Tuesday 16 March 2010

Saturday March 10th, multi-activity day, Lake District

As well as having other instructors working as associates with Kendal Mountaineering Services on their outdoor activity courses, Iain also works for other similar organisations on occasion.

Iain was asked at short notice if he could fill in for another instructor and work on a climbing session in Langale and then run a Kayaking session on Windermere - both local venues in The Lake District.

Saturday the 10th was a lovely day and as he was driving into Langdale, Iain snapped this view of Bowfell (right) peeking out from underneath a cloud cap and still looking very wintry.

Iain plus two other instructors ran this climbing session for 20 American students who were up for a weekend break away from studying in Lincolnshire.

The crag in the background is Lower Scout Crag in Langdale - a venue popular with climbers and other outdoor activity providers.

A number of climbing ropes can be seen draped down the crag and these were to be used in the traditional beginner's fashion of "top rope, bottom belaying"

Here, a couple of students can be seen using this system. A multi-point anchor system is set up at the top of the climb and then brought together using pre-stretched rope to a single point to which are attached two karabiners - back to back and this point can be seen just above the girl climbing in this photo.

Running through those karabiners and attached to the girl is a climbing rope which, at it's other end, is attached to the chap in the foreground by means of a belay device.

The system works in so much as - as the climber climbs, the person at the bottom "takes in" the climbing rope through the belay device and keeps tension on the "live rope" between him and the climber thus safeguarding them in the event of a fall. Once at the top, the climber has to commit to being lowered by the belayer back to the foot of the climb. Supervised by instructors, this is a very safe way for people to take the first steps on to rock.

Kendal Mountaineering Services offer such beginners rock climbing courses amongst many other outdoor activity sessions.

In the afternoon, Iain moved on to Windermere to take part of the same group on a beginner's Kayaking session.

In a beginner's kayaking session, we look at teaching people the basic strokes required to paddle one of these craft, play some games; and hopefully if time allows - do some sort of a journey.

On this particular session, we did all of those things and despite it being a bit chilly, everyone had a great experience. Time flies when you are having fun and before we knew it, it was time to pack up and get off the water.

This photo shows the group on their way back to end the session, at this point, rafted up - often the starting point for many wet games, but it was too cold for that today.

The venue was Lake Windermere and behind the group is Waterhead at Ambleside - a place from which many of Kendal Mountaineering Services Kayaking & Open Canoeing sessions are run.

Both the climbing & kayaking groups thoroughly enjoyed their sessions and Iain looks forward to working with them again later in the year.

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