Stars of the skiing world are flocking to a Cumbrian town this month

Photo: telegraph


Despite being hundreds of miles from an actual ski resort Kendal, a Cumbrian village with a population of farmers, retirees and outdoorsy folk, at the gateway to the Lake District National Park, is preparing itself to be in the spotlight of the ski world this November.

The Kendal Mountain Festival runs for four days from November 15 to 18 and is an event for all types of adventure enthusiasts. This year organisers are keen to shine a light on snow sports following the success of the Team GB at the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang and have produced a stella scheduled for an evening dedicated to all things skiing and snowboarding.

Snow Night, on Saturday 17 November, has been running for 13 years at the Festival and this year is being upgraded to a bigger and better venue in Kendal’s leisure centre. The new space has allowed organisers to improve its programme and now host premieres of the latest snow-sport film releases on a theatre-size screen. The upgraded venue has also allowed planners to book some of the sport’s biggest names to take part in discussions and talks.

Taking care of proceedings is one of the most recognisable faces in UK snow sports, Winter Olympian and Ski Sunday presenter Jenny Jones.

“I love Kendal. The festival is so rich and diverse, and I always come away completely inspired. There’s so much to explore and every year I’m overwhelmed by the sheer number of films and speakers on the programme,” said Jones.

“The atmosphere is also brilliant, full of fellow adventurers who are there not just for the films, but also to learn and be inspired.”

Jones, who won Great Britain’s first Winter Olympic medal on snow in Sochi in 2014, will be taking part in the evening’s headline panel discussion with fellow bronze medallist Billy Morgan and his coach Hamish McKnight and team manager Lesley McKenna.

“I’m really looking forward to hearing from the GB Park & Pipe crew and getting the inside line on how everything went down at the Winter Olympics from the athletes and coaches,” said Jones.

“I’ll be chatting to coaches Lesley and Hamish about how they managed to bring such a strong team together, the latest training tech, and how this is all making such a difference to the progression of women’s riding.”

Women’s involvement in snow sports is a subject that will be further highlighted by the screening of ex-Freeride World Tour champion Anne Flore Marxer’s new film A Land Shaped by Women, which discusses gender equality in adventure sports and was filmed in the stunning Icelandic backcountry.

“I’m looking forward to hearing about surfing and snowboarding in Iceland, and finding out what made french pro-snowboarder Anne Flore Marxer want to make a film about the women in Iceland,” said Jones.

Joining Morgan and Marxer on the roster of famous names is legendary freeskier Eric ‘Hoji’ Hjorleifson, who’ll be in talking to Jones about his new self-titled film with Matchstick Productions. “The guest who I am really intrigued to hear from is the talented Canadian freeskier Hoji. The footage in his new trailer is insane.”

Snow Night will also host the UK premiere of snowboarder Jeremy Jones’ new film Ode To Muir, with an exclusive pre-recorded message from the master of big mountain snowboarding.

The man behind the event Steve Scott explains the purpose of the Festival is to help people discover new topics and adventures that they might not previously have considered.

“I started the first Snow Night way back in 2005, a year after I started working with the Festival. I am from a professional snow sports background and I found my contacts across the industry were very supportive of our new projects in Kendal,” said Scott.

“KMF sits perfectly balanced between seasons. We find both the public and our guest speakers are super energised to share adventures and gain inspiration from the stories we present at the event. The pre-winter anticipation and excitement is palpable.”

Tickets for Snow Night are available from the Kendal Mountain Festival website and cost £18. The events starts at 7:30pm until 10:30pm. The Telegraph Ski & Snowboard will be at the event reporting live as an exclusive partner.

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