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Archive for February, 2012

Celebration Of Mountain Culture In The Highlands

February 14th, 2012

The full programme for the 2012 Fort William Mountain Festival, presented by the Outdoor Capital of the UK, has now been announced and it’s set to be a fantastic five-day celebration of mountain culture, based in the bustling Highland town from Wednesday 15 – Sunday 19 February 2012. The audience coming to Fort William will be inspired, energised and entertained by a superb line-up of lectures from top climbers and mountaineers, mountain bikers, and mountain filmmakers plus and film screenings from cutting edge outdoor athletes and adventurers.

Opening Night – Join the mountain festival revellers for a four-course dinner at Nevis Range’s new Pinemarten Restaurant and enjoy a special musical performance from award-winning Gaelic singer Mary Ann Kennedy and singers who will perform a unique, contemporary piece called ‘Black Snow’.

Bike Night – Get ready for a full-on evening of mountain bike action in the company of British mountain bike legend Steve Peat as he talks about his riding, career and what’s next for Peaty. Plus feel your jaw drop as MTB Cut’s Stu Thomson presents his latest collaboration, ‘Industrial Revolutions’ with the incredible street trials riding star Danny Mackaskill. That’s not all – we’ll also be treated to films of other top riders doing those things they do that the rest of us wish we could!

Mountaineering Night – Join highly experienced Arctic explorer Bob Shepton for the film of his breathtaking sailing and big-wall climbing expedition among Greenland’s fjords. The plan: load a 33-ft sailing boat with climbers, take them to some of the most remote and highest big walls in the world and watch them go! This amazing adventure culminated in an ascent of an 850-metre sea wall straight from the sea. Plus a screening of award-winning film ‘The Long Hope’ by Paul Diffley, featuring the incomparable Dave MacLeod and his 1000ft ascent of St John’s Head on the Island of Hoy in only one day.

Climbing Night – A lecture from the maverick master of climbing Johnny Dawes. This quirky show involves unseen video, award-winning film, writings, drawings and Dawes’s notorious approach to communicating using metaphor and humour. What lies at the centre of genius and how do you find it? Where does the limit lie? Come along for an entertaining evening exploring the links between climbing and art, the universe and everything!

The Best of Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour Film Night – Always a sell-out, this is your chance to see the best in inspiring mountain films from around the world. This year’s selection includes incredible films about skiing, ice-climbing, slack-lining, mountain rescues and, oh yes, one Australian’s quest to follow in the footsteps of Genghis Khan.


There will also be plenty of opportunity for both novices and experts to hone their skills through inspirational workshops in mountain skills, avalanche awareness, winter walking and winter climbing as well as both indoor climbing and ice climbing at Kinlochleven’s Ice Factor Indoor Climbing Centre. To find out more and to buy your festival tickets go to –


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Ski Safety Tips On The Piste

February 13th, 2012

The International Ski Federation’s rules of conduct

For all mountain users, the International Ski Federation (FIS) has ten rules for skiers/ snowboarders to help everyone stay safe on the slopes. They should be followed at all times.


1. Respect: Do not endanger others.

2. Control: Adapt the manner and speed of your skiing to your ability and to the general conditions on the mountain.

3. Choice of route: The skier/snowboarder in front has priority – leave enough space.

4. Overtaking: Leave plenty of space when overtaking a slower skier/snowboarder.

5. Entering and starting: Look up and down the mountain each time before starting or entering a marked run.

6. Stopping: Only stop at the edge of the piste or where you can easily be seen.

7. Climbing: When climbing up or down, always keep to the side of the piste.

8. Signs: Obey all signs and markings – they are there for your safety.

9. Assistance: In case of accidents provide help and alert the rescue service.

10. Identification: All those involved in an accident, including witnesses, should exchange names and addresses.


If you are unfortunate to be injured in an accident or witness an accident, there are a few pointers which will help:

Assisting in case of an accident

• Secure the accident area

• Protect with crossed skis or planted snowboard above the injured person. If necessary post someone to give warning

First Aid – assess the general condition of the casualty

• Airway – check it is clear

• Breathing – check for breathing

• Circulation – check for pulse. Cover any wound and apply firm pressure

• Provide warmth – A silver space blanket or warm jacket placed over the casualty is ideal.  Give them nothing to eat or drink, especially alcohol

Alert the rescue service

• Place of accident (piste name and nearest piste marker)

• Number of people injured

• Type of injury

Establish the facts of the accident

• Names and addresses of people involved and of witnesses

• Place, time and circumstances of accident

• Terrain, snow conditions and visibility

• Markings and signs

• Report to the police as soon as possible

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