Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear by Bryce Andrews takes the Grand Prize in the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition

BANFF, AB, October 31, 2019 – Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is pleased to announce Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear by Bryce Andrews as Grand Prize winner of the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition.

Award-winning writer, Montana rancher, and conservationist Bryce Andrews tells the story of one grizzly bear. Millie is a typical mother: strong, cunning, and protective of her cubs. But raising those cubs becomes ever harder as the climate warms and people crowd the valleys. Down from the Mountain is a singular drama evoking a large one: an entangled, bloody collision between two species in the modern West.

The Grand Prize winner and eight category award winners were selected by our international jury from a longlist of 29 finalists (chosen from a total of 132 book submissions, with authors from across 9 countries)  offering the best writing in mountain literature, mountain fiction and poetry, mountain environment and natural history, adventure travel, mountain image, guidebooks, mountaineering articles, and climbing literature.

"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

The 2019 Book Competition jury members are Paul McSorley (CAN, climber and writer of Alpine Justice Blog), Helen Mort (UK, writer, editor, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature), and Nandini Purandare (IND, writer, editor of the Himalayan Journal, and an avid trekker in the Himalayas).

Bryce Andrews receives $4000 in prize money from the Banff Mountain Book Competition for The Phyllis and Don Munday Award Grand Prize.

The 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award winners are:

Grand Prize – The Phyllis and Don Munday Award
$4000 – Sponsored by the Alpine Club of Canada
Down from the Mountain: The Life and Death of a Grizzly Bear
Bryce Andrews, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA, 2019)

Category Award Winners:

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)

Mountain Fiction and Poetry
$2000 – Sponsored by the Town of Banff
The Equilibrium Line
David Wilson, The Poetry Business (UK, 2019)

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)

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)

Mountain Image
$2000 – Sponsored by Lake O’Hara Lodge
The Grand Canyon: Between River and Rim
Pete McBride, Rizzoli International Publications (USA, 2018)

$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides
Aoraki – Tai Poutini: A Guide for Mountaineers
Robert Frost, New Zealand Alpine Club (NZ, 2018)

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)

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)

Special Jury Mentions
Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race
Lara Prior-Palmer, Catapult (USA, 2019)

Caribou Rainforest: From Heartbreak to Hope
David Moskowitz, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2018)

For more information on the 2019 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival and to view the schedule, please visit

For more information and image requests, please contact:          

Jess Green
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 44 years ago, Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its kind in the world. The nine-day Festival at 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. An international jury 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 2019 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival Presenting Partners are: Rab and Banff and Lake Louise Tourism. The Festival is also sponsored by Deuter, Clif Bar & Company, Mountain House, Oboz Footwear, Yeti, BUFF®, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Kathmandu, Smartwool, NOLS, World Expeditions, Kicking Horse Coffee, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola, and MEC.

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.