Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Vertebrate Double Top at the Banff Mountain Festival



Vertebrate Publishing books by Andy Kirkpatrick and Simon McCartney have both scooped awards in the 2016 Banff Mountain Book Competition. 
Andy Kirkpatrick’s 1001 Climbing Tips has won the Guidebook prize, while Simon McCartney’s mountaineering epic The Bond was announced as the winner in the Mountain and Wilderness Literature Non-Fiction category. There are now seven category winners eligible for the $4,000 Grand Prize, which will be announced on Thursday 3 November at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival. Other category award winners include Yosemite in the Fifties, by Dean Fidelman, in the Mountain Image category, and Rock Queen, by Catherine Destivelle, in the Mountaineering History category. 

Following the announcement of the winners, Vertebrate’s owner and managing director Jon Barton commented: ‘Tremendous news for Simon and Andy, and the culmination of many years of work for our team in Sheffield. When we first saw the manuscript for The Bond we knew it was something special, and we instinctively felt the same about 1001 Climbing Tips. To have them both recognised like this by a jury of our peers is a great feeling”.

The Bond is Simon McCartney’s gripping account of the first ascents of the north face of Mount Huntington and the south-west face of Denali with Californian ‘Stonemaster’ Jack Roberts over thirty-five years ago, and about the bond that links climbers together. Simon barely survived the Denali climb, and the story is told through his own words and excerpts from Jack’s and others’ journals. 1001 Climbing Tips is Andy Kirkpatrick’s irreverent take on the instructional manual, packed full of bite-sized wisdom. 

Vertebrate titles have won the Banff Grand Prize on two prior occasions: in 2009, with Revelations by Jerry Moffatt and Niall Grimes, and in 2014, with One Day as a Tiger, John Porter’s poignant memoir of his friend Alex MacIntyre. Vertebrate’s Peak District Bouldering also won the Guidebook prize in 2011. The Bond is also shortlisted for the 2016 Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature, the winner of which will be announced at the Kendal Mountain Festival on Friday 18 November. 



About Simon McCartney
Simon McCartney was born in London in 1955 and was introduced to the mountains of the UK by his father, Mac. He became addicted to climbing in his early teens and spent his school holidays climbing all over the UK. A fine season in 1977 as the sorcerer’s apprentice to Dave Wilkinson, one of Britain’s leading alpinists, produced a number of paradigm-changing climbs. A first and extreme ascent in the Bernese Oberland and a string of second ascents and test-piece climbs around Chamonix changed Simon’s perspective on what was possible. The pair attempted a summer ascent of the north face of the Eiger but were thwarted by poor weather. Simon climbed the route in the winter of 1979. In 1977 Simon met Californian ‘Stonemaster’ Jack Roberts in a Chamonix bar. A partnership was formed and the pair went on to test the limits of their ability on two remarkable first ascents in Alaska, the second of which, on Denali in 1980, effectively ended Simon’s climbing career. Simon is now a successful businessman living in Hong Kong where his dubious talent in calculated but compulsive risk-taking has continued, albeit on South-East Asia’s most prestigious buildings. The Bond is his first book.


About Andy Kirkpatrick
Andy Kirkpatrick has a reputation for seeking out routes where the danger is real and the return questionable, pushing himself on some of the hardest walls and faces in the Alps and beyond. He was born and raised on a council estate in Hull, one of the UK’s flattest cities, and suffered from severe dyslexia which went undiagnosed until he was nineteen. Thriving on this apparent adversity, Andy transformed himself into one of the world’s most driven and accomplished climbers and an award-winning writer. In 2001 he undertook an eleven-day solo ascent of the Reticent Wall on El Capitan, one of the hardest solo climbs in the world. This climb was the central theme of his first book Psychovertical, which won the 2008 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. His second book, Cold Wars, won the 2012 Boardman Tasker Prize. In 2014 he partnered BBC One’s The One Show presenter Alex Jones as she climbed Moonlight Buttress in Zion National Park in aid of Sport Relief. He is currently working on a film with Jen Randall based on his first book Psychovertical.


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