`A full range of outdoors-themed films will be on offer

A full range of outdoors-themed films will be on offer

Organisers of the UK’s biggest outdoor festival are gearing up for the event next month.

Kendal Mountain Festival’s theme for 2019 is openness, with a push to widen the range of people and activities represented at the event.

Artistic director Claire-Jane Carter said: “Openness ensures freedom and creativity, the mainstays of mountain culture.

“The festival theme is both a call to action to the outdoor community and a commitment from our programming team to challenge the status quo and broaden the people, places, experiences and ideas represented on stage.”

Kendal Mountain Literature Festival patron Robert Macfarlane said: “To be open to the world is an ethical, even political, stance, as well as an aesthetic one.

“At a time when borders are being reinforced, positions hardened, prejudices deepened, when walls are literally being built between communities and nation-states, openness becomes vital.

“These are some of the qualities celebrated by our rich, diverse programme. Now, more than ever, we must keep our minds and our mountains open.”

Following a call for written submissions responding to the question of inclusion and connection in the outdoors, the festival will welcome five new writers to share their perspectives as part of a special event entitled Open Mountain: Inclusion and Connection; supported by readings from journalist Anita Sethi and Cumbrian poets Polly Atkin and, Kate Davis.

Proving that age is but a number is Dierdre Wolownick, who, inspired by her world-famous son, climber Alex Honnold, became the oldest woman to climb El Capitan at the age of 66.

Celebrating the extraordinary, Findra Everyday Adventure, hosted by British survival expert Megan Hine, will welcome inspirational individuals who have embraced new opportunities in their lives and overcome personal barriers.

The festival in the Cumbrian town on the edge of the Lake District runs for four days, from 14 November. It incorporates the announcement of the Boardman Tasker award for mountain literature and a plethora of film screenings, including the UK premiere of Rotpunkt with climber Alex Megos and a behind the scenes account of the Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race.

And Wainwrights, presented by Inov-8, follows Paul Tierney’s record-breaking challenge this summer.

The main Kendal Mountain Festival site. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The main Kendal Mountain Festival site. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The breadth and diversity of climbing are represented in this year’s festival with talks from photographer Ben Tibbetts who shares the stories behind his images of alpine ascents, to the grit and grime of crack climbing, as Pete Whittaker lifts the lid on this dark art.

Some people collect stamps; others, like UK climber Gary Gibson collect new routes. Bedevilled in controversy, as he describes mostly of his own making, Gibson has gone his own way and clashed with the climbing establishment of the day. Festival organisers said: “Love him or loathe him, upon the release of his book, Blood, Sweat and Smears, Gary will share his thoughts and memories at the festival, give audiences the opportunity to gain a personal insight into this ‘controversial man’.”

Audiences will have the opportunity to hear from leading environmentalists at the launch of Patagonia’s new online platform, Patagonia Action Works and watch a screening of the award-winning film Artifishal followed by a panel discussion on the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them.

For those looking to slow the pace, there is the chance to immerse themselves in sound at Wilderness Songs. Using 30 years of the best sound recordings, the Emmy-award-winning experts behind the soundtracks of Frozen Planet and Blue Planet, Justin Anderson, the producer of BBC’s Planet Earth II Mountains episode will take festival goers from the frozen seas of Antarctica to the vibrant jungles of Costa Rica, listening to the songs of humpback whales and the howling of a pack of wolves.

The festival will be welcoming back a number of firm favourites including the Trek Bike Night, Mountain Equipment Alpinism Session, Petzl Underground Night and Berghaus Women in Adventure Night. Last year’s sell-out Harvey Maps Fell Running Session returns for a journey over fells, crags, bracken and bogs, including talks from Mhairi Helme on her Classic Rock Round following on from the birth of her two children, and funny anecdotes from Darren Fishwick.

More details and booking form are on the Kendal Mountain Festival website.

Some articles the site thinks might be related:

  1. Kendal Mountain Festival: the land of white waterproofs and false moustaches
  2. Kendal Mountain Festival visitors will be able to step into giant ThermoPlume snowglobe
  3. Kendal prepares for Britain’s biggest outdoors festival with star-studded line-up
  4. Kendal rescuers among flood victims as Storm Desmond hit town
  5. Mountain council boss’s fears for climbing under new coastal law