2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition Awards

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2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition category award winners

2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition category award winners

Grand Prize

$4000 - Sponsored by Alpine Club of Canada

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

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

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

Guidebook

$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 

Mountaineering Article

$2000 - Sponsored by the University of Alberta and the Alpine Club of Canada

Thirteen Feet Under

Jayme Moye, Alpinist Magazine (USA, June 2019)

"Part analysis, part thriller, Jayme Moye’s account of a remarkable avalanche rescue is completely immersive. This is an amazing story, but it’s also an uncanny and sombre reflection on the line between life and death, an insight into the imagination of those who risk their lives in the mountains. Moye’s writing is deft, compassionate and extremely compelling."

-    Helen Mort, 2019 Book Competition Jury

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

Special Jury Mention

Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race

Lara Prior-Palmer, Catapult (USA, 2019)

"A dazzlingly original debut written in a style as exhilarating and unpredictable as the journey it describes - a thousand miles across Mongolian grassland riding wild ponies. Lara Prior-Palmer’s account of becoming the first female winner of the Mongol Derby is humble, hilarious and passionate. Hers is an exciting new voice in adventure travel."

-    Helen Mort, 2019 Book Competition jury 

Special Jury Mention

Caribou Rainforest: From Heartbreak to Hope

David Moskowitz, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2018)

"A visual love letter to the caribou and their habitat, this book combines text with arresting images to powerful effect, showing how interdependent life is. It is an extraordinary achievement, the result of a lifetime's commitment to exploring mountain environments and protecting their future."

-     Helen Mort, 2019 Book Competition jury