Established in 1983 to commemorate the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust celebrates their legacy by awarding the annual Award for Mountain Literature and the Lifetime Achievement Award.


Award Winners 2015

Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature 2015

Barry Blanchard reading from his book at the Award Ceremony 2015 Image © Henry Iddon

Barry Blanchard reading from his book at the Award Ceremony 2015
Image © Henry Iddon

The winner of the 2015 Boardman Tasker Award is the Canadian mountaineer Barry Blanchard, with his book "The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains."

The irrepressible Barry Blanchard has vivid recall of every detail of his passionate struggle to escape poverty, throw himself into a hairy apprenticeship and establish himself as a non-establishment alpinist pushing himself through historic climbs and relishing the telling of the tale.

This is a gripping account of a climber's life from humble beginnings in Calgary to epic adventures in the great ranges. Known as 'The Bonatti of the Rockies', Barry has been at the cutting edge of high altitude climbing for many years and his book is a honest an visceral account of a life devoted to climbing at the highest levels, both on rock and ice.

This is one of the finest mountaineering books to appear for many years and it is destined to become a classic of that genre.

Boardman Tasker Lifetime Achievement Award 2015

Ken Wilson | Image © Sir Chris Bonington

Ken Wilson | Image © Sir Chris Bonington

A friend of the Boardman Tasker Trust from the outset, Ken’s contribution to mountain writing has been outstanding.

Initially a climber/photographer, Ken established Mountain Magazine in 1969.  Mountain soon acquired a worldwide reputation for excellence and established Ken as a figure in world mountain reporting.

Ken also produced the much loved books, Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Extreme Rock, Cold Climbs, Big Walks, Classic Walks & Wild Walks.  The revised edition of Classic Rock published in 2007 was of superb quality and fully reflected Ken’s deep love of British climbing.

Ken established his own publishing company Baton Wicks, which produced a number of excellent books (many of which were entered into the BT Award) and published The Boardman Tasker Omnibus comprising: Savage Arena, The Shining Mountain, Sacred Summits and Everest The Cruel Way.


Submission of Entries 2016


The trustees of the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust invite publishers to make submissions for the 2016 Boardman Tasker Prize. Please note there are changes to the 2016 Rules so please read the full rules before making any submissions.

Books with mountain, not necessarily mountaineering, theme whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, written in the English language (initially or in translation) will be eligible. The entry must be in book format, and not in the format of a magazine or other periodical or anthology.

The Prize will be awarded for a work published or distributed in the United Kingdom for the first time between 1st August 2015 and 31st July 2016.

Books should be submitted as soon as they are available, but by 1st August 2016 at the latest. Publishers are invited to send four copies of each book entered (or page-proofs if necessary) with an entry form for each title. No restriction is made on the number of entries each publisher may make.



2016 Judges

BT Judge - Graham Desroy.jpg

Graham Desroy
Chair of Judges

Graham is an Outdoor Consultant with extensive climbing and mountaineering experience.

He is a former editor of the YMC climbing guidebooks, and has served on various BMC and UIAA committees.

Well known for his poor taste in Hawaiian shirts, headbands and white trousers!

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Terry Gifford

Terry Gifford was Director of the annual International Festival of Mountaineering Literature for 21 years. Former Chair of the Mountain Heritage Trust, he is the author of The Joy of Climbing (2004), editor of the complete works of John Muir and author of seven collections of poetry, including The Rope (1996), a Boardman Tasker entrant.

Visiting Professor at Bath Spa University’s Centre for Writing and Environment and Profesor Honorifico at the University of Alicante, Spain, in his 52nd year of rock-climbing he was recently still struggling up long easy routes in Scotland, Ireland, Yosemite, Joshua Tree and Fairy Cave Quarry, Somerset, where he is the resident gardener.

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Helen Mort

Helen Mort is a poet, runner and climber based in Sheffield. Her first collection 'Division Street' was published by Chatto & Windus in 2013 and her latest collection 'No Map Could Show Them' is now available, a book partly inspired by the history of women's mountaineering.

She has written for Climb and The Alpinist and her work features in 'Rock, Paper Fire: The Best of Mountain and Wilderness Writing'. She is a former Poet in Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. Helen is a five-times winner of the Foyle Young Poets award and received an Eric Gregory Award in 2007. She won the Manchester Young Writers Prize in 2008 and ‘Division Street’ was awarded the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize for the best first collection in 2014.

You can read more about her work at

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