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Dundee Mountain Film Festival 26-7.11.10

I just got back from the 28th Dundee Mountain Film Festival. It makes a pleasant change from my routine electronic contact with the world to get out and meet some real customers and yes, even to sell some books direct from our stand. It's also food for thought that so many people come up and tell us they've never seen anything like our books before! We need to spend more on marketing ... And if you are one of the lovely people who came to tell us how well our book had performed on your hike, please remember your promise to put it in an email. Here is our display in the Bonar Hall:


The highlight of Friday's event was Cathy O'Dowd, with her tales of success and failure: the success was on Lhotse's south-west face, the failure on Everest (attempt at a new route on its Kangshung Face). She has already summited Everest twice, which perhaps made her more relaxed than many mountaineers in reflecting on the lessons of failure. Her collaboration with composer Anni Hogan provided "Mountain" – a magical live multimedia performance with Himalayan images, piano and voice.

Saturday featured an amazing 28-minute film on Mustang by Will Parrinello, narrated by Richard Gere, about this tiny Himalayan kingdom. In an era of Chinese persecution of Buddhism, Mustang is the last refuge of authentic Tibetan Buddhist culture. The project got art experts to collaborate with local farmers in the delicate restoration of these wonderful 15th-century monasteries which were literally falling down, their rich paintings crumbling into ruins. The result has been a renaissance of art and energy in the whole community.

After the evening session, it was time to head down the A9 for home. The weather had turned so cold that I couldn't get the X-type home last night, so I finished my journey with a cold uphill hike.


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