The annual Kendal Mountain Festival is always a place to find contrasts from the outdoor world. The biggest event of its type worldwide, it’s the main social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK.
Known for its strong base in climbing and mountaineering, it also manages to surprise with the unexpected; and this year is no different. This November ‘Kendal’ draws in many amazing personalities, from BBC TV adventurer Paul Rose to Olympic triathlon medalists Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee.
Highlights this year include the KEEN Wild Water Session, an exclusive mix of the best paddlesport action, from wild river running to remote sea kayak expeditions, this year featuring top new films plus KEEN athlete Adrian Durrant. From Lucan, Co Dublin, Adrian is one of Ireland’s top paddlers. Oh, and there’s free beer on offer as well…
Alistair & Jonathan Brownlee
Headlining the Adidas Endurance Session will be Olympic triathletes Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee. Fresh from their success at London 2012, the brothers will give us insights into what makes them the dominant force in world triathlon.
Robert Jasper ©Reinhard Fichtinger
Another ‘must see’ is top alpinist Robert Jasper. A climber who redefines the phrase ‘all-rounder’, Jasper has notched up some of the hardest sports climbs, plus soloed the three great North Faces of the Alps in record time, pioneered new routes in both Tierra del Fuego and Baffin Island and climbed Denali by two different routes in four days.
Ines Papert ©visualimpact.ch / Thomas Senf
Top women adventurers include Paralympics handcycling competitor, British para-triathlon champion and extreme adventurer Karen Darke plus two international women climbers at the top of their game, Germany’s Ines Papert and France’s Liv Sansoz.
As ever there’ll be hundreds of film screenings including the world premiere of Wide Boyz, a US road trip with a difference – British climbers Tom Randall and Pete Whittaker beating the Americans at their own game, ascending the widest, hardest crack climbs on the planet.
Autana ©Alastair Lee
Top adventure climber Leo Houlding, along with filmmaker Alastair Lee, made the first ascent of a Venezuelan tepui - approaching through thick jungle in best Heart Of Darkness style. The film is called Autana and for the Festival, Leo and Al present a special feature including behind-the-scenes stories and deleted scenes.
Together with over 70 films in competition, art, literature, the legendary Rab Party, the ‘specialist sessions’ plus the Boardman Tasker literary prize, it promises to be another unmissable year!