Nicola Wilding and Mick Ryan The North Wales climbing community pulled together this weekend to produce the fourth successful Llanberis Mountain Film Festival (LLAMFF), a delightful mix of films, lectures, exhibitions and chin-wagging covering the the whole spectrum of the climbing experience.
The star of the Festival was without a doubt, George Smith, Gogarth new router, father and husband, and dare we say it, amazing thespian and storyteller. Winner of LLAMFF was his film 'George Smith's UpsideDown Wales'. It's outstanding, will be a winner at any film festival it enters and to use a cliché it is a must see. What makes it special? The humour, attitude, facial expressions and dialogue of George Smith and his take on modern climbing. It's unique, creative and engaging. Full credit to George, Noel Crain, Alun Hughes, Ray Saunders and several other North Wales climbers for putting it all together. Ten out of ten and both my thumbs up!
After George, Johnny Dawes read a piece from his forthcoming book accompanied by some pieces of slate, moodily lit, used as props to illustrate his talk. It was pure Johnny Dawes, unfathomable but at the same time entertaining. Everyone has a soft spot for the madcap Dawes.
Merging into this on Saturday evening was the resurrection of Lord Slatehead, the late Paul Williams' slide show, Slate of the Art, humerously and reverently introduced by Paul's son, Chris; organised and with commentary by Mike Raine, accompanied by a couched flock of slateheads, including an argumentative and reflective John Redhead and Johnny Dawes. But again, big George Smith excelled, this time with his readings from Martin Crook's diary about the slate exploration in the 1980's, some of the best climbing prose you will hear or read.
Nicola Wilding, winner of the DMM My First Outdoor Lead Essay Competition, travelled down from Glasgow to North Wales as a guest of UKClimbing.com. She read out Confessions of A Coward her winning essay, beautifully. She picked up her hula-skirt of new gear from DMM (£500's worth) and had a great day on Sunday exploring the slate quarries with our guide, Fat Elvis. You can see Nicola doing some acrobatics here
Next week we will have video up of Nicola reading out her winning essay.
Meanwhile here is George Smith.............
UKClimbing.com is a sponsor of the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival