Tuesday 4 September 2012

Counting down to the end of Summer with Kendal Mountaineering services.

People following the Kendal Mountaineering Services Blog might have wondered recently at the apparent lack of posts - this doesn't mean we haven't been active & busy running all manner of outdoor activity & skills training courses in the Lake District - we have been very busy throughout  the whole of August.

Our last post was August 25th detailling the many Canyoning & ghyll Scrambling sessions we have been running. The latter part of August also saw a number of bookings for Rock Climbing Skills Training Courses - the most recent being on Tuesday August 28th.

Photo one shows Ian Paley being belayed by his son Martin on Route one at Upper Scout Crag in Langdale. Martin had spent some considerable time learning rock climbing skills at an ondoor wall near to the family home in South East England but booked a course through Kendal Mountaineering services as he wanted to make the moves on to rock climbing outdoors.

So, during this one day Learning to lead Rock Climbing Course, Iain taught Martin how to place good quality anchors using nuts, Hexcentrics and camming devices. How to place and extend a running belay and how to bring anchors to a central attachment point using slings (useful if you are lead climbing all of the time) and how to tie into anchors using the rope (the most common method if you are leading alternately with your climbing partner).

Martin proved very adept at soaking up all of the information given by Iain and put it into good practise whilst leading Route One - a 3 pitch multi-pitch rock climb given a VDiff+ grading.

Martins Dad Ian had given up a morning of walking to act as belayer for Martin whilst he climbed each pitch. Meanwhile, Iain self lined so that he could be alongside Martin during the whole climb acting as coach and safety person - just in case that was needed.

Martin climbed well in the morning, photo two shows him at stance three on Route One having built a suitable multi-point belay and being about to belay his Dad up the final pitch. Ian disappeared in the afternoon in search of Dungeon Ghyll Force so Martin climbed Route Two with Iain. The weather was good throughout the afternoon and climbing conditions were excellent. Martin thoroughly enjoyed his learning to lead multi-pitch Rock Climbing Skills Training Course in The Lake District with us.

The next day (Wednesday 29th August) saw Iain take a trip over to The Yorkshire Dales National Park to act as Cave Leader for the Longthorne family who were visiting the area from Bolton and fancied trying an introductory caving session.

Iain arranged to meet the family at Inglesport where we had a quick brew before driving up to Ribblehead and getting underground caving in Long Churns. Photo three shows the family - Sammy, Lindsay and Garry in the passageway leading from Lower Long Churns to Diccan Entrance.

We had entered the cave system via Middle Entrance and made our way downstream marvelling at the Entrance Waterfall and the limestone formations en route to Lower Long Churns where we had to pass obstacles such as Double Shuffle Pool, Plank Pool and The Slot before arriving at the famous Cheese Press where Sammy rose to the challenge and wriggled easily through from one side to the other.

After visiting the Cheese Press, Iain led the party party out via Diccan Entrance just so that Mum & Dad could try something Cheese Press-like - but not as tight! We then went back underground upstream in Middle Entrance and on to Upper Long Churns where Iain merely gave the party the instruction to "follow the stream until you get to a big pool & waterfall" - this of course being  Doctors Bannisters Washbasin.

We climbed the waterfall and exited the Long Churns cave system. Photo four shows the family on the limestone pavement nearby with distant Penyghent beyond. Sammy, Garry & Lindsay were delighted with their Level One introductory Caving Session in the Yorkshire Dales National Park - a Level Two Caving Session could well be next on their adgenda.

If you would like to find out more about either our Rock Climbing Skills Training Courses or our Introductory Caving Sessions then contact Iain at Kendal Mountaineering Services here. We look forward to working with you.

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