Book covers for all finalists


The 2019 Book Competition is now closed!

The 2019 Book Competition longlist will be announced in September.


2019 Book Competition Rules and Regulations.

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 $16,000 in cash is awarded annually with 8 awards selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers and editors.  The shortlist of category award winners eligible for the Grand Prize is announced in October every year.  In 2019, the Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday, October 31 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:

2018 Banff Mountain Book Competition Award Winners

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. 

NEW in 2019: Climbing

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.

2018 Category Finalists

2018 Banff Mountain Book Competition – Category Finalists

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

Adventure Travel
$2000 - Sponsored by Fjällräven

Atlas of a Lost World
Craig Childs, Pantheon Books (USA, 2018)

Lands of Lost Borders
Kate Harris, Penguin Random House Canada (Canada, 2018)

The Last Wild Men of Borneo
Carl Hoffman, HarperCollins (USA, 2018)

Mountain Fiction & Poetry
$2000 - Sponsored by Grimm's Fine Foods

As Above, So Below
Chris Kalman, Mascot Books (USA, 2018)

Deer at Twilight: Poems from the North Cascades
Paul Willis, Stephen F. Austin State University Press (USA, 2018)

The Eight Mountains
Paolo Cognetti, Penguin Random House - Vintage (UK, 2018)

Susan Froderberg, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (USA, 2018)

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

A Mountaineer's Life
Allen Steck, Patagonia Books (USA, 2017)

Edmund Hillary: A Biography
Michael Gill, Potton and Burton (NZ, 2017)

End of the Rope: Mountains, Marriage and Motherhood
Jan Redford, Penguin Random House Canada (Canada, 2018)

Honouring High Places: The Mountain Life of Junko Tabei
Junko Tabei and Helen Rolfe, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2017)

Tides: a climber's voyage
Nick Bullock, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2018)

Mountain Environment and Natural History
$2000 – Sponsored by Town of Banff

Bert Riggall's Greater Waterton: A Conservation Legacy
Beth Russell-Towe, Fifth House Publishers (Canada, 2018)

Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada's Last Great Trees
Harley Rustad, House of Anansi Press (Canada, 2018)

The Wolf: A True Story of Survival and Obsession in the West 
Nate Blakeslee, Penguin Random House Canada (Canada, 2017)

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

Claes Grundsten, Bokförlaget Max Ström (Sweden, 2017)

The Canadian Rockies: Rediscovered
Paul Zizka, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2017)

Searching for Tao Canyon
Pat Morrow, Jeremy Schmidt and Art Twomey, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2018) 

$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Higher Education
Andy Kirkpatrick (Ireland, 2018)

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California
Philip Kramer, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2018)

The Index Town Walls: A Guide to Washington's Finest Crag
Chris Kalman and Matthew Van Biene, Sharp End Publishing (USA, 2017)

Scotland's Winter Mountains with one axe
Garry Smith, Northern Edge Books (UK, 2018)

Squamish Rockclimbs
Kevin McLane and Andrew Boyd, High Col Press (Canada, 2018)

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

Alison Criscitiello, Alpinist Magazine (USA, August 2017)

The Force of the Soul
James Edward Mills, Alpinist Magazine (USA, November 2017)

Suicides and Pirates
Andrew Allport, The Climbing Zine (USA, March 2018)

The Other Annapurna
Ed Douglas, Rock and Ice Magazine (USA, July 2018)

Mountaineering History
$2000 - Sponsored by Rab

All titles that are shortlisted in the categories above that have a theme of mountaineering history 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 Thursday, November 1, 2018 at Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.