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2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition category finalists

By Jess Elliott Posted on septembre 28, 2023
A selection of the 2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition category finalists

A selection of the 2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition category finalists 

The 48th Annual Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival is pleased to announce the 2023 Banff Mountain Book Competition category finalists.

The book competition is an internationally recognized literary competition that celebrates mountain literature in all its forms. $29,000 in cash is awarded annually with eight awards: mountain literature (non-fiction), mountain fiction and poetry, environmental literature, adventure travel, mountain image, guidebooks, mountain article, climbing literature, plus the grand prize selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers, and editors. The prescreening committee read 215 book submissions from authors in eight countries, which were narrowed down to a longlist of 33 category finalists (across eight categories).
Category finalists are listed alphabetically by title in each award category.

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 Chaundy-Smart, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2023) 

The Boy and The Mountain 
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, 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 
Alexandre 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 and 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) 

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 Random House 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 (USA, 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.

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.

Don't miss our popular daytime book events, featuring authors, photographers, and explorers from around the world, including David Smart (CAN), Graham Zimmerman (USA)Helen Mort (UK)Jeff Smoot (USA), Alex Buisse (FRA)Sid Marty (CAN)Kate Rawles (UK), and Maria Coffey (CAN).
The nine-day Festival will be held from October 28 through to November 5 and will feature over 80 epic films (including World and North American premieres), live in-person events with adventurers, authors, photographers, and filmmakers sharing their inspiring stories, an expanded Festival Marketplace (including the new Rab stage hosting free presentations), happy hours with music, campfire conversations with special guests, downtown events and exhibitions, and much more!  

The Festival schedule is available to view online and tickets are on sale (tickets from $18 - $38, and $75 for all-day films). Tickets can be purchased online or at Banff Centre Box Office. Film finalists will be announced October 4. 

Returning in 2023 – online films (available in CAN/USA only) on sale October 5.

Please visit for more information.

If you’d like to provide media coverage of the 2023 Festival, please submit a media accreditation application form.

For more information or image requests, please contact:

Jess Elliott
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 48 years ago, Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival has become the premier event of its kind in the world. The nine-day Festival hosted by 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 2023 Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival Presenting Partners are: Banff and Lake Louise Tourism and Rab. The Festival is also sponsored by BUFF®, Yeti, Oboz Footwear, Lowe Alpine, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Summer Gondola, Kicking Horse Coffee, World Expeditions, Happy Yak, Doña Paula, and KORE Outdoors.

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.