Speaker programme brings running, climbing, art and film to Keswick Mountain Festival

30 March 2017

Details of the speaker programme for the 2017 Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) have been revealed. Running, climbing, art and film will all feature in a varied schedule that brings some of the UK’s biggest names in outdoor adventure to the Theatre by the Lake on 9 and 10 June. The high profile line-up will include Sir Chris Bonington, Nicky Spinks and Jasmin Paris, Alan Hinkes OBE and Terry Abraham, and Andy Beck. More speakers will be added to the line-up soon.

Hitting the ground running at 4:30pm on Friday 9 June will be Jasmin Paris and Nicky Spinks. In May 2016, Nicky Spinks became the fastest person ever to run a double Bob Graham Round, completing the feat in 45 and a half hours. She followed this by finishing 12th woman at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), adding the result to an already impressive list of long distance achievements. Jasmin Paris also enjoyed an amazing 2016, hot on the heels of her phenomenal win (first woman and second overall) in the legendary Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race the previous year. During 2016, Paris set new women’s record times for the Bob Graham Round and the Paddy Buckley (Wales) and the fastest time overall for the Ramsay Round (Scotland). In addition, she was the sixth woman in the UTMB, secured bronze at the Skyrunning World Championships and won the Extreme Skyrunning World Series. Nicky Spinks and Jasmin Paris will speak together in an evening event chaired by Claire Maxted, editor of Trail Running magazine.

On Saturday 10 June, the focus of the speaker sessions will move to art, film-making and iconic climbers. The first speaker at 4:00pm will be artist Andy Beck. Inspired by Alfred Wainwright, Beck has undertaken a major, 10-year project of producing a watercolour sketch of each of the 1500 illustrations drawn by Wainwright in his seminal seven volume A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells. Andy Beck will tell tales from his extraordinary odyssey and provide fascinating insights into how the scenes have changed in the 50 years between Wainwright’s project and his.

Next on stage at 6:30pm will be the UK’s most famous mountaineer, Sir Chris Bonington. Sir Chris will relate his extraordinary and very personal story of a life-time of discovery, pushing the limits from his first climb at the age of sixteen through to repeating his epic first ascent of the Old Man of Hoy at the age of 80. The six decades between those moments were packed with more first ascents, epic expeditions and incredible survival stories. Sir Chris will introduce some of the great characters from his innumerable adventures around the world and offer insights into the challenges of making a living from climbing while bringing up a family. The session will be illustrated by images and video from many of Sir Chris’ climbs to make for a very special evening.

The double act of mountaineer Alan Hinkes OBE and award-winning filmmaker Terry Abraham will bring the speaker schedule to a close from 8:30pm, with what is sure to be a lively and entertaining discussion about the documentary that they are working on together. Simon Ingram, editor of Trail magazine, will attempt to keep order. Terry Abraham’s productions, Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike, and Life of a Mountain: Blencathra, have received huge critical acclaim, and expectations are very high for his latest project, a biographical film of climbing legend Alan Hinkes. The film premiere is due for 14 October and the Keswick Mountain Festival session is a must for anyone who is keen to see exclusive early clips and hear the stories behind the making of the film.

Nicola Meadley, Keswick Mountain Festival director, comments:

“Once again, visitors to Keswick Mountain Festival will have the opportunity to hear from some amazing outdoor icons. For very different reasons, all of our speakers have earned huge renown in their field and they are all hugely engaging characters and speakers. Whether you’re a lover of climbing or running, or the art of capturing the outdoors on canvas or film, we have lined up some great shows at the Theatre by the Lake on 9 and 10 June.”

Tickets for the speaker sessions start at £10 and will be on general release from Thursday 9 March. Along with the speaker programme, Keswick Mountain Festival promises a packed schedule of outdoor activities, live music, sport and family friendly attractions, running from 8-11 June.

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