Mountain Book Competition

2021 Category Finalists

2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition Category Finalists 


The 2022 Banff Mountain Book Competition is now open!

Enter Now

Competition closes June 30, 2022

2022 Rules and Regulations

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

As a key program of Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival, 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 8 awards selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers and editors.  The short list of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize is announced in October every year.  In 2021, the Grand Prize will be announced on Friday, November 5 at the Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.

Questions? Call the Banff Mountain Book Competition at: 403.762.6347

or email:

2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award Winners & Grand Prize

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. 

Mountain Fiction & Poetry

Includes fiction and poetry books with a focus on mountain topics. Creative narratives about climbing and mountaineering, exploration and mountain culture are acceptable. 


Non-fiction books dealing with physical activities in mountain environments; including hiking, climbing, mountaineering and "how-to" books. 

Mountain Image

Includes books with a primary focus on mountain images and with text in a complementary role. Images may include photographs or reproductions of artwork.   

Mountain Article (New for 2022)

Includes articles or short form essays under 7,000 words with mountain themes including, but not limited to: climbing, adventure, conservation and mountain literature. Articles may be fiction, historical or non-fiction narratives, and can be submitted by either an editor or author of the article. This category accepts articles that have been published in print or digitally.  

Environmental Literature (New for 2022)

Includes books that pertain to the environment, specifically related to flora, wildlife, conservation and climate change.  Scholastic research and academic papers/texts will not be accepted.  

Mountain Literature

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. 

Climbing Literature

All titles that are longlisted and have a theme of climbing are eligible for this award.

Grand Prize

Awarded to a book chosen from the winners in the above categories.

2021 Category Finalists

2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition - Category Finalists  

We are pleased to announce the long list of category finalists alphabetically by title in each award category.

2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award Winners

2021 Banff Mountain Book Competition Category Finalists

Mountain Literature
$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 - 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 - 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, September 2020)

Climbing Literature
$2000 - Sponsored by Mountain Life

Books whose primary focus is on climbing from the categories above are eligible for this award. Winner will be announced in mid-October.

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.

2021 Banff Mountain Competition category award winners will be announced in October and presentations will be part of our virtual festival October 30 – November 7.  The Grand Prize will be announced Friday November 5th.

Book Competition Sponsors:

 ACMG logoAlpine club of canada logoLogo for Canadian Mountain Network

Logo for Rocky Mountain Books. Logo for Whyte MuseumTown of Banff Logo