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New Zealand guidebook wins prestigious literary prize

Friday 11 October, 2019

New Zealand guidebook, Aoraki Tai Poutini – A guide for mountaineers, has been named best guidebook in the world at the prestigious Banff Mountain Book awards in Canada overnight. It is believed that this is the first time that a New Zealand title has been awarded a win at these awards.

Author, Rob Frost, was surprised and elated at the award. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” he said. “I’m so happy that the judges were impressed by the book. The way the New Zealand mountaineering community has responded to the book already made me feel like the time spent on it was worth it, but this extra recognition feels very special. I’m really proud of this book, and I’m so happy that the Alpine Club was behind me for this, or it would never have happened.”

To make the win even more special, Frost wrote the book as a volunteer and published it in collaboration with the New Zealand Alpine Club (NZAC). It is the result of more than five years of tireless research, planning and writing, undertaken while working full-time as a geotechnical engineer. NZAC General Manager, Karen Leacock, says “This award is testament to the hard work that Rob put in creating this guidebook. Attention to detail is paramount when providing route information and Rob has taken this to another level with his extremely thorough research. Sometimes this can result in a relatively dry read, but Rob has a flair for writing and an enthusiasm for these places, which shine through in his description of some of New Zealand’s most magical locations. Visually it is stunning, and it sets a new precedent for the quality and structure of guidebooks both here and abroad”.

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Paul McSorley from the 2019 Book Competition Jury commented that “Rob’s Guide is thorough, with a comprehensive history of the region’s characters and pioneers. The routes are described clearly and well illustrated, but the adventure isn’t spoiled by too much blow by blow beta. I look forward to pulling this book out of my rucksack when I finally get the chance to climb in this world class arena”.

Aoraki Tai Poutini – A guide for mountaineers is available from all good book sellers and via the NZAC website,


Author Rob Frost grew up in Auckland and the Pacific Northwest of the US and was introduced to mountaineering while studying at the University of Auckland in 2001. He most enjoys trips to the more remote corners of New Zealand’s Southern Alps, and is currently training as a guide to take people on transalpine tramping and mountaineering journeys.

The New Zealand Alpine Club was formed in 1891 and aims to promote and support climbing at all levels within New Zealand. The club has over 4300 members, twelve regional sections and five full-time staff based at its headquarters in Christchurch. The scope of its activities is broad including publishing, the provision of 17 alpine huts and base lodges, instruction, events, advocacy, insurance and support for overseas climbing expeditions.

Information on the Banff Mountain Book Awards is here:


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