Thursday 31 May 2012

Multi-activity weeks in The Lake District. May 21st - 24th 2012.

As well as providing outdoor activities and skills training courses to the general public through Kendal Mountaineering Services, Iain does, on occasion, get asked to work for other organisations to provide his expertise in delivering quality outdoor sessions for their clients.

On this particular occasion, Iain was asked by The Lakeland Adventure Centre to provide outdoor activities for one of their clients - Worden Sports College from Preston who had brought 27 young people away from school for a week - lucky devils!

Iain didn't take on photos on day one when we all went into Church Beck at Coniston to enjoy a ghyll scrambling session. The kids absolutely loved it though. Church Beck is undoubtedly one of the Lake Districts best venues for gorge walking, ghyll scrambling and canyoning - currently one of our most popular activities.

On day two, Iain spent the day rock climbing at the crag in photo one. This picture was taken with his group in the morning. The venue is known as the Hoad Slabs and is on the hillside just above the A590 as it comes into the town of Ulverston and is also directly below the Hoad Monument which looks like a lighthouse from a distance.

These young people had little experience of belaying or climbing and this was an introductory half day rock climbing session. In the photo, a girl can be seen being lowered and she is being belayed by the young man at the bottom of the crag who has an Italian Hitch attached to his harness. The two people in the foreground are also holding the rope and this is a simpler method of belaying when there is little time to get ones head around the concept of using a belay plate for climbing.

The next day was journey day for the group. We took a van from the centre and drove into Coniston village where we parked up and set off walking via Coniston Hall along the west shore of Coniston Water.

Coniston Water is a popular venue with people enjoying watersports from canoeing & kayaking throught to sailing. Kendal Mountaineering Services offers canoeing & kayaking to people wanting to try it out for either half or full day sessions. With the weather finally getting warmer - becoming wet is less of a problem. Iain did wonder if his young team were going to get wet in photo two as between them, they worked to get the steamer pontoon swaying from side to side. As you can see, the weather was great.
Having walked along about half of our return journey to the centre, we had stopped to have lunch at the pontoon and a bit of wet fun before continuing along the west shore of Coniston Water. (photo three)

The plan was that sooner or later, we would meet another group coming the other way and give them our van keys in exchange for some Canadian canoes, paddles and bouyancy aids, we did eventually meet them. Today it was absolutely baking hot in fact the hottest day of the year to date - maybe a bit too warm for a journey day. Iain would have quite happily gone back into Church Beck!
After having walked around 3 miles along the western shore of Coniston Water, we arrived at 7 canadian canoes neatly tied up and ready for us to use on the water based part of our journey day.

Photo four shows the group prepared and ready to set off on the last mile and a half of our journey back to the centre.

Some members struggled at first with the concept of working as a team in a Canadian Canoe - you have to unless you are paddling solo. Most of the group had improved markedly after a mile or so.

At Kendal Mountaineering Services we can teach you all of the skills you need to be able to handle one of these craft on rivers as well as lakes, contact us for details.

The final photo from this post shows Iains group the next morning during their introductory kayaking half day session.

There is so much fun you can have in a kayak other than just paddling them around. Here, half the group are stood up whilst the others in the team have to keep the boats tightly pulled together to make a stable rafted platform for them. Other kayak games we did included individuals doing a complete traverse right around the raft, a game of British Bulldogs (tig or tag) and something called "Octopus eat fish" which the group loved.

Iain wasn't required to work with the group the next day but apparently they were going raft building - something again that we provide. Raft building is very popular with stag & hen events and in fact, we will be doing exactly that on June 16th with a stag group on Coniston Water.

If you would like to try any of the activities that you've seen here then you can with Kendal Mountaineering Services. Contact us to arrange your multi-activity session. The rest of the photos from this multi-activity course can be viewed here.

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