Enjoy the Fort William Mountain Festival

The 2008 Fort William Mountain Festival is set to take place from 15 to 23 February 2008. This celebration of mountain culture in Scotland is becoming increasingly popular, as like-minded people gather to share their love of mountains. The Fort William Mountain Festival is the only festival in the U.K. that is dedicated to mountains and the culture that surrounds them.

The 2008 event will feature top climbers, mountain bikers, paddlers, international films, public art and motivational speakers. This family event offers something for everyone, from thrill seekers to creative writers and outdoor enthusiasts. Apart from the popular events that have been highlighted at previous festivals, there are a number of “firsts” that visitors can look forward to in 2008.

The first ever U.K. Slacklining Championships will form part of the 2008 Fort William Mountain Festival. Slacklining evidently began when some climbers, bored with waiting around in their campsite, started to play around with their climbing equipment. This led to walking along lengths of nylon webbing attached to two points. Webbing has a flat surface allowing slackliners to maintain their balance and experiment with various stunts – some of which are very impressive and daring. Slacklining can be used purely for entertainment or as balancing training for various sports such as climbing, snow skiing and gymnastics. For the competition, a ten meter slackline will be erected a few meters off the ground. Judging will be based on distance covered in an allotted time and performance of the best trick.

Another first, is the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture, which will be presented at the 2008 Fort William Mountain Festival. This one-of-a-kind award will acknowledge an individual’s long term achievements, highlighting the importance that Scotland places on mountain culture.

The year 2008 marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the U.K.’s first civilian volunteer mountain rescue team. The evening that is set aside to pay tribute to all involved in mountain rescue, will include a screening of the BBC film “Duel with An Teellach” – a re-enactment of an epic mountain rescue, as well as a look at the history of the Lochaber Mountain Rescue team.

Other events include an evening of exciting show-and-tell with salt and fresh water kayaking legends, plus a series of short films presented by the best of young British talent. Mountain-bikers will have the opportunity to explore the history and development of their chosen sport along with some of the world’s greatest mountain-bikers.

The activities planned for the nine days of the 2008 Fort William Mountain Festival are sure to keep visitors busy and entertained as they share their passion for Scotland’s magnificent mountains.