The winners of the Banff Mountain Book Festival were announced and prizes awarded last night. The Grand Prize went to Forever on the Mountain: The Truth Behind One of Mountaineering's Most Controversial and Mysterious Disasters, by James M. Tabor published by Norton (website). Forever on the Mountain tells the story and unravels the mystery of how and why seven young men died on Denali (Mt. McKinley), North America's highest peak in July 1967.
The UK's Stephen Venables won the Best Book — Mountain Literature with his, Higher Than the Eagle Soars, published by Random House (website) which retells 'the essence' of his successful climb up Everest's Kangshung Face without supplementary oxygen in 1988. Stephen is the author of ten books including Alone at the Summit and A Slender Thread, both runners up for the Boardman Tasker Prize; Himalaya Alpine Style won the Grand Award at Banff International Mountain Festival and Everest – Summit of Achievement won the King Albert Award.
The above books are also on the short list for the The Boardman Tasker Prize for mountain literature that will be awarded at Kendal Mountain Festivals. See UKClimbing.com's news report here
The Mountain Exposition award went to Mike Robertson for his global guidebook, Deep Water that celebrates deep water soloing in words and images, published by Rockfax (website). Deep Water documents the evolution and history of deep water soloing and its locations in the UK and more exotic spots such as Costa Blanca, Mallorca, and Sardinia. Deep Water was up against stiff opposition including the BMC's celebrated Stanage guidebook.
The best Mountain Image book was won by Yosemite in the Sixties, by Glen Denny, published by T. Adler Books/ Patagonia. Glen Denny was a Yosemite pioneer along with Royal Robbins and Yvon Chouinard. Denny's book showcases his large format black and white photographs, similar in style to Ansel Adams, of Yosemite climbers, climbing and the amazing landscape of the Valley, capturing the spirit of big wall climbing in Yosemite's golden age.
The Best Book — Mountaineering History was won by John Harlin III and his, The Eiger Obsession: Facing the Mountain that Killed My Father , published by Simon & Schuster (website). John Harlin II, perished when attempting the direttissima up the Eiger North Face with Layton Kor, Dougal Haston and Chris Bonington. John Harlin III was nine years old at the time of his father's death but eventually went on to climb the Eiger himself.
A full listing and details of these awards is available at www.banffcentre.ca/mountainculture/festivals