One of our 6 to watch : Andy Turner on Cathedral
To be fair Chris is no newcomer and already has a worldwide reputation so you may wonder why he's in our "Ones to watch" for 2014. The truth is that rather than easing off after a lifetime of trail walking, photography and book writing life doesn't show any signs of slowing down.
2013 saw Chris Townsend in a new light, and to a new generation, with the release of Terry Abraham's The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend and there's already a follow up underway which will see Chris in the Lake District on a series of wild camps. The Cairngorms in Winter was 2013's biggest grossing film on adventure film outlet Steep Edge and along with this added exposure Chris was recently appointed as the British Mountaineering Council's first Hill Walking Ambassador. A recent appearance at Buxton Adventure Festival proved that his reputation has endured and in 2014 we think the hardest job for Chris will be fitting everything in!
Chris Townsend at Buxton Adventure Festival with BMC Hill walking Officer Carey Davies
Appointed as the BMC's first Hill Walking Officer in 2013, Carey Davies has already made a big impression. Appearances at Keswick, Kendal and other festivals have started making serious inroads into changing the popular conception that the BMC is for climbers only and a series of initiatives have seen him push walking higher up the agenda. Helped by the recently launched BMC TV Carey has really taken to the role, actively promoting Hill Walking around the country.
Already in 2014 he's organised a "Hill walking engagement day" where "The BMC would like to take you for a walk in Hayfield, Derbyshire and ply you with food in exchange for telling us what you think about our work for hill walkers" and he's been filming with Terry Abraham for his new film about Scafell Pike. As hill walking becomes a more noticed part of the BMC we can only see Carey's star getting brighter in 2014
In an age where everybody has a camera on their phone and the media world is constantly crying out for "citizen journalists" to send in their free photos it takes something special to make a living as a photographer. Daniel Wildey is one of a new wave of adventure photographers who bring us ever closer to the action.
Since we first came across Daniel's work as a competitor in the 2013 ShAFF Single Shot competition we've seen his status rise consistently, picking up commercial contracts for product shoots in a highly competitive market alongside his adventure photography. His recent work with clothing company Jottnar mark him out as one to watch in 2014.
Nadir Khan is already a highly respected adventure photographer and in 2013 exhibited at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. Since then he's gone on to produce a series of outstanding images with an unmistakeable focus that defines them as his and to exhibit at Kendal Mountain Festival. With a client list including Lyon Equipment, The North Face, Wild Country and Rab, Nadir Khan's images have been in high demand. As if that doesn't keep him busy enough Nadir has also set up a dedicated adventure photography critique group on Facebook which has attracted some of the industry's best known names.
With a very strong 2013 behind him we can see Nadir Khan pushing his boundaries even further in 2014 and reaching the next level with mass media recognition.
OK this one may be a bit predictable. After a stratospheric year for Terry Abraham 2014 looks like following suit before it's even begun. The stunning success of his debut film The Cairngorms in Winter with Chris Townsend has already marked him out as an innovator in mountain filming and although gaining an honorable mention at Kendal Mountain Festival it was really just a forerunner for the film he classes as his "baby".
With backing from the public the last year has seen Terry out in all weathers recording Life of a Mountain: Scafell Pike - a 2 hour documentary on the prominent Lake District peak, and it makes its debut in May at Rheged. Put simply this film is going to be BIG! Terry's already appeared on BBC's regional programmes in a 10 minute film about his work and it wouldn't surpise us in the slightest if we see that collaboration build in the next year and we soon see him on mainstream TV on a regular basis. With rumours of a photo book in the pipeline, the new Scafell Pike film and a new production with Chris Townsend in the Lake District it looks like a busy year ahead.
Terry Abraham preparing to film in the Peak District
An unexpected one to finish off our "6 to watch" - The name of Andy Turner will already be known to most climbers in the UK and a fair few around the world. In the last 6 months, however, Andy has done more to progress the cause of competition ice climbing than anyone - and it's finally paying dividends.
Able to take part in the full World Cup circuit this year Andy's performed around the world from Korea to Switzerland. A passionate leader in the UK for dry tooling and competiton ice climbing, he's been invited to the Winter Olympics in Sochi where ice climbing is debuting as a demonstration event. The invitation seems to have been the impetus required for ice climbing to catch the eye of commercial interests and with live streaming of World Cup events by the UIAA it's an area of climbing we're predicting to grow over the next 12 months.
Andy Turner in action in the 2014 Ice Climbing World Cup