Kendal Mountain Festival brings together international athletes, filmmakers, conservationists and authors to share their experience of the impact of climate change as part of the UK's largest annual gathering of the outdoor community.
As world leaders conclude their discussions today in Glasgow at COP26, the Lake District gateway town of Kendal prepares to welcome some of the most accomplished international athletes, specialist outdoor filmmakers, leading outdoor brands and environmental experts, who will share their experience and response to the effects of climate change with the tens of thousands of outdoor enthusiasts set to attend the 41st annual Kendal Mountain Festival in person and online (Kendal Mountain Player).
From 18 - 21st November, Kendal Mountain Festival, will stage a diverse range of events including film screenings, panel discussions and speaker presentations to explore the impact of human life on the natural world and the steps we can take to reduce that impact.
Kendal Mountain Festival Director Steve Scott says: "Understanding our impact on the mountains has always been a part of the Festival, but over the years our audiences have demanded more from us. They expect us to talk about climate change, about closed loop manufacturing and what our brand partners are doing. We have moved from a passive role to being more proactive by challenging what our responsibilities are as active users of the outdoors."
As part of the Festival's Basecamp hub, a free-for-all tented Basecamp village across two venues, on Friday 19th (athletes only) and Saturday 20th November (public) trail running superstar Kilian Jornet will bring his new 'Athlete Climate Academy' to the Festival, a platform aiming to give outdoor athletes the scientific literacy to discuss climate change and environmental issues with confidence.
Describing his observations of the changing climate, Kilian says: "In the past years I've seen how extreme weather patterns are changing, routes that only a few years ago were possible to climb in summer are now spring or winter routes. I've seen how ecosystems are now disappearing or going higher in altitude to survive, how pollution is on top of Everest or in the depth of the ocean. And it's on us, we're responsible but also we are the ones who can fix it, together, with knowledge and will of action."
Following his unfathomable quest to summit all 14 of the world's 8000 metre peaks in 7 months, Nepali mountaineer Nimsdai Purja joins Kendal Mountain Festival to introduce the European Premiere of his new Netflix documentary 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible. A former Gurkha and UK Special Forces soldier, Nims is also Mountain and Climate Change Ambassador to the British Embassy in Kathmandu. Having witnessed the effects of climate change first hand, he has established his 'Big Mountain Clean Up' initiative with teams dedicated to the restoration of Manaslu, Everest, Ama Dablam and K2.
On climate change in the mountains, Nimsdai Purja says: "I have seen first hand the effect of climate change on the Himalayas. There used to be glaciers that are now lakes. I have seen big changes across the whole of the Himalayas since I started climbing in 2012, and these changes are directly affecting the communities that call the Big Mountains home. It makes me so sad to see this and that's why I set up the Big Mountain Cleanup to help protect and restore these sacred mountains. The time to act is now, together we can make a difference but we need to act and act fast."
As part of the Kendal Mountain Literature Festival, on Thursday 18th November local author Karen Lloyd will be in conversation with BBC Radio 4's Caz Graham (Farming Today) to discuss her collection of literary essays exploring the topic of abundance and loss in the natural world.
While on Friday 19th November, Festival patron and award-winning British author Robert Macfarlane talks to two of India's leading conservationists Neha Sinha and Yuvan Aves about their recently published books and conservation and environmental activism in India.
On Sunday 21st November, world leading Professor Jemma Wadham will be sharing her experience of leading over twenty-five expeditions to glaciers around the world to research glacier-hosted life and the impact of glaciers on our global carbon cycle.
As part of an extensive film programme running across multiple venues throughout the 4-day Festival, will be the UK premiere of 'River'. Written and introduced by Robert Macfarlane, on Friday 19th November the 90-minute feature film shows rivers on scales and from perspectives never seen before, honouring both the wildness of rivers but also recognising their vulnerability.
Looking at the ideas and emotions behind the international wave of civil protest, 'The Troublemaker' follows the personal awakening of two people as they learn to accept the reality of climate breakdown and ecological collapse and decide to do something about it. This 90-minute feature film will be screened at the festival on Friday 19th November.