Kendal Mountain Literature Festival Announced Press Release

© Andy Houseman

The 2018 Kendal Mountain Literature Festival programme has today been unveiled, revealing a diverse programme of events featuring some of the UK's foremost authors of nature, landscape and mountain literature.

The four-day literature festival, now in its second year takes place from the 16 - 18 November as part of Kendal Mountain Festival, the largest and longest-running annual gathering of the outdoor community in the UK. The Kendal Mountain Literature Festival tickets go on sale ahead of the Main Festival programme, which will be available in the next couple of weeks.

Featuring over 40 authors, poets and writers including climbers Nick Bullock, Mick Fowler and Graham Hoyland, this year takes the theme of 'connection' to explore the latest and very best outdoor inspired literature from across the UK.

Literature has been a central part of Kendal Mountain Festival with the Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature hosted at the festival since 2007. The 35th Boardman Tasker Award will take place on Friday 17 November when the winner of this years' shortlist will be revealed.

You can find the full line-up and buy tickets here. We have selected a few climbing, mountaineering and hillwalking-related events to give you a taster of what's on.


1pm – 5.45pm | Friday 17 November

The Malt Room, Brewery Arts Centre | Tickets £12.50

Established in 1983 to commemorate the lives of Peter Boardman and Joe Tasker, the Boardman Tasker Charitable Trust celebrates their legacy by presenting the annual Award for Mountain Literature, presented to the author of an original work which has made an outstanding contribution to mountain literature.

Who will be the 35th winner of the coveted Boardman Tasker Award? Chair of Judges, Peter Gillman along with Kate Moorehead and Roger Hubank have the the difficult task of selecting the winner from the seven shortlisted books;

  • Nick Bullock, Tides: A Climber's Voyage
  • Paolo Cognetti, The Eight Mountains
  • Ed Douglas and John Beatty, Kinder Scout: The People's Mountain
  • Christoph Ransmayr, The Flying Mountain
  • David Roberts, Limits Of The Known
  • Doug Scott, The Ogre: Biography Of A Mountain And The Dramatic Story Of The First Ascent
  • Junko Tabei And Helen Y. Rolfe, Honouring High Places: The Mountain Life Of Junko Tabei


1.30 – 3pm | Saturday 17 November

The Malt Room, Brewery Arts Centre | Tickets £10

Graham Hoyland, Yeti - An Abominable History  © Kendal Mountain Literature Festival
Graham Hoyland, Yeti - An Abominable History
© Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

Graham Hoyland, the climber who was responsible for finding the body of George Mallory on Mount Everest, has been on another quest. On an expedition to the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan he found and filmed footprints of the mythical Yeti in a part of the country which has never before been visited by Western explorers.


3.30pm – 5pm | Saturday 18 November Abbot Hall Social Centre | Tickets £10

Yvonne Reddick, Translating Mountains  © Kendal Mountain Literature Festival
Yvonne Reddick, Translating Mountains
© Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

Translating Mountains tells the story of Yvonne Reddick's love of hiking, her father's death in the Highlands, and her determination to continue hillwalking in his memory. These poems explore risk, obsession and grief, but they also take us on an uplifting journey towards healing. Translating Mountains won the Mslexia Magazine women's poetry pamphlet prize and was a favourite pamphlet of 2017 in the Times Literary Supplement.


7.30pm – 9pm | Saturday 17 November

The Malt Room, Brewery Arts Centre | Tickets £10

Nick Bullock on Kyashar Nepal  © Andy Houseman
Nick Bullock on Kyashar Nepal
© Andy Houseman

Nick Bullock is a climber who lives in a small green van, flitting between Llanberis, Wales, and Chamonix in the French Alps. Now retired from the strain of work as a prison officer, Nick is free to climb. A lot. Tides is a treasury of his antics and adventures with some of the world's leading climbers, including Steve House, Kenton Cool and Nico Favresse.


9.30am – 11am | Saturday 17 November

The Malt Room, Brewery Arts Centre | Tickets £10

This Girl Did: Dorothy Wordsworth and Women’s Mountaineering  © Kendal Mountain Literature Festival
This Girl Did: Dorothy Wordsworth and Women’s Mountaineering
© Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

200 years ago, on October 7 1818, Dorothy Wordsworth and her friend Mary Barker climbed England's highest peak: Scafell Pike. Dorothy's account of the feat is among the earliest surviving accounts of the feat, and was a pioneering event in the history of women's mountaineering.

At this event, we will premiere a short film created as part of the project This Girl Did: Dorothy Wordsworth and Women's Mountaineering by the award-winning filmmakers Jago Miller, Richard Berry and Ben Barden, in collaboration with Cumbria-based artist Alex Jakob-Whitworth, the Wordsworth Trust and academics from Lancaster University. The film interweaves a performance piece by Jakob-Whitworth that reimagines Dorothy's ascent of Scafell with details from Dorothy's account of the excursion and research on Scafell Pike's cultural history.


10.30am – 12pm | Sunday 19 November

The Malt Room, Brewery Arts Centre | Tickets £10

Join us as Mick recounts a series of expeditions to stunning mountains in China, India, Nepal and Tibet. Alongside partners including Paul Ramsden, Andy Cave and Victor Saunders, he attempts striking, technically challenging unclimbed lines on Shiva, Gave Ding and Mugu Chuli – with a number of ascents winning prestigious Piolets d'Or.


12.30pm – 2pm | Sunday 19 November The Abbot Hall Social Centre | Tickets £10

Entwined Lines, ‘Burbage Valley’  © Paul Evans
Entwined Lines, ‘Burbage Valley’
© Paul Evans

Artist Paul Evans and poet Mark Goodwin will explore climbing and art as entwined forms of movement, through an in-the- moment combination of poetry and drawing. Mark will speak poems whilst Paul – responding directly to the rhythms of the words – draws onto a large spread of paper, with charcoal and pigment. This developing performance is still very much in the realms of live improvisation, something that reflects much of what climbing is about. Paul and Mark will be pleased to receive questions about such improvisation after the drawing is complete.

This session will also include a vibrantly illustrated presentation on how landscape has inspired the work of both poet and artist.


4.30pm – 6pm | Sunday 19 November Brewery Arts Centre Malt Room | Tickets £10

Cameron McNeish  © Kendal Mountain Literature Festival
Cameron McNeish
© Kendal Mountain Literature Festival

Award-winning mountaineering writer and television presenter Cameron McNeish reflects on a life dedicated to mountaineering, hill-walking and long distance backpacking. Following his career as an international long jumper he has for over forty years written, edited magazines and presented television programmes about walking and climbing, meeting some of the greatest characters of the mountaineering world.

A prolific author, he has also led numerous treks to the Greater Ranges of the world and was editor of The Great Outdoors Magazine for over 20 years. He recently candidly recalled the ups and downs of a full life in his best-selling autobiography, There's Always the Hills.

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