Friday 1 October 2010

Ghyll scrambling & canyoning courses in the Lake District. Church Beck, September 23rd 2010

Four days after getting back from Scotland
Iain was back in the thick of it again.

Jenny Weinstock booked a half day ghyll scrambling session with Kendal Mountaineering Services for herself, her sister Michelle and brother Lewey whilst on holiday together in The Lake District.

The party were staying at Grange over Sands, so Iain reckoned that Church Beck at Coniston was as good a place as any to meet them.

As can be seen in this first shot however, water levels were up significantly, so Iain had to be careful how he ran the session to ensure that we all stayed safe yet still had a good time.

The first really big waterfall to be encountered in Church Beck was awesome on this day. We normally climb up between two waterfalls at the right of today's shot but as can be seen it was one massive waterfall and we wouldn't have had a chance, so we climbed up on the left. There is so much spray flying around in this shot that it showed up in the flash photography.

Ghyll scrambling (gorge walking) can be a very hazardous activity in high water and a good guide will know when to call it a day or find an alternative Lake District venue. Iain has a number of smaller ghylls earmarked for use when water levels in all of the best Lake District gorge walking venues are too high, but today it was still ok to be in Church Beck.

However, we werent able to use the top lower in Church beck today as the water was absolutely jetting down the slab making it a dangerous place. Iain also considered that the bottom jumps looked too hazardous as well - so what were the alternatives?

Well, the left hand (more usual) descent route of the Miner's Bridge waterfall was out of the question on this day, but water was running down the right hand side and today this was a relatively straightforward lower & climb with the added value of a bit of water in which to climb up - providing a bit of an adrenalin rush.

So, Iain rigged an abseil/climb and Lewey was the first to try it out as can be seen in shot three.

And shot four shows Jenny getting well and truly rehydrated on her climb back up the waterfall having just been lowered down. The smile says it all!

All three had one go at Abseiling down the waterfall (aquaseiling) and climbing back up again. There was still plenty of time so Iain offered them another go, bit no - they had all had enough and were very happy with their ghyll scrambling session and were ready for the hot chocolate Iain had promised them at the end. More satisfied clients!

Additional pictures from this wetter than average session can be viewed here and if you would like to book a ghyll scrambling or canyoning session with us contact us here.

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