There is of course one other web site with a great book-based mountain logo and that is the much more worthy and indeed illustrious web site for the Boardman Tasker Award.
Established in 1983, the Boardman-Tasker Award for Mountain Literature was originally set up to commemorate the lives of Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker and is run by the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust. There is also a Lifetime Achievement Award by the same name.
In their own words:
"The Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature is awarded annually to the author or authors of the best literary work, whether fiction, non-fiction, drama or poetry, the central theme of which is concerned with mountain environment"
For any mountain writer it is a sort of holy grail.
Recently they launched this new logo and a new web site which served to refresh my mind that we are nearing the closing date for submissions for the 2016 prize. Alas another year passes in which my name is not amongst the final few! To be fair this is largely due to the fact that I haven't written a book. Perhaps by this time next year I will have had time to commit to paper my impressions of the importance of mountains to my own rather insignificant existence. I am a third of the way there - I think - but not convinced of the relevance of my words.
Anyway, I did not start this post as a means to air my own self-doubt and wallow in self-pity at my lack of spontaneous literary genius so back to Boardman Tasker matters.
For anyone who is not aware Pete Boardman and Joe Tasker were two highly talented climbers who rose to prominence in the late 1970s. They were last seen on Everest in 1982, attempting the unclimbed North-East Ridge. Their literary legacies live on through a handful of published works and the Boardman Tasker Award.
Boardman published The Shining Mountain: Two men on Changabang's West Wall and Sacred Summits: A Climber's Year. Tasker penned Everest The Cruel Way and Savage Arena, two instant classics.
You can find a complete list of this year's submissions on this page of the BT web site: http://www.boardmantasker.com/submissions/
I have not read any of this year's yet but I do intend to over the coming months. I have spoken about a couple of winners from years gone by in my article about some of the best mountaineering fiction but here list of my favourites.
- 1989 M. John Harrison, Climbers (Fiction)
- 1988 Joe Simpson, Touching the Void
- 1996 Audrey Salkeld, A Portrait of Leni Riefenstahl
- 2000 Peter Gillman and Leni Gillman, The Wildest Dream: Mallory – His Life and Conflicting Passions
- 2003 Simon Mawer, The Fall (Fiction)