Winner. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey.
By Sam Keith from the journals of Richard Proenneke. Published by Alaska Northwest Books.
Lots of books have been published about intrepid souls who head off into the wilderness, build their own cabin, and live a life removed from civilization. But if you were to pick one which comes closest to truly describing that experience, this is the book. Richard Proenneke has a refreshingly simple and wonderful outlook on life, and like the warmth from a potbelly wood stove, you can't help but be drawn to him and his engaging story. You'll be there right alongside him on the shore of Twin Lakes, helping him carve out a masterpiece of a cabin, and then settling in with him for a full and introspective life in the Alaskan bush.
| Nature & Environment Category
Winner. Washington's Mount Rainier National Park: A Centennial Celebration. By Tim McNulty. Photographs by Pat O'Hara. Published by The Mountaineers Books.
Mount Rainier, published on the 100th anniversary
of the founding of the park, is an absolutely stunning book filled with
breathtaking photography. Large format books are often accompanied
by dull, inane text, but not this one. The mountain and its surrounding
environment are described in beautiful, heart-felt prose. A sensitive
and synchronous collaboration between writer, photographer and publisher,
this books succeeds wonderfully. Every sacred mountain should have
its story so handsomely told.
Winner. Islands of Hope: Lessons from North America's Great Wildlife Sanctuaries By Phillip Manning. Published by John F. Blair.
Naturalist Phillip Manning visits ten wildlife preserves in four North American countries, investigating the animals and ecosystems that the sanctuaries protect. In a simple and understanding style, Manning helps readers learn how refuges work, their history and the challenges facing them. There is caution, of course, in the book's message, but mostly the message is of abiding hope for the future.
| Outdoor Adventure Guidebooks
Winner. Trout Unlimited's Guide to America's 100 Best Trout Streams By John Ross. Jeff Wincapaw, Art Director. Published by Falcon Publishing and Trout Unlimited.
These are the streams that fire an angler's imagination: 100 of them in 30 states across the US, voted the best places to catch trout by members of Trout Unlimited. The writing in this well organized guide is strong, lively and stylish. It makes you want to grab your rod and hit the road.
Honorable Mention. Vermont and New Hampshire Winter Trails By Marty Basch. Published by The Globe Pequot Press.
Designed for all levels, from consummate winter recreational skiers and snowshoers to beginners and families, Winter Trails covers the best places to snowshoe and cross-country ski in Vermont and New Hampshire.
| Nature Guidebook Category
Winner. Scats and Tracks of the Rocky Mountains: A Field Guide to the Signs of 70 Wildlife Species By James Halfpenny, Ph.D. Illustrated by Todd Telander and Designed by Dana Kim-Wincapaw. Published by Falcon Publishing.
In this book, conveniently sized to fit in the back pocket, nationally renowned tracker, Dr. James Halfpenny helps decipher the signs left behind by mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians. The 145-page guide is a real bargain and includes clear and understandable drawings and concise descriptions of the scats, tracks and gait patterns of 70 Rocky Mountain species.
Winner. Extreme Alpinism: Climbing Light, Fast and High By Mark F. Twight and James Martin. Published by The Mountaineers Books.
In both temperament and content, this book is
a clear departure from past instructional texts in mountaineering and
outdoor texts in general. Directed to accomplished climbers, this
a master class for those who risk it all by venturing into some of the
most dangerous places in the world. Content of the class: character,
attitude, training, fitness, nutrition, clothing, equipment and technique.
Class instructional aids: well designed book with graphic and dramatic
color photographs throughout.
| Design & Artistic Merit
of the Appalachian Trail.
By Leonard Adkins. Photographs by Joe and Monica Cook. Grant M. Tatum, Creative Director. Published by Menasha Ridge Press.
From a practical standpoint, this book is a field
identification guide of the flora of the 2,100-mile Appalachian trail--and
an excellent one at that. But it is much more than a guidebook.
It is a work of art and a feast for the eyes. Wildflowers of the
Appalachian Trail is designed with grace and elegance and filled with
exquisite, full-page color photographs. It is rare to find a guidebook
where every photograph is perfect, but this is one. If you're hiking
or traveling in the Appalachian country, this is one book that you don't
want to be without.
