The Kendal Mountain Festival 2016 – BBC, Mt. Blanc, Burton and The Bond…

kmf-signpost

What began as a beautiful autumn day, turned into an aquaplaning nightmare as I passed Manchester.  The Peak District was resplendent in its glowing reds and golds, but the motorway was a silver-grey morass of dotted with beaming brake lights and dousing flood water.  By the time I reached Kendal, darkness had fallen and drizzle filled the air.  What did I expect..?  It’s November after all.

Continue reading “The Kendal Mountain Festival 2016 – BBC, Mt. Blanc, Burton and The Bond…”

#Kendal15

KMF2015

The warm and wet autumn brought the risk of severe flooding in Kendal. Not good for the festival I thought, although it would bring the adventurous aspect of the weekend close to home..!

Continue reading “#Kendal15”

Leo Houlding, Mountain Heritage and Facial Hair…

MHT-Crowd

The first time I heard Leo Houlding speak was on a dark, rainy night at the Buxton Opera House.  He had quite literary just returned from free climbing The Prophet in Yosemite and the excitement showed.  He danced on the stage like a marionette, (reminding me of my childhood TV favourite Thunderbirds) which made for a strangely unnerving evening.  Though we should bring emotion into our speaking, there is a time, a place and then a need for some control. Continue reading “Leo Houlding, Mountain Heritage and Facial Hair…”

Camping Wild on the Cumbria Way…

Cumbria-Way

After a week of scorching July sunshine, I hoped for something a little cooler to wild camp the Cumbria Way.  Working with facial skin grafts in the blazing sun is always a challenge…

Continue reading “Camping Wild on the Cumbria Way…”

KMF 2014 – A Post Avalanche Special…

KMF-2014

I’d only been home from my latest Himalayan expedition a few days, before another adventure began.  The Kendal Mountain Festival might only last a few days in the eyes of the public, but to the organisers, planning a trip to the moon would be easier.  The tsunami of e-mails that my inbox sank under took some sorting, but by the Thursday morning of the festival, I was ready to go.

Continue reading “KMF 2014 – A Post Avalanche Special…”

Back from the Edge…

Ravens-Pit

The Kendal Mountain Festival has been a stalwart of the adventure calendar for many years. It takes place late in November, when dark and cloudy skies usually cover Britain. So it was quite a change to see ’KMF On The Edge’ launched for the middle of summer. The event took place in the beautiful surroundings of Langdale in the Lake District under (mainly) sunlit skies…

Continue reading “Back from the Edge…”

On the Edge – July 2014

Langdale-VW

The Kendal Mountain festival has traditionally been held in November, when nights are dark and the weather (usually) wet.  Things are changing, and a new festival ‘Kendal Mountain Festival On the Edge‘ has been launched for the weekend of July 25 – 27th 2014.

Continue reading “On the Edge – July 2014”

Risking life and limb…

Vardy-Matterhorn

Last friday I sat and watched the Channel 5 programme ‘The Limbless Mountaineer’. It was the story of Climber Jamie Andrew’s attempt to climb the Hornli Ridge on the Matterhorn, but it also covered much about his fateful accident in the Alps in January 1999.  It seems that year was life changing for us both…

Continue reading “Risking life and limb…”

Presenting a marathon…

Synergy

When I say to someone that Engineering is similar to Mountaineering they think I’m talking rubbish.  Perhaps I am, but over the past five months I have been delivering a great amount of Engineering Training.  This has meant speaking for eight hours a day, all week, every week.  Similarities between the two become obvious… Continue reading “Presenting a marathon…”

Reviewing 2012…

Terra-Nova

Where do I start?  So much has happened during the past year, and I don’t want to miss anything.  Good job I’m an avid diary writer…

Continue reading “Reviewing 2012…”

The Kendal Mountain Festival – backflips, books, slacklines and grand prizes…

Well it was that time of year again.  Time to head to Kendal for the Mountain Festival and volunteer as a presenter.  Volunteer you say???  Well, I may be a professional speaker, but there are times when the outdoor community comes together and works together.  We all give our time for free for the good of the community, and work harder than any professionally paid staff.  Working in engineering, I hear a great deal that ‘Money is the greatest motivator’.  If only these people knew how wrong they were.  Passion drives people, love drives people, people drive people.  And it’s the people I meet at the festival who drive me…

Continue reading “The Kendal Mountain Festival – backflips, books, slacklines and grand prizes…”

Remember, remember, here comes a busy November…

As the nights draw in, the evening speaking season begins.  I have a busy November coming up, so here’s a couple of events if you fancy coming to say hi..! (Bring beer)

Continue reading “Remember, remember, here comes a busy November…”

Kendal, but without the Mintcake…

The Kendal Mountain Festival is the highlight of the climbing calendar in the UK, but for me it wasn’t always that way.  I had visited the festival years back and even had my Discovery Channel documentary “Nightmare at 20,000ft” premiered there, but I always felt a little lost.  Was it because I was on my own?  Or the fact that I didn’t know a soul?  Who knows, but it all changed one day on the Hornli Ridge.

Continue reading “Kendal, but without the Mintcake…”

Where did I put that Camera..?

As a professional speaker I find it difficult not to criticise others on stage about this or that.  Is their layout good?  Are their images of high quality?  Can the presenter speak well and engage their audience?  This was an evening where I had nothing to worry about.  Julie Summers presented ‘Everest needs you Mr. Irvine’ at Derby Guildhall and stunned us all with her incredible knowledge, depth of research, wonderful pictures and heartfelt passion about her Great Uncle, Sandy Irvine.

Continue reading “Where did I put that Camera..?”