Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2018 Finalists

By Rock and Ice | September 10th, 2018


It’s awards season! Hot on the heels of the recently released shortlist for the 2018 Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature comes the longlist of finalists for the 2018 Banff Mountain Competition.

A total of 27 works were nominated across eight unique categories that encompass nonfiction, fiction and poetry, and media from books to articles to photographs. In each category, one winner—to be announced in October—will take home a cash-prize of $2,000. Each of these winners will then be eligible for the Grand Prize of $4,000, which is sponsored by Alpine Club of Canada, and will be announced on November 1.

Among this year’s finalists is Ed Douglas, for his article “The Other Annapurna,” which appeared in Rock and Ice issue 251 (July 2018). In the piece, Douglas recounts Yannick Graziani and Stephane Benoist’s ascent of the South Face of Annapurna, via a route that Ueli Steck had established solo just weeks before, and for which the late Swiss alpinist earned a Piolet d’Or. Douglas investigates why the pair’s climb—which turned into an epic fight for their lives—was largely overshadowed and the ways in which it went on to shape their lives. Douglas also probes the controversy that resulted from Steck’s seemingly unverifiable solo ascent, and evinces the opinions of Graziani and Benoist: Do they believe Steck did what he claimed to have done, based on their own harrowing, lengthy ordeal on a route that he supposedly did in a single day?

The finalists were selected by volunteer readers. Winners will be chosen by a three-person jury comprised of Paula Wright, associate editor at Alpinist; Ian Welsted, a guide and a Piolet d’Or winner; and Larry Stanier, also a guide. The full list of category finalists follows below. Finalists within each category are listed alphabetically.


Category Finalists


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



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)


Also Read

Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature 2018 Shortlist

Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2017 Category Winners

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