The Fort William Mountain Festival 2019 programme has been announced with a mix of inspiring presentations, world-class film screenings, mountain skills workshops and exhibitions, to be held from Wednesday 20 to Sunday 24 February 2019.
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 and glens 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. And it’s 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 five-day programme includes:
Festival Launch Night – Wednesday 20/02/19, watch a torchlight descent on the mountains across the loch, which continues across the loch to the High Street for musicians, drummers, fire jugglers, films and music.
The Film Competition night – Thursday 21/2/19 – a night of winning outdoor adventure films.
The Scottish Winters Climbers’ Summit – Thursday – 21/2/19 – Scottish winter climbers have always been at the forefront of world climbing, and Scottish winters are seen as one of the toughest climbing environments. This evening explores the condition of Scottish Winter Climbing and questions whether the ethical standards we set ourselves produce the best climbers or create an unhealthy elitism. Chaired by Dave MacLeod with guest speakers Simon Richardson and Guy Robertson.
Running Night with Jasmin Paris & Nicky Spinks – Friday 22/2/19 – In 2016 Jasmin Paris had her biggest running year to date when she ran the 3 long distance UK rounds, the UTMB and World Skyrunning Extreme Series. She then continued to run and race through 2017, when she was pregnant with her daughter Rowan. Jasmin returned to competitive racing in 2018 and won the British Fell Running Championship. Jasmin will share her love of the mountains, and the challenges of staying fit whilst juggling caring for a young baby and working full time as a veterinary scientist. Nicky Spinks, a British long distance runner, specialising in fell running, set women’s records for the major fell running challenges the Ramsay Round, the Paddy Buckley Round and the Bob Graham Round.
Scotland – A Rewilding Journey / The Lynx and Us – Friday 22/2/19 – Not long ago, wild forest stretched across Scotland. Beavers lived in extensive wetlands, salmon filled rivers, and lynx stalked wooded glades. Today, Scotland is one of the most ecologically depleted nations. Hear a challenging vision of a wilder Scotland through stunning imagery and visual storytelling. Peter Cairns introduces a rewilding journey and David Hetherington offers a fascinating insight into how lynx and people interact elsewhere, with spectacular wild lynx images by Laurent Geslin.
Alpine Stories – First Ascents and Shiver Bivies – Saturday 23/2/19 – From shiver-bivys to perfect sunsets, Tom’s psyched for it all. Tom Livingstone, a 27-year-old motivated and ambitious climber and writer based in the UK will be presenting on Saturday evening. Along with Slovenians Aleš Česen and Luka Strazar he made the first ascent of the highly sought-after North Ridge of Latok 1 (7,145m) in Pakistan. The North Ridge of Latok 1 has been a prize for generations with over 30 attempts by a variety of highly talented parties. No one has come even remotely near success until now. How did Tom succeed where so many others failed?
Bike Night with Jenny Graham and Sam & Joe Flanagan – Saturday 23/2/19 – Listen to Jenny Graham from Inverness who broke the record for a female cycling around the world, knocking almost three weeks off the previous record of 144 days set by Italy’s Paola Gianotti in 2014. Yorkshire Invaders, Sam and Joe Flanagan, have come to Fort William to share the best of their Scottish adventures. Showing a time line of film and photos, from some of their first amateur funny edits to a favourite professional film they have produced for the bike industry.
Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Sunday 24/2/19 – the finest mountain films.
There will also be exhibitors and a range of workshops. See the Festival website for full details, booking and prices.