The Fort William Mountain Festival 2022 programme has been announced. A superb line-up of uplifting talks, exhilarating film screenings, mountain skills workshops and exhibitions in the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Over five days in February. During the best winter walking, climbing and snowsports conditions of the year.
For the 18th outing of the Fort William Mountain Festival, organisers are delighted to announce that they will once again stage a live, multi-venue event in and around the bustling Highland town of Fort William, at the heart of The Outdoor Capital of the UK (OCUK), a location known for its adventure roots, its global provenance, stunning landscapes, peaks, glens, waterways, beaches, history and culture.
From Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20 February 2022, they have programmed a stunning line-up packed full of inspiration, education and entertainment; action and adventure. It includes presentations from world-class outdoor adventurers; adrenaline-fueled and thought-provoking films from both the Festival’s very own international film competition entries and the Banff Centre Mountain Festival World Tour; a number of award nights, including The Scottish Awards for Excellence in Mountain Culture and The Photographer of the Year Award, celebrating a range of outstanding achievements; thought-provoking environmental discussions; and a collection of quality fringe events including winter mountain skills workshops, philosophy walks, and bike and running themed nights.
Visitors to and residents of Lochaber can celebrate everything that the great outdoors has to offer at the Fort William Mountain Festival, presented in association with the Nevis Landscape Partnership, the OCUK, Ellis Brigham, Jahama Highland Estates, John Muir Trust, and the Highland Council.
Rod Pashley, Chairman of The Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “In 2021 we produced a stunning online Festival amid the challenges of Covid-19. Now, as we finalise the programme and update the website for our 2022 Festival, we’re back to a live, multi-venue event, celebrating the wild landscape that surrounds us in Fort William and Lochaber; the inspiration that fuels the passion and enthusiasm behind the Mountain Festival. The mountains, glens, rivers and coastline influence our culture in many ways, whether it is the beauty of the landscape, our engagement with it or the opportunities we find in it.
“The Fort William Mountain Festival has something for everyone with a love for the outdoors. With an exciting programme of adventure and events taking place throughout the area, the festival offers a superb line-up of inspirational talks from top climbers and mountaineers, mountain bikers, mountain runners and mountain filmmakers, together with exhilarating film screenings from cutting-edge outdoor adventurers; mountain skills workshops and a festival exhibition.
“Of course, the Festival is not just for high adrenaline adventure enthusiasts. It is for everyone who appreciates the great outdoors. With the best winter walking, climbing and snowsports conditions of the year, visiting Fort William and Lochaber in February, for the Mountain Festival, is the perfect time of year to experience the stunning landscape of the area first-hand.”
The five-day Fort William Mountain Festival 2022 programme includes:
Venue: The Nevis centre, Fort William
Festival Launch Night – Wednesday 16 February
Meet Keith Partridge, Paul Diffley and Dave Macleod; all filmmakers, as they celebrate stories behind the stories of the History of British Mountaineering film-making. Added to this we will have some live music, beer and street food producers on hand to start off the night.
Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour – Thursday 17 February
A selection of the finest mountain/outdoor/adventure films to entertain, enthral and inspire, from the Banff Centre Mountain Film Festival World Tour. A firm favourite with everyone
Running Night – Friday 18 February
Meet Charlie Ramsay, creator of the Ramsay Round in 1978; Nicky Spink, who recently broke the Ladies Lake District 24-hour record climbing 65 peaks in 23.45 hours. From Fort William meet our very own Es Tressider and son Aaron (9) both keen climbers and runners based in Lochaber. In 2019 Es set the record for the fastest completion of Ramsay’s round (subsequently broken by Finlay Wild) and ever since then Aaron had been interested in the round. In 2021 they wanted to do a long multi-day adventure locally, so set out to do Ramsay’s round over three days, carrying all their stuff and camping along the way. A strong line-up including members of the Black Trail Runners, a group campaigning and encouraging more black members to trail running.
