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What Is It About Kendal?

13th Nov 2012

What is it about the Kendal Mountain Festival that makes it so good? I’m off up there again this Saturday. Going with Lissa who’s working more and more with me on my events, so that she can get a feel for the atmosphere of what is undeniably the UK’s best social gathering in the climbing world. KMF started way back when, set up by John Porter and Brian Hall. It had a short hiatus, and then was rekindled about 12 years ago I think. Since then John and Brian have stepped down, and it is currently run by Clive, Steve, Matt and Robin. Regardless of who has run it, it seems to have gathered momentum and gone from strength to strength. A few years back I worked on the festival programming the film competition. It’s nice to see a few of my suggestions are still in effect, and that this year’s collection of films looks to be the best for some time. The thing about the event though is that it’s not just about the films. There’s so much going on there, from a huge programme of lectures, to the Adventure Film Academy, a fantastic marquee full of stands, freebies, a load of bars and generally plenty of stuff to do. What knits it all together is the masses of people that come along each year. There’s an atmosphere there that is unrivalled at any climbing event that I’ve been to, including the mighty Banff Mountain Festival, which although slicker, more professional, and generally more accomplished than Kendal, just doesn’t quite hit the social crescendo that will happen on Saturday night. If you haven’t been to Kendal before you ought to go, if only for a pint in the bar on Saturday afternoon before it gets too busy. If you’ve been before then you will probably be going again and I may well see you there.