Fort William Mountain Festival Programme Announced

Fort William has announced a Mountain Festival programme, presented by The Outdoor Capital of the UK, that will put Fort William and Lochaber at the forefront of Scotland's events programme in February. The 2010 Fort William Mountain Festival programme of new events and old favourites will take place throughout the Outdoor Capital of the UK from Thursday 11 to Monday 15 February; during the best winter walking and climbing conditions of the year.  

Mike Pescod, Chairman of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Festival, said: “Above all the 2010 Fort William Mountain Festival programme promotes the mountains as an attractive, accessible and above all enjoyable place to be.  It includes a superb line up of top climbers, mountain filmmakers, inspirational speakers and creative workshops. It caters for everyone of all ages from elite climbers to outdoor enthusiasts and hill walkers to budding wildlife photographers.

“This celebration of mountain culture, showcasing the huge range of outdoor activity opportunities available to visitors to Fort William and Locahaber, is the vision of The Outdoor Capital of the UK.  The OCUK presents the Mountain Festival with essential financial backing and logistical support that has guaranteed the delivery of the Festival for the next three years.  We look forward to working with the OCUK and its members in order to build a stronger and more sustainable events programme in the future.”

Organisers have promised a five day feast of films, lectures and workshops for residents and visitors who want to learn about and celebrate mountain culture. The varied and entertaining programme includes:

'Party at Nevis Range' – The official opening ceilidh, 2150ft up Aonach Mor, beside Ben Nevis, for an amazing party with altitude! Thursday 11 February
Victory Over Reason: Adventures On The Eiger, El Cap, Patagonia And The Caledonian Canal – A funny and insightful talk about the last 12 months in the life of legendary big-wall climber Andy Kirkpatrick – including a fraught attempted winter solo of the Eiger Direct, sea kayaking in Patagonia, taking a novice climber who couldn't walk up El Cap and a trip down the Caledonian Canal! Friday 12th February
Climbers I've Shot And Some I'd Like To Shoot – Scotland based multi-awarding winning adventure filmmaker Paul Diffley will entertain his audience with a mixture of chat, photos and video clips. Paul will also show 'Single-Handed', the award-winning film about Kevin Shields, the 'one handed climber'. Saturday 13th February
Jimmy Marshall: The Architect Of Modern Scottish Climbing.  An evening to celebrate the incredible achievements of Jimmy Marshall and fellow climber Robin Smith when, in February 1960, they climbed six first winter ascents of Ben Nevis on consecutive days.  The fact that they achieved this by cutting steps up the snow and ice appears, from the remove of the 21st century, to be almost impossible. Exactly 50 years on to the day two legends of modern Scottish climbing, Dave MacLeod and Andy Turner, will repeat what has been described as the most important week of Scottish climbing ever! (6 – 13 February).  Dave and Andy will present their experiences with film clips of the ascents (filmed by Phil Diffley), comparing the 21st Century experience of climbing the same routes using state of the art equipment and techniques with Jimmy's recollections of the first ascents.  This is a must for all climbers and outdoor enthusiasts.  Sunday 14th February
The Best of Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour  – From jaw dropping action to fascinating mountain culture and wildlife the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has it all. The most inspiring mountain films from around the world will once again be the festival hot ticket. Monday 15 February

