The 7th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival returns to the Capital from 15-18 October, with controversial American climber Timmy O'Neill topping the bill. O'Neill, 40, hails from Boulder, Colorado and has made his name in the extreme climbing discipline of 'buildering' which involves climbing city centre buildings and structures without a rope. 'Slacklining' – walking along a rope strung between rock towers - is another of this extreme climber's favourite pastimes.
Top Scottish climber Dave MacLeod also gives a new lecture at the festival. MacLeod, from Glasgow, is now recognized as the best rock climber in the world after climbing the world's first 'E11' graded climb in 2007 and then following that up with a climb called 'Echo Wall' on Ben Nevis in 2008 – a climb which he admits is harder but has refused to grade. MacLeod has spent the summer working another new route in the Orkney Isles – a route thought to be at least E11.
Other adventurers speaking at the festival have been setting long-distance firsts. Patrick Winterton became the first man to sea kayak between the UK and the Faroe Islands, a journey of 2,500km. Out-distancing this are explorers Katie-Jane Cooper and Tarka L'Herpiniere who became the first people to trek 4,500km along the full length of the Great Wall of China. Topping all of these, however, is the largely unheralded Jonny Muir, who cycled over 8,000km in his 92 day journey around the UK, climbing the highest peak in each of the 92 historic counties!
The expanded 4-day festival will attract over 2500 outdoor enthusiasts from across Scotland and northern England keen to enjoy awe-inspiring lectures and a showcase of more than 20 action packed films from Scotland and around the world. The festival aims to promote mountain culture by providing a platform for adventure film-makers to showcase their work. Stevie Christie, Director of Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, said:
“This year's Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival will entertain, enlighten and inspire. We've pulled together a diverse programme of films from Scotland and around the world that show the highs and lows as well as the thrills and spills of mountain adventures. Some of the more extreme films include a solo ascent of the North Face of the Eiger, protected only by a base-jumping pack, amazing paragliding stunts and record-breaking 100 foot waterfall drops in kayaks. In another film, one-handed Scottish climber Kev Shields attempts to solo climb some extreme routes.”
“Of course it's not all fast-paced action and there are superb films about kayak expeditions to Greenland, climbing in the Himalayas, living in Antarctica, and much more. Magnificent scenery has a starring role in all the films whether it's the wild mountain scenery of Mount St Elias in Alaska, the primeval peaks of Papua New Guinea, or the more familiar but just as striking Black Cuillins of Skye. We've even managed to lay on some free events this year including a lecture by Jonny Muir and a photography exhibition.”
The Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival is held at the George Square Lecture Theatre, Edinburgh University.
Tickets and programmes are available from Tiso stores, Alien Rock 1 and on the door at the festival, subject to availability. Ticket Information