Kendal Mountain Festival really does seem to get better and better each year.
From its humble beginnings over 17 years ago, it’s now grown into something quite special, establishing itself as the unofficial gathering for the UK’s outdoor and adventure sports scene and earning the nickname ‘the Oscars of outdoor film making’.
Where else do you get to share a bar with mountaineering supremos like Chris Bonington and Kenton Cool? Also spotted at the KMF bar were microadventurer, Alastair Humphreys, jungle explorer Pip Stewart and Sean Conway – whose legs are probably still recovering from his record-breaking cycle across Europe (it took him just under 25 days).
Socialising aside, it was a brilliant line-up the festival organisers put on this year. The Berghaus Women in Adventure night drew a sell-out crowd, with long-distance runner and cyclist Anna McNuff hosting a talk with some inspiring athletes and explorers, including sport climber Molly Thompson-Smith and Anna Blackwell who took the audience through her paddle from England to the Black Sea.
I’m told Brendan Leonard, aka Semi Rad, put on a great show discussing his film, How to Run 100 miles. “I saw a few people laughing during it, so that’s good I guess” was his response when I asked him how it went (interview coming soon).