Boardman Tasker Prize - The 2010 Shortlist

Ian Smith, one of the judges of this year's Boardman Tasker, at Kendal Mountain Festival

The Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust gives an annual award of £3000 to "the author or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature". The award is highly prestigious and can set a budding mountain author on their way, or cement an established author within the industry.

Previous winners include Steve House, Andy Kirkpatrick, Robert Macfarlane, Andy Cave and Jim Perrin. You can read all the previous winners on the Boardman Tasker Website.

The 2010 short-list has now been announced.

The judges for 2010; Ian Smith (chair), Barry Imeson and Kym Martindale, have produced the following short-list in alphabetical order:

GRAHAM BOWLEY No Way Down ISBN 978-0-670-91842-3, Viking Penguin

A very well researched and well written book which painstakingly pieces together the events of 2008 on K2 through interviews with those who survived and the families and friends of those who did not.

RON FAWCETT with Ed Douglas Ron Fawcett, Rock Athlete ISBN 978-1-906148-17-1, Vertebrate Publishing

This is a frank and engaging portrait of an unassuming yet remarkable climber; an inspirational subject and a story shot through with honesty and integrity.

LAURENCE FEARNLEY The Hut Builder ISBN 978-0-14-320506-7, Penguin Books, New Zealand

This novel is set in the mountains of New Zealand and includes an account of the building of an early hut on Mount Cook and climbing with Edmund Hillary; an ingenious mix of fact and fiction.

STEPHEN E. SCHMID, ed. Climbing Philosophy for Everyone ISBN 978-1-4443-3486-9, Wiley-Blackwell

Climbing Philosophy for Everyone poses some of the questions that climbers are not always anxious to address and numerous contributors engagingly argue and discuss the various issues.

SIMON THOMPSON Unjustifiable Risk? ISBN 978-1-85284-627-5, Cicerone Press

A wide ranging book charting the history of British climbing and climbers at home and abroad.

The winner will be announced at the award presentation on the afternoon of Friday 19 November as part of the Kendal Mountain Festival.

The Kendal Mountain Festival 2010

Kendal Mountain Festival 2010


The dates are 18 to 21 November and tickets are available now. Book online - - or by phone 01539 725133 - news as it happens at


Easily accessible from the M6 and by train and there are plenty of accommodation options in and around the town but you need to be on your toes as they fill up very quickly over the Mountain Festival weekend.

For all your questions, accommodation and travel needs go to here you will find all the information you should need for your visit to Cumbria, alternatively call the accommodation booking line on 0845 450 1199.

Kendal Mountain Festival Sponsors 2010  © UKC News
Kendal Mountain Festival Sponsors 2010

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17 Sep, 2010
Has anybody read any of the nominated books? Or do people not read books anymore? Nation Shudders At Large Block Of Uninterrupted Text,16932/ I've read two of them.
17 Sep, 2010
I've read one of them and am purchasing the others. Obviously people do read books today, but what they read can be suspect - celebrity type books. Mountain literature is in a fairly good state, but as a collector there are far too many compilations around. It is not easy to get hold ofthe pre 1960s books and consequently their prices rise. As for modern mountaineering books the web provides such low prices at the moment it is a good time to start a collection, but watch out for the fake Hilary, Hunt and Tenzing signatures that are about. One being purchased on Fleabay recently for around £300! The Boardman Tasker event at Kendal is excellent and attracts the the great and good from the world of mountaineering. It is the one event at Kendal these days where a collector can get a few books signed without grief from the Kendal organisers. It is a very friendly and laid back event and is always on my list. Hope to see you there! Colin H.
20 Sep, 2010
I haven't read them but intend to. I don't think there is any other 'sport' that comes close to the quality of the body of mountaineering literature.
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