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 Dundee Mountain Film Festival: 27-28 November 2009

Allan Brown
Dundee Mountain Film Festival: 27-28 November 2009 03 Oct 2009

27th DUNDEE MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL– Friday 27th to Saturday 28th November 2009

Our printed brochures are a bit late this year, but I will post them out as soon as they are available.

The Dundee Mountain Film Festival showcases an international programme of speakers and award winning films and exhibitions held in the University of Dundee‘s Bonar Hall.   

The Festival, in its 27th year, is delighted to welcome Catherine Destivelle, the French climbing legend, on her third appearance at the Festival, with her new presentation ‘From Bouldering to Mountain Climbing’, on Friday evening. James Pearson, England’s ‘E’ Exponent Extraordinaire’, appears on Saturday afternoon, with his lecture ‘Motivations and Milestones of a Mild Mannered Man from Matlock’. Scotland’s own Polar Explorer, Craig Mathieson, presents his talk entitled ‘Some like it Cold’, on Saturday evening, when there will also be a tribute to Irvine Butterfield, who died earlier this year.

Award winning films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival are being screened alongside some of this year’s new releases. Mick Tighe presents an exhibition of memorabilia from Syd Scroggie’s hill life. This year’s featured artist is Claire Yarrington from Dunning. Kirsty Maguire will be displaying her own photography of Greenland. Running in parallel with the programme are the trade exhibits from voluntary and retail organisations.

The Dundee Mountain Film Festival Committee invites you to come and see, hear and enjoy these fantastic stories of courage, adventure and exploration.

FRIDAY EVENING 27th November BONAR HALL Tickets £12.00 (Start time 1900hrs)

Film: THE CABLE CAR (7 Mins): While travelling by cable car to a place somewhere in the mountains, an old man treats himself to some snuff. Et voilà! With every sneeze, the cable car cabin falls apart more and more. The man, however, is far from accepting his fate.

Film: COMMITTED 2: GRIT KIDS (22 mins): The teenage brother and sister team Pete and Katy Whittaker burst on to the UK climbing scene with a series of spectacular ascents on gritstone. In a frenzy of climbing, they both stack up countless major ascents. One evening after school, with his whole family assembled to watch, Pete makes the terrifying first ascent of a truly iconic line at Burbage South in the Peak District. 

Film: THE GREAT WALK OF CHINA (52mins): When model Katie-Jane Cooper met adventurer Tarka L’Herpiniere, no one could have imagined the dramatic life-change she was about to embark on. Swapping her high heels for walking boots and leaving behind all the comforts of her glamorous life, ‘The Great Walk of China’ sees Tarka recount Katie’s incredible epic life changing journey. This dramatic journey sees Katie battle sand storms, blizzards, temperatures from +40°C to -35°C, frost bite, starvation, exhaustion, and dehydration – narrowly escaping with her life on one harrowing occasion. Pushed physically and psychologically to the limit, Katie struggles to find the strength to go on, but the friendship, hospitality and generosity of the local people she meets along the way renew her strength and resolve. Set against the backdrop of the awe inspiring Wall which, despite causing Katie much pain and misery during her journey, weaves a magical, captivating spell that leaves you wondering what lies around the next corner and over the next horizon. In 167 days and over 4,500 km Katie became the first to walk continually and unsupported along the entire length of the Great Wall of China from its most westerly terminus to its most easterly.     

Catherine’s mountaineering accomplishments are impressive and include a solo climb of the Bonatti Pillar on Les Drus and a solo climb of the North Face of the Eiger in 17 hours. On the 10th March 1992, it took her 17 hours to solo the north face of the Eiger (3970 metres), in the Bernese Oberland, a mythical rock-face, regarded as the most dangerous in the Alps. During the same year, she attempted the huge Latok in Pakistan. In 1993, she achieved the winter solo of the North Face of the Grandes Jorasses, and attempted the West Pillar of the Makalu in Nepal. In 1994, she soloed in winter the Bonatti route on the North Face of the Matterhorn. In 1995 she climbed the South West Face of Shishapangma in Tibet, and attempted the South Face of Annapurna. The year 1996 was a break in her activity, because of an accident in Antarctica, but she recovered very quickly. In early summer 1999, Catherine climbed the Direct North Face of Cima Grande di Lavaredo in the Italian Dolomites. Catherine was again the first woman for this solo ascent which took her 2 days. Catherine has been involved in making many mountaineering films, the most notable ones being Seo, where she solo climbs a sandstone cliff in Mali, Rock Queen where she solo climbs the Old Man of Hoy and her latest film Au-dela des Cimes, which is often cited by climbers as their favourite climbing film. Her talk this evening will cover all aspects of her career.

