Kendal Mountain Festival 2018: What Not to Miss

By Talyn Williams

Kendal Mountain Festival is always a highlight of our year, brushing shoulders with some of the outdoor industry’s top adventurers and athletes. Bringing folk from up and down the country to come together, watch films/talks and get inspired to Go Nice Places and Do Good Things.

If you’ve been following us for the past 12 months, you may have noticed it’s been a rather busy one. Luckily enough, a few of our favourite adventures and Daring Deeds have made their way onto the lineup for this year’s festival. So we’ve put together a little list so you don’t miss the best bits!

The Ant and the Whale - Dom Bush (Land and Sky Media)

You may have read the two-part Daring Deed that Alpkiteer Dom Bush wrote back in June about the proposed trip to Chamonix ending up as a Torridon Tale, a great story in itself. Dom however, was not there just for the climbing and adventure, but to film a Mountain Journal, centred around climber Ian Almond.

Having committed his time to climbing, Ian Almond looks back on the sacrifices and achievements of a life spent in the mountains, and what happens when that privilege is taken away. An honest, understated story about obsession, identity and self reflection filmed in the stunning Torridon landscape.

We’ve been big fans of Dom’s films for years now, and needless to say this one is definitely one to watch!

You can see ‘The Ant and the Whale’ at any of the following film sessions:

Collection 2 - Imagine
  • Friday - 11:30-13:30 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Screen 2
  • Friday - 16:30-18:30 @ The Shakespeare Centre
  • Saturday - 09:00-11:00 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Studio
  • Saturday - 19:00-21:00 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Screen 2
  • Sunday - 11:30-13:30 @ Movie Truck

Chasing the Frog - Dan Duxbury (Film by Ian Palmer - Northwood Films)

In 2007 he completed the infamous Bob Graham Round. In 2014 he was one of the few people to successfully complete a continuous self propelled round of the 282 Scottish Munros in 42 days. This year, seasoned fell runner Dan Duxbury set himself a new challenge to completely take him out of his comfort zone… The Frog Graham Round.

A Frog Graham Round is much like a Bob Graham Round, except in between the 40 miles and 16,000ft of ascent are 4 lake swims. Well, Dan doesn’t ‘do’ swimming, so join him for a talk on how he pushed through to become the current record holder for the Frog Graham. The challenge was also documented by filmmaker Ian Palmer. We’ve known Ian for a few years, love his work (such as ‘Scree to Sea’) and he himself is currently gearing up for a Bob Graham Round after having to take a break from Mountain Biking. You can read more on that here.

You can see Dan and ‘Chasing the Frog’ at any of the following sessions:

Harvey Maps Fell Running Session
  • Thursday - 19:30-22:00 @Brewery Arts Centre Theatre
Alpkit Outdoor Swimming Session
  • Sunday - 09:30-12:00 @ Kendal Town Hall
Collection 1 - Journey (Film only)
  • Friday - 09:00-11:00 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Screen 2
  • Friday - 14:00-16:00 @ Movie Truck
  • Saturday - 11:30-13:30 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Screen 2
  • Saturday - 19:00-21:00 @ Movie Truck
  • Sunday - 11:30-13:30 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Studio

Focus - Steve Bate (Film by Chris Prescott - Dark Sky Media)

AlpkiteerSteve Batehas had a belter of a year with too many adventures, medals and podium places to list. But behind all the impressive achievements, Steve is battling a condition that is slowly deteriorating his sight.

In 2011 Steve Bate was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa, a severe form of tunnel vision that is slowly robbing him of his sight. At the age of 34, Steve was forced to give up his dream of becoming a mountain guide, lost his driving licence and was registered disabled through visual impairment. The burden of blindness has manifested into an almost obsessive drive to achieve his ambitious dreams, from attempting to solo El Capitan to cycling in the 2016 Paralympic Games.

‘Focus’ follows Steve as he participates in the Rovaniemi 150, a gruelling self-supported fat bike race through the Arctic tundra of Finnish Lapland, where temperatures can drop below -35°C and 80% of participants don't make it to the finish line.

You can see Steve and ‘Focus’ at the following sessions:

Collection 18 - Lose (Film only)
  • Saturday - 11:30-13:30 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Studio
Steve Bate (Talk only)
  • Sunday - 14:30-15:15 @ Basecamp Stage

Dan Milner

We love hearing stories of adventures and Daring Deeds, and we often find ourselves transported to those moments whilst reading them and drooling over photo’s. Dan Milner is one that we relentlessly follow, constantly revealing tales of the unknown with the shots to back it up.

