Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning sessions in The Lake District. October 20th 2012.

It's been a while since we posted any new reports on the Kendal Mountaineering Services Blog although that doesn't mean we haven't been doing any fantastic activity or skills training sessions in The Lake District - so, time for a catch up!

This first post concerns returning client Sunil Singh who attented one of our Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning Sessions in Church Beck in the Summer with two mates. He enjoyed it so much that he booked it again for himself, his partner Nicky and three of his work colleagues - Nokutula, Stuart & Linda (photo one).

October really is getting to the end of the season for this great buzz activity but the five were keen to give it a go. It was a pleasant afternoon although not particularly warm as we made our way up Church Beck tackling such things as the crawl under the log (through water of course!) and the "tricky traverse" as Iain likes to call it.

Photo two is taken at the first big waterfall as we made our way upstream and as you can see, the water level is quite low - quite a good thing given the temperature. Of course, the five were well kitted out in wetsuits, cagoules, and walking boots - all standard issue equipment on any ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning session undertaken with Kendal Mountaineering Services.
Photo Three shows four of the team below the Miners Bridge Waterfall down which they had all been lowered by Iain.

We had gone to the head of the upper gorge as we always do to discover that another large group were doing the top lower and were going to be quite some time. One great thing about Church Beck is the ease of access and so we were able to go and do the Miners Bridge Fall lower followed by the "top jumps" instead and hopefully finish off with the top lower later.

Abseiling down this waterfall was new to this party and some of the team found it a real challenge indeed. However, with a little encouragement everyone managed to do it and were all really pleased. Sunil had left the group to go & get dry having suffered a re-occurrence of an old injury, but by the time we were heading for the top jumps he had returned to offer his mates some moral support!
The top jumps are not a the head of the gorge as many reading our previous reports of Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning sessions here will be aware - they are in fact below the Miners Bridge Waterfall.

The first jump is into a narrow slot and deep pool although many get put off by the seriousness of the challenge and often those who aren't can bash elbows, arms or feet on the way down. We avoid these risks by doing a part lower on a rope followed by a six foot jump into the same pool from a much safer location.

The middle jump is generally avoided as well due to one having to jump out a long way to avoid a rock in the bottom of the waterfall so we climb down & swim across the pool to the top of the final "slide" known as the chockstone pitch.

Here in photo four, Linda is about to slide straight down the front of the chockstone into the pool below - challenging stuff indeed!

Our final photo from this Autumn Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning session sees Stuart, Nicky & Linda at the foot of the chockstone pitch with another group following on behind.

At the top jump, Nokutula had decided this particular challenge was not for her so had exited the ghyll with Sunil and had gone back with him to get changed.

Whilst we had seen two of our party withdraw during this Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning session, the remaining three had found it a thoroughly exhilarating challenge and had thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

We may not be seeing Nokutula, Stuart or Linda again for a similar session, but both Sunil & Nicky are adamant that they will be back next Summer to attend one of our Esk Gorge Trips which are about as good as this sort of session gets in The Lake District. Further photos taken during this session can be viewed here. To book your session, contact us here, we look forward to working with you.

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