2018 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature Shortlist Announced

2018 shortlist.jpg

The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature continues to attract a substantial number of entries of very varied character.  This year there were 38 entries, from Great Britain, USA, Canada, Austria, Ireland, South Africa, Switzerland and Italy. To receive entries from eight different countries is particularly welcomed. 

The Award will be made at The Boardman Tasker Shortlisted Authors event at the Kendal Mountain Festival on Friday November 16th 2018.

The 2018 Judges are: Peter Gillman (Chair), Roger Hubank and Kate Moorehead. They have selected the following seven books for this year’s shortlist:


Nick Bullock

TIDES: A Climber’s Voyage

Vertebrate Publishing

An enlightening memoir by an accomplished writer and climber that provides a window into the nature of extreme climbing now and over the past thirty years.

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Paolo Cognetti


Harvill Secker

A widely praised novel by an Italian author that details the intriguing friendship between a mountain cow herder and a city boy from Milan, played out over three decades in the Dolomites.

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Ed Douglas and John Beatty

KINDER SCOUT: The People’s Mountain

Vertebrate Publishing

An evocative celebration of a much-loved mountain, presented by a partnership between two of Britain’s finest mountain writers and photographers.


Christoph Ransmayr


Seagull Books

A second work of fiction, audaciously told in blank verse by Austrian author Christoph Ransmayr, that follows the journey of two brothers from southwest Ireland as they pursue a quest for an unnamed mountain in Tibet.

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David Roberts


W.W.Norton & Sons

An enthralling examination – part history, part memoir – of the motivations of mountaineers and other explorers, related by veteran US author and climber David Roberts.


Doug Scott

THE OGRE: Biography of a mountain and the dramatic story of the first ascent

Vertebrate Publishing

The long awaited full account of the epic accident and rescue on the Ogre in the Karakorum in 1977, together with an enlightening history of the exploration of the mountain.

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Junko Tabei and Helen Y. Rolfe

HONOURING HIGH PLACES: The Mountain Life of Junko Tabei

Rocky Mountain Books

A revealing biography of the life of the first woman to climb both Mount Everest and the Seven Summits, based on her memoirs and completed by Canadian writer Helen Rolfe.

This is the fifth year in succession that the BTAward has generated more than 30 entries and it continues to attract a high level of interest.

Steve Dean
Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust


100th Edition of 'Loose Scree'


Congratulations, Barry, on producing 'Loose Scree', 100th edition, out soon.
What a superb effort and altruistic service to the mountaineering community over the years.
We have all enjoyed your sardonic humour, Barry, and we are grateful for the opportunity you have given many people to see their work in print.

Steve Dean
Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust

Buxton Adventure Festival present the Boardman Tasker Night

 Andy Cave

Andy Cave

 Martin Wragg

Martin Wragg

 Stephen Venables

Stephen Venables

 Steve Dean

Steve Dean

Join us in Buxton for the Boardman Tasker Night with Martin Wragg, Steve Dean, Andy Cave & Stephen Venables.

At the time they disappeared on the north east ridge of Everest Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker were each resident in the High Peak. This special event in their home community will celebrate their lives and achievements. A number of their friends and colleagues will talk about them, their climbs and their books which were the inspiration for setting up the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature. 
The evening programme will commence with a reading by Martin Wragg from ‘The Shining Mountain’, Peter Boardman’s award winning first book, followed by a similar delivery by Steve Dean from Joe Tasker’s great work, ‘The Savage Arena’.

Andy Cave a BT winner will talk and lecture from his own master work, ‘Learning to Breathe’ and Stephen Venables another BT winner will explain about how this bolstered his adventurous life, and his latest climbs in South Georgia and Antarctica.

There will be an interval between Andy and Stephen’s talks, and a short fundraising entertainment will ensue!

Wednesday 11th October 2017 at 7.30pm at the Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton Opera House.

Tickets are £17.50/£12/.50 concessions and are available here.


2017 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature Shortlist Announced

2017 shortlist announced2.jpg

The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature continues to attract a substantial level of entries. This year there were 34 entries, from Great Britain, the USA, Canada, Italy and France.

The Award will be made at the Boardman Tasker event at the Kendal Mountain Festival, on Friday November 17th 2017.

Tickets are available here.

The judges for 2017 are Helen Mort (Chair), Peter Gillman and Kate Moorehead.  

They have selected the following six books for this year’s shortlist:

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Tommy Caldwell
The Push
Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House

A candid, bold and compelling book which doesn't shy away from delving into psychoanalytic territory. Tommy Caldwell’s climbing achievements are remarkable and ‘The Push’ offers a fascinating insight into big wall free climbing and the unexpected challenges that characterise a life in sport.

author biography

Tommy Caldwell grew up in Colorado and has been climbing since he could walk. He has made dozens of notable ascents, and many consider him the best all-round rock climber in the world. In 2014 he was chosen as one of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year, and in 2015 the American Alpine Club awarded Tommy Lifetime Honorary Membership, its highest honour. Tommy lives in Colorado, with his wife and two children.

