Monday, 16 April 2012

Stag & Hen events in The Lake District. April 14th 2012.

The ghyll scrambling & canyoning season has finally started here in The Lake District for Kendal Mountaineering services.

Iain ran a half day ghyll scrambling & canyoning session on Saturday as part of a stag event for a group of seven chaps who had come over to the Lake District from Keighley & Leeds for the weekend.

The weather was pleasant but not warm - however, as can be seen in photo one, the guys were kitted out in wetsuits, cagoules, bouyancy aids helmets & walking boots to keep them comfortable and protected for what lay ahead. This is our standard equipment issue for all ghyll scrambling & canyoning sessions.

Iain arranged to meet the guys at Church Beck near Coniston for their half day ghyll scrambling & canyoning session.

The first part of our session started with an upward ascent of Church Beck and this is known as ghyll scrambling or gorge walking and involves walking up the stream bed, climbing up small waterfalls and swimming in pools as can be seen in photo two.

Ghyll scrambling or gorge walking is an exhilarating, refreshing sport and great as part of a family day out, a holiday or an organised event such as a stag or hen weekend or a corporate event. Prices with Kendal Mountaineering Services start at £45 per person for a half day session, but the more mates you bring along, the less it costs!

After around 750m of easy ghyll scrambling, Church Beck becomes more serious in so much that the gradient steepens and the gorge becomes narrower.

Eventually, one encounters the first big waterfall which, if climbed, requires the use of a rope. What we do here is to leave the bed of the ghyll altogether and make our way to the top of the ghyll to start our canyoning descent of Church Beck.

In photo three, Graham, the session organiser, gives us a wave as Iain lowers him down the second waterfall (the Miners Bridge fall) encountered on the Canyoning descent. Clearly he had every confidence in what he was doing and in the fact he was safe!

Beyond the previous photograph, having lowered everyone down the Miners Bridge fall, our party arrived at a section known as "the jumps". This is the narrowest & steepest section of the gorge with some high waterfalls and deep pools.

The first jump is to the right of the view in photo four and is around 4m from a jammed boulder in to a narrow slot below - a risky proposition!

At Kendal Mountaineering services we choose to reduce the risk of injury by using a rope to bypass the narrow slot and lower clients down to a point where they can jump into the pool below without a risk of bashing themselves. We also find that more people are willing to attempt the challenge by doing it this way than if you are asked to launch yourself unprotected off the jammed boulder. If you can't do the first jump, you'll miss out on doing the next two as well!

We were not the only group doing the jumps by this time as can be seen by the large group waiting at the outflow of the pool below the first jump. Our team can be distinguised by the blue helmets. Having lowered everyone down the first jump, Iain was about to follow himself!

The final photo from this ghyll scrambling & canyoning session in Church Beck shows everyone safely at the foot of the final drop with another team behind us about to take the plunge down the final waterfall.

We were down a man as one young lad had decided he had had enough of getting cold & wet so had dipped out of doing the canyoning descent part of the ghyll.

The other four thoroughly enjoyed the canyoning descent and all agreed what a great session it had been. Next stop - the Black Bull Inn in Coniston for a beer before a night on the town in Kendal for.........more beers and a curry!

Iain hopes that the lads enjoyed Kendal as much as they did their ghyll scrambling & canyoning session with us. To see more photographs taken today click here.

To book your ghyll scrambling & canyoning session with Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services or enquire about a package for your stag or hen event then please contact us here.

We look forward to working with you.

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