Friday 23 April 2010

Ghyll scrambling half day session, Tuesday April 12th 2010

Two days after kayaking on Windermere, Iain joined Jon & Rob, (father & son) who, whilst on holiday from Berkshire and staying in the Ullswater valley had booked a half day ghyll scrambling session with Kendal Mountaineering Services.

Here, the guys have been kitted up with what we provide you for your ghyll scrambling session as part of the fee which includes walking boots, a wetsuit, a cagoule, a bouyancy aid and a helmet & harness.

Iain believes all of this kit is necessary for a safe & enjoyable session and particularly considers that wetsuits are important not only to keep you warm but protect your legs and that walking boots are the best form of footwear in the ghyll.

Here, Jon clambers up one of the many small waterfalls to be found in this particular ghyll. This is just one of many venues Kendal Mountaineering Services use throughout the Lake District and basically wherever you are staying Iain & the team will know of a suitable ghyll in the area meaning that you don't have to travel miles to come to us!

Ghyll scrambling is also known as gorge scrambling or gorge walking and this generally implies walking up a stream bed however, sometimes a descent is possible as in Stoneycroft Gill in the Newlands Valley or Church beck in the Coniston area which is definitely one of the best wet trips in the Lake District and one where you'll frequently find us.

Towards the top of this ghyll there is an excellent slide into a deep circular pool - basically a giant "kettle hole".

Kettle holes are formed when smaller stones gather in a depression on bedrock in a stream bed and are caused, by the flow of water, to move around in a circular fashion. In doing so they wear away the rock and deepen the depression to form a circular hole or pot. Over time, more stones get washed into the hole and the water continues to swill them around and erode the hole deeper - look out for these when you are in a ghyll!

This particular kettle hole that the guys are in is thousands of years old, deep enough to swim in and approx 15 feet across and excellent for a bit of fun!

Finally, whilst having yet another go at the waterslide Rob disappears altogether - apart from his feet! Having just slid down the waterslide on his back, he then sank out of sight just as this shot was taken.

He did, however resurface almost immediately with a look of surprise on his face.

Just beyond this point is the get out as the stream splits into two - neither branch being that exciting, so we descended via the old quarry track back to the Land Rover to get changed and have a welcome hot drink.

Jon & Rob thoroughly enjoyed themselves and will be recommending us to others in the future.

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