Tomaz Humar Prizes

2010 LeggiMontagna Award for mountain literature.

2010 ITAS prize for mountain literature awarded at the Trento International Mountain Film Festival.

2009 Kekoo Naoroji Award for Mountain Literature from the Himalayan Club.


McDonald, Bernadette: TOMAZ HUMAR – ¨This is a truly remarkable account of an extraordinary climber, brilliantly portrayed by Bernadette McDonald. Despite the author’s admiration for her controversial subject, she presents the facts, the emotions, the analysis, all with impeccable clarity and objectivity. The book draws the reader into the world and mind of this charismatic individual where everything seems to hang together. Tomaz lives and breathes climbing, especially where passion and inner strength unite in an exultant harmony with the life force he forever chooses to sorely tempt. Here we have a rare mountainteer, unique in understanding that climbing can be a means to explore an inner dimension beyond sporting achievement, enabling him to experience the sovereignty of the human spirit. Tomaz may well prove to be the sport’s first true mystic who discovered that climbing has the miraculous potential to yield the ultimate peak of selfhood. The stubborn courage Tomaz displays in defending his right to be true to himself is sensitively handled and much of his career is about weathering the storms created by reactions to his individualism as about big wall contests against unrelenting weather. What emerges is a mahatma-like character who sticks doggedly to his convictions and in doing so liberates the sport from the pointlessness of its summit fixation. The device of combining episodes of the Rupal Face rescue with flashbacks to a chronological account within each chapter creates the sensation of witnessing a thrilling serial. The gut-wrenching snatch of Tomaz from certain death by heroic helicopter pilots makes a palpitating climax to an epic outing. The book’s breathtaking descriptions of climbs, perceptive insights into the climber’s mind, and its arresting narrative style make it a most satisfying adventure-biography. Despite being pitted against several other masterpieces all three jurors agree this book stands in an inspirational class of its own and emphatically deserves to win the fourth Kekoo Naoroji Award.