Sunday 12 May 2013

Testing rugged waterproof & shockproof cameras. Stickle Ghyll, Langdale. May 11th 2013.

Gorge walking session in The Lake District. Kendal Mountaineering Services.
Yesterday, we were delighted to run one of our Lake District Ghyll Scrambling sessions for members of the WEX Photographic staff team who had come to The Lake District for the weekend wanting to use one of our Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning sessions as a test bed for their forthcoming review of Outdoor Digital Cameras.

The team had travelled all the way from Norwich to conduct this test and had all manner of waterproof & shockproof Digital Cameras - as can be seen in photo one.
Ghyll Scrambling in North West England with Kendal Mountaineering Services.
Unfortunately, it had been an extremely wet start to the day and as it turned out, our preferred venue - Church Beck at Coniston was turning into a raging torrent and therefore not an ideal venue to conduct a camera test of any sort.

Fortunately, the team were still en route for The Lake District when Iain called them to advise of a change of venue and there are a few venues in Langdale where we can run our Ghyll Scrambling sessions in The Lake District when Church Beck gets too big.

Having been rerouted to the Sticklebarn Tavern in Langdale, Iain & Scott got the group kitted up and then off we headed in to Stickle Ghyll which was high, but challenging rather than being "over the top". Photo two shows one of the party doing the lower climb in the ghyll which was actually a small waterfall on this occasion. Challenging stuff indeed!

Ghyll Scrambling Sessions in The Lake District. Kendal Mountaineering Services.

Photo three shows Daniel Hahn having some fun in the Stickle Ghyll Jacuzzi - as you can see here - there was plenty of water to provide lots of challenging fun and as tough a conditions as any of the group test cameras were likely to find anywhere!

There were a few odd sections that we had to miss out where there was just too much fast flowing water. When running any Lake District Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning session, safety of all concerned has to be paramount followed by comfort which is why we provide the high standard of equipment that we do. It is only when you have these first two concerns properly addressed can people then start to enjoy themselves fully.

Stickle Ghyll was, on this day, a "full on" experience - as you'll see if you look through the photographs taken with our own waterproof & shockproof camera here.

Gorge walking sessions in North West England. Kendal Mountaineering services.
At this point we were only half way through our Lake District Ghyll Scrambling session and the cameras were getting a proper drubbing and ducking. Most people had the test cameras attached to their bouyancy aids with karabiners allowing for security but quick release for photographs. Fortunately no-one dropped a camera - had they done so today then it would have likely disappeared for good!

As can be seen in the background in photo four, the weather had cleared up and our afternoon as nice & sunny and largely rain free - if not a little cold. However, the Wex Photographic team were thoroughly enjoying themselves as you can see here.
Lake District Ghyll Scrambling Sessions with Kendal Mountaineering Services. Shortly after photo four was taken Scott made off ahead to set up the ropework for the second & larger waterfall climb in Stickle Ghyll and in photo five a member of our party can be seen approaching Scott at the top of the fall whilst another team member takes a photograph.

WEX Photographic subsequently posted a report  about this group test of digital waterproof & shockproof cameras and you can read it here. It will certainly give you a very good idea what to look for when choosing your own tough camera for outdoor use in any conditions.

Our own camera of choice at present is the Panasonic Lumix DMC FT2 with which all of our own photos have been taken since February 2011. This camera is still going strong and we are sure you will agree, takes excellent photos. This model has already been superseded by newer versions and no doubt we'll need to replace ours at some point in the future.

Immediately after completing this waterfall climb we returned to the National Trust car park at The New Dungeon Ghyll where everyone got changed and then headed in to the Sticklebarn Tavern for a well deserved hot drink. The WEX team seemed well pleased with their Lake District Ghyll Scrambling session and we hope that it provided them with the test bed they needed - it was certainly a tough session for any camera!

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