The 2018 Book Competition is now closed.

Deadline to enter was June 29, 2018. 

The 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 The 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 2018, the Grand Prize will be announced on Thursday, November 1 at The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.

Questions? Call the Banff Mountain Book Competition at: 403.762.6347

or email:

2018 Book Competition Rules & Regulations - for reference only.



2017 Category Finalists

2017 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

The Man Who Climbs Trees
James Aldred, Ebury Press, Penguin Random House (UK, 2017)

The Names of the Stars
Pete Fromm, St. Martin's Press (USA, 2016)

Rowing the Northwest Passage
Kevin Vallely, Greystone Books (CAN, 2017)

Stories from the Dirt: Indiscretions of an Adventure Junkie
John Long, Globe Pequot (USA, 2017)

Walking the Americas
Levison Wood, Hodder & Stoughton (UK, 2017)

Mountain Fiction & Poetry

$2000 – Sponsored by Deuter

Ice Mountain: An Elegy
Dave Bonta, Phoenicia Publishing (CAN, 2017)

In Case I Go
Angie Abdou, Arsenal Pulp Press (CAN, 2017)

Rising Abruptly: Stories
Gisèle Villeneuve, University of Alberta Press (CAN, 2016)

Mountain Literature – Non-Fiction

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

Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka
Bernadette McDonald, Rocky Mountain Books (CAN, 2017)

Karakorum: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict
Steve Swenson, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2017)

My Old Man and the Mountain: A Memoir
Leif Whittaker, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2017)

On Trails: An Exploration
Robert Moor,Simon & Schuster (USA, 2016)

The Push: A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits
Tommy Caldwell, Viking Books (USA, 2017)

Mountain Environment and Natural History

$2000 – Sponsored by Backroad Mapbooks

Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens
Steve Olson, W.W. Norton & Company (USA, 2016)

The Peace in Peril: The Real Cost of the Site C Dam
Christopher Pollon, Harbour Publishing (CAN, 2016)

Tracking Gobi Grizzlies
Douglas Chadwick, Patagonia Books (USA, 2016)

Mountain Image

$2000 – Sponsored by Lake O'Hara Lodge

The Climbers
Jim Herrington, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2017)

The Edge of the World
The Editors of Outside Magazine, Globe Pequot (USA, 2017)

Racconto D'Inverno - Eine Wintererzaehlung
Albert Ceolan (ITA, 2016)


$2000 – Sponsored by the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides

Chasing the Ephemeral: 50 Routes for a Successful Scottish Winter
Simon Richardson, Mica Publishing (UK, 2016)

Haines Pass Backcountry Skiing
Claude Vallier, Yukon Backcountry Skiing (CAN, 2017)

Skiing the Balkans
Dimitar Dimitrov, XCoPublishing OOD (BGR, 2017)

Ski Touring and Snowshoeing in the Dolomites
James Rushforth, Cicerone Press (UK, 2017)

Squamish Hiking
Marc Bourdon, Quickdraw Publications (CAN, 2017)

Mountaineering Article

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

John Long, Rock & Ice Magazine (USA, November 2016)

The Pleasure and Pain of the Climbing Life
Kelly Cordes, The New York Times (USA, November 2016)

Angie Payne, Sidetracked (UK, October 2016)

Threshold Shift
Nick Bullock, Alpinist (USA, February  2017)

Mountaineering History

$2000 – Sponsored by Sherpa Adventure Gear

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 2, 2017 at The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and category awards will be presented to winning authors.


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. 

Mountaineering History

All titles that are longlisted and have a theme of mountaineering history are eligible for this award

Grand Prize

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