Tuesday 20 November 2012

Caving & Climbing days in The Yorkshire Dales National Park. November 6th 2012.

The first part of November has been fairly busy for us here at Kendal Mountaineering Services. Iain had a weekend of activity sessions with a group at the Lakeland Adventure Centre at Water Park in wintry conditions. Amongst other things that weekend, we went open canoeing and incredibly - Ghyll Scrambling in Church Beck.

Two days later Iain was working in The Yorkshire Dales National Park with Ian Durrant and his partner Anna Lenartowska. Ian & Anna had travelled all the way from Portsmouth to visit the Lake District for a break.

Ian had contacted Kendal Mountaineering Services to book a two session day, caving for himself and rock climbing for Anna as part of a birthday present for her.

Iain met the pair at Inglesport and then off we went to Long Churns for our caving adventure. Photo one shows Ian being lowered down the pitch to Double Shuffle Pool in Long Churns.

On this particular day, conditions were better underground than on the surface where a cold south westerly wind was blowing accompanied by a heavy drizzle - fine for caving but not great for climbing out of doors. Iain had already forwarned the pair that due to the forecast that it might have to be indoor climbing instead!

Water levels were low in Long Churns so we were able to have a good introductory caving session. We started off by heading downstream from Middle Entrance into Lower Long Churns and eventually arrived at The Cheese Press (photo two) where Anna successfully squeezed through before we all went to check out the daylight entering from nearby Alum Pot.

After visiting out Lower Long Churns, Iain took the pair out via Diccan Entrance (photo three) and then back underground via Middle Entrance to the downstream entrance to Baptistry Crawl which leads to Upper Long Churns.

On arrival at Upper Long Churns, we went downstream to Middle Entrance again and on to climb the Entrance Waterfall in Alum Pot Beck before heading back upstream and on to Doctor Bannisters Washbasin where the pair found the climb up to the upstream exit a sporting challenge. Back out at daylight there was no reason to hang around - the weather had improved none, so indoor climbing it was going to have to be.

Both Ian & Anna had thoroughly enjoyed their introductory caving session in Long Churns with Iain and are now talking about returning for one of our Level Two Caving Sessions in 2013!

Next, after getting changed and finding Anna some warm pants for climbing, it was off to Inglesport Climbing Wall for an introductory climbing session which whilst not done outdoors was done indoors in relative comfort with a much better outcome.

Inglesport run a great climbing wall in Ingleton village where there are artificial climbing routes of all grades in a purpose built building.

There are two climbing areas and a bouldering area and the main lead wall is approximately 15m in hieght. Routes are graded using the french system and there are routes to be found for people of all abilities.

Photo four shows Anna climbing in the main wall area belayed by Ian.

Iain showed the pair how to tie into the rope, attach a belay plate and how belay to protect the leader whilst they are climbing.

Our final photograph from our caving & climbing day shows Ian about to take his turn at climbing on the wall whilst Anna belays - backed up by the equivalent of a ground anchor, in this case a sand filled bag attached via a sling to the belay plate karabiner.

It is not uncommon for a belayer to become airborne whilst lowering a heavier climber and on occasion, this has led to surprise & shock for the belayer who has subsequently let go of the person they are lowering resulting in that person "decking out" and suffering an injury.

The pair enjoyed their session in the Inglesport Climbing Wall but were unused to the strenuous nature of climbing at an indoor climbing gym and were happy to call it a day after a few hours in here. They both thoroughly enjoyed their day with Iain and hope to return in 2013 for more caving and hopefully some outdoor climbing. We look forward to seeing them then.

More photos from Iain & Annas Introductory Caving and Climbing sessions can be viewed here. An ideal package for this time of year - if you would like us to arrange your own caving & climbing day then contact Iain here. We look forward to working with you.


Unknown said...

We had a great time thanks and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anybody else. I enjoyed it so much I've investigated doing the activity down here in Portsmouth! Additionally, I've already lost 5 kilos - joined Weight Watchers after seeing 'my expanse'!! Everything is great - looking forward to the spring and Level 2 - cheers Iain!

Iain Gallagher said...

Thanks for the feedback Ian. It is always great to know when we have exceeded expectations. At Kendal Mountaineering services we want this to be the rule rather than the exception and we consider it important to give people what they want wherever possible. We look forward to seeing you again in 2013. All the best, Iain.