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Scaling new heights at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival

Scaling new heights at the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival

Dangling thousands of feet up on a sheer cliff face, teetering on the edge of Scotland’s highest mountain side and kayaking down a towering waterfall...

It might seem like an extreme way to spend a weekend but luckily, you can experience all of the above and more without even leaving the city.

Starting on Valentine’s Day, the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival is asking you to make a date with some of the world’s most daredevil alpine adventurers.

As it enters its 11th year, the festival continues to showcase the intriguing and exhilarating exploits of adventurers, climbers, mountaineers and other adrenalin junkies through a series of films and lectures.

TheEMFF

A major highlight is a talk from festival headliner Ueli Steck, also known as The Swiss Machine.

The extreme alpinist is famed for his high speed ascents of the world’s highest peaks, including the north face of the Eiger which he scaled in less than three hours.

Steck also made headlines last year when he had a run in with Sherpas on the slopes of Mount Everest, captured in the documentary High Tension.

It's just one of twenty adrenaline-packed adventure films to be screened during the three-day event at the George Square Lecture Theatre at Edinburgh University.

“You can expect action, excitement and a lot of emotion as well,” said the festival’s director Stevie Christie.

  (Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival)
via STV via STV

He adds that even though the films showcase adrenaline-pumping feats of climbing, skiing, mountain biking, kayaking and snowboarding, you don't have to necessarily be a die hard, outdoor enthusiast to enjoy them.

“One thing that surprises people is that, as well as the adrenaline and stunts, a lot of the films have a real story behind them," said Stevie.

“Seeing people climb up a sheer cliff face or kayak off a waterfall are often just backdrops to the real story.

“These films draw you in on an emotional and visual level. You don’t need to be a skier, climber or a kayaker to enjoy the storyline and be enthralled by what’s going on.”

  (Alistair Todd)
via STV via STV

Another film guaranteed to capture your imagination is Five Months, made by Scottish freeride skier Peter MacKenzie, that tells the story of last year’s Scottish ski season.

Filmed using miniature hi definition cameras strapped to their helmets, it follows Peter and a group of homegrown skiers as they launch themselves down some of the gnarliest gullies in the Cairngorms, including one half of the Tower Double.

"I love taking the sport and turning it into something artistic and beautiful."

"It's going to become a classic in Scottish mountaineering," said Peter.

"We hiked and climbed 1300 ft up Tower Ridge with our skies on our backs. It ends right at the top of Ben Nevis on this gnarly, rugged North face on a ridge, so you've got spectacular views the whole day.

"We then skied back down the Tower Gully and the footage we got from that was amazing."

thephmackenzie

"I love taking the sport and turning it into something artistic and beautiful that can be shared," added Peter.

"I really enjoyed making it so I hope people will like it. I’m really excited to see all the other films as well but it’s great to be a small part of the festival."

Five Months also sees Peter complete the first ever filmed descent of the treacherously steep Hell's Lum Gully in the Carnigorms, which very few people have attempted - keep watching to the end of the film's trailer to see why.

  (Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival)
via STV via STV

Also speaking at the event is Alastair Humphreys, who was named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2012 and Nick Bullock who quit his job in a prison to go climbing to scale sheer cliff faces around the world.

Edinburgh ultra-runner and adventurer, Dr Andrew Murray will be sharing tips on to avoid polar bears and blisters as he chats about some his incredible feats of endurance, including a 4300km marathon from John O’Groats to the Sahara.

  (Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival)
via STV via STV

With films charting everything from epic accents in Antarctica to extreme whitewater kayaking in Mexico, the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival promises to be a real cliffhanger that will have you gunning for a new adventure.

The festival runs from Friday to Sunday. For more details and information on how to get tickets, visit www.edinburghmountainff.com

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