Kendal Mountain Festival Report 2012

© Henry Iddon
Another November, another Kendal Mountain Festival and another roaring success. The biggest difference in the year's festival was the opening ceremony; in a bold move, the festival organisers opted to can the invite-only indoor opening. Instead, they went public and they went big, with a huge screen right across the Kendal high street.

The opening ceremony on the Kendal high street - a huge success!  © Henry Iddon
The opening ceremony on the Kendal high street - a huge success!
© Henry Iddon

It was a brilliant way of showcasing the event to the town's population, with an excellent speech from Sir Chris Bonington really kicking the festival off on the right foot.

There were of course loads of films and speakers, and the town came alive with a real buzz for the whole of the event.

Personal favourite speakers from the UKC team were the German alpine climber Robert Jasper's tales of the Eiger North Face, the British BASE jumper and all-round nutter Tim Emmett, and France's Liv Sansoz with her progression from sport climbing to injury to alpinism.

Tim Emmett and Liv Sansoz on stage at Kendal 2012  © Jack Geldard - UKC
Tim Emmett and Liv Sansoz on stage at Kendal 2012
© Jack Geldard - UKC

Whilst the two top films seemed to be Wide Boyz (the offwidth nightmares of Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker) from Hot Aches, and Autana (Leo Houlding goes Apocalypse Now) from Alastair Lee, and indeed both these films scooped prizes, this year's Grand Prize was actually won by Justin Jones and his film Crossing the Ice (trailer below).

VIDEO: Crossing the Ice Trailer

Prizes in other categories are as follows:-

Category Title Made by
Climbing Wide Boyz Paul Diffley and Chris Alstrin
Mountaineering The Old Breed Rufus Lusk
Mountain Adventure Autana Alastair Lee
Culture Capetown Ben Barden and Rin Colombi
Environment Chasing Water Peter McBride
Adrenaline Where the Trail Ends Derek Westerlund, Scott Bradfield & Ben Bryan
Short The Warrior Skip Armstrong
People's Choice Wide Boyz Paul Diffley and Chris Alstrin
Judge's Special Prize Verticalmente Demode Davide Carrari
Adventure Film Academy The Extra Mile Anna Panayotopoulos
Jack Stevenson
Music composed by: Cam Harris

For us though the highlight of every year is checking out Paul Diffley's choice of shirt. This year's was a wonderful long-sleeved floral print worn untucked with simple blue jeans.

The Wide Boyz give a presentation as Paul Diffley's shirt looks on.
© Alan James - UKC

And for those wanting a tip-off for something a bit off the climber's radar, but well worth seeking out, you could do worse than watch the excellently filmed Tempting Fear by Bjarne Sahlen and Mike Douglas. This film follows Swedish Extreme skier Andreas Fransson, who has been pushing the limits of steep big mountain skiing. Basically, this guy really does ski down routes that would be too hard for most climbers to climb up. Here's the trailer:

VIDEO: Tempting Fear

The party was of course a drink-fuelled social affair and as ever saw the fantastic Brewery Arts Centre stuffed full to capacity. We do have lots of photos from that night, but for everyone's sake, we've decided not to publish any of them here...!

One thing we always look forward to is the BMC presentation (and not just because they give us free sandwiches). This year Dave Turnbull (BMC CEO) and Scott Titt (BMC President) spoke to a packed tent about what the BMC have been up to, and what the plans for the near future are - look out for a report just on this on UKC next week. As ever the team at the BMC have been doing a great job, and we have been super impressed with their new look website. Have a look here: BMC WEBSITE.

Dave Turnbull of the BMC explains what they are doing for us.
© Alan James - UKC

All in all, a fantastic weekend full of the very best films and top-notch speakers.

If you were there, or want to see what it was all about, you can browse a gallery of photos taken by Henry Iddon at the KMF Facebook Page. And while you're at it - check out Henry's Website for some non-Kendal stunning shots.

And as a last note - keep following Dom Bush as we think his well received film Edgelands is going to be put online soon. Check his VIMEO PAGE.

And to finish off here are two essential trailers: WIDE BOYZ and AUTANA

Kendal Mountain Festival Sponsors 2012  © Kendal Mountain Festival Collection
Kendal Mountain Festival Sponsors 2012
© Kendal Mountain Festival Collection

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22 Nov, 2012
Looks great, shame I couldn't make it up. A nice idea to have the opening ceremony in the high street, makes it more accessible to all.
22 Nov, 2012
Unless it had rained (this is the lakes afterall).
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