I have just returned home from a hectic long weekend working at the Kendal Mountain Festival. This is the UK's main gathering of outdoor enthusiasts, speakers and film-makers with 4 days of events based round the Brewery Arts Centre in Kendal.
A few years back IFMGA guide and 'Face of the Festival' Andy Perkins roped me in to work on the 'core' presenters team. This involves working long hours on a diet of coffee, pizza and adrenaline, hosting film sessions, introducing guest speakers, liaising with the Technical staff and Festival organisers to ensure everything runs smoothly. I originally accepted this as a challenge to overcome my fear of public speaking, but now look forward to it rolling around each year! Most days kick off around 8 a.m. and generally finish sometime in the early hours in the bar... sleep is for the weak, right?
This year I had the pleasure of introducing my good mate Kenton Cool who was speaking about his 8000m peak skiing experiences to a packed Dojo, and hosted a variety of film sessions - standout films for me were Sweetgrass Productions' Solitaire, introduced at Snowsports Night by the man himself Nick Waggoner, 'Sketchy Andy' which contains some sweaty-palm-inducing moments (see below) and the hilarious XC Snowboarding (an oldy but a goody).
A short clip from Sketchy Andy:
And XC Snowboarding:
Another festival highlight (which I snuck into on a rare couple of free hours) was Nick Bullock's lecture "Must get fitter, stronger, better" (or "fatter, soberer, balder" as per Graham D's intro!) which gave a great insight into the mindset of Nick's climbing, as well as explaining the origins of some of his route names (The Frumious Bandersnatch amongst others...).
Now its time for a couple of days at home, then I am off to Zermatt shadowing a BASI Off Piste & Mountain Safety course next week, as I will be delivering these courses later this winter. All we nees is some snow!