Mountain festival programme revealed

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The Fort William Mountain Festival 2019 programme has been announced and includes a line-up of inspiring presentations, adrenaline-filled and thought-provoking film screenings, skills workshops and exhibitions.

The festival is being held in association the Nevis Landscape Partnership, Heritage Lottery Fund, the Outdoor Capital of the UK and the Highland Council.

Visitors to and residents of Lochaber can celebrate everything the great outdoors has to offer at the festival during the five-day programme, which includes the festival launch night on Wednesday February 20 in Fort William High Street.

The launch includes a torchlight descent on the mountains across the loch, while on the High Street entertainment will include musicians, drummers, and fire jugglers.

Thursday has a night of winning outdoor adventure films, with 2019 winners being announced in the following competition categories: People’s Choice, Best Short Film, Best Mountain Sports Film, Best Exploration and Adventure Film, and John Muir Trust Wild Places Film Prize.

Saturday sees Tom Livingstone, a 27-year-old climber and writer, giving a presentation. Along with Slovenians Aleš Česen and Luka Strazar, he made the first ascent of the north ridge of Latok 1 (7,145m) in Pakistan.

A Bike Night with Jenny Graham and Sam and Joe Flanagan is on Saturday. Jenny, from Inverness, broke the record for a female cycling around the world, knocking almost three weeks off the previous record of 144 days.

Sam and Joe Flanagan have come to Fort William to share the best of their Scottish adventures, showing a timeline of film and photographs they have produced for the bike industry.

And the festival would not be complete without the official after party on the Saturday night. The Exhibition Zone opens daily before the main programme of events and during intervals. The 2019 exhibition will host the Vango Gallery, a collection of images by a Glaswegian artist depicting the wonders of camping and the outdoors.

Alongside this will be the usual mix of mountaineering exhibits, books and trade stands, including Nevis Landscape Partnership, Nevis Range, Abacus Mountaineering, John Muir Trust, Nevis Cycles, Lochaber and Lorn Ramblers, School of Adventure Studies WHC UHI, Mountaineering Scotland, The Highland Bookshop, Jamie Hageman, Mick Tighe’s Mountaineering Exhibition, and Dirt Bags Climbing Equipment.

New for 2019, the Fort William Mountain Festival’s Young Photographer of the Year competition is open to anyone aged 17 and under. Applicants are invited to submit one photograph celebrating the great outdoors, whether that is showing the achievements of people or taking us on a journey to a place that inspires. The winning photographs will be displayed in the Exhibition Zone.

Festival organisers have put together a range of workshops with plenty of opportunities for both novices and experts alike to get out and about amidst the beautiful Lochaber winter landscape. Regular workshops are offered by Mountain Festival supporters, including local guiding company Abacus Mountain Guides, Dave MacLeod, Mountain Yoga Kinlochleven, Nevis Cycles and West Coast Biking.

Festival tickets can sell out in advance, particularly for the popular nights.
All the event will be staged in and around Fort William, at the heart of the Outdoor Capital of the UK, from February 20 to 24.

To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival 2019 go to www.mountainfestival.co.uk or www.facebook.com/fort.william.mountain.festival