Monday 4 August 2014

Rock Climbing, Gorge Walking & Abseiling in The Yorkshire Dales. Wednesday & Thursday 23rd & 24th July 2014.

We were back in Yorshire again on July 23rd & 24th in what has been one of the hottest weeks of 2014. As far as Summers go then 2014 has to have been one of the best in recent years - if anything, it was a little too hot this week!

And it has been great weather for doing anything outdoors - it is quite surprising that we haven't been booked solid with Ghyll Scrambling & Canyoning Sessions in The Lake District. It has also been extremely good weather for rock climbing as it was here when another group of international students from Village Camps joined us at Brimham Rocks for an Introductory Rock Climbing Session.

As usual, the morning session Rock Climbing at Brimham was followed with our relocating to Howstean Gorge in Nidderdale for the afternoon session. This consists of Abseiling from the bridge over the gorge into the bed and then then Gorge Scrambling.

The Abseil is arranged in such a way that two persons can descend at the same time as seen here in photo two. Setting off from the bridge is a real challenge as it really is a case of leaning backwards into thin air and the bed of the gorge seems a long way below. The very start of any Abseil is the most challenging part but once the people Abseiling realise they are in control then they are usually ok - in fact most people go on to really enjoy it. It is a great challenge for the adrenalin junkie and very popular with Stag Groups.

At all times during any Abseiling Session you are attached to a safety backup rope which is paid out by the instructor at the top - this is to ensure that if you let go of the abseil rope you don't plummet to the floor!

For those young people lucky enough to have abseiled in to the gorge first then it was straight on upstream. Gorge Scrambling & Ghyll Scrambling are terms for the same activity - get kitted up in a wetsuit, a cagoule, buoyancy aid and a pair of wellingtons, get in the stream and go!

Ghyll Scrambling or Gorge Walking usually refers to walking up stream - climbing up small waterfalls, swimming through pools, it is an ideal activity for those hot Summer days when you want to cool off. With the wetsuit and everything else provided you won't get too cool though and the buoyancy aid will keep you afloat when you get out of your depth as some of the children did here in photo three.

Howstean Gorge is a deep narrow canyon set in Limestone and is flanked on either side by woodland which means that it can appear quite dark when one is in it and of course there are two caves which can be visited as part of the session - make sure you have a few headtorches amongst your party!

Unusually for these Village Camps sessions, we had two days back to back. The first day consisted of Introductory Rock Climbing at Brimham followed by Abseiling & Gorge Walking at Howstean.

Following that, the first days group were joined for a barbeque & overnight camp at Howstean by another group with whom we worked the following morning - but in reverse.

So on day two we Abseiled and Gorge Scrambled first before heading back to Brimham for an afternoon of Introductory Rock Climbing and some Scrambling.

The final photo of the day sees Iain's group during the latter part of the afternoon whilst we were scrambling at Brimham Rocks. At Brimham, there are a great many outcrops of Gritstone creating rock tors which can be climbed upon and we had a great deal of fun climbing up, through and across these linking one rock outcrop with the next - the children loved it!

All of the activities listed here are also run by Kendal Mountaineering Services in The Lake District, so if you are coming to the area with your family  and fancy trying out some these great activities - then give us a call to arrange your outdoor activity session. We look forward to working with you.

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