15th Mountain Festival descends on Kendal

'The Ridge' film will be shown at Kendal Mountain Festival Credit: The Ridge, Cut Media

The 15th Kendal Mountain Festival is about to begin.

It's one of the biggest events in South Cumbria's calendar and brings a lot of money into the local economy.

It's mainly about high adrenaline films with beautiful camera work and unbelievable stories of achievement on the mountains and lakes. This is what Kendal Mountain Festival does best. But there are also talks and workshops and a run up Scout Scar, Kendal's closest fell run.

Many films will be shown at Kendal Mountain Festival. Credit: Between Snow and Stars, co-directed by Tom Vaillant and Charles H. JoslainBetween Snow and Stars, co-directed by Tom Vaillant and Charles H. Joslain

Over the last 15 years it's grown to become the biggest outdoor festival of its kind in the world. It brings tens of thousands of people to Kendal just as the tourist season dies down. Most B&Bs are fully-booked and it brings in between £1.9million and £2.2million to the local economy in just one weekend.

"If you took it away - if you said right, 'next year there isn't going to be a mountain film festival' - I think you would see a considerable drop, you know, it would probably be somewhere in the region of £1500 over the course of the weekend, that may not be filled at that time of year with anything else. I mean, there's that moment between the end of October and the New Year period that you think, 'will we have any guests? Is it actually going to happen?' And we find that it's growing in size: whereas at first people would say they wanted Friday night or Saturday night, now they generally want Thursday, Friday and Saturday."

Hilary Claxton, Beech House B&B, Kendal
Credit: ITV Border

"The film festival has an effect on not only the retail sector, but the accommodation providers benefit from this, the night-time economy. There's tens of thousands of people come to visit this festival throughout the weekend, anticipated somewhere in the region of £1.9million into the local economy, so it's a fantastic event. We get international visitors coming to this - not just local and people from England - but it's just so good for Kendal and one of our main festivals of the year."

Derek Armstrong, South Lakes Representative of Cumbria Chamber of Commerce

This year's celebrating a very important centenary. One of our mountains, Great Gable, is the largest war memorial in the world. It commemorates Cumbria's climbers who fell in world war one. 'Herford', a film about one of them premieres at the festival.

Joe Beaumont fell 40m in Eskdale 3 years ago. He was in intensive care in Whitehaven Hospital for 2 days. Credit: ITV Border

That's a story of resilience from 100 years ago but another of the local films tells Joe Beaumont's story. Joe is a climber from Kendal who fell 40m in Eskdale 3 years ago, shattering the bones on his right side. In the Frame shows what happened then and all the profits from the film are going to local mountain rescue teams.

These are ITV Border's highlights of the festival....


1830 Films for free outside the town hall


1300 Dejame Vivir

Cumbria is renowned for it's fell running but Kilian Jornet is thought of as one of the best. His world premier is now sold out though.

1330 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature

This top literary awards ceremony is reserved for the home of the largest mountain festival in the world: Kendal.

1730 Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: 100 Years of Central Butress

Find out more about Cumbria's classic climbs on Central Buttress, Scafell. It's this route's 100th birthday, which is why it's this year's theme.

Credit: ITV Border

Saturday1000 Berghaus Session

Three of our region's great sportspeople: Mounatin Men Leo Holding and Sir Chris Bonnington with Steve Birkinshaw, who recently beat Joss Naylor's record running all the Wainwright peaks in one go.

1100 10K Trail Run

Join hundreds of locals and visitors on Kendal's classic fell run: Scout Scar.

1700 Ueli Steck

If you want to see how climbing's really done this is the one to go to. It's currently sold out though.

2200 The Rab Party

You haven't done the Kendal Mountain Festival until you've joined in the party...


1300 Lucky Dip

Can't decide between snow sports, kayaking or climbing? See a selection in the Lucky Dip, including local film In the Frame about Kendal climber Joe Beaumont's recovery from falling 40m.

1400 Hazel Findlay

The best climbers are humble and really nice people. Hazel definitely fits this category.

1900 Best of Kendal 2014

The highlights from the festival. This one's a bit fuller than the breakfast version.