Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Kendal Mountain Festival - behind the scenes

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!

Friday, 11 November 2011

Greenland slideshow

I have just uploaded a photo slideshow from the 2007 Greenland Steep Ski trip here. Enjoy!

Friday, 4 November 2011

A short history lesson.

Twin tip skis are taken for granted these days (although 'tail rocker' seems to be the current marketing term :-) ) but I can still quite clearly remember the arrival on the scene of the first ever modern twin tip. Hats off to the NCAF for the vision & persistence!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Huascaran ski

Stumbled across this nice video of Andreas Fransson having a big day out on Huascaran - good effort that man!


There are some folks around who push at the limits of what is perceived possible. Antoine Montant was one of those, combining flying skills with skiing skills to open up whole new playgrounds. Antoine was killed last week in a base-jumping accident, but he leaves a legacy of boundaries blown wide open:

Portrait Antoine Montant par AMontant