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Rob Collister
Days to Remember
Baton Wicks

This is a thoughtful, varied and highly literate book, evoking journeys in mountain landscapes that are often solitary, but seldom lonely. There’s a sense of honesty and humility in Rob Collister’s prose and his reflections on life as a mountain guide.

author biography

Best known as an alpinist in his youth, Rob Collister was in his element climbing unnamed peaks in obscure corners of the Himalaya. In 1976 he qualified as a British Mountain Guide, and was one of the first British guides to ski the Haute Route with clients, soon taking parties to places such as Kashmir, Kulu, Alaska and the Lyngen Alps – long before they became popular destinations. Recently, concern about carbon emissions has led to a reduction in his expedition mountaineering and to the use of public transport to travel to and around the Alps.

Throughout his career he has been based in North Wales, raising a family of three children with his wife Netti. He has been a trustee of the Snowdonia Society and the John Muir Trust, served as a nominated member of the Snowdonia National Park Authority and was president of the British Mountain Guides from 1990 to 1993.

Rob has contributed to a number of anthologies and has written regularly for the Alpine Journal and other outdoor publications. His previous books include Lightweight Expeditions (Crowood Press), Over the Hills and Far Away (Ernest Press), and Snowdonia, Park under Pressure (Pesda Press).


Ed Douglas
The Magician’s Glass
Vertebrate Publishing

A finely crafted set of essays exploring climbing controversies, failures and the impact mountaineering has on local communities. This collection sees Ed Douglas training his keen eye on some of the most celebrated - and infamous - stories and personalities in the climbing world.

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author biography

Ed Douglas has been climbing for over thirty-five years and has been a writer and editor for the last thirty. He launched the magazine On The Edge while at university in Manchester, and has published eight books about mountains and their people. His books include biographies of Tenzing Norgay, rock-climbing visionary Ben Moon and the late British mountaineer Alison Hargreaves. His ghostwritten autobiography of Ron Fawcett, Rock Athlete, won the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature in 2010. Three of the essays in The Magician’s Glass were either shortlisted for or won at the Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada. Douglas’s journalistic work most often appears in The Observer and The Guardian. He is the current editor of the Alpine Journal and lives in Sheffield with his wife Kate. They have two grown-up children.


Erhard Loretan & Jean Ammann  
Night Naked
Mountaineers Books

This first account of Erhard Loretan’s achievements in English is well paced and literary, characterised by a wide, lively, thoughtful choice of vocabulary, interesting figurative language and self-deprecating, ironic humour.


Bernadette McDonald
Art of Freedom
Vertebrate Publishing

A very accomplished biography of one of the greatest alpinists of all time, lucidly and economically written. ‘Art of Freedom’ is a profound and subtle profile of one of the international climbing world’s most complex and reclusive mountaineers, Voytek Kurtyka.

author biography

Bernadette McDonald is the author of ten mountaineering books, including the multi-award-winning Freedom Climbers (2011). Among its international awards, Freedom Climbers won the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival, the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature and the American Alpine Club’s H. Adams Carter Literary Award. Her other mountaineering titles include Tomaž Humar (2008), Brotherhood of the Rope: The Biography of Charles Houston (2007), Keeper of the Mountains: The Elizabeth Hawley Story (2012) and Alpine Warriors (2015). McDonald’s books have been translated into eight languages, and her international awards include Italy’s ITAS Prize (2010) and India’s Kekoo Naoroji Award for Mountain Literature (2008, 2009 and 2011). She has also received the Alberta Order of Excellence (2010), the Summit of Excellence Award (2007) and the King Albert Award for international leadership in mountain culture and environment (2006). She was the founding vice-president of Mountain Culture at the Banff Centre and served as director of the Banff mountain festivals from 1988 to 2006.

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Christopher Nicholson
Among the Summer Snows
September Publishing

Lyrical and elegaic, this debut is a tender account of an unusual fascination with the remaining snows of the Scottish Highlands. Nicholson offers us a wry, self-aware take on the relationship between humans and the changed (and changing) natural world.


Christopher Nicholson Snow Landscape.JPG

Christopher Nicholson is the author of three novels, including 'The Elephant Keeper', which was shortlisted for the Costa and Encore Prizes. His third novel 'Winter' was about Thomas Hardy and was described as 'Intensely moving....an exceptional novel, ' by the Boston Globe and as 'one of the most dramatically convincing and moving Famous Writer Novels I have ever read, ' by Alison Lurie. He has lived near Shaftesbury in Dorset for the past thirty years.

This is the fourth year in succession that the Award has generated more than 30 entries and it continues to attract a high level of interest.

Steve Dean
Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust