Mark Beaumont launches film festival

Round the World Cyclist Mark Beaumont, who this year also cycled 13,080 miles from Anchorage, Alaska to Ushuaia in Southern Argentina (climbing Mount McKinley and Aconcagua – the two highest peaks in the Americas – en route), took time out yesterday (13 October) to launch the 8th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival at the International Climbing Arena at Ratho. The Festival which runs from 21-24 October 2010 has a fantastic programme packed full of extreme climbers, global adventurers and inspiring films.

Mark will deliver his first Edinburgh lecture about his cycling and mountaineering journey through the Americas. Another highlight will be renowned explorer Benedict Allen with a resume of his adventurous expeditions across the globe. The main event is staged at George Square Lecture Theatre in Edinburgh, with special extra events being held at Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Ratho.

Of course, as well as adventurers, you would expect climbers and mountaineers at a mountain film festival and the EMFF does not disappoint! Part-time extreme mountaineer and full-time taxman Mick Fowler will share stories from his recent trip to Vasuki Parbat in the Indian Gharwal Himalaya, while Twid Turner will also provide inspiration for climbers with his tales from his expedition to Baffin Island.

For a different point of view, climber-turned-extreme-film-maker Paul Diffley will spill the beans on what it’s like to make climbing films with some of the world’s top climbers. And Scotland’s Dave MacLeod – the best climber in the UK – drops in to lead an intriguing debate on ‘The Ethics of Adventure’. This debate follows the screening or several risk-related films including the feature-length film ‘Solo – Lost at Sea’, about the tragic attempt by Andrew MacAuley to sea kayak, unaccompanied, from Tasmania to New Zealand – he capsized and drowned just 30 miles from New Zealand on day 33 of his journey.

There are many remarkable films as well, with Catherine Destivelle’s ‘Beyond the Summits’ taking the role of the epic, while Leo Houlding stars in The Asgard Project – a multi-award winning, high-octane climbing and BASE-jumping film by Alistair Lee. Most mountain sports are represented, including climbing, snowsports, BASE-Jumping, mountain culture and epic journeys, with a good combination of international and locally made films.

The festival, staged in association with Tiso & Wilderness Journeys, expects over 2,500 outdoor enthusiasts to attend the event. These will include climbers, skiers, snowboarders, mountain bikers, walkers, as well many others who simply have an interest in travel and adventure. For full details of the festival (21 – 24 October) see the website.

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