World´s Biggest Mountain Festival… Kendal

by Mick Ryan Will Gadd That´s right, as far as bums on seats go, the annual Kendal Mountain Festival that is held each year in the quaint market town in the South Lakes is the biggest in the world even surpassing the celebrated Canadian Mountain Film Festival at Banff. This years Kendal Mountain Festivals, held 9-18th November, incorporating the film festival, book festival, arts festival and the newly christened, Adventure Film Academy, has one of the most impressive line- ups so far. It includes reluctant mountaineer Sir Ranulph Fiennes talking about his ascent of the Eiger, andthere´s a chance to see and hear Doug Scott and Chris Bonington give a presentation about their ascents of Kangchenjunga and Kongur. Touching the Void author, Joe Simpson will be premiering The Beckoning Silence, a drama-documentary adapted from his book. Also on the bill there?s Greg Child, Thomas Huber, Jack Tackle, Will Gadd, Simon Yates and Neil Gresham. The Adventure Film Academy at Kendal, formerly known as the Extreme Film School, is a 4 daylong workshop and 48-hour film ?marathon?run by experienced filmmakers, Brian Hall, Graham Hoyland, Richard Else and Keith Partridge and gives aspiring filmmakers opportunity to learn all the production techniques from storyboard to final editing. More details about signing up at including last year´s winners of the film school competition Then there is the Book Festival which now hosts the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature(BT). A special retrospective is planned including contributions from previous BT winners Al Alverez, Andy Cave and Greg Child chaired by Ed Douglas. Nicholas Crane will also be making his first lecture appearance following the forthcoming Great British Journeys TV series. There will also be specialist evenings for mountain bike, white water, ski and parapente/BASE, as well as an exhausting list of adventure films throughout the festival. The main venue is the beautiful Kendal Brewery Arts Centre, with some events at Rheged, and this years presenting sponsor is Berghaus. Best to get tickets and accommodation early: Tickets online from or through Kendal´s Brewery Arts office on 01539 725133 Accommodation: