Monday 19 August 2013

Introductory Rock climbing and Gorge Walking Sessions in Yorkshire. 7th August 2013.

After Iains  session in The Esk Gorge with Richard Farmer & Kirsty, he was straight off to Yorkshire to prepare for the next day which consisted of an Introductory Rock Climbing and Bouldering Session at Brimham Rocks followed by and abseiling & Gorge Walking Session at Howstean Gorge in Nidderdale.

Photo one shows Iains group on this occasion during our Bouldering Session at Brimham. The children were on vacation with Village Camps and came from a diverse mix of countries including France, Spain, Lebanon and Ukraine.

During our Bouldering Session at Brimham Rocks (photo one) we climbed up, over, around and down some of the many gritstone outcrops to be found at this site for over an hour before it was time to swap with some of the other groups and have a go at an Introductory Rock Climbing Session.

In an Introductory Rock Climbing Session, we generally employ a rope system in which the climbing rope is anchored at the top of the climb at the mid point and either end hangs down to the bottom of the climb.

The climber will be attached to one end whilst several other group members will be responsible for pulling in the rope at the other end - keeping it tight to prevent the the climber falling if they slip.

As well as being an easy and safe way to climb, top rope/bottom belaying as it is known is a great way to get people working together and focusing on the skills of communication and teamwork. This was particularly important for this group of young people who didn't know each other that well and amongst other things - they were expected to converse in English throughout their time in the UK.

In photo two, the young person seen in the white tee shirt has climbed the rock face and is now being lowered down by his peers. This involves considerable trust on the part of the climbing person.

After our morning session at Brimham Rocks, the whole group plus instructional staff moved the six or so miles to Howstean Gorge in Nidderdale where tents were set up so that the group could camp overnight. Then, everyone was kitted out in wetsuits, cagoules, bouyancy aids,wellington boots and helmets so that they could go Gorge Walking (photo three).

At Howstean this involves abseiling off the bridge across the gorge 50 feet down into a deep narrow Limestone gorge where harnesses are removed before setting off upstream swimming and wading through pools and climbing up small waterfalls.

Along the way there is the possibility of visiting a limestone cave where a tributary to Howstean Beck joins the main flow.
Beyond Howstean Cave, the gorge gets narrower and deeper, the pools get deeper and the waterfalls bigger.

The edge of the gorge is surrounded by woodland and with dense foliage and an overcast sky overhead it can seem quite dark down below.

Certainly in photo four, it looks more like Iain's group are caving than Gorge Walking!

The children enjoyed their day of Introductory Rock Climbing, Bouldering, Gorge Walking & Caving and we hope they enjoyed the rest of their 3 week stay in the UK. Families wishing to try any of the activities mentioned in this post can do so with us here in The Lake District. Prices start at £45 per person for a half day (four hour) session or £70 per person for a full 8 hour day out encompassing at least two activities. Contact us to book your session here. We look forward to working with you.

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