Saturday 10 March 2012

Half day ghyll Scrambling sessions in The Lake District. March 10th 2012.

Well, it looks like Spring is finally on the way here in The Lake District with the onset of warmer weather and high pressure over the country for the next week. So - warm enough to get out in the outdoors and enjoy your very own ghyll scrambling or Canyoning session with Kendal Mountaineering Services.

Iain ran two half day ghyll scrambling (also known as gorge walking) sessions on behalf of American undergraduates from Harlaxton College near Grantham in Lincolnshire

We used Stickle Ghyll in the popular Langdale valley in southern Lake District for our two ghyll scrambling sessions. The first two photos from this session were taken with the morning group. Here, Katie is clearly having a great time despite having just had a thorough dunking in the pool at the foot of this cascade

Stickle Ghyll is a great venue for gorge walking. You start off very close to the car park and amble upstream to the first roped climb - only 15 feet high but enough to give clients a taste of what is to come at the end of the session.

The first part of the ghyll has a few interesting waterfalls to overcome and a few deep pools before one arrives at the footbridge crossing the ghyll en route for Tarn Crag (one of Iain's favourite scrambling training course venues) and Stickle Tarn.

Here we tend to exit the ghyll and walk up the path rejoining the stream just below the next interesting bit which entails climbing more cascades and crossing a few deep pools before we arrive at the final cascade which is another roped climb about 25 feet high (photo two).

Overall the Stickle Ghyll gorge walking trip is around 2km long although with a few people it is possible to climb the final waterslides (depending on water levels) making it possible to ghyll scramble for about 2.5km.

Photo three shows the afternoon group in the lower part of Stickle Ghyll just beyond the get in

and here Kristi experiences the power of only a foot depth of fast flowing water.

The power of a mountain stream really comes as a surprise to many people who have never gorge walked before and many people are amazed when Iain shows them rocks that may be several tons in wieght which might have been moved since his last visit.

At Kendal Mountaineering Services we do a dynamic risk assessment during each ghyll scrambling or canyoning session that we run because mountain streams are a constantly changing environment. To ensure our clients protection, we make sure that they are provided with full body wetsuits to protect legs and keep you warm as well as cagoules for added upper body insulation, walking boots for good grip, foot protection and ankle support, bouyancy aids if the water is deep and of course a harness & helmet for protection during those climbs. We don't believe anyone else offers such a comprehensive package of equipment - and of course it is all included in the price that you pay!

The final photograph from todays ghyll scrambling session shows the afternoon group at the foot of that second climb and final cascade.

The climb follows the rock rib just to the right of the group and is a great place to get a shower whilst enjoying a climb.

All of the students Iain worked with today thoroughly enjoyed their ghyll scrambling sessions with us. Other photographs taken during this session can be viewed here. It is a great activity to try as part of a day out, a weekend away or a holiday here in The Lake District and is relatively inexpensive and great fun for the family, friends and ideal as part of a stag or hen event.

A half day (four hour session) starts at £45 per person (less if you bring a group along) and includes all of the equipment already mentioned. We can combine both ghyll scrambling & canyoning together in the same session and you can read about two such combination trips here.

To book your ghyll scrambling & canyoning session here in The Lake District contact Iain at Kendal Mountaineering Services here. You are guaranteed to have a fantastic time.

Friday 9 March 2012

Rock climbing & Abseiling sessions in The Lake District. March 8th, 2012

Yesterday, Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services organised a half day rock climbing & abseiling session in The Lake District for staff from Nucleargraduates in Workington, The intention was that this was to be a teambuilding exercise where the the Nucleargraduates programme management team could have fun whilst working together with customers and the newly appointed programme Manager who took up her position recently.

In order to facilitate this, we ran a top rope/bottom belay session at Woden's Face in Borrowdale. Woden's Face is a popular beginners rock climbing venue near to the Bowder Stone.

In photo One, Allan is lowered after attempting a climb whilst belayed by Roy; and Christine - the new Programme Manager for Nucleargraduates.

Conditions changed during the day from being mild & calm at the outset of the session to being rather damp cold & windy by the end.

Photo two was taken just as we stopped climbing and headed down to the nearby National Trust Abseil site. Iain & his assistant had rigged four top rope bottom belay climbs for the group and despite the weather, they all worked well together and had a great time.

With top rope/bottom belaying technique, the person climbing is kept safe on a tight rope by a belayer and tailer at the bottom of the route.

This encourages confidence to climb - particularly for people who have not tried the sport before. Once at the top of the climb the person has to be lowered back down by the belayer calling for trust on the climbers part and care on the part of the belayer & tailer. This type of introductory climbing session is ideal for encouraging support, trust and improving communication skills within a team.

Finally, photo three shows Dave, an employee of Rolls Royce and a customer of Nucleargraduates as he abseils from the National Trust abseil station.

Abseiling is a real challenge as one has to lower ones self backwards over a cliff and walk backwards down whilst controlling the rate of descent which Dave can be seen doing here with his right hand.

Dave certainly found abseiling a challenge, but he was safe at all times due to the fact that Iain had him belayed on a safety (the red) rope whilst he lowered himself down. It is essential to have a back up when abseiling - either a prussik attached to your harness & the dead rope side of the abseil device or, as in this case - a friendly instructor to pay out the rope and offer support & encouragement as you descend.

Abseiling is an ideal activity for a stag or hen event - just the business if you are looking for a real adrenalin rush.

It was good to see the team from Nucleargraduates again. Last year they used our services for ghyll scrambling on a number of their induction workshops and then in October we organised a fantastic corporate team building event for them involving a number of different team tasks and a large group of apprentices. Read all about it here!

To find out more details about our corporate team building packages or our ghyll scrambling, canyoning, introductory climbing and abseiling sessions. Contact us at Kendal Mountaineering Services to see what we can arrange for you.

We look forward to working with you.