Honorable Mention. Spotted Bear: A Rocky Mountain Folktale By Hanneke Ippisch. Illustrated by Hedvig Rappe-Flowers. Designed by Kim Ericsson. Kathleen Ort, Editor-in-Chief. Published by Mountain Press Publishing.
This enchanting children's book is the story of how bears, some bears, at least, get their spots. It is a wonderfully designed book and beautifully illustrated with Hedvig Rappe-Flowers' rich and colorful paintings. For young children—and adults too—it is certain to provoke wonder and excitement.
| Children's Category
Winner. The Inuksuk Book. Text and illustrations by Mary Wallace. Published by Greey de Pencier Books (Owl Books).
An Inuksuk is a stone structure, a type of road
sign, used by the Inuits of the Arctic to communicate important information.
They show the way when travelers are a long way from home, or warn of dangerous
places, or point to a place of reverence. This 64-page book, which
will intrigue children of the pre-teen years, consists of a series of short
stories about the Inuksuk and its importance in the Inuit culture.
| Outdoor Literature Category
Winner. The Lost River: A Memoir of Life, Death, and Transformation on Wild Water By Richard Bangs. Published by Sierra Club Books in conjunction with Random House.
Since the early 1970s, Richard Bangs has been in the vanguard of river exploration. He is particularly known for his bold ventures deep into the recesses of Africa. In nearly a dozen books, Bangs has written of his experiences, but in this book we see and learn more of him than ever before. Primarily this book is about his 1996 pioneering run of Ethiopia's Tekeze River, but the most interesting and telling part of the story is the long, and sometimes tragic, path which led him there.
| Outdoor Classic Award
Winner. Cache Lake Country: Life in the North Woods By John J. Rowlands with illustrations by Henry B. Kane. Published by The Countryman Press.
This book, first published in 1947, carries the reader back to an earlier, simpler time in the twentieth century. It's about John Rowland's life on Cache Lake, a lake located in forests of northern Ontario reached only by canoe. Rowlands writes of the seasons, the wildlife, and his explorations with nearby northwoods neighbors including a Cree Indian chief and an artist. The book is interspersed with descriptions and drawings of Rowland's hand-made backwoods inventions and woodcraft projects of all manner and shape. Full of a down-to-earth eloquence and commonsensical backcountry wisdom, it's a cozy and heartwarming book to curl up with.
|Works of Significance|
Although the following books entered in this year's contest were not selected as winners, the judges wanted to recognize their value and importance in the outdoor field. All of them have gone through multiple editions and printings. And all are tried-and-true books which have done much to make outdoor skills, techniques and the outdoor experience more understandable.
Walking Softy in the Wilderness: The Sierra Club Guide to Backpacking by John Hart. Literate, environmentally sensitive, and chocked full of valuable advice, John Hart's book is one of the finest texts ever published on backpacking.
Kayaking: An Animated Guide of Intermediate and Advanced Whitewater Technique by William Nealy. Quirky, creative, humorous, and uncommonly useful, this is a classic in the whitewater kayaking world.
How to Rock Climb by John Long. Now in its third edition, John Long's plain-speaking book remains the standard text of rock climbing technique.
Expedition Kayaking by Derek Hutchinson. Thirty-year sea kayaking veteran and inveterate expeditioner, Derek Hutchinson, tells how it's done in this, the fourth edition of his colorful and eminently instructive book.
Cowstails and Cobras II: A Guide to Games, Initiatives, Ropes Courses, & Adventure Curriculum by Karl Rohnke. Penned by one the great innovators of the experiential education field and stuffed to the brim with adventure games and initiatives, this immensely resourceful book is an outdoor education classic.
|End of Listing: 1999 National Outdoor Book Awards|
Jerry Dixon, Seward, AK
Laura Erickson, Duluth, MN.
Jim Fullerton, Pocatello, ID
Steve Guthrie, Unity ME
Kristin Hostetter, Portland, OR
C.J. King, Carbondale, CO
Rodney Ley, Fort Collins, CO
Rich Martin, Los Angeles, CA
John Miles, Bellingham, WA
James Moss, Lakewood, CO
Jim Paruk, Quincy, CA.
Mark Reynolds, Oklahoma City, OK
Rick Silverman, Telluride, CO
Ann Weiler Walka, Flagstaff, AZ
Jerry Watt, Kent, WA
Ron Watters, Pocatello, ID
Melanie Wulf, Geneva, IL