The organisers of Fort William Mountain Festival have announced that Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja will headline next year’s event.
The Nepalese mountaineer made climbing history last month after summiting 14 of the world’s highest mountains in under seven months – smashing the previous world record of seven years. He will headline the programme with an inspirational talk highlighting Project Possible, discussing his experience of climbing all the ‘death zone’ mountains over 8,000m.
In its 16th year, the festival returns to venues in and around the Highland town of Fort William from 19-23 February 2020, with a packed line-up of inspiration, education and entertainment, action and adventure.
The programme includes presentations from world class outdoor adventurers, together with adrenaline filled and thought-provoking films from both the Festival’s very own international film competition entries and the Banff Centre Mountain Festival World Tour; a number of award nights, including The Scottish Awards for Excellence in Mountain Culture and The Photographer of the Year Award; some thought provoking environmental discussions; and a collection of quality fringe events including winter mountain skills workshops, yoga classes and bike and running themed nights.
Rod Pashley, chairman of The Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Fort William Mountain Festival, said: “The Fort William Mountain Festival has something for everyone with a love for the outdoors. With an exciting programme of adventure and events taking place throughout the region the festival offers a superb line-up of inspirational talks from top climbers and mountaineers, mountain bikers, mountain runners and mountain filmmakers, together with exhilarating film screenings from cutting-edge outdoor adventurers; mountain skills workshops and exhibitions.
“We are especially pleased to announce that our main Saturday night speaker will be the remarkable Nims Purja, who has successfully climbed all 14 8,000m peaks in less than seven months. An astonishing record and achievement!”
The five-day Fort William Mountain Festival 2020 programme includes:
The International Film Night & the Photographer of the Year Awards
20 February – Main Theatre, Nevis Centre, Fort William
Hosted by Paul Diffley of Hot Aches Productions. Audiences are invited to relax at a night of award-winning outdoor adventure films. The winners of the 2020 competition categories will be announced: People’s Choice, Best Short Film, Best Mountain Sports Film, Best Exploration and Adventure Film and the John Muir Trust Wild Places Film Prize. The new 2019 Young Photographer of the Year Award will be presented.
The Climbers Summit
20 February – Studio Theatre, Nevis Centre, Fort William
Hosted by Mike Pescod of Abacus Mountain Guides. This session focuses on nutrition for climbing performance. Presenters include Sarah Kekus a nutritional therapist, Rebecca Dent is a high-performance dietician and Mina Leslie-Wujastyk is a rock climbing and bouldering competitor.
21 February – Main Theatre, Nevis Centre, Fort William
Hosted by Emma Holgate. Speakers include Ben Cathro, who will introduce Cathrovision including outtakes and chat about the Downhill World Cup season 2019 with Q&A’s with some of the young’uns he is coaching, Katrina Brown, who will introduce her film all about motherhood and biking and Ed and Marion Shoote will chat about their epic Asia expedition on bikes.
21 February – Studio Theatre, Nevis Centre, Fort William
Hosted by Es Tressider who recently set his own Ramsay Round record. Speakers include Paul Tierney who set a new record round the Wainwrights and Anna McNuff who is running all around the UK barefoot!
Mountaineering Night with Nirmal ‘Nims’ Purja MBE
22 February – Main Theatre, Nevis Centre, Fort William
Meet and listen to Nims Purja, former Gurkha and British Special Forces soldier and mountaineer, to hear about his remarkable achievement, climbing all 14 of the Earth’s 8,000m peaks in a single season, six months and six days to be exact. The previous record was well over seven years.
To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival 2020 and to buy tickets, go to www.mountainfestival.co.uk