Like many adventurers, professional photographer Dan Milner has a perverted bent for tough, unforgiving places. His 30 years of hauling a mountain bike through some of the world’s most remote and demanding locations - from Afghanistan to more recently Ethiopia - in search of trails has put him on the map as one of the world’s most experienced and respected bike adventurers. This year Dan returns and gives us a unique first gander into life (and amazingMTB possibilities)behind theclosed bordersof North Korea!

You can see Dan and hear his tales from North Korea at the following sessions:

Dan Milner
  • Friday - 12:30-13:15 @ Basecamp Stage
Trek Bike Night
  • Friday - 19:00-22:30 @ Kendal Leisure Centre

Alpkit Outdoor Swimming Session

We love wild swimming. It’s pure, peaceful and brings you closer to nature. The Outdoor Swimming Session on Sunday morning celebrates all of that and more and we’re excited to be supporting it again this year.

Hosted by Colin Hill, it’ll be a morning of adventure and inspiration as we hear from figures such as Colleen Blair, Calum Maclean and Katie Maggs, plus another opportunity to see Dan Duxbury and his record breaking Frog Graham Round. The part we’re most looking forward to though is the exclusive premier of ‘Chasing the Sublime’, directed by award winning film maker Amanda Bluegrass. ‘Chasing the Sublime’ documents the swimming adventures of Kate Rew and Kari Furre of The Outdoor Swimming Society amongst a fluther of jellyfish in the beautifully remote Loch Hourn, and we can’t wait to see it.

Join us at the Alpkit Outdoor Swimming Session
  • Sunday - 09:30-12:00 @ Kendal Town Hall

Alastair Humphreys

Joining our team of Alpkiteers this year is Al Humphreys. If you’re not familiar with Al, you should be! He’s a true British adventurer, weekend warrior, author and blogger, and is well known for coining the term ‘Micoadventure’. He’s trekked 1,000 miles across the Empty Quarter desert, cycled 46,000 miles around the world through 60 countries and has countless stories from many a microadventure.

Earlier this year Al launched his ‘Great Adventurers’ book to introduce some of his personal heroes to a new generation and inspire others to get outside. ‘Great Adventurers’ includes incredible journeys undertaken by twenty of the most heroic and impressive adventurers who ever lived, stories hand picked by Al himself. Al will also be revealing his top tips and tricks for having adventures in colder climates in his 'Surviving Winter Adventures' talk.

You can see Al at the following sessions:

Alastair Humphreys - Great Adventurers (Children’s Literature)
  • Saturday - 16:30-17:30 @ Kendal Town Hall
Alastair Humphreys - Surviving Winter Adventures
  • Saturday - 20:00-21:30 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Room TBC

Waymaking - Book Launch (Vertebrate Publishing)

We had the pleasure of supporting Vertebrate Publishing in the creation of Waymaking, and we feel it’s a book that wholly encompasses the art of Going Nice Places and Doing Good Things in a beautiful way.

Waymaking is an anthology of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape. With contributions from adventurers such as Sarah Outen and Anna McNuff, renowned filmmaker Jen Randall and many more,Waymakingis an inspiring and pivotal work published in an era when wilderness conservation and gender equality are at the fore.

Join us for the Waymaking book launch
  • Sunday - 14:30-16:00 @ Brewery Arts Centre - Malt Room

Pete McNeil

Peak District local, Adventure Pedlar and Alpkiteer Pete McNeil takes to Basecamp stage on Sunday to recount his experiences from the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race.

The Silk Road Mountain Race is a fixed route, unsupported, single-stage cycling race through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. The clock does not stop and prizes are not awarded. A race not for the faint hearted, and one where less than 50% of racers finished. Pete finished as the first British rider to cross the line, in 8th place, after 11 days, 11 hours and 44 minutes in the saddle of the Sonder Bikes Broken Road.

Join us to hear Pete’s incredible story:
  • Sunday - 11:00-11:45 @ Base Camp Stage

Alpkit @ Basecamp Village

As always, we’ll be mingling with all you adventurous folk in the Base Camp Village from Friday morning until Sunday evening.

This year, we’re taking the AK factory on the road, joining us will be Dom and Nick to bring you an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in our UK lab of wonders. Over the years, Dom and Nick have made you custom made bike packing gear, bombproof Alpine packs, bouldering mats and the most recent waxed cotton packs range. So come and meet the team at Kendal Mountain Festival this year to see how it’s done, they’ll also be making a super secret one-off product over the weekend for you to take on all your adventures, so stop by to get your hands on one!

We’re really going all out this year, as well as Nick and Dom being with us to make a special item, we’ll also have unique one-off tee’s that you’ll only be able to pick up at this year’s Festival. Plus, we’re bringing a bunch of UK made kit with us for you to get your hands on too! Finally, if you have any used or unwanted gear, we'll be able to take them off your hands and put them to good use through the Continuum Project, getting your old kit to those who need it.

See you there!

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