Cumbria Crack

Kendal Mountain Festival UK tour 2018 at Rosehill Theatre

Ben Page in action: Kyrgyz Tien Shan Mountains. Credit Ben Page

[A]mazing feats of endurance will be celebrated when the Kendal Mountain Festival UK tour comes to Whitehaven’s Rosehill Theatre on Friday, March 2.

Speakers Ben Page and Elaine Hopley are set to wow audiences as they recount their exploration and exciting experiences in some of the wildest places on earth.

The evening will also feature award-winning films and a chance to win a weekend away at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival.

Ben Page. Photo courtesy of Kendal Mountain Festival

In 2014, adventurer and filmmaker Ben Page left Yorkshire for the southernmost point of South America to undertake a very long bike ride home. Over three years the journey took him across five continents, through desert heat and Arctic chill, across snow-capped mountains and through dense forests.

Ben says: “I love bike touring for its pure simplicity – one can wake up in the morning, put all their earthly belongings on the back of their bike and away they cycle into yet another horizon. It’s a truly nomadic existence.

“I firmly believe there is no better way to explore, feel and immerse yourself in a landscape and culture than through bike touring.

“Vistas really do look all the brighter through sweat-covered eyes and panting of breath.”

Elaine Hopley. Credit Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge

Last year, experienced endurance athlete and mother-of-two Elaine Hopley raced solo across the Atlantic Ocean in a 6.87m rowing boat, competing in the 2,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge.

She was aiming to set a new record for the fastest woman to cross supported and to raise as much money as possible for charity after losing her mother to Alzheimer’s disease.

After 59 days, 19 hours and 14 minutes, she nailed a race record and the honour of being the fastest female to row solo across the Atlantic, east to west, in the open class.

Elaine is passionate about adrenaline sports and pushing her body and mind to the limits.

Her other achievements include winning the inaugural women’s Scottish mountain bike cross-country series in the early 1990s and defending her title for a number of years, and completing solo unsupported bicycle tours of Australia, New Zealand and Chile.

The evening of talks begins at 7.30pm. It will also feature a selection of favourite films from the 2017 Kendal Mountain Festival – from flying above the Azores to freediving with Orcas, from skateboarding across Colorado to swimming in the wild ocean.

Tickets at £15 (U25 £10) are available from the Rosehill box office on 01946 692422 or online at

The Rosehill event is one of three Cumbria dates in the mountain festival’s 16-venue 2018 tour, visiting Penrith in May and Kendal in June. More information at

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