Family History    Wines

Photography       Books

Amazon Bestsellers

Site Contents

Home Page

Book Resources

Family History



Wildlife Photos

Wine Tastings
 - Bottled Poetry

Other Pages

About Us

Contact Us

Privacy Policy


Site Map

Affiliate Sites

Deal of the Day

Powell's Books - Outdoor Gear

Additional Affiliate Programs

Award Winners of the Banff Mountain Book Festival

Prize Background

Since 1994, the Banff Mountain Book Festival has brought together writers, publishers, editors, photographers and readers. The festival explores the world of mountain literature through speakers, readings, seminars, book signings and launches, a book fair and the presentation of internationally recognized awards for mountain literature. In addition to the Grand Prize Winner selected from all of the books, awards are also presented to the best books in each of the categories of:

bullet Adventure Travel
bullet Canadian Rockies
bullet Mountain Exposition
bullet Mountain History
bullet Mountain Image
bullet Mountain Literature


Grand Prize Award Winners

The list of books on this page includes all of the Grand Prize winners since the award was first made in 1995. Each of the category winners is listed on their own page (see above) as well as a list of all of the finalists. Please note that a number of these books are still unavailable in the US (at least through and that these are shown in red.

  Year   Grand Prize Winning Titles and Author

The Wall
Jeff Long
Adventure Travel Category

Comments from the jury include:
bullet“The lean, vivid, sometimes hallucinatory prose of Long’s big-wall thriller grabs readers by the harness from the opening scene and draws them relentlessly into the mind of an aging rock rat trying to out-climb a mysterious past,” says competition jury member David Leach, a Victoria, B.C.-based adventure writer and professor.“


Being Caribou: Five Months On Foot With An Arctic Herd
Karsten Heuer
Adventure Travel Category

Comments from the jury include:
bullet“We are so used to amazing wildlife images in TV documentaries. Karsten Heuer offers the verbal equivalent of those magical visual moments and he has something important to say as well. “
bullet“The only thing that matches the imagination and execution of this trip is the quality of the totally engaging writing.”
bulletThe journey itself makes for a great tale, but Karsten Heuer achieves something greater, something unusual in personal narrative. The story is not about him, or Leanne. He recognizes this, and manages to tell it, in first person, without blocking our view of his primary subject, the caribou.

2004 Southern Exposure
Chris Duff
Adventure Travel Category

Author and adventurer Chris Duff brings readers into the cockpit of his 18-foot sea kayak to travel the South Pacific and Tasman Sea, and along the wild western coast of New Zealand. Described by competition jury members as “introspective, meditational, and at times poetic,” Duff’s descriptions of his solo kayak trip in the oceans around New Zealand have both a gripping sense of the uncertainty of nature, and a simple joy in self-reliance and accomplishment. Jury members also appreciated the way that Duff “regularly leavens his acute observations of the natural world with an equally sharp eye for human quirkiness and character among the folk he chances upon.”  Southern Exposure also won a 2003 National Outdoor Book Award in the History and Biography category.

2003 Escape from Lucania: An Epic Story of Survival
David Roberts
Mountain Literature Category

A riveting story about the 1937 first ascent of Alaska’s Mount Lucania by two mountaineers who found themselves stranded on the mountain with inadequate gear and provisions due to bad weather and logistics. "The story leaps off the page," says jury member George Lowe about Bradford Washburn and Bob Bates’ climb of Mount Lucania, which in 1937 was the highest unclimbed peak in North America. "It loses none of its impact in the retelling by two 90 year-olds who had a miraculous escape by their own efforts."  Read our Review

