Adventure book winners announced

Pictured: 17-year-old Jade Hameister out in the frozen wastes.

The Mountain Film and Book Festival are pleased to announce the Mountain Book award winners for 2019. “We had some stunning submissions and our judges enjoyed reading about adventure and a wide variety of expeditions,” said Jo Lynch, festival director.

“Many of the entries took a look at our outdoor recreation heritage, as well as our future as we face pressure to protect the places where we play.”

The winner of the Mountain and Adventure Heritage award this year went to co-authors Peter Alsop, Dave Bamford and Lee Davidson for their book Scenic Playground: The Story Behind New Zealand’s Mountain Tourism. 

Seventeen-year-old Jade Hameister’s book My Polar Dream won the Mountain and Adventure Narrative award.

Scenic Playground tells the story of New Zealand’s first explorers, their innovations, dreams, ideas and the foundations of tourism in New Zealand. These are accompanied by high-quality promotional illustrations, photographs and paintings of the times.

The book describes the Kiwi tourism journey, but it also brings into focus the repercussions for the physical environment, like Maori’s relationship to the land, commercial land management and climate change.

Book programme coordinator Dan Clearwaters said, “This weighty tome mirrors the gravitas that tourism has within New Zealand, the way that it has encouraged and shaped recreation for generations, and the challenges it is posing due to its own successes”.

Peter Alsop is the author and co-author of five previous books, with particular interests in

tourism publicity, hand-coloured photography and mid-century New Zealand landscape

paintings. Dave Bamford is an independent tourism advisor who has worked extensively in New Zealand on regional tourism strategies, business plans and national park recreational

opportunities. Lee Davidson teaches in the museum and heritage studies programme at Victoria University in Wellington.

In January 2018, Hameister became the youngest person to complete the ‘polar hat-trick’ of traversing the North Pole, Greenland and South Pole.

She began her quest at the age of 14, when she became the youngest person to ski to the

North Pole from anywhere outside the last degree. She went on to become the youngest

woman to complete the 550km crossing of Greenland, unsupported and unassisted.

In January 2018, Hameister skied 600km from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole, once again unsupported and unassisted. She completed the epic 37-day journey via a new route through the Transantarctic Mountains and up the Kansas Glacier, from the Amundsen Coast.

In My Polar Dream she tells the story of these epic journeys. “One of the underlying reasons I am undertaking this quest is to empower young women around the world to chase their  dreams.”

Hameister is passionate about shifting the focus of young women from how they look to

what they can do. She has been awarded the Australian Geographic Society Young Adventurer of the Year and lives in Melbourne, where she is a year 11 student.

There were two runners-up in the Mountain and Adventure Heritage Award. They were Aoraki Tai Poutini: A Guide to Mountaineers by Rob Frost, and Searching for Groundswell by  Paul Hersey. They will both be speaking at this year’s festival.

There were also two runners-up for the Mountain and Adventure Narrative award. They were Rescue Pilot by author John Funnell and North to South by Stefan Fairweather, who will be speaking at the festival.


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