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Top Picks for Kendal Mountain Festival 2020

© Adrian Ballinger

This year's extraordinary version of Kendal Mountain Festival begins today and the team have done an incredible job of curating a festival for the online world. There are films on-demand, sessions beamed to your TV or computer and exciting premieres to watch. It promises to be an unforgettable event in a forgettable year. We've delved into the schedule and picked a few things that we're most excited about.

A Dream of Edwin Drummond

Paul Diffley is back with another feature-length documentary. This year's offering looks at the life of Ed Drummond who was known for his poetic writings, bold first ascents and urban protest climbs. The film follows his life through archive material, reconstructions and animation. Meet one of the greatest characters to grace the UK climbing scene.

When: On-Demand from 19th November at 18:00

Film Collection: Climb 2

From California to the West Coast of Ireland, this collection of films showcases desert cracks, desperate plastic, tricky trad and Yosemite granite. One of my personal favourites from this year is featured – Free As Can Be – a story of an unlikely friendship between Jordan Cannon, a young climber infatuated with climbing history, and climbing legend Mark Hudon, a Yosemite pioneer. The film follows their funny and emotional relationship as they attempt to free climb El Capitan's Freerider.

When: On-Demand from 19th November at 18:00

Totally FKT: The Pennine Way Fastest Known Time (Premiere)

In July of this year, John Kelly broke the 31-year-old Pennine Way record. Six days later, Damian Hall set out to break it again. Totally FKT follows the pair through their battles on the 261-mile route from Edale to Kirk Yetholm (or vice versa). We'll also head from filmmakers Ellie and Matt, and John and Damian.

Watch our interview with Damian here:

When: 16:30 – 18:00 Sunday 22nd November

Will Birkett and Tom Randall: Classic Rock Round

UKClimbing was full to the brim with news of these two breaking each other's records this year. The back and forth switching of the Classic Rock Round record time was great fun to watch and in this session, we'll hear from both Will and Tom on some of their motivations, stories and epics. Plus it's hosted by UKClimbing's Rob Greenwood – what's not to like?

When: 19:30 – 21:00 Tuesday 24th Nov

Film Collection: Mountain

Breathtaking K2 - One of the films in the Mountaineering Collection  © Adrian Ballinger
Breathtaking K2 - One of the films in the Mountaineering Collection
© Adrian Ballinger

Travel to the heights of Russia, Norway, New Zealand, North America and the Himalaya in this eclectic mix of mountaineering films. There's everything from a stoat-trapper's dream mission for a sabre-shaped peak in the film 'Kakapo Crest' to the highly anticipated documentary on Everest from award-winning filmmakers Taylor Rees and Renan Ozturk.

When: On-Demand from 19th November at 18:00

BMC Breakfast Club

Infamous, renowned, weird, funny are just a few of the superlatives that come to mind when thinking about the BMC Breakfast Club. The event is normally one of the quickest to sell out, so this year is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of the unlimited capacity!

At the helm as always will be Niall Grimes, accompanied by a galaxy of stars plus films, appearances and the odd awkward moment.

When: 11:30 – 13:00 Sunday 22nd November

Film Collection: Climb 1

Over The Edge features in the Climb 1 Collection  © Emma Crome
Over The Edge features in the Climb 1 Collection
© Emma Crome

In this film collection, we see motivational climbers in 'Over The Edge' and 'Dead Last', a look at the godfather of Siurana, Toni Arbones, in Ten Thousand Bolts, Jerome Mowat takes us through the challenges of being a front line paramedic during the pandemic whilst using climbing as an escape in 'Lock Down Rock Up, and some Scottish people in 'A Bridge Too Far.'

This collection is full of joy, creativity and community.

When: On-Demand from 19th November at 18:00

Berghaus Women in Adventure Session

Rhiane Fatinikun (founder of Black Girl Hikes) and Emily Davis (Kendal Session Curator) host round the world cyclist Vedangi Kulkarni, climber and photographer Nikki Smith, filmmakers Rachel Sarah and Frit Sarita Tam, 'everyday adventurer' Kumbi Kariwo, and Jessie Leong and Julie Carter will discuss their film 'I am a Fellrunner.'

A brilliant line up of women who we'll follow through their highs, lows, love of the outdoors, friendships and advocacy. A session which celebrates those who pursue their passions and live adventurously.

When: 20:00 – 22:00 Sunday 22nd November

Patagonia Rock Session

Niall Grimes hosts Emma Twyford, Pete Whittaker and Robbie Phillips to talk about the last couple of years; Emma smashed into the 9a grade with her ascent of The Big Bang at Lower Pen Trwyn, Pete has become an award winning author and Robbie fell in a canal.

We'll also hear from Team GB Paraclimber Abbie Robinson on what it takes to compete at the highest level.

When: 20:00 – 22:00 Monday 23rd November

Merrell Mountain Running Session

Day 1: Sabrina on Haystacks with Buttermere and Crummock Water in the background  © Steve Ashworth
Day 1: Sabrina on Haystacks with Buttermere and Crummock Water in the background
© Steve Ashworth

2020 has been extraordinary for mountain running. Fastest Known Times have been broken left, right and centre and this session will get to the bottom of it. Sabrina Verjee will talk about her Wainwrights record attempt and her FKT on the Pennine Way, Kim Collison and Carol Morgan will enlighten us on what it takes to break the Lakeland 24 hour record and Beth Pascall will talk about her incredible Bob Graham record.

When: 20:00 – 22:00 Thursday 19th November

Take a look at the full 2020 Festival Programme here

KMF has very kindly offered all UKC/UKH readers a unique discount for festival events.

Enter the code UKCLIMBING10 when purchasing tickets at kendalmountainfestival.com

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