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Bernadette McDonald wins American Alpine Club Lit Award

B.C. author Bernadette McDonald has won the 2012 American Alpine Literary Award.

McDonald, founding vice-president of mountain culture at the Banff Centre and the author of seven books, has received the honour for her book Freedom Climbers (Rocky Mountain Books, 2011), which recounts the true story of Polish adventurers who escaped Communist oppression after the Second World War and became the world’s foremost climbers of the Himalayas.

With the ACC award, McDonald has become the first writer to have scored the mountain lit hat-trick for a single title, having also won Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival and Britain’s Boardman Tasker Prize. (McDonald is the first Canadian to receive the British honour.)

The ACC will present McDonald with the award at a benefit dinner in Boston on March 3.

In December, Vertebrate Publishing acquired U.K. and Irish rights to Freedom Climbers, which they will release it paperback and ebook formats later this month.