2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition Winners

2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition Winners


The 2020 Banff Mountain Book Competition is now closed.

For reference only: 2020 Banff Mountain Book Competition Rules and Regulations

ENTRY DEADLINE: Tuesday, June 30, 2020.

Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival celebrates mountain literature and film, 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 2020, the Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday, 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: banffmountainbooks@banffcentre.ca

2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition winners and Grand Prize winner

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 subordinate role. Images may include photographs or reproductions of artwork. 

Mountaineering Article

Articles or short form essays with mountaineering, climbing or mountain adventure themes under 7,000 words. Articles may be fiction, historical or non-fiction narratives and are invited to be submitted by publishers and editors of print publications, not by individual authors. Articles must have been printed within the last two years to qualify for submission. Scholastic, research or scientific articles will not be accepted. Please email us for more information on submission guidelines. 

View FAQ for more information (pdf) 

Mountain Environment & Natural History

Books that pertain to the mountain environment, specifically related to flora, fauna, geology and wildlife.  Scholastic, research or scientific articles 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.

2019 Category Finalists

2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition - Category Finalists  

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

Mountain Literature
$2000 - Sponsored by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

Hangdog Days
Jeff Smoot, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2019)

Inner Ranges
Geoff Powter, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2018)

No Easy Way
Mick Fowler, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2018)

Paul Preuss: Lord of the Abyss
David Smart, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2019)

Sharon Wood, Douglas & McIntyre (Canada, 2019)

Helen Mort, Claire Carter, Heather Dawe, Camilla Barnard, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2018)

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

Magnetic North: Sea Voyage to Svalbard
Jenna Butler, University of Alberta Press (Canada, 2018)

Rock as Gloss
Mark Goodwin, Longbarrow Press (UK, 2019)

The Equilibrium Line
David Wilson, The Poetry Business (UK, 2019)

Mountain Environment and Natural History
$2000 – Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Soap Company

Caribou Rainforest
David Moskowitz, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2018)

Down From the Mountain
Bryce Andrews, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (USA, 2019)

Kings of the Yukon
Adam Weymouth, Penguin Random House - Knopf Canada (Canada, 2018)

Adventure Travel
$2000 - Sponsored by Fjällräven

Barry Lopez, Random House Canada (Canada, 2019)

Lines on a Map
Frank Wolf, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2018)

Rough Magic
Lara Prior-Palmer, Catapult (USA, 2019)

The Animal One Thousand Miles Long
Leath Tonino, Trinity University Press (USA, 2018)

The Sun is a Compass
Caroline Van Hemert, Little, Brown Spark (USA, 2019)

Mountain Image
$2000 – Sponsored by Lake O'Hara Lodge

Alpenglow: The Finest Climbs on the 4000M Peaks of the Alps
Ben Tibbetts (UK, 2019)

Scenic Playground: The Story Behind New Zealand's Mountain Tourism
Peter Alsop, Te Papa Press (NZ, 2018)

The Grand Canyon: Beyond River and Rim
Pete McBride, Rizzoli International Publications (USA, 2018) 

The Rough-Stuff Fellowship Archive: Adventure with the World's Oldest off-Road Cycling Club
Mark Hudson, Isola Press (UK, 2019) 

$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Aoraki - Tai Poutini
Robert Frost, New Zealand Alpine Club (NZ, 2018)

Lake District Bouldering
Greg Chapman, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2019)

Safer Ski Touring in Norway
Espen Nordahl and Erlend Sande, Fri Flyt (Norway, 2018)

Training for the Uphill Athlete
Steve House, Scott Johnston and Kilian Jornet, Patagonia Books (USA, 2019)

Mountaineering Article
$2000 – Sponsored by the University of Alberta and the Alpine Club of Canada

Finding Protection in Bears Ears
Josh Ewing, The Climbing Zine (USA, August 2018)

The Last Days of Mark-André Leclerc
Matt Skenazy, Outside Magazine (USA, June 2018)

Thirteen Feet Under
Jayme Moye, Alpinist Magazine (USA, June 2019)

Magic Line
Lonnie Kauk, Alpinist Magazine (USA, May 2019)

Climbing Literature
$2000 - Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Books

All titles that are shortlisted 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 short list of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize will be announced in mid-October. The Grand Prize will be announced Thursday, October 31, 2019 at Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.

Book Competition Sponsors:

Logo for Whyte Museum ACMG logoAlpine club of canada logo

University of Alberta Logo Gem Trek Maps Logo Fjall Raven Logo

Logo for Rocky Mountain Soap Co Town of Banff LogoLogo for Rocky Mountain Books.