Boardman Tasker shortlist confirms best new mountain reads

The most prestigious prize in mountaineering literature has revealed its 2016 shortlist. The crop of five books was confirmed as the hottest reads in adventure by judges Graham DesroyTerry Gifford and Helen Mort today, with Gifford summarising just what appealed to them. 


Alex Honnold

The cover of this book sends a shiver down the spine. The life of an un-roped solo climber is its sensational subject. But it is the quality of Alex Honnold’s articulation of his approach to this purest of pursuits that grabs the reader, together with his honesty about the personal costs of his lifestyle and amazing achievements, contextualised by David Roberts in this well-crafted book.


Simon McCartney

Simon McCartney’s title is the theme of his book - the bond between climbers upon which he increasingly comes to rely in his accounts of two epic new routes in Alaska in 1978 and 1980 that demonstrate a remarkable self-awareness verging upon hubris, as he readily admits.


Steve Olson

When a smoking Mount St Helens actually erupted on a spring
Sunday morning in 1980 fifty-seven people were killed, some as far as thirteen miles away. Steve Olson not only tells their personal stories, but also turns the tension between the science and the cultural assumptions at play on that day into a drama that reads like a tragic thriller.


Mark Vallance

More than the story of ‘the man who made Friends’, this book reveals that the spirit brought to bear on friendships, climbs, BMC management and tough business dilemmas, can be harnessed to deal with the onset of Parkinson’s disease in a direct and at times humorous narrative.


Robert Wainwright

It was the Australian rebel George Finch who demonstrated the value of oxygen in reaching almost 27,000 feet on Everest in 1922. But Robert Wainwright’s biography also reveals an eccentric scientist and inventor whose complicated personal life extended to his strange relationship with his son, the actor Peter Finch.

The winner will be announced on November 18th 2016 at the Kendal Mountain Festival after the BT Shortlisted Authors event.