The long list for the 2019 Banff Mountain Book Competition was announced this week. It includes Kings of the Yukon, a superlative debut by Adam Weymouth; Horizon, in which Barry Lopez looks back on a lifetime of journeying and laments what we’ve done to “the throttled Earth”; and The Grand Canyon: Beyond River and Rim by Pete McBride, which is a marvellous photographic record of the canyon from end to end.
More than $20,000 in cash is awarded annually in eight awards whose winners are selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers and editors. The jury of three this year includes the poet Helen Mort, who will presumably have to absent herself when the mountain literature category is being decided: among the books to be considered is Waymaking, an anthology she helped to edit of “prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape”.
The winner last year in the adventure travel category was Kate Harris for Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road — which was short-listed this week for yet another prize.