Monday 9 July 2012

Introductory canadian canoeing sessions in The Lake District. July 3rd 2012.

During last week Iain ran a number of ghyll scrambling sessions on behalf of another provider and also ran an introductory Canadian Canoeing session on Windermere for Simon Kelly & his partner Claire who were on holiday in The Lake District.

Simon had found the Kendal Mountaineering Services website when googling introductory Canadian Canoeing sessions in The Lake District and contacted us to book.

The occasion was booked as a birthday present for Claire and fortunately the weather was calm & settled making it ideal for Canadian Canoeing although it would change later in the day and rain very heavily again just as Iain and a colleague were about to commence an evening ghyll scrambling session.
Our introduction to Canadian Canoeing courses will give you the basic skills to manoevre one of these craft on flat water - in this case Lake Windermere. The meeting point for Iains session with the couple was at Waterhead at Ambleside which has good parking and easy asccess to the lake and lower Rivers - the Brathay and Rothay.

We started our session by going over the various parts of a Canadian Canoe, design & construction before discussing how to enter & leave a canoe.

We then discussed how to paddle foward & backwards, stop, turn and paddle in a straight line.

Photo two shows the pair during initial skills training learning the draw stroke - this is the ideal stroke if you want to move your canoe sideways.
During any coaching session, it is wise to break things up a bit as variety is good so, having learnt some basic skills in order to be able to make the canoe go where we wanted, the three of us decided to have a journey around the head of Windermere and also to check out some easy moving water.

As Simon & Claire were keen to explore the river Brathay we ventured on to this and Iain gave the pair further coaching in moving water skills - necessary just to make headway upstream because the river was quite high and flowing fast.

We made good use of eddy hopping and eventually arrived at the rapids just upstream of Brathay Bridge (photo three) where the couple attempted ferry gliding. This was top end stuff for an introductory Canadian Canoeing session but the pair did very well.

The final photograph taken during this introductory Canadian Canoeing session was back at Waterhead
after we had undertaken a trip around the head of the
 lake and shows Simon having jumped overboard -
about to get back into the boat hopefully without
capsizing and also tipping Claire into the drink!

No introductory watersports session would be complete without learning what do do if things go wrong and one of both of you finishes up outside of your craft - worse still if it has also capsized! Our skills sessions are all about giving you the basics to go off with confidence and try the sport for yourself.

Simon got back into the canoe by grabbing one of the wooden bracing struts across the boat (called a thwart) and pulling himself into the boat whilst licking his feet on to the surface of the water in order to keep the canoe level whilst he pulled himself in. Simon was successful, so then it was Claires turn.

The pair enjoyed their introductory Canadian Canoeing session with us and intend to go away and practise before possibly returning in the future to learn some moving water skills for one of our river journey trips. We wish them every success with their aspirations. Other photos taken during this session can be viewed here.

Our Canadian Canoeing and Kayaking sessions can be arranged as a half day activity taster sessions or as skills training courses should you be considering taking up the sport for yourself. Contact Iain at Kendal Mountaineering Services to arrange your Lake District based session here


Simon Kelly said...

Thanks Iain for grand day out. The session was exactly what we were after and I'm sure we'll canoe again as a result. We may well be back do that river journey with you that you mentioned!

Simon Kelly

Simon Kelly said...

Thanks Iain for a grand day out. The session was exactly what we were after and I'm sure we'll canoe again as a result. We may well be back to do that river journey that you mentioned!

Simon Kelly