Thursday 12 July 2012

North Yorkshire action with Kendal Mountaineering Services. July 11th 2012.

Well, it's the middle of the summer and for us at Kendal Mountaineering Services the busiest time of year - lots of people are out and about and keen to try outdoor activities and lots of activity providers find themselves needing help with bigger groups.

On that note, Iain was in North Yorkshire a few days ago helping another business service requirements for children from Village Camps who were staying in the area.

This was a full day session and photo one was taken at Brimham Rocks where we did some bouldering and rock climbing.

Brimham Rocks is a lovely place and is owned by the National Trust. It located near to Nidderdale and not too far from Harrogate.

The site is basically a gritstone edge similar to those found in The Peak District and consists of gritstone outcrops such as small cliffs or massive boulders surrounded by woodland.

It is a very popular toursist attraction and is used by many outdoor centres as a venue for rock climbing.

Our morning at Brimham was spent climbing up, down & around the many rock outcrops on the site - basically a form of scrambling where three & often four points of contact were required to stay on the rock. We finished the bouldering session atop one of the biggest boulders from where we had some fabulous views of the surrounding area (photo two).

We enjoyed bouldering so much that we turned up a little late at the place where some easy rock climbs had been set up for us all to try.

Photo three shows the students having a go at what we would call an introductory rock climbing session where the ropes are attached to anchors at the top of each climb and a climber is attached at one end of the rope and belayed from the other side.

Once at the top of the climb the climber leans back and is lowered by their belayers back to the ground and this is an excellent way to get young people working together to achieve success at this popular challenge.

Just after we arrived here, the rain started (photo three) and whilst it dampened spirits a little, it was neither heavy enough nor lasted long enough to stop everyone from trying a few climbs and abseils.
The afternoon saw us all relocate to Howstean Gorge in Nidderdale for a session of abseiling and gorge scrambling.

Howstean Gorge is a fantastic place where there are many things to do. They have a Via Feratta course in the gorge and the site is a popular venue for gorge walking.

On site there is a campsite with a fantastic new utilities block and a cafe on the edge of the gorge which about 60 feet deep on average and set in Limestone Rock.

The children were offered two activities here and both can be seen in photo four - abseiling from the bridge in the background followed by gorge walking downstream to get back out of the gorge.

The stream was a little high and quite powerful and being limestone, the bed is smooth and quite slippery. Iains job throughout this afternoon was to get the abseilers off the bottom of the abseil rope and then once he had a group of six or so - take them all back out of the gorge. The quickest way to get back to the foot of the abseil was to............abseil! This meant Iain did it six times!

The owners of the Howstean Gorge venue have done much to develop the site in recent times and as well as allowing other outdoor activity providers to use the venue for a fee they are offering a lot of stuff themselves.

Activities already mentioned include Via Feratta, abseiling, gorge walking and there are also a couple of small caves to explore (known as caving).

Imagine Iains surprise however when he was told that there was a raft coming down the gorge too - but indeed a bunch of people did float by on one (photo five) followed by two other people floating in the water behind. They certainly seemed to be having a great time!

The children were camping on the site overnight before heading elsewhere the next day. Most were international students, we hope they enjoy their stay in the UK and that the weather is a little less wet for them and us.

Apart from the Via Feratta and rafting. You can all enjoy the other activities mentioned in this post here in The Lake District with Kendal Mountaineering ServicesContact us or give us a call to book your rock climbing, abseiling, scrambling, caving or gorge walking sessions in the area. We look forward to working with you. Other photos from this day out can be viewed here.

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