Keswick Mountain Festival's Biggest Ever Speaker Line Up

Karen Darke, 131 kb
Karen Darke
This year's speaker programme at the Keswick Mountain Festival is the event's biggest ever. Many of the UK's most high profile outdoor personalities are set to appear as part of a packed schedule that will run from 15-18 May in the Theatre by the Lake on the shore of Derwentwater. With 12 headline speakers, this year's line up is the biggest that the festival has ever presented.

The 2013 Keswick Mountain Festival speaker programme offers a varied mix of adventurers, climbers from all generations, cyclists, celebrities, a photographer and even a Paralympic medallist. Photographer John Beatty will lead off on 15 May, by sharing some of his superb images and captivating stories from 25 years of assignments to over 38 different countries. On the same night, environmentalist and cyclist Kate Rawles will also speak, along with explorer, TV and radio broadcaster and vice president of the Royal Geographical Society, Paul Rose.

Road and track cycling legend Graeme Obree will set the pace on 16 May, followed by the only Brit to climb all 14 8,000m peaks, mountaineer Alan Hinkes, who will talk about both his experiences of the Himalaya and his love for the Lake District's own Wainwrights. The evening will be closed by adventurer, BBC documentary maker and best selling author Mark Beaumont, who will speak about his latest challenge – ocean rowing.

Climbing will feature prominently on 17 May, when Nick Bullock, Karen Darke and Sir Chris Bonington take to the stage. Nick Bullock will share some of the experiences that feature in his highly acclaimed first book, Echoes, which was published in 2012. Karen Darke is an inspirational individual, whose story is both gripping and uplifting – she will talk about many of her challenges, including the story of her amazing Paralympic year. Sir Chris Bonington is an icon of climbing who has been enjoying adventures around the world for six decades and is just as passionate about mountains near and far today as he was when he was a teenager.

Alan Hinkes, 82 kb
Alan Hinkes
Simon Yates

John Beatty
Simon Yates will be first on stage on 18 May. In a climbing career spanning 30 years, Yates has visited some of the world's most remote mountains and he will talk about his adventures in those far flung locations. Climbing's latest double act follow, with Andy Kirkpatrick and daughter Ella set to inform, entertain and amuse with the story of their quest to climb the giant El Capitan together. The schedule of speakers will be completed by writer, explorer and television presenter Monty Halls.

Lucy Scrase, KMF director, comments:

“We are delighted to be hosting our main speaker programme at the Theatre by the Lake. Not only is it a fantastic venue, but it is also located right next to our Festival Village in Crow Park, so together they should create a fantastic buzz throughout the festival. I think that this year's speaker line up is stronger than ever. We will be welcoming some of the biggest names from different parts of the outdoor world, and between them they will be covering a really wide variety of subjects. It's going to be a special week and the speakers are sure to be a big part of that.”

Tickets and More Info

Tickets for each speaker at the Keswick Mountain Festival are available now, with prices starting at £10.50. For full details of the programme and to buy tickets call the theatre box office on 017687 74411. The festival will run from 15-19 May – for more information, call 01539 729048, send a message to or visit the website below.

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