Tuesday 24 July 2012

Multi-activity Adventure Courses in The Lake District July 16th - 19th 2012.

Last week, Iain from Kendal Mountaineering Services worked on behalf of another outdoor activity provider as tutor for a group of year 10 pupils from Harry Carleton School in Nottingham. The pupils were on a five day visit to The Lake District to enjoy some Outdoor Education just before they broke up for the Summer holidays.

The group were staying at Rydal Hall near Ambleside and on day one (photo one) we had a hill walking day doing a circuit from Rydal Hall via Scandale, Dove Crag and back. This photo shows a rather & bedraggled group not far from Rydal Hall almost at the end of the hill walking day. It had not been a good start to the week with low cloud & rain making the walking day a rather miserable affair.

The weather did improve somewhat for our next day out. Iain and another instructor took the group into the Yorkshire Dales National Park for an introductory level one caving session in Long Churns (photo two).

Long Churns was busy as it often is on a Tuesday with lots of providers taking caving groups underground. We made our way through Upper Long Churns to avoid the inevitable queues for the Cheese Press etc, exited the system via Doctor Bannisters Washbasin and had a great time exploring the lesser frequented Borrins Moor system where there are some great little passageways to be explored and some challenging bits to get through.

After we had been around Borrins Moor, we returned to Long Churns to do the section from Middle Entrance to Diccan Entrance before finishing just in time to meet the other half of the group walking back to the bus. Most of the pupils  thought that the caving session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park was one of the highlights of their stay in The Lake District.

The next day we remained in The Lake District and started with an introductory canoeing & kayaking session.

We ran this from Waterhead near Ambleside - a place where Kendal Mountaineering Services often run our introductory canoeing & kayaking sessions as it is a good place from which to learn flat water skills and then move on to some moving water skills on the nearby River Brathay.

Photo three shows some of the pupils having a good old splashabout on the river Brathay - everyone had a chance to try both Canoeing & kayaking, play a few games, and of course, get very wet!

After canoeing & kayaking, we returned to Rydal Hall for lunch before getting on the bus and driving to Hodge Close for an abseiling session.

Photo four shows one of the pupils having a go at abseiling once she had gotten over the fear of hanging backwards over a cliff - a really serious concern for her.

It took a lot of gentle encouragement & support before this young lady finally decided that she could do it - even though she really wanted to try. In the end, with Iains encouragement, she succeeded.

Often, the courses we run at Kendal Mountaineering Services are done with a purpose in mind and these can include improving self esteem & motivation or working as part of a team. Whilst there were no particular aims for the pupils from Harry Carleton School for this week other than to have fun, we have no doubt that there were lots of positive "spin offs" for many of the young people who attended during this week.

Our final day together was another two session day. Photo five shows Iains team near the top of Loughrigg Fell in Central Lakeland. We had walked here from Rydal Hall and the walk continued to Grasmere Village which is beyond the lake (also called Grasmere) in the photo.

After a stop for icecreams, we continued back to Rydal Hall via the Coffin Road for what would be our final session - ghyll scrambling.

As can be seen in Photo five, it was a much better day - warm & sunny (at times) we could see for miles - even as far as distant Skiddaw through the pass of Dunmail Raise!

The last activity of the week was ghyll scrambling in Rydal Beck (photo six) After getting back from our walk everyone got changed into wetsuits & cagoules and grabbed bouyancy aids and wellington boots before we all headed off into the ghyll starting basically right outside the centre!

Rydal Hall is fortunate in having its own ghyll on site with the ususal mix of deep pools and waterfalls so the group was able to have a great final session. They all got stuck in and worked well together despite there being a fair volume of water flowing

After about an hour & a half of splashing, swimming, climbing and in some places fighting our way upstream we finished off with a jump into the deep pool at the water take off point for the Rydal Hall hydro electric scheme - a wet but happy bunch!

Kendal Mountaineering services offer all of the activities mentioned in this post to the general public. These courses are particularly suited to families with children looking for a holiday with an adventurous twist and indeed - the next post is about just such an adventurous family day out in The Lake District. Now the Summer holidays have arrived - why not contact us to arrange your activity day in area? We can guarantee you'll have a great time and on that note - we look forward to working with you.

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