GEAR NEWS: The Kendal Mountain Festival 2011

The 17th-20th November sees the arrival of the 2011 Kendal Mountain Festival!

The 2011 Festival is set to be one of the best yet with an exciting array of lectures, films and partying! And CGR will be there!

Here’s the first in a series of updates from the festival organisers…

Tickets for Kendal on sale, with the majority of the programme in place. “We’re 90% there, with a couple of late slots being tied down”, says Festival director Clive Allen. “The problem is, we do it to ourselves. Every year we say let’s take it easy and simplify the event. But then the programme just builds up, we get great offers from sponsors and filmmakers and suddenly it’s almost impossible to shoe-horn it all in.”

The end result though is yet another spectacular programme filled with a unique combination of films, speakers and special guests that you’ll never get the chance to see in one location again. In addition to the speakers already announced – Lynn Hill, Jim Wickwire, Dave MacLeod, Simone Moro, James Pearson, the Favresse brothers and Nazir Sabir to name but a few – there’s a significant number of new names.

A big new story that’s just been confirmed is that Ed Drummond will be at Kendal. As the climber who made the first ascent of The Longhope Route on Hoy in 1970 with Oliver Hill, he’ll be at the world film premiere of The Long Hope, the story of Dave MacLeod and Andy Turner’s inspirational first free ascent this summer. In addition Ed will do a stand-alone lecture about his life and epic climbs. Now living in the USA, this will be a unique opportunity to see this legendary character and climber.

Ed Drummond will be at KMF 2011 (copyright: KMF)

In July Richard Parks made history by becoming the first person to climb the highest summit on each of the world’s continents and stand on all three poles – South Pole, North Pole and Everest summit – in the same year. An incredible feat, achieved within seven record-setting months. Richard will describe a journey encompassing South American rainforests, -40C in the Arctic and the hypoxia of Everest.

Prolific Everest-summiteer Kenton Cool appears not once, but twice over the Festival. On Thursday night he describes to Stephen Venables just how he managed to reach the top of Everest a record-breaking nine times. Then on Saturday Kenton talks about skiing two Himalayan giants – Manaslu and Cho Oyu. British alpinists Matt Helliker and Jon Bracey describe the commitment required to forge a new route up the stupendous Moonflower Buttress on Alaska’s Mt Hunter, plus big-wall specialist Jerry Gore talks about first ascents from Baffin to Borneo and how being diagnosed in 2001 as a diabetic hasn’t slowed him down in the slightest.

It isn’t all about mountaineering of course. BBC producer and director Dale Templar describes filming the Human Planet series, photographer John Beatty shares his superb images and stories from 25 years of worldwide assignments, plus Cameron McNeish and Richard Else talk and show exclusive footage from BBC Scotland’s new series profiling a new long-distance trail from the Scottish border to Cape Wrath.

Together with over 70 films in competition, art, literature, the legendary Rab Party, the ‘specialist’ nights plus the Boardman Tasker literary prize, it promises to be another unmissable year!

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