MacIntyre biography wins Grand Prize at Banff

MacIntyre biography wins Grand Prize at Banff

Sheffield publisher Vertebrate Publishing has won the $4,000 Grand Prize at the 2014 Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada with John Porter’s biography of British climber Alex MacIntyre, One Day As A Tiger.

Mountaineer and writer accepted the award at a ceremony held yesterday (6th November) in Banff. His book had previously won in the Mountaineering History category and was in the running for the overall prize alongside five other titles. 

Banff judge David Roberts commented: “One Day as a Tiger gets at truths that very few biographies of mountaineers have touched ... The denouement on Annapurna's south face in 1982, where MacIntyre is killed by a falling stone, infuses this chronicle with some of the most gripping and poignant climbing writing in recent memory. That Porter waited three decades to tell the story of his lost comrade no doubt accounts for much of the wisdom and power of this remarkable book.”

Commenting on the win, Vertebrate’s publishing manager John Coefield said: “This news has blown us away. Winning any award at Banff is a big deal, but to win the Grand Prize is a tremendous achievement – we're very proud to be the publisher of One Day As A Tiger. Our congratulations to John on both awards he has won at Banff, and for writing such an incredible book. A book all mountaineers – armchair or actual – must read.”

The other titles in the running were: The Last Train to Zona Verde by Paul Theroux (McClelland and Stewart), winner of the Adventure Travel category; The Homeward Wolf by Kevin Van Tighem (Rocky Mountain Books), winner in the Mountain and Wilderness Literature category; Mountain Fiction and Poetry category winner, Letters from Chamonix by David Stevenson (Imaginary Mountain Surveyors); Carsten Peter’s Vulkane (National Geographic /NG Malik Buchgesellschaft), which won in the Mountain Image category; and best Guidebook, Simple Fly Fishing by Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews and Mauro Mazzo (Patagonia Books).

Vertebrate, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, had a further two titles chosen as Banff category finalists, which were announced in September. 

It also has two of its biographies currently shortlisted for the Boardman Tasker Prize, as well as Matt Dickinson’s YA thriller The Everest Files, nominated for the 2015 CILIP Carnegie Medal.