Tuesday 22 July 2014

An Adventure day in Yorkshire! Wednesday 9th July 2014.

Working in the Outdoor Adventure Industry - you can expect a lot of variety. Kendal Mountaineering Services provide Skills Training Courses throughout The Lake District, Wales & Scotland and Caving Sessions (and climbing) in The Yorkshire Dales National Park.

We are one of many such businesses operating in the UK and much networking goes on between businesses. Sometimes, we require instructional staff to assist with our courses; and sometimes they require our services to assist with their staffing requirements.

This was the case on Wednesday when Iain had been asked to assist with Village Camps on one of their annual visits to The Yorkshire Dales National Park.

We spent the morning as in photo one helping these international students as they enjoyed an Introductory Rock Climbing Session at the National Trust Venue - Brimham Rocks.

Having spent the morning climbing & scrambling at Brimham, we relocated to How Stean Gorge at the head of nearby Nidderdale.

Here, there is a fantastic limestone gorge which which up to 18m in depth. In order to walk up the gorge one has to get down to the bed of the stream and there are a number of routes in.

Iain chose to take his group in via a climb down through Tom Taylors Cave (photo two) where there are steps & ladders to descend before a final short scramble down in to the slippery bed of How Stean Beck. There is another cave that can also be visited whilst in the gorge - How Stean Cave, so what with the introductory Caving sections and the gorge walk itself, this is a truly fantastic venue through which to be introduced to these two great adventurous activities.
There is also another way of entering the gorge at How Stean; and that can be seen here in photo three.

A bridge spans the gorge between the cafe and the campsite/amenities block. The bridge has been specially fitted with Abseil Stations - one on either side and therefore two groups can be abseiling at the same time.

So what is abseiling? Basically lowering ones-self down a drop on a rope. Challenging stuff? Absolutely! - particularly if you've never done it before. You'll be wearing a helmet & harness and will also be attached to a safety back up rope which is paid out by the instructor as you lower yourself down. This is to ensure that if you let go of the abseil rope you won't plummet & sustain injury. How safe is abseiling in this fashion? 100% safe. It has to be!
Our final photo from this day in the Yorkshire Dales National Park sees Iain's group enjoying wet fun in How Stean Gorge.

Everyone had been kitted up in wetsuits, cagoules, Buoyancy aids and helmets - just as we would for all our sessions however this group received wellingtons for their feet which are just as safe as the walking boots we provide on our own sessions.

Our half day activity sessions start at £45 per person although we apply discounts as your group size increases. Also, we are one of the few Lake District businesses to work with as few as two persons at a time.

There are other businesses in the Lake District claiming to offer you the same activity sessions as we do - but for less money and you should ask them what equipment they will provide you with as part of the price.

We believe in providing all specialist equipment you'll need on any of our sessions as part of your fee so for an activity day such as this, you can expect to be provided with helmets & harnesses for climbing (and we can also provide rock shoes) wetsuits, cagoules, bouyancy aids, helmets , harnesses & walking boots for Gorge Scrambling and caving oversuits, wellington boots, helmets with lights and caving belts for our caving sessions.

Businesses offering these sessions for less will probably ask you to turn up with your own waterproofs for Gorge walking (Ghyll Scrambling) and may suggest that training shoes or plimsols are appropriate footwear for caving or Ghyll Scrambling. Without a wetsuit on a wet session you'll be cold; and run the risk of injury through the use of inappropriate footwear such as that we've outlined. Book on a half day activity session with us and yes - you might pay more than you will with some, but you can be assured of being provided with the right equipment as part of your fee; and remaining comfortable as well as safe throughout your session!

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