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Ron Fawcett Rock Athlete Wins 2010 Boardman Tasker Prize

Friday, 19th November 2010

Boardman Tasker Award Photo. Copyright Henry Iddon.

L-R: Barry Imeson (Judge), Ed Douglas, Ron Fawcett, Ian Smith (Chair of Judges), Paul Tasker (Boardman Tasker Chairman). Photo: Henry Iddon -

Rock Athlete, the autobiography of British rock climbing legend Ron Fawcett, has won the 2010 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature.

Established in 1983, this prestigious international prize is presented by the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust, which promotes literature by providing an award to authors of literary works, the central theme of which is concerned with mountains.

Announcing the winner, chair of the judges Ian Smith commented of Rock Athlete: ‘This is an engaging portrait of an unassuming yet quite remarkable climber told with humility and frankness.’  

Written with renowned journalist Ed Douglas, Rock Athlete offers a unique insight into the life and mind of one of Britain's most iconic and admired rock climbers.

After the announcement, Ron commented: ‘I am absolutely gobsmacked! I never thought we could win it, and I certainly never saw this coming back when we started the book.’

Ed commented: ‘It was a genuine shock to win, but also immensely gratifying. It caps what has been an unequivocally fun project to work on, one which I hope has done Ron justice.’

The Boardman Tasker Prize commemorates the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker – outstanding mountaineers and accomplished authors – who disappeared together high on Everest in 1982. It is given to the author or co-authors of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.

Five titles were shortlisted for the 2010 prize, including Rock Athlete, and No Way Down, New York Times reporter Graham Bowley’s account of the 2008 K2 tragedy. Previous winners include Joe Simpson with Touching the Void in 1988; Andy Kirkpatrick with Psychovertical in 2008; and two-time winner Paul Pritchard, with Deep Play and the Totem Pole in 1997 and 1999, respectively.

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