Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2017 Category Winners

Here are the eight category winners, and a special mention given to Tommy Caldwell’s book.

By Tobey Schmidt | October 19th, 2017

Photo Courtesy of the Banff Mountain Book Competition.


The Banff Mountain Book Competition has announced its eight category winners for 2017, out of the 28 total books that made the long list of finalists. A $2,000 award will be given to each of the winners.

In addition to the category winners, a special mention was given to Tommy Caldwell’s The Push: A Climber’s Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits. Caldwell’s book is a story about his evolution as a climber including memories as a young boy with his mountain-guide father, the accident that caused him to lose a finger, divorce, his first free ascent of the Dawn Wall in 2015 and more.

The grand prize winner will be announced Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in Banff, Canada.

Winner of the Mountaineering History award The Climbers by Jim Herrington showcases a series of sixty portraits of influential climbers between the 1930s and 1970s, such as Royal Robbins, Reinhold Messner and Yvon Chouinard. Alex Honnold wrote the foreward for the book.

Other category winners include: Adventure Travel: The Names of the Stars by Pete Fromm; Mountain Fiction & Poetry: Rising Abruptly: Stories by Gisèle Villeneuve; Mountain Literature – Non-Fiction: Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka by Bernadette McDonald; Mountain Environment and Natural History: Tracking Gobi Grizzlies by Douglas Chadwick; Mountain Image: Racconto D’Inverno – Eine Wintererzaehlung by Albert Ceolan; Guidebook: Chasing the Ephemeral: 50 Routes for a Successful Scottish Winter by Simon Richardson; Mountaineering Article: Threshold Shift by Nick Bullock.


2017 Banff Mountain Book Competition

From the Banff Centre website – Category winners highlighted


Adventure Travel

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

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

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

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

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)



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

Gravity John Long, Rock and Ice Magazine (USA, November 2016)

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

Poumaka Angie Payne, Sidetracked (UK, October 2016)

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



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Brittany Goris Ticks "East Coast Fist Bump" (5.14a), Joins Small Group of Women to Send 5.14 Trad

On Thursday, January 7, Brittany Goris scored the first female ascent of East Coast Fist Bump (5.14a). Rock and  Ice spoke with her to get the lowdown.

read more

K2 Climbed in Winter for the First Time!

Around 5:00 pm on Saturday, January 16, 2021, a team of 10 Sherpas and Nepalis stood on the summit of the world’s second-highest mountain, K2, on the border of Pakistan and China. It was the last of the world’s 14 8,000 meter peaks still unclimbed in winter.

read more

Alan Arnette: Winter K2 Update | Summit Push in a Few Hours!

The historic first winter summit of K2 may happen on Saturday, January 16, 2021, by an all Nepali team.

read more