Monday 11 July 2011

Ghyll Scrambling sessions in The Lake District. Wren Gill, Longsleddale, July 11th 2011

Lindsi & David Missen booked a half day ghyll
scrambling session
with Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services, whilst on Holiday in the area from Reading.

For a change, Iain decided to take the pair to a different Lake District ghyll scrambling venue - that of Wren Gill at the head of Longsleddale in the south east corner of the Lake district National Park.

Wren Gill is a little known and hence little used venue at the head of the peaceful and unspoilt valley of Longsleddale due north of Kendal. As is often the case here, we saw no other people in the ghyll at all.

The first photo shows the pair cooling off in the first deep pool we encountered - the refreshment was necessary as we had just walked a mile up the Gatesgarth Pass Road from Sadgill on this hot and sunny day!

The rock behind David us an ideal place to jump off in to this deep pool and we were all very keen to have a go!

Heading up Wren Gill beyond the first deep pool, the valley narrows & deepens. More deep pools & small waterfalls follow until one turns a corner in to a narrow slot and the way ahead is blocked by a deep pool beyond which there is an impassable 10m waterfall.

Here, one backtracks to the corner in the ghyll and climbs out above the left hand side of the ravine and walks up for 200m before being able to descend back to the bed of the ghyll and continue the ascent.

Photo two was taken just before we took the left hand bend in the ravine and arrived at the waterfall.

On returning to the bed of Wren Gill, we discovered a rope sling around a block at the top of a waterfall where someone else has clearly been using this part of the ghyll as a canyoning descent. Today, Iain judged the waterfall to be too slippery - indeed, a lot of the rock everywhere in the ghyll was coated in a green slime and care needed to be taken at all times!
A little further on, the water comes down a long narrow slot which can be very hard work in moderate to high water conditions. On all previous trips Iain has always exited on to the Gatesgarth Road just above here.

However, today, we still had plenty of time to continue upstream to a distant waterfall and in the process, check out a new part of the ghyll (well - a new part for Iain anyway!)

Lindsi started out by checking out the first new bit - a small but deceptive pool under a small waterfall - despite being 5' 1" - she went in up to her neck as seen in photo three.

A little futher on, we came to this fine little waterfall (photo four) where Iain roped Lindsi & David up the left hand flow. It was slippery, but both managed fine with the use of a top rope by Iain.

Another 50m upstream found us at the waterfall we had seen from the usual get out lower down. Iain had predicted that it would be unclimbable and it was. However, it was a good place for a high pressure shower - enjoyed by Lindsi & David before we exited up the bank on to the Gatesgarth Road just above.

The pair thoroughly enjoyed their afternoon ghyll scrambling session with Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services and for Iain, it was nice to have a break from Church Beck which is the place where we run most of our ghyll scrambling & canyoning sessions in The Lake District .

The rest of the photos from todays ghyll scrambling session can be viewed here. To book your ghyll scrambling or canyoning session with Kendal Mountaineering Services in any corner of The Lake District National Park - contact us here.

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