SATURDAY MORNING 28th November BONAR HALL Tickets £6.00 (Start time 0930hrs)

Film: ACOPAN - TEPUI (52 mins): The high plateau of the Gran Sabana, in the south of Venezuela, is one of the oldest mountain ranges on Earth. About 70 million years ago, erosion in these primeval forests and steppes formed mesas up to a thousand metres high. Acopan Tepui dominates them all with its 700-metre vertical rock face. Unapproachable, unvanquished and unclimbed, it is the dream destination for this German-Venezuelan expedition, led by German climber Stefan Glowacz. Evolution has created an alien animal and plant world on its heights. It is on Acopan’s steep and challenging face that Stefan and his teammates hope to make a first ascent.

Film: 10.30 RAMABANG (22mins): An Irish expedition to North India makes the first ascent of Peak 6135, which they name Ramabang. Jim Osborne’s ‘Granite Inspires’ was screened at DMFF in 2008.

Film: SINGLE HANDED (18 mins):Kevin Shields is known as the ‘one handed climber’. Despite been born with most of his left hand missing Kevin has made some impressive and bold climbing ascents. The film examines his motivations and follows his progression through the climbing grades, culminating in a terrifying attempt to solo an E6 in Glen Nevis.


Showcasing the winning films from the Trail magazine competition for 3 minute outdoor epics from its readers. Be inspired and make a film for next year’s competition.

SATURDAY AFTERNOON 28th November BONAR HALL Tickets £8.00 (Start time 1400hrs)

This afternoon’s programme of films is presented in association with Zestco. All films screened in this afternoon’s programme are from The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour. James Pearson appears courtesy of The North Face.

Film: THE RED HELMET (6 mins):A young boy runs into the forest overcome with fear.  He finds a magic red helmet and goes on the adventure of a lifetime. Slowly building his courage, he is transformed and returns to confront his boyhood fears. 

Film:THE SHARP END: EASTERN EUROPE (22mins):A talented group of climbers explores the unique history, culture, and danger of one of the world’s most remarkable climbing destinations. Insane trad climbing. A very popular film at other festivals, being described as "funny", "crazy", "exciting" and well filmed.    

Film: THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF SKIING (14mins): A season of backcountry skiing with a keen and passionate narrator in British Columbia.

Film:IF YOU’RE NOT FALLING (8 mins): Canadian rock legend Sonnie Trotter heads to Scotland to do battle on another ‘hardest rock climb in the world’, Dave Macleod’s Dumbarton Rock. As each day passes, Sonnie collects more and more air time: fifty-foot falls from the steep rock buttress that plunges down beneath a historic castle. ‘Well, if you’re not falling, you’re not trying.’

Film: CRUX (12 mins):‘Crux’ defined: a particular point of difficulty. This singular word precisely describes the riding formula of the film. Each and every line ridden by the featured athletes – Ryan Leech, Dylan Korba, and Thomas Ohler – has a crux. These three riders, aggressively pursuing Leech’s Manifesto style, execute mind-bending feats of bike mastery. Combining sheer difficulty with an elegant and creative style, this film redefines technical riding standards.


With thanks to The North Face, we are delighted to introduce the UK's latest climbing phenomenon, James Pearson. James began climbing at age 15 and burst onto the scene with a string of insanely hard ascents of Gritstone Trad routes at an incredibly young age. In 2005 aged only 19, James made a lightning fast repeat of “Equilibrium” E10 7a (The hardest traditional route in the world at the time). Equilibrium was first climbed in 2000 by Neil Bentley and had received only one repeat by Neil Gresham. Both needed multiple years to unlock the intricate moves and lead the route but James took only 4 days. In 2008, James raised the bar for hard traditional climbing by making the first ascent of The Groove, at Cratcliffe Tor. The Groove had been tried by many of the best climbers over the last 30 years, often being dismissed as impossible or one for the next generation. At a mighty grade of E10 7b, The Groove is now the hardest trad route in England, and a contender for one of the most technically difficult routes in the world. James has travelled the world, repeating and making first ascents of the toughest boulder problems and routes. James’ focus has recently been on bouldering and last year he made history with three flashes of confirmed V13 boulder problems. Over the next few years James plans to keep travelling the world in search of the hardest, most inspiring lines. He has plenty of projects lined up including a few grit routes that will raise the top level yet again.

