Mountain Festival delights with daredevils, devotees and downright dangerous deeds
Why do people go to the mountains? You’ll find many different answers at the 13th Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival, which runs Saturday 6 – Sunday 7 February. For some, they go to explore, venture somewhere new and really off the beaten path. For others, years of training can pay dividends when they complete a challenging rock climb or ski descent. And then there are the daredevils, who need the buzz of pushing the limits to keep them sane. All such characters feature at this year’s EMFF, which promises to be a cracker.
The two-day festival is being staged, as always, at George Square Lecture Theatre in Edinburgh. Tickets for the popular festival start at £6 and are on sale now at www.emff.co.uk with the organisers reporting that tickets are already selling fast.
The casts of the various movies read like a Who’s Who of the adventure world: climbers Alex Honnold and Tommy Caldwell, the late extreme adventurer Dean Potter, leading mountain biker Brandon Semenuk. Then there are the unknowns: a team of ‘balloon-skiing’ pioneers, 91 year old former mountain guide Gwen Moffat, and a skier who goes only by the name of Snowflake. Local heroes are well-represented too, with top climber Natalie Berry, Inverness-based extreme skier Peter MacKenzie and a team of paraclimbers who take on the Eiger. As ever, the film line up promises to entertain, enlighten and inspire.
The guest speakers at the EMFF show as much diversity as the films. Top Scottish climber Dave MacLeod, with a string of world-firsts behind him is the perfect example of devotion paying dividends. Photographer and alpinist Jon Griffith shows similar dedication that has allowed him to capture some truly stunning images. Andy Kirkpatrick’s years in the mountains are quite contrasting, with his adventurous spirit and apparent love of suffering resulting in some quite incredible tales. Meanwhile, top Scottish mountain biker Lee Craigie, a former British Champion and Commonwealth Games athlete is going full circle to rediscover adventure having spent years training for events.
New for the 2016 festival is a Sunday morning film show which has been designated family-friendly. Stevie Christie, Festival Director, explains:
“We have 6 fantastic adventure films to screen at this 90 minute session. It’s definitely not just for kids as the films are awesome and you won’t want to miss them. But we’ve selected these films for this session because there are no adult-themes or swearing in the films, making them suitable for all to enjoy.”
“Whether you are a committed outdoor enthusiast or more of an armchair fan, or if you simply enjoy hearing enthralling stories set against incredibly beautiful scenery, there is something for you at the EMFF. And if you wish you could have adventures like the ones you see but can’t find the time in your life, we even have a short film which tells you the solution!”
The festival, staged in association with Tiso, Mountain Equipment, Gore, Coors Light and Wilderness Scotland, expects big numbers from the climbing, snowsports, kayaking, adventure sports, outdoor photography and filmmaking communities; as well as those who love the outdoors, travel and mountain adventure, from all over the UK to attend the event. From its humble beginnings in 2003, it’s grown to be one of the most popular and dynamic events in Scotland’s outdoor adventure calendar, attracting in excess of 2,000 outdoor enthusiasts annually.
For full details of the festival and how to buy tickets go to: www.emff.co.uk