Media release: ‘Outdoor Capital’ launches 2011 Fort William Mountain Festival

AS the Fort William Mountain Festival, presented by the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, moves into Lochaber for its tenth anniversary, from Friday 11 to Tuesday 15 February, organisers have promised a feast of lectures, workshops and films for residents and visitors who want to learn about and celebrate mountain culture; during the best winter walking and climbing conditions of the year.

Mike Pescod, chair of the Highland Mountain Culture Association, organisers of the Festival, said: “Above all, the inspirational and entertaining five-day Fort William Mountain Festival programme for 2011 promotes the mountains as an attractive, accessible and enjoyable place to be.

“It includes a superb line-up of top climbers, mountain filmmakers, cutting edge outdoor athletes and adventurers.

“The varied and entertaining programme of new events and old favourites being staged in and around Fort William caters for everyone of all ages from elite climbers, hill walkers and outdoor enthusiasts to sea and white water kayakers and budding cycling aerialists.”

Highlights of the 2011 festival include:

Friday 11 February – ‘A drop in the ocean, and aware of it': Sea and White Water Kayaking Evening with sea kayak adventurer, Patrick Winterton, followed by awesome extreme white water paddling films.

Saturday 12 February – Jump Jam – biking aerial skills workshop – It’s time to get airborne with, a safe, painless and addictive means of increasing biking aerial confidence and skill.

Lecture: ‘The Edge to The Great Climb’. Richard Else, one of Europe’s most experienced remote location film makers, and wilderness hiker, author and broadcaster, Cameron McNeish, take us on a historical journey behind the scenes of mountain film making over the last 100 years.

Sunday 13 February – Mammoth Descent – A ski / snowboarding and running event at Nevis Range – a mass start ski/board race from the summit to the bar!  For everyone able to ski or snowboard competently.

‘Spicy Times': A whirlwind lecture from extreme sports athlete, Tim Emmett, who will highlight the extremes of his busy life over the last year, from teaming up with Dave MacLeod to attempt five new routes on five islands in five days to an outrageous first ascent of ‘Spicy Times’, considered the world’s most serious Deep Water Solo ascent – 60 feet high above only 6 feet of water.

Monday 14 February – From jaw dropping action to fascinating mountain culture and wildlife the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour has it all. This will once again be the festival hot ticket.

Tuesday 15 February – Closing Party with altitude! – In a change to previous years the festival favourite ‘Party at Nevis Range’, the popular ceilidh at the top of the Nevis Range mountain gondola, 650 metres up Aonach Mor beside Ben Nevis, will close the 2011 Festival.

Mike Pescod added: “This celebration of mountain culture, showcasing the huge range of outdoor activity opportunities available to visitors to Fort William and Locahaber, is the vision of the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’ and will position the area firmly at the forefront of Scotland’s events programme in February.”

The 2011 Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture will be awarded to this year’s winner on Saturday 12 February. The prestigious award that celebrates outstanding contributions to Scotland’s mountains, encompassing sport, theatre, art, photography, film and literature was first introduced in 2008.

Previous winners include Jimmy Marshall (2010), Richard Else (2009) and Dr. Hamish McInnes (2008).

Children and adults will have the opportunity to try out new activities and learn new skills through inspirational daily mountain skills workshops during the Festival. Highly-experienced and fully-qualified guides from Abacus Mountaineering, in conjunction with Nevis Range, will lead full-day day courses in avalanche awareness, winter walking and winter climbing.

For full details of the Fort William Mountain Festival programme and to book tickets go to –


Media contact:
Paddy Cuthbert | Podge Publicity | M: 07968699636 | e:

If you are keen to attend the Fort William Mountain Festival for a commissioned travel feature or adventure / activity feature please contact Paddy Cuthbert to discuss a funded press trip to The Outdoor Capital of the UK.

Notes for editors:

The Fort William Mountain Festival, presented by the ‘Outdoor Capital of the UK’, runs from Friday 11 to Tuesday 15 February 2011 –

Festival information:

Book tickets:
Online –
£12.50 for adults / £10 for under-16’s only.
From 20/01/10 – Ticket Office – Nevis Centre, An Aird, Fort William / Phone – 01397 700 707.
£14 for adults / £12 for under-16’s only.

Festival organisers

The Highland Mountain Culture Association Limited, is a not-for-profit organisation, whose aim is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the world’s mountain places and people, by creating opportunities for people of all ages to share their mountain experiences, ideas and visions. To showcase these ideals, it stages annually a programme of events within the Lochaber area, called The Fort William Mountain Festival.

Sponsors and partners

Presenting partner – the ‘Outdoor capital of the UK’ –

Formed in 2003, the ‘Outdoor Capital’ is a not-for-profit community company established to promote Fort William and Lochaber as the ‘best place’ to experience the outdoors in the UK; with the vision: To establish and maintain Fort William and Lochaber as one of the UK’s premier destinations for outdoor pursuits and adventure tourism in an exceptional natural environment.

Visitors interested in the outdoors are increasingly important to economy and community of Lochaber. There are over 65 different activities to choose from in an amazing landscape that encompasses the small isles to Ben Nevis with white water rivers, sea, lochs, beaches, forest, glens, cliffs and mountains in between.

To find out about what the ‘Outdoor Capital’ has to offer everyone, from the most rabid outdoor enthusiast to those keen to just give things a try, visit:

Major sponsors

Nevis Range –
Rio Tinto Alcan –
Ellis Brigham Mountain Sports –
Marine Harvest –
Hotscot –
Scottish Community Foundation –

Supporting sponsors

Allround Signs
HW Energy
Highland Acitivities
Abacus Mountaineering
John Muir Trust
The Granite House
RA Clements Associates
Nevis Cycles

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Contact: Paddy Cuthbert