SATURDAY EVENING 28th November BONAR HALL Tickets £12.00
(Start time 1900hrs)

This evening’s programme is presented in association with the Scottish Mountaineering Trust. The two films screened are from The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.


Short reflections on the life of this Yorkshire man who settled in Scotland and contributed so much to the mountaineering scene in Scotland.   

Film: FLYING WITH EAGLES (43mins):Two-time world paragliding champion Louise Crandal has set herself a new challenge: a Russian steppe eagle is to be her new training partner in the air. The film follows the intense training process from the day she finds the untrained Russian steppe eagle in Scotland! A few months later they are both hanging from a paraglider above Lake Como. Will the eagle fly with Louise? Will he show her where the thermals are, and how to gain height without as much as a beat of his wings?   

Film: PATAGONIAN WINTER (31 mins): Andy Kirkpatrick is a pioneer of winter climbing in Patagonia, with many hair-raising ascents to his name. His latest Patagonian horror show is an attempt at the first winter
ascent of Torre Egger with fellow alpinist Ian Parnell.

CRAIG MATHIESON ‘SOME LIKE IT COLD’:On 28 December 2004, Craig Mathieson, an accountant and father of three, completed his lifelong dream by skiing across the frozen wastes of Antarctica to reach the South Pole. Hauling his 160lb sledge for over 730 miles, Craig had to endure temperatures of below -60c, hunger and injury (a ripped knee tendon) to achieve this ultimate feat of endurance. He finished the epic adventure in 56 days, despite his partner, Fiona Taylor, dropping out suffering with hypothermia and frostbite. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society officially recognised this expedition as the first ever Scottish expedition to reach the South Pole. In 2006 Craig led an expedition to the geographical North Pole. Following mental and physical preparation and training, the team was successful in taking a previously inexperienced 16 year old Scottish school boy to the Pole. Craig’s talk will cover both polar trips and his latest expedition to Greenland.

Venue: Bonar Hall, Park Place, DD1 4HN.     01382 730699

Dundee Mountain Film Festival (DMFF) Society is a registered Scottish charity No SC 029267, and is a Member of the International Alliance for Mountain Film. Anyone wishing to support the Festival is invited to contact the Festival at the address above. There will be a prize draw raffle offering fantastic prizes on Friday and Saturday evenings, and voting for the People’s Choice Film Award.       


Patron: Chris Tiso

Main Sponsors: Tiso, the Scottish Mountaineering Trust, Zestco and The North Face.

MCofS: The Mountaineering Council of Scotland has 10,000 members and represents mountaineering in Scotland, by protecting, informing and developing the interests of hill walkers, climbers and ski mountaineers. For membership benefits and application details please visit
The Festival Committee gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Avertical World, Blacks, City of Dundee Council, Craigdon, Stripe and the University of Dundee Rucksack Club.

DMFF reserves the right to amend the programme. There can be no guarantees to adhere to the published programme, although DMFF will strive to do so. 


Tiso 22/24 Whitehall Street, Dundee, DD1 4AF Tel 01382 221153
Blacks Camping and Leisure, 47/49 Commercial Street, Dundee, DD1 3DG Tel: 01382 229424
Avertical World, 7/11 Blinshall Street, Dundee, DD1 5DF Tel 01382 201901
Craigdon Mountain Sports, 25/29 Kinnoull Street, Perth, PH1 5EZ Tel 01738 631006 

By post (see application form below) and at the door during the Festival, subject to availability

At the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions only, children under 5 will be free, 12 and under will be half price, and these concessions will only be available at the door.    


For pre-booking, please send this ticket application form to DMFF, 51 Pitairlie Road, Newbigging, Dundee, DD5 3RH, Tel 01382 370315.

________Tickets for Friday Evening, 27th November                 £12
________Tickets for Saturday Morning, 28th November             £6
________Tickets for Saturday Afternoon, 28th November           £8
________Tickets for Saturday Evening, 28th November             £12       

________Festival Weekend Ticket, Bonar Hall only, 27th and 28th November £32
I enclose a cheque for £______ payable to DUNDEE MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL, along with a stamped addressed envelope (PLEASE PRINT).





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Neil Cuthbert
Re: Dundee Mountain Film Festival: 27-28 November 2009 03 Oct 2009
That definitely wins the prize for longest ever post...sounds like a great film festival though.  I am sure many people will enjoy it.