Kendal Mountain Festival is a celebration of outdoor culture, bringing together adventurers, filmmakers and lecturers to inspire more people to explore, enjoy and represent mountains, wilderness and their cultures.

We were delighted to attend this year as the Festival’s Official Skills and Training Partner. Our vibrant tipi was based in the heart of the legendary Basecamp Village; a social hub for brands to bring their story to life amongst people that love and cherish the outdoors. Ticket sales were over 25,000, which was up from 20,000 last year with a brilliant broad reach of disciplines within the outdoor industry represented.

Following an amazing weekend, we want to thank the incredible people that made it happen.

Bringing Our Tipi to Life

Whilst our cosy tipi was by no means our instructors’ natural environment, it gave us the perfect platform to capture our passion for the outdoors. It was a place where we could catch up with old friends and make new ones. Shout out to Alex from Covered in Style for supplying our wonderful tipi and Colin Holden Design for creating such a magical space.

No details were missed, from the foliage and slate archway to the hanging lit-up kayak. We used an array of colourful kit provided by our lovely sponsors to dress the interior. Thank you to Mountain Equipment, Peak, Scarpa, Petzl, DMM, Fjällräven, O’Shea, Edelweiss, Deuter and Evolution Bikes.

Our team getting ready before opening our tipi doors!

Our Talented Speakers

With the help from our qualified instructors, Mountain Equipment athletes and other external speakers, we provided our top tips on how to plan anything from your first solo adventure, weekend camping trips with the family, to bigger expeditions abroad.

A massive thank you to Jake Webb for capturing the whole event and to all of Friday’s speakers:

It was a pleasure to welcome founder of Peak, Pete Astles, to discuss his story with ‘Peak Sewn Friendships’
Harrison Ward’s (Fell Foodie’s) live vegan cooking. Delicious samples were included!
On Saturday, it was great to see our tipi full to the brim of adventurers wanting to listen to our speakers, which included Mountain Equipment Athletes Dave MacLeod and Tom Livingstone. Thank you to:
Tom Livingstone’s ‘UK Skills to Big Hills’ with Plas y Brenin’s, Lou Beetlestone
A full house for Dave MacLeod and Dave Evans’ talk: ‘How to Improve as a Rock Climber’
The Sunday was all about winter! With our Scottish Winter courses approaching, we wanted to provide you with the knowledge for you to stay safe in the icy conditions. Thank you to:
Plas y Brenin’s, Rich Gentry and Will Nicholls, kick off our Winter Day with ‘Avalanche Awareness’
Plas y Brenin’s, Matt Stygall, tells us why winter is ace!

If you would like to view speaker presentations, you can view some of them here.

Live Scribing with Chapple Cartoons

We wanted to capture our talks in a powerful and memorable way, and we are delighted with the outcome. The amazingly talented Caroline from Chapple Cartoons joined us with her giant canvas for a day of live scribing. We loved watching the drawing evolve throughout the day, and even incorporate your own messages into the illustration. We can’t wait to showcase the canvas here at the centre.

The finished piece! Saturday’s talks incorporated into one huge canvas by the talented Caroline from Chapple Cartoons

A Full Tent for Mappy Hour

Mappy Hour… think free beer, an Augmented Reality (AR) sandbox, mingling, and maps. Lots of them!

We loved hosting our first Mappy Hour sessions with the help from Ordnance Survey (OS) and JBA Trust. It was great to see so many adventurers in one place, hanging out over beer that we created especially for the festival. You got to design your own landscapes through JBA Trust’s AR Sandbox; an interactive visualisation tool that shows how topography affects water moving through catchment. We also saw your competitive side through some map-related competitions that had some fantastic prizes up for grabs.


Night Navigation and eBike Sampling

Some very keen folk braved the elements to sample the delights that the Lake District had to offer through our Night Navigation and eBike Sampling. Thanks to Plas y Brenin’s, Iona Pawson, James Bruton and Chris Evans, for heading up the sessions, and to Specialized Bicycles for our Turbo Levis and Exposure Lights for supporting the event and supplying the very best lights for the job. We were delighted to give away a superb Exposure Diablo MK12 as part of our bike competition, kindly donated by Exposure Lights.


Relive the Festival Online

We would like to thank the Kendal Mountain team for such an inspiring and community-led event. We hope that sharing our stories encourages more communities and young people to get active in the outdoors. You can catch up on the festival online through the Kendal Mountain Player. Looking ahead, we are excited to join Kendal Mountain Festival for the 2023 UK Festival Tour, packed with new speakers and films to see. If you’d like to know more, sign up here!

Thank you to everyone who came to see us. Until next time…