November and December are busy months for those who present prestigious outdoor book awards. There are three awards that we tend to follow. They are the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, the Banff Mountain Book Awards and the National Outdoor Book Awards (NOBA).
Following are the winners of these awards.
Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature
EVEREST, THE FIRST ASCENT: THE UNTOLD STORY OF GRIFFITH PUGH by Harriet Tuckey
Banff Mountain Book Awards
Grand Prize and Adventure Travel Award
ON THE TRAIL OF GENGHIS KHAN: AN EPIC JOURNEY THROUGH THE LAND OF THE NOMADS by Tim Cope
From Amazon: "The relationship between man and horse on the Eurasian steppe gave rise to a succession of rich nomadic cultures. Among them were the Mongols of the thirteenth century – a small tribe, which, under the charismatic leadership of Genghis Khan, created the largest contiguous land empire in history. Inspired by the extraordinary life nomads lead, Tim Cope embarked on a journey that hadn’t been successfully completed since those times: to travel on horseback across the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, from Karakorum, the ancient capital of Mongolia, through Kazakhstan, Russia, Crimea and the Ukraine to the Danube River in Hungary.
"From horse-riding novice to spending months in the saddle, he learnt to fend off wolves and would-be horse-thieves, and grapple with the haunting extremes of the steppe as he crossed sub-zero plateaux, the scorching deserts of Kazakhstan and the high-mountain passes of the Carpathians. As he travelled he formed a close bond with his horses and especially his dog Tigon, and encountered essential hospitality – the linchpin of human survival on the steppe – from those he met along the way.
"Cope bears witness to how the traditional ways hang in the balance in the post-Soviet world – an era that has brought new-found freedom, but also the perils of corruption and alcoholism, and left a world bereft of both the Communist system upon which it once relied, and the traditional knowledge of the nomadic forefathers.
"A journey of adventure, endurance and eventual triumph, On the Trail of Genghis Khan is at once a celebration of and an elegy for an ancient way of life."
Mountain and Wilderness Literature, Non-Fiction
EVEREST: THE FIRST ASCENT – THE UNTOLD STORY OF GRIFFITH PUGH by Harriet Tuckey
EVEREST must be a good book to win both in Banff and at Boardman-Tasker...
It should be noted that this book has another subtitle. In some locations, the subtitle to the book is "How a Champion of Science helped Conquer the Mountain."
Mountain Image Award
PAMIR: FORGOTTEN ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD by Matthieu Paley and Mareile Paley
Following are some samples of the book's photography:
Mountain Guidebook Award
PATAGONIA VERTICAL: CHALTÉN MASSIF by Rolando Garibotti and Dörte Pietron
From the book's website: "A detailed guidebook to the dramatic Chaltén Massif in Southern Patagonia, Argentina. Written by Patagonia ambassador Rolando Garibotti and climbing expert Dörte Pietron, this is a complete guide to the area, describing every peak and climb, including in the Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre chains, as well as Cordón Adela, Cordón Marconi, Cerro Piergiorgio and the Cerro Pollone group. The text includes general information, history, approaches, route descriptions, recommended gear, strategy and descents."
Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY by Ron Rash
The darkness of Ron Rash’s work contrasts with its unexpected sensitivity and stark beauty in a manner that could only be accomplished by this master of the short story form.
Nothing Gold Can Stay includes 14 stories, including Rash’s “The Trusty,” which first appeared in The New Yorker."
THE CONQUEST OF EVEREST by George Lowe and Huw Lewis-Jones
From Amazon: "Celebrating the first ascent of Mount Everest in May 1953 with exclusive access to the remarkable imagery and private archives of legendary climber and photographer George Lowe, who accompanied Hillary and Norgay on that first triumphant expedition
"Published to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the conquest of Mount Everest, this visually spectacular book features a trove of original photographs and other rare materials from the George Lowe collection, many unpublished, complemented by classic images from the final ascent. Stunning landscapes, candid portraits, and action shots describe the day-by-day moments of the historic expedition as never before.
"The extraordinary journey is retold from Lowe’s point of view, capturing the drama of the expedition and the personal stories of those involved. In addition, earlier attempts at climbing the world’s highest mountain and key later ascents are described. The book also includes contributions from an impressive team of mountaineers and explorers, including Reinhold Messner, Sir Chris Bonington, the late Sir Edmund Hillary, Peter Hillary, Doug Scott, Stephen Venables, Norbu Tenzing Norgay, Tom Hornbein, Kenton Cool, and Jan Morris.
"Not only the anniversary of the first successful ascent, 2013 also marks fifty years since the first American ascent and the epic first ascent of the West Ridge."
Special Jury Mention
ALONE ON THE ICE: THE GREATEST SURVIVAL STORY IN THE HISTORY OF EXPLORATION by David Roberts
From Amazon: "His two companions dead, food and supplies vanished in a crevasse, Douglas Mawson was still one hundred miles from camp.
"On January 17, 1913, alone and near starvation, Douglas Mawson, leader of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition, was hauling a sledge to get back to base camp. The dogs were gone. Now Mawson himself plunged through a snow bridge, dangling over an abyss by the sledge harness. A line of poetry gave him the will to haul himself back to the surface.
"Mawson was sometimes reduced to crawling, and one night he discovered that the soles of his feet had completely detached from the flesh beneath. On February 8, when he staggered back to base, his features unrecognizably skeletal, the first teammate to reach him blurted out, “Which one are you?”
"This thrilling and almost unbelievable account establishes Mawson in his rightful place as one of the greatest polar explorers and expedition leaders. It is illustrated by a trove of Frank Hurley’s famous Antarctic photographs, many never before published in the United States."
National Outdoor Book Award Winners (NOBA)
As there are so many award winners for NOBA, I decided just to list them below. For a full description of the books and to see the runners up, click here.
Nature and Environment
CONTINENTAL DIVIDE: WILDLIFE, PEOPLE, AND THE BOARDER WALL by Krist Schlyer.
Natural History Literature
TELLING OUR WAY TO THE SEA: A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY IN THE SEA OF CORTEZ by Aaron Hirsh.
I PROMISE NOT TO SUFFER: A FOOL FOR LOVE HIKES THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL by Gail D. Storey
EVEREST: THE WEST RIDGE by Thomas F. Hornbein.
THE EMERALD MILE: THE EPIC STORY OF THE FASTEST RIDE THROUGH THE HEART OF THE GRAND CANYON by Kevin Fedarko
Design and Artistic Merit
THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL: CELEBRATING AMERICA'S HIKING TRAIL by Brian B. King.
TRAVELS WITH GANNON AND WYATT: BOTSWANA by Patti Wheeler and Keith Hemstreet.
Outdoor Adventure Guidebook Category
YOUR GUIDE TO THE NATIONAL PARKS: THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO ALL 58 NATIONAL PARKS by Michael Joseph Oswald.
SNOW TRAVEL: SKILLS FOR CLIMBING, HIKING AND MOVING ACROSS SNOW by Mike Zawaski
BUTTERFLIES OF INDIANA: A FIELD GUIDE By Jefffrey E. Belth.
--Jason D. Martin
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