Brandon Pullan, Rocky Mountain Books Ltd. (CAN, 2016)

"Opening up The Bold and Cold is like stepping into a time machine that transports you through a history of climbing in the Canadian Rockies.  The first ascents, the hardest ascents, the most hair-raising stories - they're all here, beautifully presented and often told in the words of the climbers, as originally recounted in the Canadian Alpine Journal and elsewhere.  The carefully chosen accompanying photographs tell stories of their own alongside the text.  Brandon Pullan has framed it all beautifully and his voice resonates with appreciation and admiration for the climbers, the mountains, and all the stories collected here."

Harry Vandervlist, 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition Jury

The Bold and Cold by Brandon Pullan

The Bold and Cold by Brandon Pullan