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Vertebrate Publishing scoops Grand Prize at Banff Mountain Book Festival 2014

Friday, 7th November 2014

John Porter accepting the Grand Prize at the 2014 Banff Mountain Book Festival. Photo copyright The Banff Centre.Vertebrate Publishing author John Porter has won the coveted Grand Prize at the 2014 Banff Mountain Book Festival. One Day As A Tiger  – Porter's biography of legendary British climber Alex MacIntyre – was announced as the overall competition winner at the awards ceremony on the evening of 6 November.

The book’s author – mountaineer and writer John Porter – accepted the award at the ceremony in Banff.

Following the presentation, Banff judge David Roberts commented: John Porter has taken a huge risk in this biography of his onetime partner and best friend, Alex MacIntyre, by unfolding the short life of a visionary climber through the unusual vehicle of a dual memoir - half MacIntyre, half Porter. The chance to use MacIntyre's story as a pretext for recounting his own adventures in the mountains is a temptation that Porter not only sidesteps, but transmutes into something rare and new.

'One Day as a Tiger thus gets at truths that very few biographies of mountaineers have touched. The narrative arc of the book proceeds not as the usual succession of shared great days and climbs, but as the trajectory of a bold mentor who once took all the hard leads turning into an ambivalent elder whom his even bolder protégé all but leaves behind.

'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.

Vertebrate is no stranger to the Banff awards: Revelations, the autobiography of Sheffield climber Jerry Moffatt, won the Grand Prize in 2009, and Vertebrate’s own John Coefield and Jon Barton collected the Best Guidebook award in 2011 for Peak District Bouldering.

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.'

After this major win at Banff, Vertebrate is now waiting to see if it will be successful at the other awards for which its books have recently been shortlisted: the prestigious CILIP Carnegie Medal and The Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature.

(Photo courtesy of The Banff Centre.)



Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact Vertebrate’s Marketing Executive Tori Halliday on or 0114 267 9277.

For more information about the Banff Mountain Book Awards visit

The full list of category winners at the 2014 Banff Mountain Book Competition is as follows:

Mountain and Wilderness Literature, Non-Fiction  – The Jon Whyte Award
The Homeward Wolf – Kevin Van Tighem, Rocky Mountain Books (Canada, 2013)

Mountaineering History – The James Monroe Thorington Award
One Day as a Tiger: Alex MacIntyre and the Birth of Light and Fast Alpinism – John Porter, Vertebrate Publishing (UK, 2014)

Adventure Travel Award
Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari – Paul Theroux, McClelland & Stewart (Canada, 2013)

Mountain Fiction and Poetry Award
Letters from Chamonix – David Stevenson, Imaginary Mountain Surveyors (Canada, 2014)

Mountain Guidebook Award
Simple Fly Fishing: Techniques for Tenkara and Rod & Reel – Yvon Chouinard, Craig Mathews, Mauro Mazzo, Patagonia Books (USA, 2014)

Mountain Image Award
Vulkane: Expeditionen zu den gefährlichsten Kratern der Welt – Carsten Peter, National Geographic /NG Malik Buchgesellschaft (Germany, 2013)

Special Jury Mention
The Oil Man and the Sea: Navigating the Northern Gateway – Arno Kopecky, Douglas & McIntyre (Canada 2013)

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