Kendal Preview 2011 : Boardman Tasker 2011 Shortlist

Desert Towers by Steve 'Crusher' Bartlett, 4 kb
Murder in the Hindu Kush, 5 kb
Freedom Climbers, 4 kb
The Sound of Gravity, 3 kb
Shadow of the Matterhorn, 4 kb

The shortlist of entries has been announced for this year's Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature.

'This year after a quite slow start, we had 24 entries for the award' said award Secretary Steve Dean. 'These were generally of a very good quality and came from UK, Ireland, USA, Canada and South Africa. The range of subject matter was as ever diverse and included biography, fiction, much historical material (Everest and K2 continue to fascinate writers), travel accounts and spiritual journeys.'

Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker were last seen on 17 May 1982 attempting to traverse The Pinnacles on the unclimbed North East Ridge of Mount Everest; the Boardman Tasker prize was established in their memory the following year. The Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust gives an annual award of £3000 to 'the author or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature', and covers all genres from fiction to meticulously researched histories. A Boardman Tasker win gives a lot of weight to the reputation of an author. Last year's winners were Ron Fawcett and Ed Douglas with Ron Fawcett, Rock Athlete - photo below and UKC article. Previous winners have included leading lights such as Jim Perrin, Steve House, Andy Kirkpatrick, Robert Macfarlane and Andy Cave.

Barry Imeson (Judge), Ed Douglas, Ron Fawcett, Ian Smith (Chair of Judges), Paul Tasker (Boardman Tasker Chairman), 105 kb
2010 winners Ron Fawcett and Ed Douglas. Photo: Henry Iddon

The current judges Barry Imeson (Chair), Bernard Newman and Lindsay Griffin have selected five books for this year's shortlist:

Desert Towers by Steve 'Crusher' Bartlett, a strikingly illustrated history of climbing on the sandstone pillars of the Colorado Plateau.

Murder in the Hindu Kush by Tim Hannigan, a page turning story of George Hayward's impressive explorations in the Western Himalaya and the conflicting stories surrounding his murder in the Hindu Kush.

Freedom Climbers by Bernadette McDonald, the story of how Polish climbers emerged after the 2nd World War and the rigours of the Russian occupation to dominate high altitude mountaineering.

The Sound of Gravity, an atmospheric climbing novel of life, loss and redemption in the high Alps by Joe Simpson.

Shadow of the Matterhorn by Ian Smith, a biography charting Edward Whymper's journey from apprentice engraver to celebrated mountaineer and explorer.

The authors will be invited to attend the Award presentation and Boardman Tasker shortlist event on November 18th 2011 at the Kendal Mountain Festival.

The Kendal Mountain Festival 2011

Kendal Mountain Festival - Ticket Information, Lectures, market research, commercial notices Premier Post, 8 weeks @ GBP 25pw, 11 kb


The dates are 17 to 20 November and tickets are available now. Book online - - or by phone 01539 725133 - news as it happens at


Easily accessible from the M6 and by train and there are plenty of accommodation options in and around the town but you need to be on your toes as they fill up very quickly over the Mountain Festival weekend.

For all your questions, accommodation and travel needs go to here you will find all the information you should need for your visit to Cumbria, alternatively call the accommodation booking line on 0845 450 1199.

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kendal Mountain festival Sponsors 2011, 39 kb
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