KENDAL Mountain Festival is set to ascend to even greater heights with some of the biggest names in outdoor adventure gracing this year's gathering.

Running from November 19-21, as ever, this year’s event will feature scores of film screenings, including high-profile premieres, and speakers and special guests galore throughout long weekend, with the majority of events staged at Kendal's Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal Leisure Centre, Kendal Town Hall and K Village.

Among the high altitude headliners is Tommy Caldwell, who catapulted to international fame last year free-climbing the Dawn Wall on Yosemite’s El Capitan, a feat that hit the headlines around the world; even Barack Obama tweeted his presidential congratulations. Tommy’s achievements will be in the KMF spotlight during his lecture at Kendal Leisure Centre on the Saturday (November 21).

Regarded as the main social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK, the festival’s family adventure sessions are some of the event’s most popular attractions. Included will be a mix of short films, featuring eye-popping mountain action, plus special guests. The Saturday session features the Meek family; Tim, Kerry, Amy and Ella, a regular family that until recently lived a normal life. That changed in the summer of 2014 when they sold their house, quit their jobs and took the girls out of school to go on a year (or more) of family adventure.

Intrepid adventurers are aplenty in the KMF programme and include bold and daring Squash Falconer, who has climbed Mount Everest, was the first British woman to climb and paraglide from the summit of Mont Blanc, and claims to be the worlds highest ever ‘bum boarder’ - apparently, a dubious title she gained on the Himalayan peak Cho Oyu.

Two amazing endurance athletes will be popping along too - Nicky Spinks, the inspirational long distance runner who holds the women's records for each of the three major British fell running challenges – the Bob Graham Round, the Ramsay Round and the Paddy Buckley Round. Plus, Sean Conway, the bearded endurance swimmer, author and professional photographer who became the first person to swim the length of Great Britain from Land's End to John O’Groats.

From Kathmandu to Everest base camp, the horrific earthquake in April devastated the entire country of Nepal. Despite the fact that the disaster has faded from the news, the country faces a huge rebuilding challenge with a continuing need for safe water, shelter and medicine. Sherpa Adventure Gear, the Nepal-based outdoor brand, manufactures its products in Kathmandu and surrounding villages. Tashi Sherpa, the founder and owner of the company will be on hand at the festival to describe the situation in Nepal; Kenton Cool, the well-known mountain guide and 11-time Everest summiteer adds his experiences and knowledge; and mountaineer Heather Geluk who was on expedition at the time describes her experience. All are active in post-earthquake initiatives and the special session on Saturday, November 21 (4.30pm-6pm) at Kendal Town Hall, aims to raise funds; all ticket revenue will be donated to the Help Sherpas Help Nepal appeal.

This year Chamonix celebrates the 150th anniversary of 1865, an eventful year when the Golden Age of mountaineering reached its climax. In partnership with the town of Chamonix, KMF celebrates this anniversary with a special, one-off session presented by alpinist and UKClimbing editor Jack Geldard.

Sunday afternoon lectures include one courtesy of Andy Kirkpatrick, the hilarious, stand-up mountaineer, talking about his exploits over the last couple of years; another from Staveley climbing ace, Leo Houlding, who recounts his most recent project: the unclimbed Mirror Wall in Greenland.

KMF director Clive Allen said that the 2015 festival is "scarily, bigger than ever."

He added: "I did a count the other night and we have around 60 personalities coming along, whether that’s for lectures, panel sessions, filmmakers or just generally to see and be seen. There’s even some big names we can’t even announce yet. "It’s a real cross-section of adventurers from every continent. Plus of course the films; we’ll be screening 80 of the world’s best adventure films in our International Film Competition."

Clive explained that KMF was not all about "beardy climbers. There may be some facial hair, but the event celebrates adventure, whether that’s kayaking across oceans, paragliding across the Alps or cycling across Peru. Its a truly inspiring mix of the best films and speakers from across the globe."

Clive also mentioned that the new KMF Basecamp will be installed at the Brewery with its programme of free activities and events for all the family.

And of course, don't forget the extremely popular opening ceremony on the Thursday night (November 19) which starts at 6.30pm and features a selection of terrific short films on a giant screen outside Kendal Town Hall.