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On the 10th March 1975, Wanda Alice Margaret Hall (1912 – 2005), the widow of the late David Oswald William Hall (1909 -1971), set aside $2000 via a trust deed to ‘provide financial assistance for the publication of alpine literature’.The first recipient of this fund was Hugh Wilson, towards the publication of Field Guide; Wild Plants of Mount Cook National Park in 1978.

Since then, the DOW Hall Fund has helped support the publication of many other books. The fund is replenished with donations from those who wish to encourage others with a passion for our mountain environment to record their knowledge and experiences in print.

Criteria for the DOW Hall fund:

  1. to provide financial assistance for the publication of alpine literature
  2. should fall within the objects of the club
  3. should have literary merit
  4. should be of original or creative nature
  5. unlikely to be published without financial assistance
  6. wherever possible monies granted should be repaid to the club, in part or full.


Please send applications for this fund addressed to the Publications Convenor care of [email protected]


Current projects – grants awarded

The fund is currently supporting the following books yet to be published. Titles yet to be finalised.

  • By Gavin Lang,  an illustrated title of all 24 of the 3000m mountains in the Southern Alps of NZ with high-quality photographs and stories. There will also be a short film documentary produced covering the storytelling angles not possible in the book.  Seeking the Light: climbing all 24 of New Zealand’s Southern Alps Mountains above 3000m (publisher TBA). Expected publication date 2021 – $2500.
  • By Shaun Barnett, this title will span over two centuries of writing on a wide range of tramping accounts from early exploration of the mountains, bush excursions and coastal walks to trans-alpine traverses. Across the Pass: a collection of writing about tramping in New Zealand (Otago University Press) is expected for publication in 2021 – $1500.
  • By Paul Hersey, the working title of this mountaineering novel about love, loss and redemption, the bonds between family and the outdoors and taking those rarest opportunities to try to right past wrongs is Protection (Imaginary Mountain Surveyors – Canmore). Expected publication date late 2020 – $1000
  • By Paul Maxim, the working title of this snap-shot history of mountaineering in New Zealand through 25 selected climbs is Aotearoa 25 (Paul Maxim Publishing). Expected publication date 2021 – $2500
  • By Ron Hay, the working title of this book of recollections on the adventure, beauty, danger and call of the mountains is The Spirit of the Mountains (Publisher TBA). Expected publication date TBA – $1500


Past recipients of the DOW Hall Fund

  • Hugh D. Wilson, Field Guide: Wild Plants of Mount Cook National Park (October 1978)
  • Chris Maclean, John Pascoe (Craig Potton Publishing, 2003)
  • Norman Hardie, On My Own Two Feet: The Life of a Mountaineer (Canterbury University Press, 2006)
  • Pat Deavoll, Wind From a Distant Summit (Craig Potton Publishing, 2011)
  • Graham Langton, Summits and Shadows: Jack Clarke and New Zealand Mountaineering (Steele Roberts, 2011)
  • Paul Maxim, Bold Beyond Belief: Bill Denz; New Zealand’s Mountain Warrior (Maxim Books, 2011) Buy online
  • John Wilson, Joy of the Mountains, a climber’s life John Harrison 1932-1966 (Anne McGregor, 2012) Buy online
  • Shaun Barnett, Rob Brown and Geoff Spearpoint, Shelter from the Storm, the story of backcountry huts in New Zealand (Craig Potton Publishing 2012)
  • Brian Wilkins, Among Secret Beauties: a memoir of mountaineering in New Zealand and the Himalayas (Otago University Press 2013)
  • David Harrowfield, New Zealand’s Mountain History (publisher cancelled the release of this title)
  • Laurence Fearnley, Lydia Bradey: going up is easy (Penguin 2016)
  • Lyn McKinnon, Only Two For Everest: how the first ascent by Riddiford and Cotter shaped climbing history (Otago University Press 2016)
  • Peter Alsop, Dave Bamford and Lee Davidson, Scenic Playground: the story behind New Zealand’s mountain tourism (Te Papa Press). Winner of the 2019 New Zealand Mountain Film and Book Festival. Book released Nov 2018 Buy online
  • Edited by Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey, the working title of this non-fiction anthology of both published and unpublished historical mountaineering extracts from NZ’s past is:  To the Mountains: a collection of New Zealand Alpine Writing (Otago University Press). ‘Gems of mountaineering writing from known and unknown sources – from romanticism to misery, towering precipices to blistered feet.’ Buy online

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