Tuesday 6 July 2010

Stag & hen events, ghyll scrambling in the Lake District, Stoneycroft Gill, Keswick. July 3rd 2010.

When Helen Griffiths was looking for something with a difference whilst organising the hen event for her mate Charlie, she found the Kendal Mountaineering Services website and liked what she saw.

As a result Helen booked a ghyll scrambling session with us some months back although Iain had no idea it was a hen party until he turned up on the day.

Water levels here in The Lake District have been low for some time now and even though the party were staying in the Ullswater area, Iain felt that water levels were so low that he would have to take the group elsewhere and he decided that Stoneycroft Gill near Keswick would be the best option for the ghyll scramble - good choice!

In the first photo, Charlie, the hen, resplendant with veil & garter, slides down the first significant fall in the gill whilst the group looks on. Water levels were still low but Stoneycroft gill has a lot to offer everyone and Kendal Mountaineering Services are now able to offer you even more from this fantastic ghyll scramble as you'll see if you read on!

The gill starts off gently with some small waterfalls, shallow pools and well vegetated banks bearing lots of juicy bilberries if you happen to be there at the end of July.

As you descend the gill the waterfalls get higher & the pools get deeper until eventually the one on this photo is reached where swimming is mandatory unless you are about 7 feet tall.

Here, some of the party enjoyed a thorough soaking as the pool presented a good opportunity to cool off.

Shortly after this point you reach the first true jump into a deep pool. We encountered several other parties in the gill on this Saturday morning but were able to pass them all as we made our way down to the most technical & challenging part of the gill - the lower gorge.

Kendal Mountaineering Services is now able to offer the ghyll scrambling session of Stoneycroft Gill as a true canyoning descent since the lower gorge with its previously impassable waterfalls has been bolted allowing suitably qualified staff to offer this option.

In the picture right - one of the party gets lowered down the second main waterfall of the lower gorge leaving one more small fall to slide down into a deep pool before entering the narrow canyon almost at the end of the trip. In the shot above, the girls pose at the end of the gill before giving each other a thorough ducking. Charlie's garter & veil did well to survive the session! After this we all got out and dried out in the sun. Everyone was glad of the hot drink provided by Iain as despite it being a pleasant day, we had just done a long session in the gill with everyone getting thoroughly soaked. The girls enjoyed their session with us in Stoneycroft Gill and Iain hopes that the rest of their hen weekend was just as much fun.

To find out how we can make your Stag or Hen weekend a memorable event check out http://www.kendalmountaineeringservices.co.uk/pages/henandstag.php

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