Banff Mountain Book Competition Finalists

The 2012 Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival kicks off this Saturday in Banff, Alberta. While most of the attention goes to the films, the book competition is what makes this festival the most interesting annual mountain event for me.

I spoke with the team from the Banff Centre earlier this year about the book competition to see if I could get involved even though I live far away in Peaklessburg. It got a little complicated because I inquired mid-way in the evaluation process so we’ll try again for next year. While I was looking into helping out, I had the opportunity to a glance at the lengthy list of books (35 books at that time) for the Mountain and Wilderness Literature category (CA$1,000 prize). Through a process of using about 35 pre-readers reading about six books each, the list was narrowed down to just five finalists.

The last step was for judges — Bruce Kirkby the Globe and Mail‘s travel writer and photographer, Jim Perrin the climber and prolific writer, and Barbara Brownell of National Geographic — to decide a winner in each of the four categories and one winner overall. Their decisions will be announced around the book awards and reception a week from today, Thursday, November 1st at 5:00 Mountain Time. Last year the news came out before the reception so I’ll be watching for any announcements and let you know on Twitter and Facebook as soon as I hear something.

For those of you who are as bookish as I am, I took the list of finalists and linked  what I thought was the most insightful webpage about that work or the author. So go ahead and click on the title you like, you just might find a Banff winner or a book you want to read regardless. Enjoy…!


Canoeing the Congo
Phil Harwood, Troubador Publishing (UK, 2012)

The Carbon Cycle: Crossing the Great Divide
Kate Rawles, Two Ravens Press (UK, 2012)

Crazy River: Exploration and Folly in East Africa
Richard Grant, Free Press/Simon & Schuster (USA, 2011)

Fearless: One Woman, One Kayak, One Continent
Joe Glickman, Falcon Guides/Globe Pequot Press (USA, 2012)

The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot
Robert MacFarlane, Hamish Hamilton/Penguin Books (UK, 2012)


Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day
Peter Zuckerman and Amanda Padoan, W.W. Norton & Company (USA, 2012)

Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
Philip Connors, HarperCollins Publishers (USA 2011)

Fiva: An Adventure That Went Wrong
Gordon Stainforth, Golden Arrow Books (UK, 2012)

Himalayan Hospitals: Sir Edmund Hillary’s Everest Legacy
Michael Gill, Craig Potton Publishing (New Zealand, 2011)

Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest
Wade Davis, Alfred A. Knopf (Canada, 2011)


Banff Rock
Chris Perry, Cimatech Press (Canada, 2012)

Boulder Britain
Niall Grimes, Ape Index (UK, 2012)

Fred Beckey’s 100 Favorite North American Climbs
Fred Beckey, Patagonia Books (USA, 2012)

Squamish Select
Marc Bourdon, Quickdraw Publications (Canada, 2012)


Mountain Heroes: Portraits of Adventure
Huw Lewis-Jones, Conway/Polarworld (UK, 2011)

Tibet: Culture on the Edge
Phil Borges, Rizzoli (USA, 2012)

To the Arctic
Florian Schulz, The Mountaineers Books (USA, 2011)

World Climbing: Rock Odyssey
Simon Carter, Onsight Photography & Publishing (Australia, 2011)

Well, thanks again for dropping by once more. If you enjoyed this post, and the many others, please consider following the Suburban Mountaineer on Facebook and Twitter, because I believe climbing matters, even though we work nine to five.


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