Tuesday 22 April 2014

Half day Canyoning Sessions in The Lake District. April 19th 2014.

After a strenuous but totally satisfying day out with Rob - Scrambling on Great Gable, Iain was out the following afternoon doing something completely different - Canyoning, with Tom Dobson & his mates at Church Beck, Coniston. Far from being dry, this was a totally wet session, but just as much fun as the previous day!

As you can see from photo one, the weather was just as good too, maybe slightly cooler. But with all of the equipment the guys were wearing (supplied as part of your fee) they were warm enough throughout the session despite the continual soaking they received.

Our half day Canyoning Sessions in The Lake District are by far the most popular activity we do in the Summer months, they are great fun, very exciting, very refreshing on a hot sunny day and totally exhilarating.

We usually run these sessions at Church Beck near Coniston. Canyoning is a downward descent of a mountain stream - usually involving abseiling down waterfalls or jumping down them into deep pools. Another place that we do this is Stoneycroft Gill near Keswick, but Church Beck is by far the better venue.

We start off near to the dam at the top of the gorge and very quickly arrive at the first waterfall as seen in photo two. Everyone gets lowered down this into the pool below and then we climb down the side of the next fall below and jump in to the pool - getting wet over our heads again.
Photo three is a view looking back up at that first waterfall which is one of a number we have to descend. Further on, just on the other side of Miners Bridge we have a longer lower down an even bigger waterfall (photo four) before we arrive at an area known as the "Top Jumps".

At the Top Jumps, the gorge narrows in to a mere slot some 5 feet wide with a 15 foot drop down into the next pool. Many of our competitors still choose to allow their clients to jump this, the most hazardous part of the ghyll and it is a place where people all too often bash arms or ankles on the way down! There have also been incidences of broken ankles/legs on landing in the pool at the bottom which is clearly a bit too shallow when water levels in the ghyll are low. Doesn't sound great - but please read on!

We avoid injury here by safeguarding our clients down to a lower ledge from where they can jump into a slightly wider & deeper part of the pool by the use of harnesses & a climbing rope. As well as avoiding any injury, this method also encourages more people to give it a go!

Below the top jump is a chock-stone and, depending on how confident you are - either a climb down & swim across the deep pool below; or an almighty 10 foot leap into the pool, then there is a final 16 foot slide down another chock-stone into the next pool below.

Downstream of here is another pool that can be jumped into, one other where you can climb along the back wall (the idea is to get across without falling in!) and a final slabby waterfall that can be climbed down.

We finish off our Canyoning Session in The Lake District by turning around and going back upstream to a point 50 metres short of our final slide. Here, we exit up the left bank and walk up the edge of the gorge to a point where a path leads down to a 20 foot jump into the middle pool in the Top Jumps section. This is a most exciting finale to our Canyoning Session and of course once down - you then have to do the final slide a second time to get out of the gorge.

A half day (four hour) canyoning session with us starts at £45 per person. Does this sound expensive? Then see all the equipment you'll get - by looking the group in photo one. All of this equipment is designed to give you the maximum protection and insulation so that you can really concentrate on enjoying your session in comfort, but of course it all costs a lot of money! Also, we make sure you get to do all of the best bits in the gorge in the safest possible manner by putting you into harnesses and roping you down the sections that many of our competitors avoid or, as outlined earlier, choose to take bigger risks - with you.

Certainly you can find many businesses in The Lake District offering Canyoning for less - but you'll be given less equipment, will be less comfortable and will be, in all probability, less safe too. But, you pay your money and take your choice. If, after reading this, you would like to discuss booking your Canyoning Session in The lake District with us - then contact us here. We'll be happy to help!

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