British writers have scooped awards at the prestigious Banff Mountain Book Competition in Alberta, Canada. Climber and author Nick Bullock will receive the Mountaineering Article award for 'Threshold Shift' published in Alpinist magazine and Aberdeen-based Simon Richardson wins the Guidebook category with Chasing the Ephemeral: 50 Routes for a Successful Scottish Winter (UKC review).
Canadian alpinist and member of the 2017 competition jury, Ian Welsted, praised their work as follows:
"A threshold shift is the ear's defense against loud noise; Nick Bullock's years of experience defend his mind from registering the mortal hazard he and his compatriots face, and all too commonly perish from, in the mountains. Equally, a life climbing and writing has insulated Nick from the 'rush and push and strain...(and) disappointment' of a more traditional lifestyle. Elevating moments from a first ascent in Nepal contrast with the difficult final journey Nick makes with his aging widower father. In spite of a life spent in search of 'something better' through climbing he realizes he shares traits with the old men he swore he would never become. Not a lighthearted tale, it addresses mortality with an honesty which must be admired. Breathtakingly written, Threshold Shift is on a different frequency from what passes as climbing writing in today's social media feed."
"Heard that Scotland is the birthplace of mixed climbing, the last bastion of naturally protected dry-tooling, a challenge to even the best world-travelling masters? Considered a visit but scared off by the notoriously fickle routes and the abysmal weather? Quintessential local (though, truth be told, an Englishman), Simon Richardson has the solution. Organized into conditions-dependent groupings, Chasing the Ephemeral will get you to 50 classic routes when they are 'in nick'. Full of colour action photos, local lore, and essential beta, there is no excuse for missing out on one of the best winter climbing venues on the planet. Just remember, the locals won't consider it a valid ascent if your photos aren't white, so shoot from the top down. Here's to a Successful Scottish Winter."
The winner of the Grand Prize - chosen from the following category winners - will be announced during the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival from 28th October-5th November, where category winners will also be awarded their prizes.
Stay tuned for a UKC Digital Feature on Jim Herrington's photo book The Climbers, winner of the Mountaineering History award.
The Names of the Stars
Pete Fromm, St. Martin's Press (USA, 2016)
Mountain Fiction & Poetry
Rising Abruptly: Stories
Gisèle Villeneuve, University of Alberta Press (CAN, 2016)
Mountain Literature (Non Fiction) The Jon Whyte Award
Art of Freedom: The Life and Climbs of Voytek Kurtyka
Bernadette McDonald, Rocky Mountain Books (CAN, 2017)
Mountain Environment and Natural History
Tracking Gobi Grizzlies
Douglas Chadwick, Patagonia Books (USA, 2016)
Racconto D'Inverno - Eine Wintererzählung
Alberta Ceolan (ITA, 2016)
Chasing the Ephemeral: 50 Routes for a Successful Scottish Winter
Simon Richardson, Mica Publishing (UK, 2016)
Nick Bullock, Alpinist magazine (USA, February 2017)
Jim Herrington, Mountaineers Books (USA, 2017)
The Push: A Climber's Journey of Endurance, Risk, and Going Beyond Limits
Tommy Caldwell, Viking Books (USA, 2017)