Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces Finalists


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“To the Arctic”. Photo: Florian Schulz

The Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival is an annual gathering of the biggest names in adventure and environmental writing and filmmaking. This year, attendees can climb with Conrad Anker, sip coffee and chat with Fred Beckey, attend a session on pitching National Geographic magazine, and learn how to pack from Gerlinde Keltenbrunner—all in between book sessions that include whisky tastings.

The 2012 book competition includes 18 finalists in four major categories: adventure travel, mountain and wilderness literature, guidebooks, and mountain image. Roughly 50 readers whittled the entries down over the summer to their favorite books. On November 1, the festival will announce the $1,000 winner in each category and the $2,000 grand prize for the best book of the year.

If you have time on your hands and a little money to burn, the festival takes place in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada, from October 27 to November 4. You can pick up copies of the books at the festival and maybe track down a few of the authors. Just in case your schedule doesn't allow for such a jaunt, we've included a list of the finalists below, with links to their books on Amazon. And here's a link to The Whisky Exchange too, just in case you want to read like they do in Banff.

Adventure Travel

Canoeing the Congo
Phil Harwood, Troubador Publishing (U.K., 2012)

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

Mountain & Wilderness Literature

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 (U.K., 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 (U.K., 2012)

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

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

Mountain Image

Mountain Heroes: Portraits of Adventure
Huw Lewis-Jones, Conway/Polarworld (U.K., 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)

—Joe Spring