The Climbers Night – Saturday 19 February
Meet some of the UK’s and local climbers and mountaineers, James Mchaffie, Malcolm Bass, Simon Yearsley, Adele Pennington, Keri Wallace and Ali Rose as they share their stories celebrating the legacy, impact and inspiration of Ken Wilson, author of The Games Climbers Play, Cold Climbs, and notably Classic Rock.
The Snowsports Night – Sunday 20 February
Everything snowy, powdery, exhilarating and perhaps even scary. Supported by MDV (Marker, Diablo, Volkl) and Paddy Graham, freestyle skier and a major contributor to the collective group ‘Legs of steel’, producing awesome snowsport films. A night not to be missed.
The Exhibition Zone
The Exhibition Zone at the Nevis Centre opens daily 17.30 – 22.00 16– 20 February before the main programme events and during intervals. There will be the usual mix of mountaineering exhibits, books and trade stands.
Venue: The Highland Cinema – Cameron Square, Fort William
The Wild Climate Change Adventure night – Thursday 17 February – Screen 1- 19.00-20.30
Meet James Armour, an adventurer and graduate of Climate Change (Impacts, mitigation and adaptation) from Copenhagen University, who became the first person to swim, run and cycle the Outer Hebrides in a single event in July 2021. Distances were 308km divided into a 33km Swim, 92km run, 183km cycle. His journey took over 53 hours, beginning at 03:30am at the Barra Head Lighthouse and ending at the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse around 08:30am 2 days later. James was raising funds for the Tobermory-based Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust and the work they undertake, surveying the high seas of the Minch.
Wild Swimming – Friday 18 February – Screen 1- 19.00-20.30
Meet Calum McLean sharing his passion for swimming in remote rivers and lochs. Calum is a TV presenter, film-maker, outdoor broadcaster, outdoor swimmer, and fluent Gaelic speaker. In 2017 Calum was nominated by The Wild Swimming Brothers (The Hudson Brothers]) as Wild Swimmer of the Year. In 2019 he was invited to speak at the RSGS Inspiring People series. He makes short, often comical, films on outdoor swimming, wild camping and related challenges for BBC Scotland‘s ‘The Social. This
Bike Night – Saturday 19 February – Screen 1- 16.00-18.00
Meet members of the Adventure Syndicate, and Karen Darke. The Adventure Syndicate is a collective of extraordinary cyclists, who happen to be women, and who aim to challenge what others think they are capable of, adventurers and storytellers who promote mental and physical wellbeing through their outdoor endeavours. In 2021 they recreated an epic Scottish 500-mile cycle and youth hostelling adventure from the 1930’s.
Karen Darke MBE, FRSGS is an author, global speaker, transformational Coach, mindset architect, and adventuring soul. She is also a British paralympic cyclist, paratriathlete, adventurer. At the 2016 Rio Paralympics Karen won Gold in the Women’s road time trial, following her success in the 2012 London Paralympics where she won a silver medal in the Women’s road time trial H1-2
The International Film Night & the Photographer of the Year Awards – Saturday 19 February – Screen 1 – 19.30-22.00
Audiences are invited to relax at a night of award-winning outdoor adventure films. The winners of the 2022 competition categories will be announced: People’s Choice, Best Short Film, Best Mountain Sports Film, Best Exploration and Adventure Film and the John Muir Trust Wild Places Film Prize. The 2022 Photographer of the Year Award will also be presented.
The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture and The Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture Saturday 19 February – Screen 1 – 19.00-19.30
Both recipients will receive their awards at a special ceremony. These prestigious awards recognise and celebrate lives spent in pursuit of adventure; the overcoming of personal challenges; the achievement of the highest performance and recognition in their chosen specialisms whilst inspiring others along the way. The 2022 winners will be announced in early February.
Success on ‘Skye Wall’ – Saturday 19 February – Screen 2 – 16.00 – 18.00
Meet Bekah Drummond and Rob Mackenzie and hear about Bekah’s successful attempt of Skye Wall, E7, 6B, one of the most stunning looking routes in Scotland. Bekah finally managed to time the weather and holidays right and scrape in her goal of climbing this stunning line before she turned 25.
