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Banff Mountain Book Competition category finalists announced

By Jess Elliott Posted on September 15, 2021
2021 Category Finalists

2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition Category Finalists 

BANFF, AB, September 15, 2021 – Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is pleased to announce the long list of category finalists for the Banff Mountain Book Competition.

The book competition is an internationally recognized literary competition that celebrates mountain literature in all its forms. Over $20,000 in cash is awarded annually with eight awards: mountain literature (non-fiction), mountain fiction and poetry, mountain environment and natural history, adventure travel, mountain image, guidebooks, mountaineering articles, and climbing literature, selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers and editors.

The prescreening committee read 153 book submissions from authors in 11 countries, which were narrowed down to a long list of 25 category finalists (across eight categories).

Category finalists are listed alphabetically by title in each award category.

Mountain Literature (non-fiction) – The Jon Whyte Award
$2000 - Sponsored by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

More than It Hurts: And Other Stories of (Mis)Adventure by Womxn Who Climb and Mountaineer
Wendy Bruere, Climb and Wine (Australia, 2020)
Structured Chaos
Victor Saunders, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2021)
To Live
Elisabeth Revol, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2020)
The Last Great Mountain: The First Ascent of Kangchenjunga
Mick Conefrey (UK, 2020)
Wild Rescue: A Paramedic's Extreme Adventures in Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton
Kevin Grange, Chicago Review Press (USA, 2021)

Mountain Fiction & Poetry
$2000 – Sponsored by the Town of Banff

A Feeling for Rock
Sarah-Jane Dobner, Dob Dob Dob (UK, 2021)
Dammed If You Don’t
Chris Kalman (USA, 2021)
Legends of the North Cascades
Jonathan Evison, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (USA, 2021)

Mountain Environment and Natural History
$2000 – Sponsored by Canadian Mountain Network

A Shape in the Dark: Living and Dying with Brown Bears
Bjorn Dihle, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2021)
Finding the Mother Tree
Suzanne Simard, Allen Lane Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada (Canada, 2021)
Wild Roses Are Worth It: Reimagining the Alberta Advantage
Kevin Van Tighem, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2021)

Adventure Travel
$2000 - Sponsored by World Expeditions

Park Bagger: Adventures in the Canadian National Parks
Marlis Butcher, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2021)
The Land Beyond: A Thousand Miles on Foot Through the Heart of the Middle East
Leon McCarron, Bloomsbury (UK, 2020)
Two Trees Make a Forest
Jessica J. Lee, Hamish Hamilton Canada, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada (Canada, 2020)

Mountain Image
$2000 – Sponsored by Banff Culture Collective

It Was Good: 10 Years in the High Sierra
Josh Endres (USA, 2021)
New Zealand Karst: A Voyage Across Limestone Landscapes into the Subterranean Realm of Caves
Max Wisshak, Speleo-Photo Editions (Germany, 2020)
The Great Sea Cliffs of Scotland
Guy Robertson, Scottish Mountaineering Press (UK, 2020)

$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Backpacking in Southwestern British Columbia
Taryn Eyton, Greystone Books (Canada, 2021)
Bikepacking in the Canadian Rockies
Ryan Correy, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2021)
Irish Peaks
Mountaineering Ireland (Ireland, 2020)

Lake Sport & Slate
Pete Sterling, FRCC Guides and Wired Guides (UK, 2020)

Mountaineering Article
$2000 – Sponsored by Rab

A Few Observations and Reflections on the Himalaya
Stephen Alter, The Himalayan Journal (India, September 2020)
Letters to a Young Climber
Doug Robinson, Alpinist Magazine (USA, June 2021)
Polish Syndrome
Jörgen Vikström, Mountain Life Magazine (Canada, September 2020)
Water is Life
Len Necefer, Alpinist Magazine (USA, November 2020)

Climbing Literature
$2000 – Sponsored by Mountain Life
All titles that are listed in the categories above that have a theme of climbing, are eligible for this award.

Grand Prize – the Phyllis and Don Munday Award
$4000 – Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada

The shortlist of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize will be announced in mid-October. The Grand Prize will be announced Friday November 5, 2021.

The 46th annual Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival will take place this year as a hybrid event from October 30 to November 7, 2021. The Festival will be a mix of select in-person live events complemented by a robust online film program. The Festival schedule for live in-person and online events will be available to view online by September 29 and tickets and passes will be on sale October 5 (tickets for live in-person events in Banff from $15-$25 CAD, early bird virtual passes $125 CAD available until October 15). For more information visit

If you’d like to provide media coverage of the 2021 Festival, please submit a media accreditation application form (submissions open until October 16). 

For more information or image requests, please contact:

Jess Elliott
Media and Communications
Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival
107 Tunnel Mountain Drive
Banff, Alberta
T1L 1H5        

About Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival: Created 46 years ago, Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its kind in the world. The nine-day Festival hosted by Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Banff, Canada, showcases the world’s best films, books and photographs on mountain subjects – climbing, culture, environment and natural history, exploration and adventure, wildlife, and sport – and attracts the biggest names in mountaineering, adventure filmmaking, and explorers as presenters and speakers. International juries will also award over $40,000 in prizes for films and books submitted to this year’s Festival competitions.

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival Partners: The 2021 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival Presenting Partners are: Rab, Banff and Lake Louise Tourism, and BUFF®. The Festival is also sponsored by Oboz Footwear, Yeti, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Doña Paula, World Expeditions, Kicking Horse Coffee, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola, and Lowe Alpine.

About Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity: Founded in 1933, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity is a learning organization built upon an extraordinary legacy of excellence in artistic and creative development. What started as a single course in drama has grown to become the global organization leading in arts, culture, and creativity across dozens of disciplines. From our home on Treaty 7 territory in the stunning Canadian Rocky Mountains, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity aims to inspire everyone who attends our campus – artists, leaders, and thinkers – to unleash their creative potential and realize their unique contribution to society through cross-disciplinary learning opportunities, world-class performances, and public outreach.