Following a brief online-only interlude last year, a physical Kendal Mountain Festival is on the horizon and another exciting line-up of films, events and festivities is on offer. The programme has expanded in scale and scope this year, with in-person and virtual offerings, meaning that there are even more interesting people to meet. Whom can you expect to rub shoulders with at the bar? Whom can you embarrass yourself in front of as you drunkenly ask them to sign your beermat or down jacket?
We couldn't include everyone, but we've compiled a list of 10+ interesting, fun and quirky characters who will be speaking and socialising at Kendal this weekend.
(The following people are all attending the event in person)
If there's one thing we've learned in recent years, it's that Sarah-Jane's articles attract comment - a lot of comments. Her writing divides opinion, ranging from "this is modern day emoti-bollocks writ large", said by one unnamed UKC user, through to "Sarah-Jane explores in fresh ways and isn't afraid to question perceived norms." The latter quote comes from Heather Dawe, who was presenting Sarah-Jane with the Climbing Literature Book Award at the Banff Mountain Festival. Not bad for emoti-bollocks writ large! Suffice to say that this'll be a session you won't forget…
Join Anna Taylor off the back of her cycle tour of the Classic Rock routes (UKC interview) at the Berghaus Women in Adventure Session. Completing the routes in Classic Rock is a lifetime ambition to many. Anna decided to fast-track that somewhat when she set out from Penzance on 31st July, with the aim of completing all 83, cycling between them. What made her achievement all the more remarkable is not only that she soloed the vast majority, but that she did so in some of the worst weather conditions imaginable (and what could be more British than that?!).
In 1961, 24-year-old Josephine Scarr drove overland to India with her friend Barbara Spark, forming the Women's Kulu Expedition. The pair hired Ladakhi porters and mapped a previously unexplored glacier in the Kulu district (now Kullu) and achieved first ascents of two 6,000m peaks. Josephine's book Four Miles High has recently been reprinted by The Pinnacle Club. Join Josephine for tales of travelling, learning the ropes of ice climbing, meeting locals and yaks and making two pioneering ascents.
Amira is a photographer and the founder of The Wanderlust Women - a hiking group for Muslim women. She encourages all women to feel confident walking in the outdoors and to travel around the world. Check out her awe-inspiring travel, walking and scrambling photos on her Instagram page. Amira is speaking as part of the Berghaus Women in Adventure session, presented by Rehna Yaseen and Jenny Tough.
Sabrina Pace Humphries and Keri Wallace
Earlier this year Sabrina Pace Humphries of Black Trail Runners teamed up with Keri Wallace of Girls on Hills to complete the Charlie Ramsay Round over three days. The article Keri wrote shortly after is well worth reading (if you haven't already), but irrespective of that we think this'll be an interesting and insightful session into the heart of what 'real inclusivity' is.
Acclaimed writer, editor and author Alex Roddie will be speaking about his new co-edited book Wanderlust Alps, a beautifully presented exploration of hiking across the European Alps. Need some inspiration for next year's travel and adventures? Alex's words and photos should be just the ticket.
Tickets free - Basecamp session. More details here.
A passionate science communicator and adventurer, Huw has used his skills to inform others of the devastating impacts that the climate crisis is having on people and place through the Athlete Climate Academy. For Huw, science communication has 'the ability to change the world and create a generation of science literate peoples that can tackle the world's big problems.' Join Huw at the all-new Basecamp where he will be in discussion with mountain runner Kilian Jornet and guests including UKC editor Natalie Berry, film judge Katie Moore and mountaineer Victor Saunders about climate science education and how the outdoor industry can play a role in 'keeping 1.5 (degrees Celsius) alive.'
Tickets free - Basecamp session. More details here.
A trip to the Western Balkans with his family proved eye-opening for writer, journalist and author Tharik Hussain. The Western Balkans and their mountains are home to the largest indigenous Muslim population in Europe; Muslims with blonde hair and blue eyes — 'a hidden Muslim Europe.' In his latest book Minarets in the Mountains, Tharik explores this lesser-known corner of Muslim history, and traces European Islamophobia back to its roots. Join Tharik for a fascinating discussion of religion and culture that will force you to reimagine Europe's religious history and modern-day make up.
86-year-old Captain Bob - of 'Wild Bunch' film fame - is a hardy sailor and arctic explorer with 50 years of sailing experience and bags of character. In recent years, his wife Kate's Alzheimer's diagnosis forced him to stay closer to home and focus his attention on caring for her. 'Farewell to Adventure' is a moving exploration of commitment and independence, showing the other side of adventure and the sacrifices we make when we leave the front door.
Piolet d'Or-winning alpinist Uisdean Hawthorn will be speaking at The Mountain Session with fellow top mountaineers Graham Zimmerman and Caroline George. Uisdean and Ethan Berman were awarded a 2021 Piolet D'Or for the first ascent of Running in the Shadows, a 2,300m VI M6 AI5 A0, on the Emperor Face of Mount Robson. In this session, Uisdean will regale the audience with tales of his hardy Scottish upbringing and his progression from Scottish trad and winter climbing to major ascents in the Candian Rockies, where he is now based.
Kendal Mountain Festival —the social event of the year for outdoor folk takes place across the town from 18th-21st November.
- Book tickets and passes on the KENDAL MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL SITE
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- INTERVIEW: Danny MacAskill on Riding The Dubh Slabs 28 Jan, 2021
- INTERVIEW: Andrew Cotter - Olive, Mabel, The Mountains & Me 25 Jan, 2021
- INTERVIEW: Ed Caesar on Maurice Wilson, the Moth and the Mountain 23 Nov, 2020
- ARTICLE: 10 People You'll Meet (Virtually) at Kendal Mountain Festival 2020 17 Nov, 2020
- ARTICLE: Mountains in Miniature - A LEGO Mont Blanc Massif 26 Oct, 2020
- ARTICLE: Dexamethasone - The Mountain Drug Leading the Way against COVID-19 1 Jul, 2020
- ARTICLE: Black Lives Matter - Resources for the Outdoor Community 4 Jun, 2020