2002 W.H. Murray: The Evidence of Things Not Seen
W.H. Murray
Mountain Literature Category

Murray’s memoirs focus on his life as a climber and mountaineer and his many travels throughout Europe and the Himalayas. The book also movingly describes Murray’s war experiences in the Middle East and his internment in prisoner-of-war camps — a period he used for writing and for intense philosophical study. "This is a big, quiet book that resonates far beyond the clamour of ego and conquest," says Irish mountaineer and writer Dermot Somers, a member of the 2002 book festival jury. "Murray is a great writer, sadly unheralded outside Britain," adds Geoff Powter, editor of the Canadian Alpine Journal and a fellow jury member. "To have this book come our way is a great gift. 'The Evidence of Things Not Seen' is a very engaging portrait of a time and a man."
2001 Hazard's Way
Roger Hubank
Mountain Literature category

A novel set around the turn of the 19th century, Hazard’s Way tells the story of a young man's struggles to cope with strict Edwardian family values and the contradictory influences of the friends he makes in his life as a climber. At the heart of the novel is an evocative recreation of life at Wastdale Head, in the Lake District of Cumberland. Jury member Maria Coffey characterizes Hazard’s Way as "a beautifully crafted novel, which captures the voices and sensibilities of Edwardian climbers."
2000 Mountain Photography
Bradford Washburn
Mountain Image Category

The book reflects the eight decades that Bradford Washburn has spent documenting mountain landscapes from the Grand Canyon to Mount Everest. Edited by Antony Decaneas, the book includes one hundred large format mountain photographs.
1999 The Totem Pole And A Whole New Adventure
Paul Pritchard
Mountain Literature Category

This book is a perceptive, humane and inspiring account of the author's experience to surmount unbelievable odds following a climbing accident in 1998 that inflicted such terrible injuries that the doctors thought he might never walk or speak again. At the time of the accident he was climbing a slender sea stack called in Tasmania called The Totem Pole.
1998 World Mountaineering: The World's Great Mountains by the World's Great Mountaineers
Audrey Salkeld
Mountain Literature Category

This book is an elegantly produced repository of exciting information including locator maps, route photographs and practical advice from leading climbers. It features articles by the some of the world's best climbers including historical summaries, route descriptions, photographs and practical advice by Greg Child, Roger Mear, Ed Douglas, Kurt Diemburger, Steven Venables, Beth Wald, Simon Yates, Steve Roper and Canadians Chic Scott and Barry Blanchard. "This book is going to be influential in determining where history will next be made in mountaineering," says jury member Bob Sandford.
1997 Mont Blanc: Discovery And Conquest Of The Giant Of The Alps

Stefano Ardito
Mountain Literature Category
1996 Himalaya Alpine Style: The Most Challenging Routs On The Highest Peaks

Stephen Venables
Mountain Literature Category
1995 Icefields

Thomas Wharton
Mountain Literature Category
1994 Great Climbs: A Celebration Of World Mountaineering
Chris Bonington

For many years, mountains were regarded with fear and awe, and little attempt was made to climb them. Today the highest peaks have been climbed, and there are fresh challenges - to find new routes, to climb without oxygen, to push the body and spirit to greater limits. Focusing on the great mountain regions, this book explores the development of world climbing. Gripping first-hand accounts by some of the world's leading mountaineers go some way towards explaining why they do what they do. (Hardcover, Out of Print, Check on
Alibris )


If you like this list and want to see other award winning books on mountaineering and the outdoors, check out the winners of these three awards:
bullet American Alpine Literary Award
bullet Boardman-Tasker Memorial Award for Mountain Literature
bullet National Outdoor Book Awards


Return to TheRagens Books homepage. For other books on our lists of recommended books, follow the links below.
bulletOur Current Book List. The list of books on our current reading list.
bulletMountain Climbing and Outdoor Adventures with the cover graphics.
bullet Books on Wine Appreciation and Winemaking.
bulletChildren's Books that our boys or their cousins are reading. Click here for the Seattle Children's Theatre recommended booklist.
bulletHistory Books that relate to our family history or that we have enjoyed.
bulletOther Books that we are waiting to categorize.


TheRagens Home Page   Family History   Recommended Book Lists   Wine Tastings and Recommendations   Wildlife Photos   Feedback and
Site Registration


Amazon Logo


by title by author