Sunday 15 August 2010

Ghyll scrambling & canyoning, Church Beck, Coniston, the Lake District, August 15th 2010

Today dawned hot and sunny - in fact for the first time in weeks, it felt like summer really had returned. Iain would like to think we now get no more rain until at least the end of October when actually, it starts to snow instead!
Anyway, today, Iain found himself with two other instructors fielding a group of 19 strapping chaps for whom we were providing a half day ghyll scrambling session in Church Beck in the Lake District.
After a rugby match in Kendal the previous day, the lads had a rather heavy night out in town and some were clearly feeling the worse for wear. Hmm - dehydration and hot sun - not a good combination!

Clearly, the only thing to do was to get the guys rehydrated and cooled off as quickly as possible; and it was amazing how once in Church Beck - even the most severely afflicted perked up! There is clearly nothing to beat a ghyll scrambling session in the Lake District as a hangover cure!
For once, Iain was not at the sharp end on this trip. We took the guys upstream and exited as usual below the chockstone pitch. One instructor then lowered the guys down the big waterfall below Miners Bridge and the other set up the lower by the top jump. Iain stationed himself below the top jump to field people doing the middle jump and the chockstone pitch and for once was able to take shots from below.
The second shot shows a chap who has just been lowered by the instructor in the top r/h of the shot to about 6 feet below him. The client then unclipped, jumped another 6 feet; and then swam towards Iain. He had clearly enjoyed the experience.
Looking at this shot, you can see why Iain of Kendal Mountaineering services doesn't like clients jumping this top fall and yet he sees other groups being allowed to do it all the time! People jumping from the top leap from the boulder to the left of the top of the waterfall and you can see how it narrows in below - with potential for bashing the left wall of the slot as you fall in.
Thankfully, the other two instructors are in agreeance with Iain as to how the top jump should be tackled; and so all of the lads came via that way.

Shot three - a view of the slide down the chockstone pitch of Church beck. Sit at the bottom of the picture and then just lie back and let yourself go. This was the exact place where only some four days before, some idiot allowed his clients to go face first. In discussion with other people industry, we have all concluded that allowing people to descend this pitch in such a manner could lead to neck injuries.

In the final shot, Ritchie - who had organised this ghyll scrambling & canyoning trip in Church Beck slides off from exactly where the last shot was taken. Ritchie & all of the guys from Dundee High School FP RFC thoroughly enjoyed their session with us and many felt considerably better afterwards. Ian was somewhat surprised to hear that they weren't straight off to the pub for another beer, but - apparently not!

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