Fort William Mountain Festival line up announced

The full programme for the 2015 Fort William Mountain Festival has now been announced. Some of the best inspirational speakers made up of top climbers, and mountaineers, will join adventure film screenings, ski mountaineering and hill running races and mountain skills workshops for the four day festival. Staged in and around the Highland town of Fort William it will run from Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22nd February 2015.
Mike Pescod, Chairman of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Festival, said: “The Fort William Mountain Festival celebrates our wild landscape and the opportunities it presents. It’s guaranteed to inspire, entertain and educate.

The mountains and glens that surround us influence our culture in many ways. We want to promote the value of the landscape of Lochaber as the best destination in the UK to live, work and play. The Mountain Festival includes a superb line up of top climbers and explorers, mountain films, inspirational speakers and skills workshops. It’s not just for adventure addicts though, anyone who appreciates the landscape of the Outdoor Capital of the UK will find something for them in the Mountain Festival.”

The Fort William Mountain Festival programme includes:

Festival Launch Night – Wednesday 18/02/15 – The message from the mountains descends Aonach Mor by ski and mountain bike in a torch lit descent to kick it all off. Then, at the Nevis Range Pinemarten Café there will stories of “Mountain Magic, Mountain Rescue, Mountain Hospital!” David Sedgewick and Mick Tighe host an evening with Ben Nevis films from 1935 to 2014, our film competition winners and first hand stories from Ben Nevis.

European Outdoor Film Tour – Thursday 19/02/15 – The best outdoor and adventure films in one action packed night.

Spink and Span, Let’s Go Wild! – Friday 20/02/15 – Findlay Wild and Nicky Spinks.

The festival will welcome back the highly understated and talented all round hill runner and mountaineer Finlay Wild, and introduce the legendary hill runner, farmer and Ramsey Round record holder Nicky Spinks for an evening of film and chat.

Paddling Night – Friday 20/02/15

Spend an evening with Dean “Deano” Dunbar, a registered blind adventurer with a history of over 17 years, 80+ challenges, and setting over a dozen world firsts. Followed by Mick Hunter’s adventure: Prying, Crying & Just About Surviving – Canoeing 1000km across Scotland. 

Climbing Night with Ines Papert and Martin Boysen – Saturday 21/02/15

Ines Papert: Neuland. Climbing in Africa, the Arctic and the Alps. Elite climber Ines Papert will take you with her on a journey of new heights. In her captivating, multi-media presentation, Papert will lead you on a journey of climbing success, first ascents, enthralling travels and deep friendships, where the question of climbing style is contemplated as much as the longing for newness.

Martin Boysen: Hanging On. Martin Boysen started climbing on the sandstone outcrops of Sussex over 55 years ago and rapidly became one of Britain’s outstanding rock climbers. He extended his climbing to the Alps and Greater Ranges, taking part in several important Himalayan climbs, including the first ascent of the South Face of Annapurna in 1970.

In the long course of his climbing life he has met and made friends with many of the leading climbers of his generation, including Joe Brown, Don Whillans, Pete Crew, Baz Ingle, Nick Estcourt, Doug Scott and Chris Bonington.

The 8th recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture will also be formally announced alongside the 1st Scottish Youth Award recipient.

Bike Night – Saturday 21/02/15
Stu Thomson, the man behind Cutmedia. As a director Stu has followed his passion for incredible cinematography and story telling, most notably working alongside his close friend Danny Macaskill to create several viral videos and achieving millions of Youtube hits. These include the 2011 Channel 4 film ‘Industrial Revolutions’ and Danny’s most recent viral hit ‘Imaginate’ which was Red Bull’s biggest film of 2013 gaining over 20 million views in the first 12 months.
Starting with the early days as a downhill racer Stu will share his journey so far, his relationship with bike industry and the phenomenal success of Cutmedia. 

The Best of Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Film Night – Sunday 22/02/15 – The best in award winning mountain films from around the world – extreme expeditions and challenges, remote cultures and the world’s last great wild places. http://www.banffcentre.ca/mountainfestival/

The festival organisers are also urging people to join in or spectate as top level mountain athletes compete in events throughout the weekend. The first ever Runduro event will take place in and around Fort William and Skimo Scotland will hold their ski mountaineering races at Glencoe Mountain and Nevis Range.

There will be plenty of opportunity for both novices and experts to hone their mountain skills through a series of workshops in avalanche awareness and winter walking with Abacus Mountain Guides. Indoor climbing and ice climbing skills workshops will also be on offer at Kinlochleven’s Ice Factor Indoor Climbing Centre plus understanding our mountains through the Gaelic language workshop. For more information, prices and booking see the festival website.

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