Page updated 11 June 2014
We are delighted to announce our lineup of fantastic speakers for 2014
Martin Moran (Friday evening)
“Higher Ground” - adventures of a mountain guide: Martin Moran is one of Britain’s most experienced and accomplished mountain guides. In 1985 he quit his job as an accountant, and he and his wife, Joy, established their home and risked their future to open a new climbing school in Lochcarron, Wester Ross, among some of the world’s most beautiful mountain landscapes. From this remote base he has guided and climbed all over Scotland the Alps, Norway and the Himalaya, helping his clients to realise their dreams and in Martin’s words “make some sense of their lives”.
He is a fine climber and athlete in his own right. Among his many achievements are his storm-bound victory over the North Face of the Eiger, new Scottish winter climbs of extreme difficulty, a record-breaking run along the Cuillin Ridge traverse, ascents the highest frozen waterfalls in Norway, and over a dozen pioneering climbs in the Himalaya. None of this was achieved without commitment, sacrifice and enduring passion for the mountains.
In his autobiography, “Higher Ground”, Martin Moran recalls
his years of training to become a British Mountain Guide, relives
some of his most memorable guided climbs and affectionately profiles
the remarkable personalities of his many clients and colleagues. His
lecture will feature some of the more dramatic and humorous adventures
described in the book, a selection of mountain journeys that are variously
uplifting, epic and occasionally hilarious. Martin is an experienced
public speaker and his talk promises to be a thrilling and unforgettable
account with an accompaniment of superb pictures.
Richard Else (Saturday morning)
The Edge to the Great Climb: Richard Else is one of the world’s best known extreme filmmakers. He has won over 30 major awards worldwide, including two from BAFTA, Scotland; the Royal Television Society and from film festivals in Canada, America, Japan and mainland Europe. He was the second recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture from the Fort William Mountain Festival.
Almost twenty years separate The Edge - One Hundred Years of Scottish
Climbing from the epic live broadcast The Great Climb, featuring Dave
MacLeod and Tim Emmett. In that time Cairngorm based Richard Else
has worked closely with many of the world's elite climbers in some
of the most stunning locations anywhere on earth. Through a set of
multi-awarding winning films he’s had a rare opportunity to
observe our leading mountaineers at close quarters. His lavishly illustrated
talk will have you on the edge of your seat as he explores what motivates
a disparate group of individuals to risk their lives and balance danger
against the success of pioneering new climbs. Hear the inside story
of the films and the strong personalities who feature in them and
relive some of the most exciting footage seen on television!
Lyle Brotherton (Saturday afternoon)
Decision to Survive: Surviving a deadly situation can seem
simple: you either live, or you don’t. But have you ever wondered
why – in incidents from mountain accidents to terrorism attacks
– some people survived, while others didn’t? In many cases
this was not destiny, or fate, or even luck: it was a particular decision
or action at a critical moment. A simple act. Logical. But not necessarily
Lyle Brotherton is a world expert in risk. He trains Search & Rescue teams worldwide and is the author of the revolutionary Ultimate Navigation Manual. Lyle’s day job is analysing threat in both extreme and everyday environments at a governmental level for both the British and American Administrations; he has been involved in on-the-ground analysis of incidents such as the Sandy Hook shootings, the 2011 Utøya Island massacre in Norway and the Pakistan Floods of 2010. In all cases he has asked the fundamental question: why did some people survive, and how did they do it?
Lyle’s ground-breaking work studying the decisions ordinary people make in extraordinary circumstances has shown that by changing the dynamics of your situation – whether you’re exposed on a winter Munro, in the midst of a natural disaster or trapped in a supermarket with a gunman – the ability to shift the odds in your favour is the key to your survival. In short, he can teach you the simple, straightforward things to do that will make the difference between you living, and not living.
Whoever you are – be it a hillwalker, an Everest trainee or just someone who wants to arm themselves with effective techniques for modern survival – this is must-know information, and an unmissable event.
Karen Darke (Saturday evening)
High Altitude Handbiking: Imagine pedalling thousands of miles by armpower alone...over mountains and high passes for kilometre after kilometre, wind and dust in your face. Recently returned from a high altitude Himalayan Handbike journey through Tibet, Karen will share her story of hand-biking across the Tibetan plateau - her 'out-of-race-season' holiday, along with insights into training and racing as part of the British Paraycling Team, from London 2012 to Rio 2016.
Karen has the philosophy that to have the most impact in life we should challenge our constraints, adopt a positive mindset and support each other to be the best we can be.
Somewhat an expert in overcoming challenges, Karen finds much of her inspiration through outdoor adventure. She was a keen runner and mountaineer before becoming paralysed in a rock-climbing accident, and has since pursued alternative ways to access the outdoors – canoeing, sit-skiing and hand-cycling. She has hand-cycled in various corners of the world, including Central Asia and the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the length of the Japanese archipelago. Karen has co-organised expeditions sea kayaking along the coastlines of British Columbia and Alaska, skiing across the Greenland icecap, climbing the kilometre-high vertical rock-face of El Capitan, and kayaking through the fjords of Patagonia.
As a coach and facilitator, author and speaker, Karen works regularly with young people, schools, businesses and other organisations particularly on the subject of challenge and change. She is currently a full-time athlete with the British Paracycling Team, won a silver medal in the London 2012 Paralympics, was World Paratriathlon Champion in 2012 and silver medallist in 2013.
Karen continues to train with the British Cycling Team for the Rio 2016 Paralympics, whilst running her business Inspire and Impact and fitting other adventures in whenever possible!“What is life if it isn’t an adventure? I’m constantly amazed by what can be achieved if we set our heart and mind to it. It’s all about finding belief, confidence, motivation and commitment. And of course, friends. Then there are no limits.”
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