I've just got back from a mammoth week at Kendal Mountain Festival: 3 days of on-site prep and then 4 days of full on action, 17 hour days coordinating the presenters and acting as the face of the Fest, featuring lectures, films, discussion panels, art and photo exhibitions, full scale beer drinking and dance action from the incomparable Farmyard Noises.40 cm of rain over the weekend didn't put a damper on spirits at the Fest - we had our malt sponsor Bowmore to assist with that!
You can check out the prize winning films on the Kendal Mountain Festival website, but I was asked to compile a list of other stuff for folk to check out. Every year at Kendal, people tell us there's too much, but we like it that way! No-one can see it all, so here are my highlights:
- Lecture: Tom Hornbein talking about his amazing traverse of Everest and especially the influence on his life of Barry Corbett, one of his climbing partners on that trip who was later in a wheelchair after a heli ski accident. Emotional and inspiring stuff.
- Climbing films: Welsh Connections from Dave Brown and Lynwen Griffiths, featuring an old friend, hippy Graham Desroy aka Streaky, Slate Monkeys from Paul Diffley and Slab and Crack from Al Lee of Posing Productions with Lucy Creamer showing all the tension of bold grit leads.
- Skiing Film: with a tip of the hat to Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Skiing shows what ski mountaineering is all about, miles better than the hour long ski porn films that tend to predominate these days.
- Check out the winner of the Short category if you can: Afghanistan - A Small Flame of Hope by David James. I've climbed with David in the Alps and he's a genuine and warm hearted guy with a drive to re-introduce mountain tourism into the Wakhan corridor, the peaceful north east of Afghanistan.
It's been a great Fest: thanks to all the presenting team and to all the audience for getting into Kendal in the horrendous weather. See you all in 2010!