Keswick mountain festival Cumbria

A world-class cast of speakers has been added to the line up for this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival.  From 18-22 May,  some of the UK’s most high profile outdoor personalities will make an appearance at the festival, including Ray Mears, Sir Chris Bonington, Tim Emmett, Neil Gresham, Mark Beaumont, Geoff Somers and Alastair Lee.  The festival will also host a night of high octane mountain biking films.  All of the speakers will present at the Theatre By The Lake in Keswick.

Lectures and presentations have proved to be one of the most popular features of Keswick Mountain Festival since it launched in 2007, giving visitors the chance to hear first hand about the adventures of the UK’s leading outdoor personalities.  This year will be no exception, offering the strongest programme of speakers to date.

Lucy Bennett, director of Keswick Mountain Festival, comments:

“Every year, we receive feedback from visitors that they get a huge amount of enjoyment out of seeing and hearing about the adventures of the high profile personalities who we bring to the Keswick Mountain Festival.  So, every year, we have to try and put together an even better programme of speakers than before.  Looking at our line up for 2011, I think we’ve comfortably achieved that with some fantastic names, offering a real variety of presentations that will light up the festival.”

The highlights of the week for many will be the appearance of Ray Mears and Sir Chris Bonington on Saturday 21 May, providing a stellar line up for the last night of the festival.  Very different characters, both are undisputed leaders in their field and promise to deliver an extremely entertaining and thought provoking evening.

Ray Mears (two speaking sessions) is now a household name, thanks to several successful TV series.  He is recognised throughout the world as an authority on bushcraft and survival and is known for the empathy he has with the indigenous peoples and cultures that he meets.  Sir Chris Bonington is simply Britain’s best known climber and has been exploring and mountaineering for over 50 years.  He led the team that put the first Brit on the summit of Everest and has an almost inexhaustible supply of first ascents and fascinating adventures to recount.

On the evening of Friday 20 May, the speakers will really appeal to climbers.  Neil Gresham is one of Britain’s most well known all round climbers.  Equally at home on rock or ice, he is one of the few climbers in the world to have achieved the coveted grade of E10, with his second ascent of the notorious Equilibrium.  Tim Emmett is another of the country’s climbing elite and has a long list of new routes to his name, as far afield as Mongolia, Cuba and Sri Lanka.  He is a pioneer of deep water soloing, climbing hard routes on sea cliffs around the world.

On Thursday at the festival, the main speaker will be Mark Beaumont.  Mark is the man who, at the age of 25, smashed the world record for cycling around the globe, completing the circuit an incredible 81 days faster than the previous best.  His adventures have featured in BBC documentaries and he will share his films, photography and stories.  The evening will conclude with a two hour programme of some of the latest high adrenaline mountain biking films.

First but not least, Keswick Mountain Festival’s speaker programme will kick off with Geoff Somers and Alastair Lee on Wednesday 18 May.  Geoff Somers is one of the world’s most accomplished Polar travellers and in 1990 completed the first and only traverse of the entire Antarctic continent by its greatest axis, covering over 4,000 miles.

Between 1972 and 2001 he explored incredibly diverse locations around the globe and has an amazing collection of stories and images.  Alastair Lee has rapidly developed into the hottest adventure film maker around and has already bagged almost 50 international awards for his work.  His combination of stunning action, slick editing and irreverent humour have made films such as The Asgard Project and The Prophet both hugely entertaining and very popular.

Tickets for each speaker at the Keswick Mountain Festival are available now, with prices starting at £12.  Full details of the programme can be found at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk, where tickets can also be bought.

For more information contact Chris Lines at Press Ahead on 0191 516 6235, 07971 868329, cl@pressahead.info or www.twitter.com/chrisjlines.

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