Kendal Mountain Festival 2022 is just around the corner. So, to help you plan your trip, here’s our pick of the best events on this year’s line-up.
Kendal Mountain Festival 2022 is back on November 17 – 20, and as usual, it promises to be packed full of edge-of-the-seat adventure films and inspiring talks, plus ideas, conversations and inspiration. But unless your mountaineering skills extend to transcendental time travel, there’s no way you can see it all.
So, here are The Great Outdoors team’s top picks. As ever, Kendal Mountain Festival does a great line in adrenaline-pumping climbing and mountaineering, but in keeping with our hiking and hillwalking emphasis, our choices lean towards the more exploratory and nature-focused side of the festival. See you there!
Words: Francesca Donovan
Kendal Mountain Festival 2022: TGO’s Top Picks
Saturday 19th November, 10am @ Kendal Town Hall – Kendal
Ray Mears shares his life’s journey and adventures to explore nature in some of the world’s harshest and most uninhabitable environments. Having achieved international recognition on the subjects of bushcraft and survival, Ray will take the audience on a journey to help reconnect with the environment and ourselves, reflecting on the vital connections between humans and nature.
Saturday 19th November, 10.15am @ Kendal Town Hall – Chambers – Kendal
Award-winning writer Faye Latham joins Anna Fleming, author of Time on Rock, on stage to talk about British Mountaineers. Discussing the politics of erasure, this talk will interrogate a history of mountaineering which prioritises certain stories and, in so doing, removes others entirely. Flipping the male-dominated genre of climbing literature on its head, and transforming F. S. Smythe’s 1942 historical text of the same title, Faye takes the audience on a journey into the page and under the mountain to encourage everyone to carve their own space in the history books.
Saturday 19th November, 1pm @ Kendal Town Hall – Kendal
It wouldn’t be a mountain festival without a mention of Everest. This session, presented by OS Maps, is a summary of 150 years of Everest history and it promises to chart the unknown, bizarre, and legendary feats that have unfolded on the mountain. Kenton Cool, the first person to climb Nuptse, Everest and Lhotse in a season and the only Brit to ski two 8000m peaks, will also address what the future may hold for the world’s highest peak.
Saturday 19th November, 1.15pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Maltroom – Kendal
Guy Shrubsole, the Sunday Times best-selling author, chronicles our forgotten temperate rainforests – and the inspiring intervention to help restore them to the places they once were. This is the story of a unique habitat that most people today don’t even realise exists. Guy shares his knowledge – from the Atlantic oakwoods of the Western Highlands, down through the Lake District, parts of the Peak District, Wales and into Devon and Cornwall to trace our unacknowledged, unmapped and undervalued rainforests, and shows how they might be restored to the places they once were. Guy will be in conversation with Lee Schofield, author of Wild Fell, who was recently reviewed in The Great Outdoors. There will be a book signing after the talk.
Saturday 19th November, 2.15pm @ Kendal Town Hall – Chambers – Kendal
Reflecting on family, identity and nature, Belonging is a love letter to the northern landscapes of Scotland and the Scots pinewoods of Abernethy – home to standing dead trees known as snags, which support the overall health of the forest. Featuring Amanda Thomson’s artwork and photography, it explores how place, language and family shape us and make us who we are. Amanda will be in conversation with Soraya Abdel-Hadi, founder of All The Elements, a community working to increase diversity in the UK outdoors. There will be a book signing after the event.
Saturday 19th November, 3.15pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Maltroom – Kendal
Experience vivid first-hand accounts of swims in astonishing places with remarkable people and hear deeply researched information on how to swim safely. Whether you’re new to outdoor swimming or a seasoned swimmer, Kate Rew explores the rich and varied life of the cold water community, from the physiology of cold to planning lazy hazy downstream swims.
Saturday 19th November, 4.15pm @ Kendal Town Hall – Chambers – Kendal
Lest we forget low-level adventures in water. From West Country torrents to rocky Welsh canyons, the salmon highways of Scotland and the chalk rivers of the Yorkshire Wolds, Amy-Jane Beer follows springs, streams and rivers to explore themes of wildness, healing, mythology, history, and transformation. Threading together places and voices from across Britain, The Flow examines our personal and ecological place in nature. Amy-Jane will be in conversation with Sophie Pavelle, author of Forget Me Knot, which was recently reviewed in The Great Outdoors.
Saturday 19th November, 4.15pm @ Kendal Town Hall – Chambers – Kendal
Kendal Mountain Festival 2022 invites you to come and hear from three people who haven’t let their physical limitations stop them from living their lives to the fullest. Speakers Ed Jackson, Darren Edwards and Steve Bate MBE will discuss adaptive adventure and document their respective journies from diagnosis and into the mountains. This talk will take you from El Cap to the Paralympics by way of the World Marathon Challenge.
Saturday 19th November, 8pm @ Kendal Town Hall – Kendal
The Women in Adventure Session is back at Kendal Mountain Festival 2022. Hear from a group of inspiring women adventurers who’ve cut their own paths in the outdoors, including German alpinist and four-time ice-climbing world champion, Ines Papert, and boulderer Mina Leslie-Wujastyk. Jamaican-born, US-based hiker Mardi Fuller challenges the lack of diversity on our trails with a screening of her film, Mardi and the Whites while the Director of United We Climb, Marie Uri, brings her experience helping underrepresented groups into the outdoors to a discussion about accessibility. Gilly McArthur, director of Women’s Trad Festival, will host alongside community worker and outdoor instructor Rehna Yaseen, who was nominated in last year’s The Great Outdoors Reader Awards.
