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‘Death Zone’ mountaineer Nirmal Purja to headline Fort William Mountain Festival

The Fort William Mountain Festival 2020 will be held from Wednesday 19th to Sunday 23rd February, headlined by 36-year-old Nepalese mountaineer and former Gurkha in the British Special Forces, Nirmal Purja MBE, who  summited all 14 ‘death zone’ mountains (over 8,000 metres) in a record obliterating six months with a truly inspirational talk highlighting this Herculean task.

 Nirmal Purja MBE

In its 16th year, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival will once again stage a stunning line-up packed full of inspiration, education and entertainment, action and adventure, at venues in and around the bustling Highland town of Fort William.

The programme includes presentations from world class outdoor adventurers, together with adrenaline filled and thought-provoking films from both the Festival’s very own international film competition entries and the Banff Centre Mountain Festival World Tour;  a number of award nights, including The Scottish Awards for Excellence in Mountain Culture and The Photographer of the Year Award, celebrating a range of outstanding achievements; some thought provoking environmental discussions; and a collection of quality fringe events including winter mountain skills workshops, yoga classes and bike and running themed nights.

Visitors to and residents of Lochaber can celebrate everything that the great outdoors has to offer at the 16th Fort William Mountain Festival, which is presented in association the Nevis Landscape Partnership, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Outdoor Capital of the UK, and the Highland Council.

Rod Pashley, Chairman of The Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “Celebrating the wild landscape that surrounds us in Fort William and Lochaber is the inspiration behind the Mountain Festival.  The mountains, glens, rivers and coastline influence our culture in many ways, whether it is the beauty of the landscape, our engagement with it or the opportunities we find in it.

“The Fort William Mountain Festival has something for everyone with a love for the outdoors.  With an exciting programme of adventure and events taking place throughout the region the festival offers a superb line-up of inspirational talks from top climbers and mountaineers, mountain bikers, mountain runners and mountain filmmakers, together with exhilarating film screenings from cutting-edge outdoor adventurers; mountain skills workshops and exhibitions. 

“We are especially pleased to announce that our main Saturday night speaker will be the remarkable Nims Purja, who has successfully climbed all 14, 8000m peaks in less than 7 months. An astonishing record and achievement! Normally this takes 7 years.

“Of course, the Festival is not just for high adrenaline adventure enthusiasts.  It is for everyone who appreciates the great outdoors. With the best winter walking, climbing and snowsports conditions of the year, visiting Fort William and Lochaber in February for the Mountain Festival is the perfect time of year to experience the stunning landscape of the area first-hand.”


The full programme is on the Fort William Mountain Festival website.

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