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Mountain Book Competition 2023 Winners

The 2024 Banff Mountain Book Competition is now closed!

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 $29,000 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 2024, the Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday, October 31 at the Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.

2024 Rules and Regulations

Questions? Call the Banff Mountain Book Competition at: 403.762.6347
or email:

2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award Winners & Grand Prize

2023 Category Finalists

2023 Category Finalists

2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition - Category Finalists  

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

2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition Category Finalists

Mountain Literature (non-fiction) – The Jon Whyte Award
$3000 - Sponsored by The Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies

A Line Above the Sky: On Mountains and Motherhood
Helen Mort, Ebury Press (UK, 2022)

One Man's Legacy: Tom Patey
Mike Dixon, Scottish Mountaineering Press (UK, 2022)

Royal Robbins: The American Climber
David Smart, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2023)

The Boy and The Mountain: A Father, His Son, and a Journey of Discovery
Torbjørn Ekelund, Greystone Books (Canada, 2023)

Unraveled: A Climber’s Journey Through Darkness and Back
Katie Brown, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2022)

Mountain Fiction & Poetry
$3000 – Sponsored by the Town of Banff

Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry
Elizabeth Bradfield, CMarie Fuhrman, Derek Sheffield, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2023)

Oldman's River
Sid Marty, NeWest Press (Canada, 2023)

On Heaven's Hill
Kim Heacox, West Margin Press (USA, 2023)

We Measure the Earth with Our Bodies
Tsering Yangzom Lama, McClelland & Stewart (Canada, 2022)

Environmental Literature
$3000 – Sponsored by Canadian Mountain Network

Drawing Botany Home: A Rooted Life
Lyn Baldwin, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2023)

Eight Bears: Mythic Past and Imperiled Future
Gloria Dickie, W. W. Norton & Company (USA, 2023)

Fire Weather: The Making of a Beast
John Vaillant, Knopf Canada (Canada, 2023)

The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth
Ben Rawlence, St. Martin’s Press (USA, 2022)

The Saviour Fish: Life and Death on Africa's Greatest Lake
Mark Weston, Earth Books (UK, 2022)

Adventure Travel
$3000 – Sponsored by Rocky Mountain Books

A Complex Coast - A Kayak Journey from Vancouver Island to Alaska
David Norwell, Heritage House (Canada, 2023)

Empire of Ice and Stone: The Disastrous and Heroic Voyage of the Karluk
Buddy Levy, St. Martin’s Press (USA, 2022)

Free to Go: Across the World on a Motorbike
Esa Aldegheri, JM Originals (UK, 2022)

Instead: Navigating the Adventures of a Childfree Life - A Memoir
Maria Coffey, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2023)

The Life Cycle: 8,000 Miles in the Andes by Bamboo Bike
Kate Rawles, Icon Books (UK, 2023)

Mountain Image
$3000 – Sponsored by Mountain Life

Lechuguilla Cave: Discoveries in a Hidden Splendor
Max Wisshak, Speleo-Photo Editions (Germany, 2022)

Mont Blanc Lines
Alex Buisse, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2022)

Polar Explorations: To the Ends of the Earth
Sebastian Copeland, Rizzoli New York (USA, 2023)

Tones of Grace: 100 Black and White Images from Planet Earth
Dave Brosha, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2022)

$3000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Alpine Select: Climbs & Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia
Kevin McLane, High Col Press (Canada, 2023)

Alpine Skills Summer (Third Edition)
UIAA, The Alpine Club of Canada- Rocky Mountain Section (Canada, 2022)

The Art of Shralpinism: Lessons from the Mountains
Jeremy Jones, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2022)

Cook It Wild: Sensational Prep-Ahead Meals for Camping, Cabins, and the Great Outdoors
Chris Nuttall-Smith, Penguin Canada (Canada, 2023)

Sierra Grand Traverse: An Epic Route Across the Range of Light
John and Monica Chapman, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2023)

Walking & Wayfinding in the Westfjords of Iceland
Henry Fletcher and Jay Simpson, Wayfinding Guides (UK, 2022)

Mountain Article
$3000 – Sponsored by Rab

The Free Soloist Who Fell to Earth
Michael Levy, Outside Magazine (USA, 2023)

Islands in the Sky
Lor Sabourin, Alpinist Magazine (USA, 2022)

Power on the Peaks
Shehla Anjum, Alpinist Magazine (USA, 2023)

Securing the Shadows
David Stevenson, The Mississippi Review (USA, 2023)

Climbing Literature
$3000 – Sponsored by MEC

Books whose primary focus is on climbing from the categories above are eligible for this award. Winner will be announced October 19, 2023.

Grand Prize 
$5000 – Sponsored by The Alpine Club of Canada

The shortlist of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize will be announced October 19. The Grand Prize will be announced during the festival on Thursday November 2, 2023.

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 

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 

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.

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