Thursday 17th November, 8pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Theatre – Kendal
Yes, Jenny Tough is her real name. And this film promises to prove that this endurance athlete has lived up to it in spades. If you haven’t come across Tough’s work, she has recently returned from an epic journey running across the mountain ranges on six continents, starting with one of the most remote locations on Earth in the Tien Shan (Asia) before exploring the High Atlas (Africa), the Bolivian Andes (South America), the Southern Alps (Oceania), the Canadian Rockies (North America) and the Transylvanian Alps (Europe). A regular contributor to The Great Outdoors, Tough wrote about her experience ‘Make Your Own Path‘ featured in our July issue. But now, with the release of this film, you can see it unfold in glorious high-definition. Jenny will be in conversation with Imogen Sykes and there will be a book signing after the event.
Thursday 17th November, 9pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Screen Two – Kendal
This moving film explores grief, healing, community, and the power of cold water as it follows Sunderland swimmer Becca Harvey over a year of her life. The Ice Mile documents her journey from coming out of the solitude of the lockdowns to her return to the buzz of the outdoor swimming community as she trains for her Ice Mile. Director Rachel Sarah was featured as our Creator of the Month in the September issue of The Great Outdoors, in which she shared her own mental health journey. The film is sure to be an empathetic and aesthetically beautiful take on cold water therapy.
Friday 18th November, 12pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Studio – Kendal
Finite: The Climate of Change is an insider’s view of the world of direct action; billed as a raw and authentic insight into the David and Goliath battle between frontline communities, activists and fossil fuel corporations. Inside the core of the climate movement, concerned citizens in Germany put their bodies on the line to save an ancient forest from Europe’s largest coal mine and form an unlikely alliance with a frustrated community in rural England who are forced into action to protect their homes from a new mine.
Friday 18th November, 9.30pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Theatre – Kendal
To get a taste of some serious altitude, put Pasang on your list of must-sees. The film chronicles Pasang Lhamu Sherpa’s tragic and inspiring journey to become the first Nepali woman to summit Everest in 1993. As an indigenous woman and a Buddhist in a Hindu kingdom, Pasang’s dream to scale the legendary mountain pits her against family, foreign climbers, and her own government. Her determined pursuit of Everest plays out within the context of her nation’s quest for democracy and the emergence of the commercial climbing industry. As told by the Nepalis who knew her, by some of the world’s most notable alpinists, and by Pasang herself, the film won Best Film in the Mountain Culture category at the 2022 Banff Mountain Film Festival.
Saturday 19th November, 7.15pm @ Brewery Arts Centre – Theatre – Kendal
Covering the whole of the Pennine Way in the depths of winter, the Montane Spine Race has a worldwide reputation for being Britain’s most rugged race. Celebrating it’s 10-year anniversary, this film looks back at the rich history of the race that offers its participants an epic experience like nothing else. Be the first to watch the world premiere and listen to special guest speakers, including Spine Race competitors Debbie Martin-Consani and Damian Hall, founder and race director Phil Hayday-Brown, and filmmakers Matt and Ellie Green.
adidas TERREX guided walks
adidas TERREX is offering a selection of guided walk and runs for festival-goers this year. They invite you to join them, meeting at the adidas TERREX trailer at Basecamp. All profits for these activities will go to Kendal Mountain Rescue.
KOMOOT community hikes
You can join Komoot ambassadors on guided walks throughout Kendal Mountain Festival 2022, with plenty of options available to suit all adventurous souls. There are community hikes for Komoot fans, family walks fit for little legs, as well as rides and runs. So, if you need to stretch the legs after all the talks and films, these activities are for you.
Friday 18th November, 6pm @ The Venue at The Barrel House – Kendal
Festival patron Robert Macfarlane and Cumbrian-born singer and songwriter Hayden Thorpe (formerly of Wild Beasts) will play at KMF in what is billed as an intimate evening with a live music medley that tells the story of a changing land. With special guests poet Zaffar Kunial, writer Amy-Jane Beer and clarinetist Jack McNeill, this ‘sound journey’ explores what the landscape means to you, and how to tune into and unlock its hidden tracks. Come armed with your questions for a lively Q&A at the end of the session.
Sunday 20th November, 11.30am @ Patagonia space, Basecamp
This a free 10-12km trail run for LGBTQIA+ runners and allies. Queer Runnings invites you to don your most colourful running clothes and join their club for an easy jog or walk on the trails. They promise that all hills will be walked without exception and no runner will be left behind! In terms of fitness requirements, you should be able able to run a flat 10k comfortably within 70 minutes. The meeting place is the Patagonia space at Basecamp.
BAM yoga sessions
Downward dog in your down jacket? Yoga sessions are back at Kendal Mountain Festival 2022. You’ll be guided through morning movement sessions with experienced yoga practitioners who will help you explore, listen and connect to your body. This is the perfect reset before a day filled with festival activities.
Kendal Mountain Festival 2022 Online
Of course, if you’re adventures are taking you elsewhere this weekend, you can always catch up with the festival offerings online.