Family Film Matinee – Sunday 20 February – Screen 1 – 14.00 – 16.00
A collection of family-friendly films from the International Film Competition to inspire adventurers of all ages. This is a non-ticketed event.
The Wainwright Round – Sunday 20 February – Screen1 – 19.00 – 20.30
Meet Sabrina Verjee, who, on 11 June 2021, was eventually successful in completing the tour of the Wainwrights in 5 days 23 hours 49 minutes and 12 seconds. This was the fastest time by anyone for the route, which involves 36,000 metres of ascent. There had been a number of disappointments with previous attempts but on 11 June 2021, her persistence and motivation paid off.
Environment Night– Sunday 20 February – Screen 2 – 16.00-18.00
This event will include environmentally focused films from our International Film Award submissions and a presentation and Q&A from Bike4Parks of their 2021 Eco Adventure (John o’ Groats to the Scilly Isles) over land and sea! A unique journey using both road and water bikes! Their intention is to promote the need for a stronger eco/environmental appreciation.
Venue: The Highland Bookshop – Fort William High Street.
The Philosophy of Walking – Thursday 17 February – 17.00-18.30
Presented by Graeme Tiffany. Graeme is a freelance researcher, trainer, lecturer and education consultant working in the UK. Graeme has a background in youth work, community education and community development. As Vice-Chair of the Federation for Detached Youth Work, Graeme represents the UK in Dynamo International, an international network of street educators. This presentation considers the link between philosophy and walking in general and introduces the practice of ‘Philosophy Walks’ in particular. Walking, of all outdoor activities, seems to offer a particular means to think about these experiences, but also the world beyond. People who write about walking almost always make philosophical claims. And those who write about philosophy often describe how walking helps them to clarify their thoughts.
The ‘Fox of Glencoe’ book night – Friday18 February – 17.00-18.30
A presentation from the Scottish Mountaineering Press, publishers of the book The Fox of Glencoe by Hamish MacInnes. The Fox of Glencoe chronicles the adventures of the legendary Hamish MacInnes and his achievements in the field of mountaineering. Throughout this rich collection of tales, Hamish’s unorthodox character and pragmatic approach to risk and loss are conveyed with a wry, elegant style, offering a glimpse into the mind of one of the greatest mountaineers of our time.
The Venture Trust – Saturday 19 February – 17.00-18.30
Meet Sasha Doyle along with those who have experienced the work of the Venture Trust. The Venture Trust support people struggling with involvement in Scotland’s criminal justice system, long term unemployment and mental health and wellbeing. The Venture Trust work with people to gain the life skills, stability and confidence needed to reach their potential. Through person-centred support in communities and experiential learning in the outdoors, we challenge individuals to reflect on beliefs, attitudes and behaviours so they can unlock skills and learn new, more positive, ways of approaching situations.
The ‘Vanishing Ice’ book night – Sunday 20 February -17.30- 18.30
The diaries of a Scottish Snow Hunter. Meet Iain Cameron, who was nine years old when snow patches first captured his imagination, and they have been inextricably bound with his life ever since. He developed his expertise through correspondence (and close friendship) with research ecologist Dr Adam Watson and is today Britain’s foremost authority on this weather phenomenon. There are few more beautiful places than Scotland’s winter mountains. But even when most of the snow has melted, isolated patches can linger well into summer and beyond. In The Vanishing Ice, Iain Cameron chronicles these remarkable and little-seen relics of the Ice Age, describing how they have fascinated travellers and writers for hundreds of years, and reflecting on the impact of climate change.
Venue: Three Wise Monkeys Climbing Centre – Fort William
Secret Sessions – Thursday 17, Friday 18, and Saturday 19 February – 17:00 to 18:00
Reserve a place to meet an interesting and inspiring person – but you won’t know who it is until you meet them. Surprise yourself! Food will be provided. Book your place through the Festival website.
Venue: The Alexandra Hotel, The Parade, Fort William
The Festival Ceilidh – Saturday 19 February – A non-ticketed event. From 22:00 until late, with Riska Ceilidh band. Everyone welcome. Always a good night.
