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Aviemore Adventure Film Festival

Wednesday 8th February 2017, 12:02pm

This year’s Aviemore Adventure Film Festival will run from 9 to 12 March, with of films, talks, workshops and outdoor events covering a variety of outdoor sports.

After a successful 2016 event, this year’s festival will be bigger, packed with events for outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. It will also be different in including outdoor activities and workshops in the programme alongside the mainstay of talks and films.

The Festival kicks off on Thursday 9th March, with a day dedicated to celebrating women in outdoor sport – just one day after International Women’s Day. The organisers will host an introduction to ski touring and split boarding day at the Cairngorm Mountain Ski Resort, focusing on encouraging women to get more involved in these disciplines. This is followed in the evening, by a live music event at The Old Bridge Inn, in Aviemore, which will rise funds for the charity Speyside Trust – with live music from The Miss’s and The Bevvy Sisters.

The festival properly opens on Friday 10th March, with long distance cyclist and adventurer Emily Chappell. Emily worked in London as a cycle courier for many years but decided instead to follow her dreams and travel the world on her bike. Her lecture follows her journeys across the world on two wheels, including cycling across Asia from her home in Wales to Japan, cycling the Pacific Northwest of America (from Anchorage to Seattle) in winter, and taking part in the Transcontinental Race – a 4000km race across the mountains from Belgium all the way to Turkey.

On Saturday there will be taster sessions in canoeing, mountain biking, paddle boarding and rock climbing, as well as gear testing sessions with outdoor equipment providers such as Inov-8 and Leki. There will also be skills workshops, including expedition planning and Introduction to adventure film-making.

Back in the cinema, there is another day of talks, panel discussions and films. In the morning there will be a selection of the best adventure films released in the past 12 months, including a sailing trip to Greenland to tackle new ascents on huge granite towers, and backcountry skiers tackling Scotland’s boldest off-piste gullies and mountains.

Saturday afternoon will see a guest panel session including university lecturers, outdoor activity educators and local mountain guides discussing the question of “What Role Adventure Plays in Education”.

In the evening, a talk from American professional climber Cedar Wright will headline the Saturday night session of films in the Spey Valley Cinema.

Cedar Wright, hailing from Boulder, USA, is one of the world's most recognized professional climbers and has won numerous awards for his films, which include the popular Sufferfest franchise, which he stars in with his friend and climbing icon Alex Honnold.

Following Cedar’s talk on Saturday night, the festival will host its first Festival Party at the Old Bridge Inn in Aviemore, with live music from SeaFret.

Sunday morning continues with another set of activities and workshops provided by local outdoor providers and manufacturers. Leki trekking poles will be running a special ‘Introduction to Nordic Walking’ session around Loch Morlich. Back closer to town, Andy Toop will be running packrafting taster sessions. Saturday night guest speaker Cedar Wright will also be on hand to run some climbing workshops at the climbing wall at Glenmore Lodge.

In the cinema on Sunday there is a second selection of adventure films from the past year, including A Line in the Snow following a group of four British Skiers on an expedition to the wild coastline of East Greenland, with a plan to climb and ski new routes in the mountains.

Following that there is a Q&A Session How to Become an Adventurer where guests Alastair Humphreys and Cedar Wright will answer questions with advice on how to make adventure aspirations a reality.

In the afternoon is a kayaking and water sport session, featuring Justine Curgenven, who became renowned in outdoor circles when she and Sarah Outen completed the first crossing of the Aleutian Island Chain by sea kayak. She will be sharing her motivation for kayaking long distances and sharing stories from some of her incredible kayaking expeditions across the world.

The final event of this year’s festival is the Expedition Session where adventurer, author and film-maker Alastair Humphreys will headline. Alastair has spent the last 15 years undertaking incredible journeys across the world, documented with his film-making and writing skills. Back in 2001, Alastair set off to cycle the world. Since then he has rowed unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean, canoed 500 miles down the Yukon river, walked 1000 miles across the Empty Quarter desert and run six marathons across the Sahara desert.

At this year’s festival Alastair will be talking about his expeditions and challenges, and will explain how anyone can achieve or create daring expeditions such as his.

Tickets for this year’s festival are on sale now with individual session tickets starting from £9 (adults) £7 (students & concessions), and full weekend Passes £46. Children under 12 go free (if accompanied by an adult). Full programme listings and tickets are available on the festival website

The festival is community run and not-for-profit, and proceeds from this year’s festival will be going to support Venture Trust.

For more updates on what is happening at this year’s festival, follow it on Facebook.