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Keswick Festival Speaker Programme Line-Up Revealed

Headline speakers at this year's Keswick Festival event include ultra-runners Nicky Spinks and Jasmin Paris and climbers Sir Chris Bonington and Alan Hinkes.

A quick heads up on this year’s Keswick Mountain Festival speaker line-up which includes some top names from the world of mountain running, climbing, and adventure film-making. Check out the image above for some visual clues.

Speakers are due to appear at the Theatre by the Lake over the weekend of 9 and 10 June and confirmed names so far include Sir Chris Bonington, Nicky Spinks and Jasmin Paris, Alan Hinkes OBE and Terry Abraham, and Andy Beck.  More speakers will be added to the line-up soon, it says here.

Nicky Spinks running on Esk Pike in the Lake District

Running Start!

Things kick off at 4:30pm on Friday 9 June with top runners Jasmin Paris and Nicky Spinks. In May 2016, Nicky Spinks became the fastest person ever to run a double Bob Graham Round, completing the feat in 45 and a half hours.  She followed this by finishing 12th woman at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), adding the result to an already impressive list of long distance achievements.

Fellow ultra-runner Jasmin Paris – below – also enjoyed an amazing 2016, hot on the heels of her phenomenal win (first woman and second overall) in the legendary Berghaus Dragon’s Back Race the previous year.

Jasmin Paris, first woman and a remarkable second overall in the 2015 Dragon’s Back Race

During 2016, Paris set new women’s record times for the Bob Graham Round and the Paddy Buckley (Wales) and the fastest time overall for the Ramsay Round (Scotland).  In addition, she was the sixth woman in the UTMB, secured bronze at the Skyrunning World Championships and won the Extreme Skyrunning World Series.

Nicky Spinks and Jasmin Paris will speak together in an evening event chaired by human dynamo Claire Maxted, editor of Trail Running magazine.

Andy Beck who has undertaken a major, 10-year project of producing a watercolour sketch of each of the 1500 illustrations drawn by Wainwright
The legendary Sir Chris Bonington, in his 80s and still going strong - image: Berghaus

Banks And Bonington

On Saturday 10 June, the focus of the speaker sessions will move to art, film-making and iconic climbers.

The first speaker at 4:00pm will be artist Andy Beck. Inspired by Alfred Wainwright, Beck has undertaken a major, 10-year project of producing a watercolour sketch of each of the 1500 illustrations drawn by Wainwright in his seminal seven volume A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.

Andy Beck will tell tales from his extraordinary odyssey and provide fascinating insights into how the scenes have changed in the 50 years between Wainwright’s project and his own.

Next up at 6:30pm will be the UK’s most famous mountaineer, Sir Chris Bonington.  Sir Chris will relate his extraordinary and very personal story of a life-time of discovery, pushing the limits from his first climb at the age of sixteen through to repeating his epic first ascent of the Old Man of Hoy at the age of 80.

The six decades between those moments were packed with more first ascents, epic expeditions and incredible survival stories.  Sir Chris will introduce some of the great characters from his innumerable adventures around the world and offer insights into the challenges of making a living from climbing while bringing up a family.

The session will be illustrated by images and video from many of Sir Chris’ climbs to make for a very special evening.

Mountaineer Alan Hinkes and film-maker Terry Abraham, whose new film is a profile of the first British mountaineer to summit all 14 of the world’s 8,000-metre peaks, which premieres at the festival.

Terry And Hinkesy

They may sound like a blokey TV double act, but Alan Hinkes OBE and award-winning mountain film-maker Terry Abraham have been brought together by a mutual love of the mountains rather than football.

The pair will bring the speaker schedule to a close from 8:30pm, with what is sure to be a lively and entertaining discussion about the documentary that they are working on together.  Simon Ingram, editor of Trail magazine, will attempt to keep order.

Terry Abraham’s productions, Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike, and Life of a Mountain: Blencathra, have received huge critical acclaim, and expectations are very high for his latest project, a biographical film of climbing legend Alan Hinkes.  T

he film premiere is due for 14 October and the Keswick Mountain Festival session is a must for anyone who is keen to see exclusive early clips and hear the stories behind the making of the film.

More Information

Tickets for the speaker sessions start at £10 and will be on general release from Thursday 9 March.  Along with the speaker programme, Keswick Mountain Festival promises a packed schedule of outdoor activities, live music, sport and family friendly attractions, running from 8-11 June.  Tickets for all KMF events can be purchased at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.  To find out more, visit the website or Facebook, email info@keswickmountainfestival.co.uk, or follow @keswickfestival on Twitter.

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