The team behind Keswick Mountain Festival (KMF) has revealed more details of plans to make 2016 the event’s biggest and best year yet. The 10th anniversary festival is now five months away and KMF has added to its growing programme of sporting events and outdoor activities.
Keswick Mountain Festival, sponsored by Hi-Tec, has grown into one of the biggest and best loved outdoor events in the UK, with more than 17,000 visitors in 2015, including over 2,000 who took part in the sporting events. KMF 2016 will run from 19-22 May and along with sports and outdoor activities, will offer live music, high profile speakers and a wide range of other attractions from its Festival Village base in Crow Park on the outskirts of Keswick.
New for KMF 2016 is a 3km open water swim on Sunday 22 May, the longest to ever feature during the festival. A deep-water start will take swimmers across to the shores of Derwent Isle, before they make their way along the shore of Derwentwater. Swimmers will finish back at the Festival Village.
KMF has also revealed details of its hike schedule for this year. The programme includes hikes up some of the Lake District’s most iconic fells, with a scramble on Helvellyn, a sunset walk on Skiddaw, moonlit hike on Blencathra, two hikes on Scafell Pike, and a second chance to visit Helvellyn, in time for sunrise.
In addition, the festival will host four navigation sessions for beginners, and a wild camping adventure. The programme has been devised to deliver a mix of levels of walking and offer something that is suitable for everyone.
Lucy Scrase, KMF sports director, comments
“Every year, we resolve to make Keswick Mountain Festival bigger and better. I think that this line up of events will provide something to work towards for anyone whose own new year’s resolution is to get more active. That’s particularly important this year and we really hope that people will get behind these events and help Keswick to bounce back in a big way after the terrible flooding last month.
“2016 is going to be critical for tourism in the Lake District and it’s already a very big year for Keswick Mountain Festival. We will be holding our 10th festival and we have come a long way in that time. The event has always contributed to the local economy, by bringing in large numbers of visitors and this year we are building a programme that has the capacity to attract more than ever. Given recent events, we hope that we can play a big part in bringing people back for some amazing experiences in this incredible part of the world.”
More details about the wider programme will be released in the near future, including other outdoor activities, a full schedule of speakers and the concert line up. To find out more about KMF, visit keswickmountainfestival.co.uk.
Keswick Mountain Festival Hike Programme
Places on the following events are available at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk. All of the Hike activities will be managed by fully qualified companies/guides.
Wainwright Wander - Thursday 19 May
A wonderful route taking in six of the best Lakeland summits including Haystacks (resting place of Wainwright's ashes) and Great Gable, one of the most spectacular summits in the Lake District.
Helvellyn Scramble - Thursday 19 May
One of the most spectacular walking routes in the Lake District. Although not the longest, it does involve a little exposure along the Striding Edge ridge.
Skiddaw Sunset – Friday 20 May
A wonderful evening ascent of Skiddaw from Gale Road, near Keswick, taking the main track up to the summit of Skiddaw to watch the sun set over the Lake District and the Solway coast.
Blencathra by Moonlight – Friday 20 May
A wonderful experience climbing Blencathra by the Halls Fell Ridge as the sun sets across the Lake District then crossing the summit plateau under starlight (weather permitting) before descending through the night over Blease Fell.
Scafell Pike – Saturday 21 May
Traditionally KMF’s most popular walk, the route we will take in the highest peak in England along with some of the most spectacular scenery in the Lake District.
Helvellyn by Sunrise - Sunday 22 May
The route from Wythburn is a good one to do at night, allowing you to see what you can of the views as they unfold without having to worry about a difficult track. The path is well used and takes you quickly high above Thirlmere and the surrounding forest.
10 peaks for 10 KMF years - Sunday 22 May
This challenging walk will cover 17 miles in one tough day and will test your mental and physical strength.
Beginner’s Navigation – daily from 19-22 May
This mountain navigation course is ideal for anyone who wants to be self sufficient in the mountains of the UK. The course can be chosen as a one or two day course (with a discount for the second day). This course is perfect for anyone with little or no prior navigation experience. Whether you are a hill walker who wants to be able to head out in all weathers, are considering enrolling on the Mountain Leader scheme, or are a climber who wants to be able to navigate from the top of the route back down to the pub in the dark, the core skills are the same.
Price: £40 per day.
Wild Camping – 21-22 May
A wonderful two day trip following the main ridge from Stonethwaite to Keswick, walking the Langstrath Valley before climbing across the Langdale Pikes and High Raise, spending the night above Easdale, with stunning views across Grasmere and the eastern fells.
Keswick Mountain Festival Sporting Events
Places on the following sporting events are available at www.keswickmountainfestival.co.uk. All events will start and finish in the Festival Village on Crow Park.
Short Triathlon – Saturday 21 May
A stunningly beautiful course covering a 400m swim, 20km cycle and 5km trail run, the short race is a great option for any first time triathlete.
Price £45.00 - individual, £63.00 – relay team.
Long Triathlon – Sunday 22 May
A challenging but beautiful route to kick off the season, with an 800m swim, 35km cycle and 10km run taking in iconic routes and passes around the Keswick area.
Price: £50.00 - individual, £66.00 – relay team.
5km trail run – Saturday 21 May
A fantastic off road 5km starting and finishing at the Festival Village. If you don’t fancy tackling the 10km then this 5km offers a great route which will get you hooked on trail running.
25km trail half marathon – Saturday 21 May
Step out of your 10km comfort zone and take on the longer distance!
10km trail run – Sunday 22 May
A stunning trail race which offers beautiful views of Derwentwater. The Borrowdale Valley is a trail runner's paradise, offering a fantastic mix of single track trails, forests and lake views.
Trail 50km ultra-marathon – Sunday 22 May
Challenge yourself on this scenic 50km trail ultra marathon. The course takes in the best of the Borrowdale, Buttermere and Newlands trails and views. This is a great course for your first ultra or simply a training course for the start of the season.
3km Derwent Island swim – Sunday 22 May
New for 2016, this 3km open water swim will take you out and around Derwent Island, surrounded by the beauty of Catbells, Skiddaw and the Borrowdale Valley, offering a memorable experience for all participants.
1500m Derwent Island swim – Saturday 21 May
A swim that has been in the KMF programme for the past five years and never gets old. Take yourself for a swim around the historical Derwent Island, one of the most stunning locations in Keswick.
Back o’ Skiddaw Sportive – Sunday 22 May
Making a total distance of 70km, the sportive is a great event for cyclists with a bit of everything thrown into one loop.