Kendal Mountain Festival, 15th to 18th November 2012 – Climbing Gear Reviews Preview

It’s almost that time again, Kendal Mountain Festival 2012 will soon be upon us! So what feast of climbing and outdoor fun does this year’s spectacle have in store? Variety appears to be the answer…

The ‘nearly final’ line-up for this November’s Kendal Mountain Festival has been revealed and it seems there’s more variety than ever this year.

Adding to speakers already announced – Fred Beckey, Ines Papert, Liv Sansoz, Paul Rose, Robert Jasper, Leo Houlding, Tom Randall, Pete Whittaker etc – there’s a big new list of people to get excited about. “Looks like we did it again” says Festival director Clive Allen, “We meant to scale back the live programme this year but it seems we just can’t help ourselves.”

Kendal Mountain Festival 2012 Speaker – Ines Papert, Climbing ‘Super Cirill 8a/8a+’ in Parete di Sonlerto, Val Bavone, Tessin, Switzerland.

There’s the UK’s favourite ex-miner, alpinist and author Andy Cave bringing us up to date on his latest projects, including a short film from top filmmaker Alastair Lee. The UK’s most enthusiastic climber and adventurer Tim Emmett is fresh back from a climb/BASE expedition to Trango Tower and brings us the story, with contributions from Liv Sansoz who joined him on the trip. Another of Tim’s partners in adventure, ace Canadian alpinist Will Gadd, talks about his ‘Survival Strategies for High-Risk situations’ although Tim may butt in when Will gets onto their joint ascent of Helmcken Falls, billed the hardest ice route in the world.

Kendal Mountain Festival 2012 Speaker – Will Gadd, Canadian ice and mixed climbing legend.

Now we know that outdoor adventurer Karen Darke won a superb Silver in the Paralympics handcycling, a brilliant achievement, you can look forward to Karen talking about the whole Olympic experience – plus of course her amazing climbing, skiing and cycling achievements.

Mountain guide and ski-mountaineer Jim Blyth has skied every continent – as he says, “If an area is safe and has mountains and snow, it needs to be skied!” Jim talks about putting turns in where few others do, from Mongolia to Chile, Lebanon to Argentina, Iceland to Japan.

And now for something completely different. Ed Byrne, the Irish comedian (Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, Have I Got News For You etc) is big hillwalker and general outdoor enthusiast and was keen to come to Kendal on the proviso that they found him a sensible, level-headed person to share the stage with. So they’ve teamed him up with Andy Kirkpatrick. What could possibly go wrong?

Finally for now, news that many Festival–goers will applaud is that camping will be available for the first time for both tents and camper vans – more details on the Festival website.

And it doesn’t end there…

Kendal’s Specialist Sessions focus on specific outdoor sports, bringing the best speakers and films together. This year’s Santa Cruz Bike Session stars mountain biker Steve Peat: nine times British Downhill Champion, Double European Champion, 17 World Cup wins and 52 World Cup podiums… so far. Legend.

Coming across especially from Whistler for the Snowsports Session, the ‘Godfather of free skiing’ Mike Douglas is one of the most influential people on snow. Douglas spent the first part of his career skiing moguls on the World Cup circuit before turning to the backcountry, big mountains, and now filmmaking – his much-anticipated new film Tempting Fear will see its European premiere at Kendal.

The KEEN Wild Water Session is back! An exclusive mix of the best paddlesports action, from wild river running to remote sea kayak expeditions, this year featuring top new films plus one of Ireland’s top paddlers, Adrian Durrant.

The Adidas Endurance Session promises two big draws; first, Kath Jackson and two Kendal Mountain Rescue colleagues will set out during the Session to attempt a circumnavigation of the team’s area boundary in under 24 hours, biking, running and kayaking the 175km – progress will be live tracked during the Festival. And second? Well adidas remains tight-lipped about the athlete(s) they will bring along but watch this space…

Kendal Mountain Festival 2012 – The Brownlee brothers will be speaking at the Adidas Terrex Endurance Sessions

Finally the Free Flight Session features everything new and best in the world of paragliding and BASE, hosted as ever by top Lakes flier Jocky Sanderson.

Together with over 70 films in competition, art, literature, the legendary Rab Party, the Mountain Equipment Pub Quiz plus the Boardman Tasker literary prize, it promises to be another unmissable year!

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