The 2010 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture will be awarded to this year's winner on Sunday 14 February. The prestigious award that celebrates outstanding contributions to Scotland's mountains, encompassing sport, theatre, art, photography, film and literature was first introduced in 2008. World-renowned climber and pioneer, Dr Hamish MacInnes, and award winning filmmaker and documentary producer Richard Else were the recipients in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Children and adults will have the opportunity to try out new activities and learn new skills through inspirational daily mountain skills workshops during the Festival.  Highly experienced and fully qualified guides from Abacus Mountaineering, in conjunction with Nevis Range, will lead full day courses in avalanche awareness, winter walking and winter climbing.  Kinlochleven's Ice Factor Indoor Climbing Centre will be offering taster sessions in indoor climbing and ice climbing throughout the festival.  For those keen to explore their creative ideas in a stimulating environment Nevis Pix will run a one day wildlife photography workshop and Wild West Safaris will offer a Red Deer Safari during the Festival.  This will be a great opportunity to not only get up close and personal with the herds of red deer at Loch Quoich but also the possibility of photographing Golden Eagles and Goldeneye Ducks.  If the kids are tempted by the opportunity of cooking their own soup and making their own sandwiches followed by a wet muddy walk then the Forestry Commission Scotland's Wet Winter Welly Walk will be their Festival highlight.

For full details of the Fort William Mountain Festival programme and to book tickets go to – http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk

Ends

Media Contact:
Paddy Cuthbert | Podge Publicity | M: 07968699636 | e: paddy@podge.co.uk

If you are keen to attend the Fort William Mountain Festival for a commissioned travel feature or adventure / activity feature please contact Paddy Cuthbert to discuss a funded press trip to The Outdoor Capital of the UK.

Notes to Editors:
The Fort William Mountain Festival, presented by The Outdoor Capital of the UK, runs from Thursday 11 to Monday 15 February 2010 – http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk

Festival information:
Tel: 01397 700 001 / E: info@mountainfestival.co.uk

Book Tickets:
Online – http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk.  All online sales are subject to a £2 fee.
Ticket Office – Nevis Centre, An Aird, Fort William
Phone – 01397 700 707
Concessions for under 16's only.

Festival Organisers
The Highland Mountain Culture Association Limited, is a not for profit organisation, whose aim is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the world's mountain places and people, by creating opportunities for people of all ages to share their mountain experiences, ideas and visions. To showcase these ideals, it stages annually a programme of events within the Lochaber area, called The Fort William Mountain Festival.

Sponsors and Partners
Corporate sponsorship and funding partnerships are crucial to the future success of The Fort William Mountain Festival and with your help we can maintain this income and the healthy and productive relationships we have with our sponsors / funding partners by crediting them in print. This makes a real difference to The Fort William Mountain Festival. Mentions are counted and used as an evaluation of sponsored / funded projects. A credit at the foot of an article or a mention as the title sponsorship can make all the difference to us. Please credit our sponsors / funding partners where you can.

Presented by The Outdoor capital of the UK – http://www.outdoorcapital.co.uk/
Formed in 2003, the Outdoor Capital is a not-for-profit community company established to promote Fort William and Lochaber as the best place to experience the outdoors in the UK; with the vision: To establish and maintain Fort William and Lochaber as the UK's premier destination for outdoor pursuits and adventure tourism in an exceptional natural environment.

Visitors interested in the outdoors are increasingly important to economy and community of Lochaber. There are over 65 different activities to choose from in an amazing landscape that encompasses the small isles to Ben Nevis with white water rivers, sea, lochs, beaches, forest, glens, cliffs and mountains in between.

To find out about what The Outdoor Capital has to offer everyone, from the most rabid outdoor enthusiast to those keen to just give things a try, visit: http://www.outdoorcapital.co.uk
 
Major Sponsors
The Highland Council – Highland Events and Festivals – http://www.highlandeventsandfestivals.com/
The Nevis Partnership – http://www.nevispartnership.co.uk/
Nevis Range – http://www.nevisrange.co.uk/
Rio Tinto Alcan – http://www.riotintoalcan.com/
Rare Breed Productions – http://www.rarebreedproductions.co.uk/
Scottish Outdoor Access Code – http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/
Hotscot – http://www.hotscot.net/

Supporting Sponsors
Paramo
The Granite House
Rare Management
Strathmore Hotels
Fired Art Cafe
Abacus Mountaineering
Printsmith
RA Clements

Contact: Paddy Cuthbert
Phone: 07968699636
Email: paddy@podge.co.uk
Website: http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk/