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KMF 21 | Kendal Mountain Festival Returns

The festival is back in town. Here’s what to expect at the four-day long event

After scaling back to an online-only event last year due to the Covid-19 regulations, Kendal Mountain Festival is back as a physical event and its line up looks one of its best yet.

Running from the 18th to the 20th of November, the festival will, as usual, play host to speakers, films, awards and sports events, bringing thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from all over the UK to the popular town on the edge of the Lake District National Park.

Those who have attended ‘KMF’ before will notice some changes, most notably with the Basecamp festival HQ set to be spread across two different locations in the town. According to the festival’s organisers, the Shackleton Tent will stay in its usual spot outside the Brewery Arts Centre but there’ll also be a ‘new larger space’ a short walk away at Abbot Hall Park.

For the first time, those unable to attend this year will also have the option to tune in virtually, with access to the full programme of films available on the new Kendal Mountain Player (full access costs £32).

As usual, the line-up of speakers looks a good one. Friday headliner Nirmal “Nims” Purja makes his debut at the Festival to share the European Premiere of ‘14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible’, a new Netflix film which follows his epic challenge to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000m peaks in seven months. Also taking to the stage on Friday will be explorer, campaigner and writer Belinda Kirk in conversation with adventurer Anna Blackwell to talk about all things escapism, resilience and lessons learned from the wild.

Extreme TV adventurer Aldo Kane headlines the Saturday programme with ‘tales from the edge’ including abseiling into an erupting volcano, rowing the Atlantic and getting locked in a bunker for 10 days with zero daylight. Plus Olympic climber Shauna Coxsey heads to the stage to share a special preview screening of her new film ‘The Wall: Climbing for Gold’.

Trail running superstar Kilian Jornet will be bringing his new ‘Climate Academy’ to the Festival – a platform aiming to give outdoor athletes the scientific literacy to discuss climate change and environmental issues with confidence. Iceland supermarket Managing Director Richard Walker, together with Surfers Against Sewage CEO, Hugo Tagholm will also be hosting a panel discussing ‘democratising environmentalism’.

Anna Blackwell will be in conversation with Belinda Kirk to discuss all things escapism, resilience and lessons learned from the wild

Among the feature films on show will be the world premiere of All For One, which tells the story of Sabrina Verjee’s record-breaking run of the Wainwrights fells this summer. Fell running legends Joss Naylor and Charlie Ramsay will also be taking to the stage at Merrell’s Running Session, along with the founders of Black Trail Runners, Sabrina Pace-Humphreys and Martin Johnson.

Runners will once again be lining up for the 10K Trail Race on the Saturday morning. There’ll also be guided walks, yoga sessions and a komoot community ride with Mark Beaumont.

For full programme listings visit kendalmountainfestival.com

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