Friday 23 April 2010

And so on to Church Beck. Saturday April 17th 2010

Chris Senior and his mates, Ryan, Olly & Harry were up in the Lake District for a weekend of activity and having been ghyll scrambling at Stoneycroft Gill near Keswick decided they wanted to do it again but this time, they wanted someting better.

Chris found the Kendal Mountaineering Services website and its references to Church Beck and liked what he saw - promptly booking a half day ghyll scrambling session with us.

Here, the guys are about to commence heading up the gill which is the way we usually start ghyll scrambling (also known as gill scrambling or gorge walking) sessions at Church Beck.

An ascent of Church Beck generally ends at the chockstone pitch (see last photo on this post)
although it is possible to be roped up the l/h side of that pitch in order to do the slide.

However, the better option is to exit the ghyll and walk up to the very top, get in below the hydro take off point and descend back to below the chockstone pitch.

Here, Olly begins a short slide into a pool whilst Harry looks on and Chris has already discovered that the pool at the slide's foot is rather deeper than it looks!

Just beyond the last photograph, we get to the first lower over an 8 foot waterfall into a fairly deep pool. It is quicker to be lowered here rather than abseil which takes longer to set up and dismantle whilst people are standing around getting cold - best to keep moving as much as possible!

Here Harry is lowered, watched by Olly & Ryan below.

The second lower down a rather larger waterfall is below Miners Bridge. Here, Chris is the last person down whilst the other three watch from the bottom.

Just downstream from this point is where the gorge narrows in and we do the waterfall jumps followed by the final slide down the last fall to where we initially left the gorge heading upstream.

This waterfall down which the guys have been lowered can also be climbed - if you fancy having a go at that option - just ask!

The final obstacle on the descent (and the limit of ascent!) Chris, Olly and Harry look on from the top of the chockstone at Ryan who has just made the descent (see the wet streak on the chockstone!) sliding down and then dropping into the pool below.

It is essential to land in the middle of the pool as there are ledges on either side just below water level and people have injured themselves here.

Always make sure you use a knowledgeable and reputable guide when ghyll scrambling such as one of the guys from Kendal Mountaineering Services and you can be assured of an enjoyable but above all, safe session where risk assessment is uppermost in the mind of your guide.

Chris and his mates enjoyed themselves and have posted their thoughts in the comments section below. Click the link to read what they said.


Chris Senior said...

What a fantastic day. We really enjoyed every minute of the trip and couldnt stop talking about it afterwards. Iain who took us up the Ghyll was a fantastic guide and explained everything in detail so we knew exactly what we were about to let ourselves in for! Its definately the biggest Ghyll i've done and would recommend it to anyone. The kit provided for us was in great condition and although it made Oli's bum look big it fitted quite well. I wasnt expecting the abseiling and found it to be an excellent addition to the already fun packed day. Thanks Iain for a very memorable day out paddling in the water! (not to mention all the photos you took of us). We will definately be coming back for more! Chris

Iain Gallagher said...

Thanks Chris, glad to hear you all enjoyed your session with us. We look forward to seeing you again. Iain