Saturday 10 September 2011

Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning courses in The Lake District. Church Beck, Coniston. September 5th 2011

Laura Fogarty booked a half day of ghyll scrambling & canyoning with Iain from Kendal Mountaineering services for herself and her friend Isabelle whilst on a short break to The Lake District.

The pair had travelled some distance to visit the Lake District in what was unfortunately rather inclement weather conditions. Indeed the conditions here in the Lakes have been constantly wet for some weeks now!

Autumn is definitely well and truly upon us now or so it seems. There is still plenty of outdoor activity sessions that we can still do however. Rock Climbing & scrambling courses are out of the picture until things dry up a bit but ghyll scrambling & canyoning sessions can still be done or howabout going underground for a caving trip with us?

Anyway, the first photo of this post shows Isabelle (front) and Laura as we entered Church beck last Monday afternoon. The building behind houses the hydro-electric turbine which was working and indeed - had the hydro plant not been drawing a third of the flow from the Church Beck gorge then things might have been borderline!

So, there was more than enough water for the pairs Ghyll Scrambling & canyoning session and in photo two the pair enjoyed a natural jacuzzi in the second deep pool to be encountered on our upward ghyll scrambling ascent of Church Beck.

The volume of water coming down the ghyll posed quite a challenge for the pair and progress up the stream was quite slow but what could one expect in anything up to 15 inches of fast flowing water!

Eventually, we reached the get out just below the bottom jump and made our way up to Miners Bridge. Iains decision was to avoid the upper section of the ghyll as the volume of water would have made the top waterfall a trickly proposition for a lower. So we got in below the bridge and did the lower down the right hand side of the big waterfall.

Wherever possible we use the left hand part of the fall which takes most of the flow but today there was too much water. The right hand side of the fall was just right for the pair and in photo three Laura is lowered whilst Isabelle looks on from below.

The final shot was taken by Iain looking down on Isabelle and Laura from the top of the final jump just before he slid down the rock in the foreground in to the pool below to join them.

As can be seen, there was a lot of water about and really, the ghyll was at the limit of what should be attempted with novice ghyll scramblers.

You will note the colour of the water - ie white! This is due to the air bubbles in the water and the more water going down an waterfall - the higher the air content of the water in the pool below. What this means for us non aquatic humans is that the water will support less wieght ie you will sink further in to it and take longer to come up! Challenging stuff indeed!

However, we all survived the final drop unscathed and Iain had to admit that both Laura and Isabelle did extremely well today. As they are both nurses - had Iain injured himself, he would have been in good hands. Well done both!

To see further photos from this session click here. To book your autumn outdoor activity session with kendal Mountaineering services contact us here. We'll make sure you are wrapped up warmly so you can still enjoy yourselves. Check out our up and coming Autumn outdoor activity and skills training courses courses here. We look forward to working with you.

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