The Photographer of the Year Award 2022
The Photographer of the Year competition is open to everyone. Applicants have been invited to submit one photograph with the theme ‘These are my Mountains’, taking us on a journey to a place that inspires. The judges are local, including photography legend and all-round mountain hero Alex Gillespie. The winning photographs will be displayed in the Exhibition Zone. The winners will receive their prizes at the International Film Award night.
Fringe event Programme
Festival organisers have put together a wide range of workshops with plenty of opportunities for both novices and experts alike to get out and about amidst the beautiful Lochaber winter landscape. Winter Mountaineering Skills, Philosophy Walks, Wild swimming, Biking, Running, Yoga, Outdoor Art.
To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival 2022 and to buy tickets, go to https://mountainfestival.co.uk.
For up to the minute news and event updates, go to https://www.facebook.com/fort.william.mountain.festival.
Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: [email protected] | M: 07913 951717
Rod Pashley | Fort William Mountain Festival | E: [email protected] | M: 07785282733
If you are keen to attend activities and events at the 2020 Fort William Mountain Festival for a commissioned travel feature, or for an adventure/activity feature, please contact Paddy Cuthbert to discuss.
For a range of downloadable images go to https://www.dropbox.com/sh/guof79tkourfrg8/AAAi0jWMgaWTZSg8JauUUMOfa?dl=0. Please credit photographers as indicated.
Notes to Editors:
The Fort William Mountain Festival on digital:
Website – https://mountainfestival.co.uk
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/mountainfestival/
Vimeo – https://vimeo.com/fwmf
The Fort William Mountain Festival 2022 runs from Wednesday 16 to Sunday 20 February 2022 at venues in and around the bustling Highland town of Fort William, at the heart of the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’. The main presentations and film nights take place in the Nevis Centre, The Highland Cinema, the Highland Bookshop and Three Wise Monkeys indoor climbing centre. The Festival Launch Night will take place at the Nevis Centre. Venues for Fringe events can be found on the website.
The Fort William Mountain Festival 2022 is sponsored by The Outdoor Capital of the UK, Ellis Brigham, Jahama Highland Estates, the John Muir Trust, Highland Council and University Highland & Islands West Highland College, with many and varied local friends and supporters.
Festival tickets can sell out in advance particularly for the popular nights.
The Festival attracts approaching 1500 people over the 5 days and takes place each February in and around the town of Fort William.
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. The Festival is organised by a dynamic Organising Committee, all volunteers, made up of a team of hard working local outdoor enthusiasts.
The Outdoor Capital of the UK is Lochaber Chamber of Commerce’s tourism brand, promoting adventure for all! The Chamber publicises, sponsors and promotes Fort William and Lochaber as the best place in the UK for everyone to experience the outdoors; with a view to developing local jobs and wealth and encouraging sustainable economic growth. This is done through a range of collaborative marketing initiatives and activities. The organisation currently has a wide range of member businesses ranging from accommodation, food and drink and activity providers to non-tourism focused businesses who support the aims of the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce and acknowledge that tourism is crucial to the local economy. Many of these businesses are SMEs and by pulling resources and working as a team the Lochaber Chamber of Commerce achieves the positive results that individually the members couldn’t otherwise reach. The Chamber also produces the Outdoor Capital of the UK website, the go to site for local events, outdoor activities and visitor accommodation in the area. www.outdoorcapital.co.uk / www.lochaberchamber.co.uk.
The prestigious Scottish Awards for Excellence in Mountain Culture recognise the achievements of inspiring individuals and their outstanding contributions to Scotland’s outdoor culture. In 2021 The Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture was presented to Dave Morris, who has devoted most of his life to protecting and promoting access to the wild landscapes of Scotland and The Scottish Youth Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture was presented to Mikayla Parton. Mikayla epitomises these winning principles perfectly. Her meteoric rise to the top of the international downhill mountain bike race scene placed her fifth at the 2020 Mountain Bike World Championships. Her raw talent, constant dedicated training, motivation determined her success.